Rich, fresh garlic, slowly smoked in olive oil with herbs and spices. A flavorful way to elevate side dishes, spreads for breads or charcuterie, and much more.
Roasting garlic in the oven or on the grill is not a new concept, but it is so worth doing!
I’ve always been a huge garlic fan, whether it’s raw or sautéed, but there is something special about garlic slow-roasted in rich olive oil and infused with thyme to really make your taste buds say wow!
If you’re new to the concept of a confit, it literally means, “to preserve” in French. Typically this is done in fat. I prefer using really high-quality olive oil for my smoked garlic confit.
Smoking the garlic slowly in the olive oil is going to make the garlic soft and spreadable, just like butter.
I personally remove the garlic after it is fully roasted in the fat, and save the olive oil as a great option for infusing flavor into loaves of bread or other dishes. It is a free way to get garlic flavored olive oil!
Also, I am kind of obsessed with pairing it with this Easy Cast Iron Focaccia Bread! It goes great with steak, chicken, veggies, and even in regular mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash too! Check out the steps below on how to smoke rosemary garlic confit right at home!
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Glass Jar (for storage)
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe below and begin.
Can I Make Confit on a Smoker?
You absolutely can! Since smoking is indirect heat like the oven, the smoker is a great place to make garlic confit. Plus, it infused some of that smoky flavor making the flavor profile even better.
This can definitely be done on the stovetop or in the oven if you don’t have a smoker, but I really love the addition of light smoke added from the grill.
Because garlic is a stronger flavor in itself, I went with a lighter wood (pecan) so the smokiness is subtle and noticeable but not overpowering.
Smoked Garlic Confit Ingredients
- Fresh Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Bay Leaves
- Dried Red Chiles
How To Prep for Your Garlic Confit
My biggest tip for making this dish a success is to use higher-quality olive oil. This is definitely one case where the better the ingredient, the better the product.
I use a cast iron pan for smoking because it conducts heat evenly and is easy to transfer on and off the grill.
Start by prepping the garlic bulbs. I prefer to leave them in the outside peel and just slice the top off about a quarter of an inch or so to expose the tops of the garlic so the smoked can penetrate the garlic.
You can also use pre-peeled garlic cloves for this if you prefer as well. I’ve used both methods for this recipe and either will work well.
- Cover the garlic cloves completely with olive oil and place a little salt and a small spring of fresh thyme into the center. If you want to try other herbs like rosemary or oregano, those would work too. Or omit the herbs altogether (but I think it adds a nice touch).
- Get your grill smoke rolling and keep it at a lower temperature. I roasted my garlic on indirect heat at 300 F for about an hour. Maintaining a lower temperature is better for olive oil (it doesn’t have a high smoke point and we don’t want to start oil fires). You can do this method in your oven and on low heat on the stovetop as well.
- You’re looking for the garlic to slowly cook, caramelize, and ultimately tenderize. I remove it when it looks a nice golden brown color and smells fragrant. Allow it to cool before storing.
How to Safely Store Garlic Confit
The culinary teacher in me wants to make sure you note some of the important food safety requirements for both infused olive oils and for cooked garlic.
Garlic in this state can become unsafe if stored out in the open for an extended period of time. Your best bet is to allow the garlic and oil to cool to room temperature, place the garlic and oil in a glass jar (plastic will absorb a lot of the flavors otherwise), and store for up to a week in the fridge.
If you don’t plan on using all the oil or garlic right away, you can freeze them in an ice cube tray as well and use them as needed. Good quality olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator, and that’s a good thing since many olive oils are many times not actually pure olive oil.
Just allow the garlic and oil mixture to warm back up to room temperature or scoop some out and toss into the frying pan with your steak, chicken, or veggies too!
What To Pair with Smoked Garlic Confit
This garlic confit is as smooth as butter so you can pair it with just about anything. If you need some ideas, try pairing this smoked garlic confit with my Easy Cast Iron Keto Focaccia Bread! You can mix it into some Kitchenaid Mashed Potatoes for a little garlicky kick.
It can also go well spread on top of meat or cooked with the meat like my Reverse Seared Picanha or my Angus Beef Steak Recipe. It is a serious game changer and also makes a great addition to a Charcuterie Board to spread on some crackers or my Easy Weeknight Roast Chicken too!
Smoked Garlic Confit
- 6 blubs Garlic Leave whole, top sliced off
- 3 cups Olive Oil High quality oils work best
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 small Bay Leaves
- 6 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 small Dried Red Chiles
- Preheat the smoker to 300 F. Set for indirect heat.
- Use a sharp knife and slice the tops off of each bulb of garlic so the garlic cloves are just slightly exposed (removing about 1/2 inch of the bulb or so).
- Place the bulbs cut side up into a cast iron pan. Cover the garlic with olive oil, about 3 cups (you may need more if you use a large pan).
- Sprinkle the garlic bulbs and oil with sea salt. Then place the bay leaves, fresh thyme, and dried chiles in around the garlic bulbs.
- Place the cast iron pan onto the smoker and allow the garlic confit to smoke, lightly tented with foil for about 40 minutes.
- Increase the heat on the smoker to 400 F.
- Remove the foil and continue smoking another 20 minutes and allow the garlic bulbs to become nice and golden brown. Remove when browned and allow it to fully cool.
- Remove the garlic from the bulbs by squeezing each clove out. Remove and discard the herbs and chiles. Place the garlic cloves back into the oil.
- Use as desired and store properly and safely in a container in the fridge. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes at room temperature before using as the olive oil will harden when it gets cold.