How To Make Garlic Confit (& Garlic Oil)

5 from 35 votes
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How to make garlic confit (and garlic oil) at home with just 5 minutes of prep. These slow-roasted garlic cloves are cooked and stored with oil and used in tons of ways as a caramelized, tender, smooth addition to any meal!

Garlic confit in a pan

I’m no stranger to trying to make the most out of garlic. I’ve already posted recipes/DIYs for garlic powder and garlic flakes. Now, it’s time for garlic confit. For anyone who’s even slightly a fan of garlic, this slow-roasted garlic dish will be your new best friend.

I have also shared my process for a tomato confit (with some garlic thrown in), but garlic confit obviously deserves its own post too. If you want to learn a little more about what confit is, then head over to that post; otherwise, I’ll keep things nice and brief here.

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What Is Garlic Confit?

Let me preface this by saying that confit garlic is one of the best things in my kitchen. If you’re already a garlic lover – then you’ll be spreading the roasted softened garlic, smooth like butter, over everything!

Like tomato confit, garlic confit consists of roasting garlic in generous amounts of fat (extra virgin olive oil) at low heats until it’s tender and lightly browned.

Two cloves of garlic confit in a spoon

Once ready, the garlic is soft, sweet, rich, and flavorful without raw garlic bitterness. In fact, in many ways, confit garlic is very similar to roasted garlic cloves. However, traditional roasted garlic can lead to uneven cooking and can take longer to achieve similar results.

Best of all, you actually get TWO delicious products out of this method: the first is the tender, buttery garlic; the second is fragrant garlic oil (check the FAQs for suggested uses).

Is Garlic Confit Safe?

If you can’t begin to imagine why it wouldn’t be, you might be panicking right about now – but don’t. As long as you store your garlic confit correctly, just like any food product, you can avoid/reduce harmful bacteria growth and be fine.

Garlic confit spread on a piece of bread

The main concern with garlic confit (and the garlic oil) is botulism – a food-borne illness that you do NOT want. It grows in anaerobic (airless) conditions – such as garlic stored in oil… You see where I’m going.

While there have been debates about how big the actual risk is, it’s one not worth taking to find out, and I don’t want you to make any mistakes either. For that reason, make sure to follow my instructions for storage and shelf-life (in FAQs) and NEVER store your garlic confit/garlic oil at room temperature!

Top Tips/Notes for the best garlic confit

  • ALWAYS store the garlic confit and oil in the refrigerator and pay close attention to the storage information (in FAQs) – to reduce the risk of botulism!
  • For this particular recipe, I did a nice low, long roast of 2 hours. However, when preparing this recipe, feel free to remove a clove at 1 hour, then 1hr 30… to test the tenderness and flavor.
  • The oil may solidify slightly in the fridge, but you can easily spoon out the garlic cloves/oil and it will quickly come to room temperature.

The Ingredients

Garlic confit ingredients
  • Garlic: you can use as much or as little as you want – pre-peeled garlic will also work.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: traditionally, most methods call on extra virgin olive oil for its flavor and health benefits but the process will work with other cooking oils – vegetable oil, grape seed, canola, avocado oil, etc. Though, obviously, it will affect the flavor and health benefits.
  • Herbs: I used rosmary. However, you can experiment with others, including oregano, chili flakes, thyme, peppercorns, fennel, bay leaves, etc.

The Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the garlic by separating cloves from the heads and peeling the cloves.

TOP TIP: to peel the garlic in seconds, then simply break the garlic head/s up into cloves by bashing lightly with the palm of your hand and then add them to a Tupperware container or mason jar with a lid (or between two metal bowls) and shake VIGOROUSLY for 20-30 seconds. DONE! Even the ones that aren’t fully peeled will be loose enough to peel off super easily.

Peeled garlic on a chopping board

Step 2: Add the items to a deep baking tray or casserole dish. I placed the rosemary first, then added the garlic cloves and poured enough oil over to submerge the garlic entirely.

It’s best to use a smaller dish here with high sides, so you need less oil than for a large oven-tray.

Steps for preparing garlic confit

Step 3: Slow roast the garlic in the oven for around 2 hours at 195ºF/90ºC (fan-assisted). When ready the roasted garlic cloves will be tender and lightly golden but not too browned.

I prefer a slower, low-temperature cook for better flavor – but feel free to check on the garlic after an hour as it may already be good enough for you.

Before and after roasting garlic

Step 4: Allow the garlic confit to cool enough to remove any herbs (if you want to). To speed up the cooldown time, place your container of garlic confit within an ice bath. When cooled, transfer to a sterilized glass jar and move to the refrigerator immediately.

How To Use Garlic Confit

I wouldn’t really be exaggerating if I said that I use this garlic confit (roasted garlic cloves) on everything I can think of that makes sense. Here are a few top garlic confit uses:

You can also use the garlic confit or garlic oil within dips, sauces, spreads, vinaigrettes/dressings, etc. I love to use garlic oil as a dipping oil for bread too or when sauteeing, in place of vegetable oil.

Garlic confit in a jar

FAQs

How to store/How long does garlic confit last?

It’s important to note that garlic is an ingredient that can be at risk of botulism if not stored correctly. For this reason, it’s important to always refrigerate the garlic confit and use it within TWO WEEKS. Several sources suggest longer would be fine – but I err on the side of caution.
To reduce the risk further, you can move your newly-cooked garlic confit to a new, heat-proof bowl and allow it to sit in an ice-bath, stirring, to allow it to cool faster. Then store it in a covered container in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
DO NOT attempt canning or any other ‘anaerobic’ (airless) storage method.

Can you freeze garlic confit?

Yes, you can. You can freeze the confit garlic with the oil or puree the garlic and freeze separately for up to 2 months. I like to freeze them into a covered ice-cube tray and remove however much I need. You can add the oil/garlic straight into a pan (or cooking dish) from frozen.
Just remember that oil doesn’t freeze solid, so keep it somewhere where it won’t get knocked over.

How much oil is needed per head of garlic?

This largely depends on the pan that you’re using for the method. It’s best to use a pan with a smaller surface area and tall sides – that way you’ll need less oil. For 1 head I’d use around 1/2 cup of oil or more in a small-ish pan.

Related Recipes

If you try this garlic confit recipe (+ garlic oil), then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

How to Make Garlic Confit (with Video)

5 from 35 votes
By: Samira
Learn how to make garlic confit at home with my detailed instructions, top tips, and video tutorial. The slowly cooked cloves will become tender and caramelized and are a great addition to any meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 48

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 garlic heads or use pre-peeled cloves
  • 1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil or neutral vegetable oil (canola, avocado, etc.)
  • few sprigs rosemary or any other herb of your choice

This will yield about 3 cups of confit.

    Instructions 

    • Preheat the oven to 195ºF/90ºC (fan-assisted).
    • Separate the cloves from the garlic head and peel them. To peel them easily, add them to a closed container or jar and shake them vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
    • Use a smaller dish with high sides, like a deep baking tray, casserole dish, or oven-proof skillet. Add the rosemary and peeled garlic cloves, then pour in the olive oil. Make sure the cloves are completely submerged.
    • Slow-cook the garlic at 195ºF/90ºC (fan-assisted) for about 2 hours, until the cloves become tender and lightly golden but not too browned.
    • Allow the garlic confit to cool to room temperature. To speed up the cooldown time, place it in a sterilized glass jar and place the jar in an ice bath (a bowl with ice-cold water). Optionally, you can remove the herbs.
      Place the jar in the refrigerator as soon as it cools enough.

    Video

    Notes

    To store: Kepp in an airtight container and always refrigerate the confit. Use it within two weeks.
    To freeze: You can freeze the confit garlic with the oil or puree the garlic and freeze it separately for up to 2 months. I like to freeze them portioned in a covered ice cube tray. You can add the oil or garlic straight into a pan (or cooking dish) from frozen.
    Check the blog post for more tips and serving suggestions!
    Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Side
    Cuisine: European
    Freezer friendly: 2 Months
    Shelf life: 2 Weeks (in fridge)

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1Tbsp, Calories: 60kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 1mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    Recipe Rating




    41 Comments

    1. K says:

      Could I use a small oven safe soup bowl to roast?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi there,
        Yes, that should work if there is enough space.

    2. Joleen says:

      I am wondering if there is a reason I couldn’t just put the garlic and olive oil in a mason jar and roast it IN the jar? The jars are heat safe and it would be one less dish to wash.

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Joleen,
        Mason jars are not designed for oven use and there is a high probability that your jar will break during or after roasting. It’s also probably best to use a flat pan for the garlic to get roasted evenly. I hope this answers your question.

    3. MaxS says:

      5 stars
      This sounds yummy! Could I make this with minced garlic, instead of whole cloves?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Max,
        Yes, you can make garlic confit with minced garlic, but the resulting confit may not have the same texture and flavor as traditional garlic confit made with whole garlic cloves. I recommend sticking to cloves.

    4. Mana says:

      Hi!!! I made this 3-4 days ago and forgot to put it in fridge, it was in the closet. is it still safe to put in fridge or should I toss it?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Mana,
        It’s best that the garlic confit is refrigerated as soon as possible (as soon as it’s cooled to room temperature). When stored improperly and at room temperature, there is a risk of botulism.

    5. Saul says:

      5 stars
      Thank you for the recipie. I have two questions: first, if my oven does not have ventilated function what is needed to change? Second, if I separate oil from cloves will i need special care for the oil regarding botulism or can I treat the oil like new oil?
      Thank you for your answers.

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Saul,
        If your oven doesn’t have the fan/ventilator function, you can roast the garlic confit at 230ºF/110ºC. Slow-roast for about 2 hours. You can check earlier if the garlic is tender and lightly golden but not too browned.
        The garlic confit and infused oil should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks. I hope this helps.

        1. Wendy says:

          Hello. Once the peeled garlic and oil mixture is ready to roast, is it okay to leave it out for 12 to 15 hours before roasting? I guess I’m trying to ask is will the eventual roasting process prevent the risk of botulism that may have been created by leaving it out before roasting as long as it is refrigerated within an hour or so of roasting?

        2. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

          Hi Wendy,
          12 to 15 hours should still be safe, it usually starts growing around 2 weeks.

    6. Ann says:

      Cannot wait to try this! I want garlic on everything. Do you roast it covered or uncovered in the oven? Thanks.

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Ann,
        The garlic is roasted uncovered. I hope you give this recipe a try.

    7. Jenice says:

      5 stars
      Alpha Foodie always has the best recipes and this one does not disappoint!

    8. Elisavet says:

      5 stars
      Great recipe. I am from Greece and here we have a very similar mixture/sauce which we call ‘skordalia’ (garlic sauce) and it has pretty much the same ingredients with the addition of bread or potatoes and also I think that vinegar is used instead of lemon. Also I’ve eaten in a tavern and made it myself the above ‘skordalia’ with bread, vinegar and pistachios which is an amazing version. Love your blog and instagram account 🙂

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Thank you for your comment, Elisavet. These recipes sound delicious. 🙂

        1. Nilay says:

          Do we do it with dry or fresh garlic?

        2. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

          Hi Nilay,
          Fresh garlic 🙂

    9. Sue R says:

      I’d love to make it but it still worries me with the health risks. Any idea if the freezing method might make it even more safer?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Sue,
        As long as you store it in the refrigerator or freezer, that reduces the health risks.

    10. Mayra says:

      It looks like you used rosemary, not thyme. They look very different from each other.

      1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Mayra,
        thanks ever so much for pointing that out, you’re right of course, it was a typo. I fixed it now. thanks again 🙂