Olive oil infused with garlic plus cooking tips.
Flavored olive oils are fun and so easy to make. But there’s good reason to take precautions. There is risk of botulism in making some types, and this seems to be particularly true of garlic oil as it has a low pH and harbors moisture. It’s believed that this combination promotes growth of Clostridium botulinum in an anaerobic environment, like oil. To be safe, here are some general recommendations to follow.
Cook the garlic in a little olive oil until softened before adding the remaining olive oil.
Once all the oil is added to the garlic, maintain a low oil temperature.
The safest bet is to store the garlic olive oil in the refrigerator and use within three weeks. If stored on the counter at room temperature, use within one week. This is not true of commercially available garlic olive oils as manufacturers are required to include acidifying agents to raise the pH level, for example phosphoric or citric acid.
As a note, many home cooks do not follow these guidelines and have no problem, but risk does exist.
- 1 cup of your best olive oil, divided
- 20 large garlic cloves, smashed to smithereens
- Warm one tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté until just softened. Lower the heat to the lowest setting.
- Add the remaining oil and keep warm for 45 minutes. Small bubbles may appear around the garlic, but this should be more of an oil bath for the garlic. If the garlic begins to simmer, remove from the heat to cool before rewarming.
- Strain the oil into a jar using a coffee filter. If you don't have any coffee filters, use the doubled thickness of a paper towel.
- Label and store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator or one week on the counter at room temperature.