The Fatal Mistake To Avoid When Making Garlic Confit

When it comes to garlic, there's no such thing as too much of this root vegetable. Honestly, we believe if you're not using enough garlic to take out every vampire within 100 miles, you're doing it wrong. The Egyptians were so fond of garlic that they worshipped it as a god and even used it as local currency, especially when buying slaves and workers to build the pyramids (via Grey Duck Garlic). 

We may not worship garlic, but we can't live without it, and love to add its intriguing flavor and nutritional punch to many recipes, including garlic butter and garlic bread. Another delicious recipe is garlic confit, a highly nutritious and low-calorie dish without raw garlic bitterness. Its subtly sweet, caramelized, and nutty taste makes it ideal for adding flavor to pastas, vinaigrettes, anything mashed, creamy soup, or the tastiest garlic spread ever.

The best thing about garlic confit is that it's easy to make with a few ingredients. You'll have to cook peeled garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil at a low temperature for about 45 minutes until they are roasted and lightly golden. But while it tastes amazing, it's important to be mindful of the health risk related to storing your finished garlic confit.

Garlic confit can cause a fatal food-borne illness

Garlic confit can be a mind-blowing nosh or a complete nightmare, depending on how safely you store it. You see, garlic is one of those low-acid foods with a pH level higher than 4.6, which means it can produce a toxin due to improper storage. That toxin can cause a serious illness called botulism (per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Since you can't smell, taste, or see the botulism-causing toxins, it's crucial to seek medical help if you experience early signs such as tiredness, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurry vision, or paralysis (via Healthline). 

Since the primary cause of food-borne botulism is inappropriately stored home-canned foods, it's imperative to refrigerate your garlic confit as soon as it cools down (an ice bath can speed up the cooling process). Make sure you store it in an airtight jar. While properly preserved garlic confit is safe to consume for several months, it's best to eat it within three weeks to be on the safe side (via Food Box HQ). 

That being said, confit garlic is completely safe to consume and can only cause a rare, yet potentially fatal, illness if you store it in oil (without oxygen) at room temperature. It's the same reason you also want to be careful when making pickled eggs or reheating your potatoes.