For Quick Roasted Garlic, Toss It In The Air Fryer

Roasted garlic has gone from an ingredient you never knew you wanted to a popular way to upgrade garlic's natural sweetness. This cooking method can also tame the harsh flavors that can give raw garlic a bad reputation. Once you have a head of golden roasted garlic cloves, the possibilities are almost endless.

A head of garlic, drizzled with oil, wrapped in foil, and baked for about 40 minutes might be the least amount of effort exerted to yield the most flavor. Those soft, golden cloves can be squeezed out of the head and put to use in some tasty and easy ways to use roasted garlic. Fold them into mashed potatoes, add to tomato sauces, or just spread them onto bread. They can be whipped into a sandwich spread, or mashed onto pizza dough to create a potent white pizza. Homemade hummus, salad dressings, and vinaigrettes could all use a roasted garlic upgrade.

There's really no downfall to the classic roasted garlic technique. But, that doesn't mean there isn't a faster way to get to the same delicious end result.

Air fryer roasted garlic

There's nothing wrong with a standard oven, but convection ovens are a better way to transfer heat to food. The fan moves hot air over and around the food, which makes for faster cooking and it saves on energy costs, too. While most of us don't have convection ovens at home, a lot of us do have air fryers. What makes an air fryer and convection oven different is mostly size, convenience, and better efficiency.

Roasted garlic is a great example of how air fryers can save time in two ways. First, air-fryers only take three to five minutes to preheat while full-size ovens take an average of 20 minutes to preheat. Secondly, the superior heat transfer cuts the cooking time from 40 minutes to half that. So, in the same amount of time it would take a full-size oven to preheat, air fryer roasted garlic could be finished.

If you're ready to air fry garlic, there are some things to consider before putting aluminum foil in your air fryer. Some manufacturers don't suggest using foil in an air fryer, because an air fryer is all about air movement, meaning, too much foil will block the flow, resulting in uneven, and slower cooking times. So, for roasted garlic, don't use an excessive amount of foil for wrapping the head into a parcel.

No air fryer, no problem

If you don't have an air fryer, but love the idea of not firing up the oven for such a small task, you could throw the foil packet into the oven while roasting something else. Maybe not next to a batch of sugar cookies for fear of some odor transfer, but, next to some roasting veggies or chicken would be ideal.

Finally, if you'd rather not use the oven at all, garlic confit could be the answer. In this case, individual cloves are gently simmered in just enough oil to keep them submerged. Keep the temperature of the oil below 180 degrees Fahrenheit and be patient. At this temperature, there will only be a few bubbles forming. Higher temperatures will start to fry the cloves, resulting in a dark, tough outer layer on each clove, and they won't be as sweet as they should be. After about 40 minutes, this low and slow technique results in garlic that's very similar to roasted. The cloves will be soft, mellow, sweet, and golden brown. Some recipes call for blanching and shocking the cloves before simmering in oil, but many other recipes skip this tedious step.

In the end, you'll have the tasty by-product that is garlic oil. Allow it to cool, decant it into a container with a lid, and this should last a week in the refrigerator.