I got into this stuff when I first started cooking. During those early garlic-confit days, I was reading a lot about French technique and was collecting a bunch of second-hand books which I would usually buy at Alibris (if you still read physical books and don’t care about buying new that’s a cool site to check out). One of those books happened to be Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry. I didn’t even know what the term “confit” meant when I came across his garlic recipe (it means cooking something very gently in fat). Right away I got out my smallest saucepan and a skillet to diffuse the harsh heat of my stove, some olive oil, and a head of garlic skin-on. The gentlest cooking I had done until then. I didn’t even know what would happen, I mean, I had no frame of reference. What’s garlic confit anyway?! About an hour later my cooking world was forever changed. Garlic confit is hard to describe. It’s sweet and creamy (like butter) and perhaps garlicky but in the gentlest of ways. Amazing. Great on toast, add it to sauces, soups, over steak, chicken. I mean, it’s garlic, bring it on.
How to make garlic confit sous vide.
The traditional way requires careful attention to the oil temperature to avoid browning the garlic. Even the lowest setting can be too hot (in most stove tops) so using a “diffuser” is common. Usually sitting the saucepan over a skillet will do or you can buy an actual heat diffuser. Takes forever to heat the oil this way but well worth it. Now, with sous vide all of these complications go away because obviously, immersion circulators take the “fun” out of the equation. With time and temperature control gone digital by using sous vide equipment, your confit will be perfect every time. And I don’t mean “perfect” as in “yeah, it’s pretty good”. No, I mean, PERFECT. Place your garlic cloves (I prefer to peel them beforehand but either way will work) in a plastic bag with some good olive oil and a few fresh herbs and vacuum seal. Cook for 6 hours at 85C. I don’t usually add salt but it’s up to you.
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