Garlic lovers, rejoice. We are making garlic confit and you’re never going to *not* have it in your fridge, ever again. To cut to the chase here: confit is the opposite of frying. It’s a French cooking technique, which means to cook something low and slow in a pool of fat. If you’ve been to a French restaurant before, you’ve most likely heard of duck confit: a whole duck cooked in its own fat, which it produces during the cooking process. Garlic doesn’t produce fat, of course, but this doesn’t mean we can’t apply this “low and slow cooking in fat” technique to our favorite allium. You can do this with tomatoes, shallots, onions…honestly anything. Give it a try! But today we are making melt-in-your-mouth garlic confit. The kind that will mash when you put a butter knife up to it. The kind that you will want to eat like a bag of gummy bears, because it’s just that addicting.
I read a lot of garlic confit recipes online, and I tested this a few times. I opted out of the stove top methods and went with a baking process instead for the best results.
Something you should have on hand (just for EVERYTHING you do, honestly) but you don’t *desparately need* to make this is an internal thermometer. While the method I outlined worked for me, everyone’s oven is different — some are hotter and some are colder, which can yield different results. For the BEST results (for everything, not just garlic confit) I do recommend everyone just have one in their back pocket because it gives you the most accuracy when cooking so you know your dishes will be perfect every time. In the case of this recipe, an internal thermometer will help you measure the temp of the oil to ensure it’s not too cold or too hot. If your oil is too cold, your cloves will not soften. If your oil is too hot, the cloves will fry, which can result in a bitter taste. You want the temp of the oil to be between 200-210 degrees F.
Here’s my hack for peeling a whole head of garlic at once!
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- sauce pan with a lid or a small, deep baking dish
- 40 cloves (or 3 large heads) garlic peeled (use my cocktail shaker trick to peel them quickly!)
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil *make sure the garlic is fully submerged into the oil - size of garlic can vary and depth depends on your pan, so just note this and you are good to go!
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste if needed
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme optional, but delicious
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Pour all of the ingredients into an oven safe sauce pan or small, deep baking dish. Taste to make sure the salt levels are to your liking. Cover and bake at 250 degrees F for 1.5 hours, until the garlic is tender. At 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven to take the internal temperature. The oil should be around 200-210 degrees. If it's colder than 200 degrees, up the temp to 275 and let it continue cooking. Remove the garlic after 1.5 hours, then let it sit (covered) for another hour to residually cook. It should look light brown in color and have a melty, soft texture. Discard of the thyme. Drain the garlic from 1 cup of the oil, keeping the garlic in a mason jar or sealed container with 1/2 cup of the infused oil. Pour the garlic infused oil into another jar or bottle for use on salads, spreads, pastas etc. Both can keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge!