sous vide garlic confit : 6h @85C

The first time I made garlic confit I was 9. Ok, that’s a lie I was at least 38 but still very young at heart due to a high intake of healthy garlic throughout the years. Anyway, during those early garlic-confit days, I was obsessed with 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 this is 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 Keller’s garlic concoction (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 an awesome head of garlic skins on.  The gentlest cooking I had done until then. I didn’t even know what would come out of the pan. About an hour later, my cooking world would change forever. 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, it goes anywhere! 

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. 

Please leave your comments or questions below. Thanks! 

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11 comments

    1. hey Chelsea, you can use any oil you like. You can also use animal fats if you prefer. And if you rather skip oils and fats all together, then dont’ add any. You can add a bit of water to the baggie make even cooking a little easier on your sous vide cooker but even if you don’t it should work just fine. It is that forgiving. Thanks for visiting!

    2. Looks great! I need to try this! Chelsea…you might give Olio Santo EVOO a shot. I wasn’t a fan of olive oil at all, but that brand completely changed my mind. It’s not cheap, but it’s good.

    1. hey Kathy, if you keep them vacuum sealed it will last in your fridge for about a month or two, it’s pasteurized. Once you open the baggie, you can transfer the cloves to a plastic container with an air-tight lid and you should be good for a couple of weeks. The cloves will be so soft they will turn into a spread. You can mash them with a spoon. Hope this helps.

    1. Roasted garlic has a deeper more complex flavor than the garlic confit in my article. It is also more garlicky. When cooking garlic sous vide as described, the long cooking time tames any garlic heat completely which turns it into a very delicate spread. You could get some color in your garlic via quick pan roasting, then you could use this garlic to make sous vide confit following the same method and that would deepen the confit’s favor. Best of both worlds 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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