Garlic. It's a deliciously savory addition to lots of different recipes, including pasta dishes, chicken, breads, steaks, and so much more. Each clove bursts with a deep, nutty, and somewhat sweet flavor.
Whether you're hoping to elevate your sauces or just want to spread them on a piece of fresh bread, your air fryer will provide you with a convenient and quick way to achieve the savory taste you're after.
- Why You Might Want Air Fryer Roasted Garlic
- Selecting the Right Garlic Bulbs
- Preparing the Garlic for Air Frying
- Why You Should Be Using Olive Oil
- How to Roast the Garlic in the Air Fryer
- How to Season Your Garlic Cloves
- What to Do With Your Roasted Garlic Cloves
- Storing Your Leftover Roasted Garlic Cloves
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts on Air Fryer Roasting Garlic
Why You Might Want Air Fryer Roasted Garlic
Typically, people mince garlic to add it to recipes, but this can be a good deal of work. Sautéing garlic is a good way to use it in some dishes, but it doesn't give it quite the flavor-packed oomph that roasted garlic has.
When you roast garlic in the oven, it takes quite a while, plus it will heat up your house, which is a disadvantage in the warmer months.
If you're hoping to get that slow-roasted garlic taste with waiting or needing to turn up your air conditioning, using your air fryer might be just the option you're looking for.
Selecting the Right Garlic Bulbs
The quality of the bulbs you choose is what will contribute the most to the overall flavor and quality of the dish you're making. Look for a plump, firm head of garlic. The skin should be white, and it's best if it doesn't have any blemishes or spots.
Feel the garlic, and don't use it if it's spongy. Also, avoid using garlic that has begun to sprout. What you want is a smooth bulb that feels firm and fresh.
To get this, it's best to use garlic you've purchased within the past few days. Once garlic sits in the pantry for a while, it can get a little softer than you would want for air fryer recipes calling for roasted garlic.
Preparing the Garlic for Air Frying
To prepare to make air fryer roasted garlic, first slice off the root end of the bulb. That's the end with the hairy roots coming out. The goal here is to remove enough of that end to see the tops of the garlic cloves.
The other end of the clove will often have a stem still attached. You can trim this down with scissors to keep the bulb upright with the cut end up, but don't cut into the cloves inside.
Once the garlic is cut, make a boat out of aluminum foil. You're going to need enough foil to fully encase the garlic, so make sure you cut a piece large enough. Place the garlic in the foil with the cut side up so that you can see all of those cloves.
Drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic until it runs over the side a bit. About one tablespoon will generally be enough, but use your discretion. From here, you'll be wrapping your garlic in the foil, sealing it at the top.
Why You Should Be Using Olive Oil
You probably already know that roasting various foods in the air fryer can often be done with little to no oil, so you may wonder why you should use olive oil when roasting garlic in the air fryer.
First, garlic cloves can indeed be roasted without any oil. If you're watching your fat intake or you otherwise don't want to use any fat or oil on your garlic, you don't have to! They'll still turn out delicious.
Extra virgin olive oil, however, accentuates the natural flavor of garlic. When you air fry it, since it's wrapped in foil, the oil will heat up and will work its way through the cloves, adding to the umami flavor.
In addition, the oil can later be used in a variety of dishes; it will be infused with amazing garlic flavor, making it great to cook with, drizzle on top of salad, or just about anything else.
So, when making air fryer roasted garlic, I do recommend using olive oil if you don't have a reason to avoid it.
How to Roast the Garlic in the Air Fryer
At this point, you'll have your garlic cut, drizzled with olive oil, and wrapped well in foil. Now it's time to prepare the air fryer and to get your roasted garlic cooking.
Setting the Air Fryer
Set up the fryer like you normally would, with the air fryer basket in place. Turn it on and set it to preheat to 380 degrees. You'll want this nice, high temperature to fully cook the garlic once it's in there. The cooking time will be 20 minutes.
Note that you don't need to add parchment paper or any spray oil since the garlic is fully wrapped up in aluminum foil.
Placing the Garlic Inside the Air Fryer
Once the air fryer is heated, go ahead and place your foil packet with the fresh garlic inside right in the middle of the air fryer basket, and close the drawer.
Let the garlic air fry for the full 20 minutes. Don't turn or flip it during the cooking process.
Checking for Doneness
When the timer goes off, open the basket and give it a couple of minutes to sit. Using tongs or a fork, carefully unwrap the foil and check the garlic cloves.
They should be a nice, caramelized golden brown color and nice and soft. The roasted cloves themselves should pop out of their skins without much effort; just gently press on the side of one of the cloves and watch it emerge.
If they aren't quite cooked through, you can re-wrap the garlic bulbs and put them back in the air fryer for a little longer, checking for doneness every two minutes or so. You don't want to overcook these, as they'll begin to harden.
Cooling Your Garlic Cloves
Once the air fried garlic is done, let it sit for a little while to cool. During the cooling process, they'll soften up a bit more. When they're ready, they should be at about the consistency of softened butter.
How to Season Your Garlic Cloves
You can leave air fryer roasted garlic as is and simply serve it with no seasoning if you want to. Garlic itself is pungent, aromatic, and strongly flavored, so if you would like to just use it right from the bulb, you certainly can!
You can also sprinkle it with salt and pepper to add another layer of flavor to the garlic cloves. Or, you can add seasonings that will lend themselves well to the flavor profile of the dish you're making.
If you are using garlic with potatoes, for example, you might want to season it with dill. If you're spreading it on chicken, rosemary might make a good accompaniment to the air fryer roasted garlic. Smoked paprika will add a unique twist to the earthy flavor of the garlic.
What to Do With Your Roasted Garlic Cloves
Once you have your air fryer roasted garlic all done, it's time to decide what to do with the cloves. I personally love roasted garlic and could add it to just about anything—the possibilities are truly endless!
Here are a few ideas:
- Spread the roasted garlic bulb on toasted bread to make delicious garlic bread. The consistency should be smooth enough to spread with a butter knife.
- Add the cloves to mashed potatoes. Simply squeeze the soft parts out into the mostly-mashed potatoes, mash it all a bit more, and stir well. You could also spread these on a baked potato.
- Toss these into a wide variety of pasta dishes, from pasta primavera to pasta alfredo. You can also add just the garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil to cooked pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and call that dinner.
- Add roasted garlic to cream cheese and spread on a plain, onion, sesame seed, or everything bagel.
- Add to just about any vegetable you're sautéing. Broccoli, green beans, carrots, grape tomatoes, or Brussels sprouts would all be excellent with roasted garlic.
- Use as a spread for burgers. You can mash the cooled garlic cloves into the meat, or you can spread it on the toasted buns.
- Mash the air fryer roasted garlic and add to mayonnaise to make a delicious aioli sauce or spread.
As you can see, you can really get creative and use your imagination when it comes to using up these bites of deliciousness!
Storing Your Leftover Roasted Garlic Cloves
Chances are good that when you roast garlic in an air fryer, you won't have any leftovers, but if you do, it's important to store them properly so you can enjoy roasted garlic another day.
Once the garlic bulbs are fully cooled, gently squeeze all of the garlic out of the skin. Place these in an airtight container and drizzle them with more olive oil.
You can keep these in the fridge for up to two weeks. As a side note, you can use the garlic infused oil for a variety of tasty purposes; try dipping into it with crusty bread.
You can also freeze roasted garlic leftovers for longer storage. Just put them in a freezer bag with as much air as possible squeezed out. These will keep for two or three months.
Another option is to mash up the air fried garlic cloves and freeze them in an ice cube tray. Just pop out one or more garlic cubes when you want to use them for cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can, but it works best if you haven't peeled them. Just toss in olive oil, wrap them in foil the way you would wrap a head of garlic, and fry for 10 minutes.
Check for doneness as described above, and continue to cook them for about two minutes at a time until they're done. The length of time they'll take will depend on how many garlic cloves you have.
Yes, garlic can burn in the air fryer, so it's important to keep a good eye on it to avoid overcooking it and ruining that delicious garlic flavor.
You can if you're mincing it yourself from whole garlic cloves. If you are buying a jar of minced garlic, it will probably be chopped too small to cook in the air fryer without burning.
If you roughly chop it or pulse it in a food processor a few times, though, you can place it in a shallow baking dish and air fry at 300 degrees for about 6 or 8 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Final Thoughts on Air Fryer Roasting Garlic
Air fryer roasted garlic is delicious, and it's a quick flavor enhancer for just about any type of meal or dish. Roasted garlic cloves make an excellent addition to pasta dishes, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, bread, and so much more.
Just remember to choose high-quality garlic bulbs, use good extra virgin olive oil, wrap well with aluminum foil, and keep a close eye on your heads of garlic to make sure they're not burning or overcooking.
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