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How to Make Stovetop Garlic Confit

Jun 14, 2023 | 0 comments

Garlic confit is incredibly easy to make, uses just two ingredients and leaves you with super soft, spreadable, rich and delicious garlic cloves to use in endless ways. And the best part? This two-in-one recipe gives you confit garlic cloves AND beautiful garlic olive oil.

Garlic confit cloves on a wooden spoon on a white marble background, with a jar of garlic confit behind.

Confit is a French technique of slow-cooking something in its own fat (traditionally seen in duck confit). Here, we’re using the technique to make the most gloriously intense, sweet and rich garlic cloves, slow-cooked in olive oil.

Much like roasted garlic, confit garlic results in a richer, more subtle flavour than raw garlic and is about to become your most used condiment. This really is an easy recipe to make – the most time-consuming part is peeling the garlic cloves and then just waiting for them to cook. I prefer cooking this on the stovetop so I can watch what’s going on with the garlic, so that’s the technique we’re going with here.

You can quite literally use confit garlic for (basically) anything. It’s super convenient when you’re wanting to add garlic to a dish (which for me a is daily occurrence!) It’s also great to spread onto toast for quick garlic bread, blitzed into hummus or any dip, mixed into butter, spooned onto steak, or tossed through pasta, drizzled onto flatbreads, naan or dinner rolls, roasted veggies or salads. You can also use the oil in place of regular olive oil to add a subtle, lovely garlicky flavour.

Ingredients

Only TWO ingredients go into this recipe.

Ingredients for confit garlic laid out on a white marble background and labelled.
  • Garlic. I recommend using at least 3 whole heads of garlic if you’re making this recipe – even if you don’t think you’ll use it all up in two weeks, it freezes well. You could use pre-peeled cloves if you like, but freshly peeled will have a better flavour.
  • Olive oil. I like to use good quality extra virgin olive oil, but you could use regular olive oil, or an oil with a more neutral flavour, like avocado oil or another vegetable oil. Or go in the other direction and use butter.

Optional extras: Add a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano, peppercorns, fennel or cumin seeds, a whole fresh or dried chilli (or chilli flakes), star anise or a cinnamon stick.

How to make it

Peel your garlic cloves, then place them in a saucepan. Pour enough olive oil on top to cover the cloves completely, then place over low heat. Bring it to a simmer, then turn your heat RIGHT down. Throughout cooking, you don’t want the oil simmering or boiling at all, you should just see a few bubbles occasionally in the oil.

Leave for about 1 hour, until the garlic has changed colours (it’ll look more colour and a little transparent) and it’s super soft when you press a spoon up against it.

PRO TIP: For a quicker way to peel your cloves, give the whole garlic heads a whack with the palm of your hand to loosen them up, then add them to a plastic container or a bowl with a lid. Give it a VERY good shake for a minute or two. The skins should have loosened up enough for you to easily slide them off the cloves if they haven’t come off with the shaking.

Let the confit garlic cool, then transfer it to a sterilised glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

How to use garlic confit

There are truly ENDLESS ways to use this. You can use it in place of garlic in any recipe (it saves time as you don’t have to chop or crush the cloves individually), or add it to anything for a lovely kick of garlic. Here are just some ideas to get you thinking:

Got a question?

How long can I store garlic confit?

It’s important that you store your confit garlic in the fridge and use it within two weeks. With any method of preserving a low-acid ingredient like garlic in oil, there is a risk of botulism if it’s not stored correctly. This risk is very low – but it’s better to be safe and store this oil properly and not at room temperature. You can find out more about botulism here if you’re curious (but don’t freak out!)

Why is my garlic confit hard?

When you store oil in the fridge, it can solidify. But it’s easy enough to scoop out the garlic cloves you want, and the oil will melt very quickly when you take it out to use it.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, you can. It will keep well for 3 months – a good hack is to store it in ice cube trays so you can easily get a portion out.

Can I reuse the oil from garlic confit for cooking?

You sure can! This is a fab bonus of making this recipe – you get two delicious results. Replace regular olive oil with your garlic oil in any recipe that calls for olive oil for a subtle garlic hit.

Like this recipe? You might enjoy these garlicky ideas too

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Garlic confit cloves on a wooden spoon on a white marble background, with a jar of garlic confit behind.

How to Make Garlic Confit


  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Garlic confit is incredibly easy to make, uses just two ingredients and leaves you with super soft, spreadable, rich and delicious garlic cloves to use in endless ways. And the best part? This two-in-one recipe gives you confit garlic cloves AND beautiful garlic olive oil.   

Want to know how to sterilise glass jars? Here’s a post breaking down the easy sterilising process, step-by-step.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 whole heads of garlic (you can really use as much garlic as you like!)
  • Olive oil 
  • Jars for storage

Instructions

  1. Peel your garlic cloves. A quick trick for doing this is to smash the whole heads of garlic with the palm of your hand, then pop them into a container or a bowl with a lid. Give it a very good shake for roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute – then you should be able to easily slide off any skins that are remaining.
  2. Confit your garlic. Place your peeled garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Pour enough olive oil into the pot to cover the cloves. Set the pot over low heat and bring it to a simmer, then turn the heat right down. You don’t want the olive oil to be simmering – it should be low enough that only the occasional bubble rises up. If you’re struggling with this, remove the pot from the heat for a minute to let it cool down, then keep going. Let the garlic cook for about an hour, or until the garlic cloves are looking golden, translucent and super soft when you press a spoon against them.
  3. Cool and store. Let the garlic confit cool slightly, then transfer it to a sterilised glass jar, seal and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Notes

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: It’s super important to store your confit garlic in the fridge and use it within two weeks. The risk of botulism is always present when it comes to storing garlic in oil, so make sure you don’t leave it out on the bench. The oil may solidify slightly in the fridge but this is totally normal – once it’s out of the fridge it won’t take long to melt and you can very easily scoop out the garlic cloves. 

ADDITIONS: Try adding a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano, or a whole fresh or dried chilli, chilli flakes, peppercorns, whole spices like star anise or some sliced fresh ginger.

HOW TO USE IT: Spread onto toast, flatbreads, garlic naan, dinner rolls, toss through pasta, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, salads or use in your favourite dips. The opportunities are genuinely endless with garlic confit.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Category: sauces
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: french

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Keywords: roasted garlic, garlic oil

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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