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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
- Mash with homemade butter – for a tasty garlic butter spread.
- Spread over toast or crackers (seeded, or general)- alone, or with homemade cream cheese and other spreads.
- As part of a cheese board – with veggies, antipasti, and lots of cheese – like this Goat Cheese or dairy-free options like this Simple Vegan Cashew Cheese or Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheese.
- Add to sandwiches and wraps – like this falafel wrap or burrito.
- Add to roasted vegetables or mash into dishes like this Creamy Mashed Potatoes or Super Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
- Smash over this Burrata Caprese salad or other salad bowls – like this Vegan Kale, Butternut Squash + Quinoa Salad
- Withing Pasta dishes and bakes – like this Vegetarian One-Pot Pasta bake, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta or Homemade Potato Gnocchi.
- To top burgers – like this Sweet Potato Burger With Portobello Mushroom Bun
- Within or to top large dishes of dip like creamy hummus, Muhammara Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Dip), or baba ganoush.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and Garlic Oil
These ingredients yield about 3 cups of confit.
- Prepare the garlic by separating it and peel 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.
- 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 a large oven-tray.
- Slow roast the garlic in the oven for around 2 hours at 195ºF/90ºC (fan-assisted). When ready the garlic 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.
- 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.