Garlic Infused Olive Oil

I talk a lot about Garlic Infused Olive Oil, but I’ve never really talked about how to do this.  A reader asked me, so I thought I’d tell you 3 ways I get Garlic Infused Olive Oil.

Of course,  you can buy Olive Oil already infused with different flavors, such as garlic, but it can be pretty pricy.  I do usually keep a purchased bottle on hand in case I run out of my own, or simply don’t feel like making it.  I normally use Annie’s Naturals Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I’ve been lucky and have found this on sale a few times.

In a Pan.

You can easily infuse small amounts of olive oil with garlic by simply adding some olive oil and garlic cloves to a pan, heat…but do not let the oil or garlic scorch.  (The temperature you use will depend on the amount you are doing and how hot your stove gets….just be careful not to burn it.)   I like to keep moving the garlic around in the oil for a few minutes…the longer you cook it the more infused the olive oil will be.   This method is good if you just need a little bit for a recipe you are making.  Personally, I’ve never gotten a really rich garlic flavor like this…I think I try to rush it way too much.

In a Slow Cooker

My favorite way to infuse olive oil with garlic is with a slow cooker.   I have a mini-slow cooker so I use it.  If you don’t have a small slow cooker, simply put a Pyrex dish in your cooker the size you need, and it will work.   Even in my small cooker, if I only have one small head of garlic I will use a small Pyrex dish in it.

Today I made some using 3 heads of garlic, in my small slow cooker.

First I cut the top of the heads off, exposing the cloves.

Head of garlic with top cut off to expose cloves

Then I simply put them in the cooker and cover them completely with olive oil.   Use plenty of oil.  I buy a big container of Olive Oil when it’s on sale to save even more money.   If you are using a smaller dish in your slow cooker, you will want to cover it with foil.  This will keep the steam and flavors close to the oil.

Garlic in cooker covered well with Olive Oil

I cooked the oil I made today on low for 3-4 hours.  It kept boiling, so I finally turned it off and just let it sit until it cooled down.  (I think I may use the Pyrex dish again next time anyway, I don’t recall it boiling so much in the dish.)   The garlic heads looked delicious.

What the garlic looked like after cooking in oil.

If you have anyone in your family who can eat garlic and likes roasted garlic, you can use some of the cloves.  Remember though that they are soaked in oil.  However, just squeeze them onto bread and you have instant garlic bread.  Remember though, if you have fructose malabsorption, Do Not Eat the Garlic.   After the garlic oil has cooled, strain the oil into a glass jar.  Be sure to label the jar with the date you made it.

Garlic Infused Olive Oil
(this jar was put in the refrigerator before I got a photo, so it looks a bit cloudy. It’s not really.)

This oil will keep well in the refrigerator for over a week.   If you are using it to cook with you can use it longer….2 weeks is good.   If you are using it on salads and such I would use it in a week.   Once you put this oil in the refrigerator it will congeal.  So if you need to pour it out you will need to wait for it to warm up a bit, this does not take long.   If you I’m using it on meats, or vegetables before cooking, I often just brush the congealed oil on.

I hope this helps you make some wonderfully Garlic Infused Olive Oil.   I’ve found the oil I make in the slow cooker has the most intense flavor.

WARNING….garlic in oil can cause botulism if not prepared correctly.

From my understanding, roasting the garlic in oil as I do takes away the threat as long as it is refrigerated and used in a timely manner.

The biggest danger comes when people just drop raw garlic in olive oil and wait for it to get strong enough.  The water in the garlic is then sealed in and can grow botulism.  To avoid this, you can preserve the garlic first in vinegar or a brine.  But I think that would take away the flavor, and I still wouldn’t risk it.

11 comments on “Garlic Infused Olive Oil

  1. Pingback: DIY Garlic Infused Olive Oil « Thrifty Kitchen

  2. I made my first attempt at garlic infused olive oil last night on the stove with sliced cloves. I let it cook for about twenty minutes, after I poured the oil in the jar it started to become cloudy. all I was doing was letting it cool on the counter. today I checked and its still cloudy. do you know what I did wrong?

    • Antoine,
      I’m not sure you did anything “wrong”. You may want to strain the oil through a cloth to make sure there are no garlic particles in there. Did you cook it on low? If the garlic scorched it may have caused a little cloudiness…you should be able to smell this. Your garlic could have had a lot of water in it. That’s why you can’t store Garlic Infused Oil we make at home for long. The water will cause the bacterial overgrowth. If this is the case, eventually the cloudiness should separate from the oil.
      But my first try would be to strain it through a cloth, since you used sliced cloves and cooked for a good length of time, little parts of the garlic may have broken down and become to small to just scoop out…like a cheese cloth if you have it.

      Good luck! I hope this helps.

    • nosugarlessgum – I found a great garlic oil at Trader Joe’s, if you happen to have one close to you. It is as strong as the oil I make, and I don’t have to worry as much about it going rancid.

      good luck.

  3. I like to have already made also. However, I love it so much that it goes fast …and yes, pricey. I don’t have a slow cooker but (as Tim Gunn says) ” make it work”. lol . Guess I’ll have to do small amounts.
    Thanks for the info!

    • Dawn, I found a much less expensive, and very flavorful brand at Trader Joes, if you happen to have one near you. Since I’ve been so ill my hubby has been cooking so he’s been using the Trader Joe’s brand, and it is wonderful. a bit more expensive than homemade, but it works great, and it’s much less expensive than most I’ve found.

      i don’t really know how to use the “pin it” button. I haven’t ever used it. I’m sorry. Hope you can figure it out. WordPress confuses the heck out of me sometimes, they will change things and I get all confused.

  4. Btw….seeing you also use WordPress…do you know how to put a “pin it” button on blog? I was trying to figure it out today but only managed to mess up my sidebar! I’m sure it’d help to go on pc rather thn mobile device. Anyway, it would be HUGELY APPRECIATED if you have info on that.
    Thanks & glad I found your blog ♡

  5. Oh my goodness! I typed “infusing garlic into evoo” and your page popped up. I was so happy when I looked up after reading the article and found it is for gluten free low fructose! I have been gluten free for years until one day a few months ago I became ill and did not recover. I did all the traditional Dr testing which all turned up normal. Went to a ND who had me cut out fructose. So helpful. Now I do gluten free, mostly dairy free, corn and soy free, and low fructose. It’s pretty intense, but I am trying to figure it out. Anyhow, thank you for your blog!

  6. Hello Wendy! I also do the cooking at home. In my biochemistry course back in med school (ages ago), we were taught that lipids (oil or fats) are responsible for the flavor of meat, fruits and vegetables. What I did was I dried the minced garlic pieces by leaving it under the sun for a short while like 20 minutes in order to evaporate the water component but retain the oil, which is the important part. (I may try the oven toaster next time. It’s just that we have a lot of sun where I come from) Then, I fried them in olive oil at slow heat and waited until the garlic pieces shrank and turned brown. (I did not want to leave it because if the garlic burned I would be making “carcinogenic garlic-infused olive oil and we wouldn’t want that now, do we?) I reckoned around this time the garlic oil had probably mixed with the olive oil. I used a sieve to remove the garlic and allowed the olive oil to cool. When I poured it in a clear bottle, the olive oil did not look opaque and it did not congeal when I left it in the fridge (only hydrogenated oil will do that, I think). I hope it works for anyone else who would want to try it. Thanks Wendy!
    (Chuck of Cebu Island, the Philippines)

    • Chuck of Cebu Island,
      That is a very interesting way of infusing the garlic oil. Since I’ve been ill, with another illness, I haven’t been making my own infused garlic oil, we have been buying it at Trader Joes (I doubt you have those where you are.) But their brand has a good flavor and is affordable.

      I know many hydrogenated oils will remain solid at room temperature. Like vegetable shortening…ect.

      I found this on
      “Oils have been hydrogenated for many decades, to prolong their shelf life and make the oils more stable. Hydrogenated oil is oil in which the essential fatty acids have been converted to a different form chemically, which has several effects. Hydrogenated oil is far more shelf stable, and will not go rancid as quickly as untreated oil. It also has a higher melting point, and is often used in frying and pastries for this reason. When hydrogenated, the chemical structure of the oil is changed, which scientists in the 1990s began to realize could result in negative health effects.

      Hydrogenated oil is made by forcing hydrogen gas into oil at high pressure. Both animal and vegetable fats can be and are hydrogenated. In general, the more solid the oil is, the more hydrogenated it is. Two common examples of hydrogenated oil are Crisco and margarine. In the 1990s, it was realized that these products might have deleterious health effects, a tragic irony since they were originally produced and promoted as being healthier than conventional oils.”

      Wow I learned something today! Thank you for sharing your way of infusing garlic oil….as soon as I’m well enough to do more I will hopefull be able to try it. My hubby has been doing most of the cooking recently, but I’m going to start posting recipes we’ve found and tried that are just too good not to share.
      thanks for coming by!

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