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.
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.
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.
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.
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.