Pressure cooker

Pressure Cooker Garlic Confit

I received a bunch of complaints about this post. I was told that electric pressure cookers (and stovetop pressure cookers that aren’t dedicated pressure canners) are untested for pressure canning, and are therefore unsafe. Garlic carries botulism spores, and botulism can be deadly, so you have to be careful when dealing with canned garlic.

[UPDATE 2014-11-27] The National Center for Home Food Preservation has issued a statement warning people not to can in electric pressure cookers: Can I Can in a Multi-Cooker?
I’m retracting this post. I don’t want to take it down, so people see this warning; I’m striking the text of the recipe out. Please only pressure canners, not pressure cookers, for pressure canning.

If you want to see the recipe it was based on, get a copy of the Modernist Cuisine at Home cookbook, or go to the Pressure Cooker Garlic Confit recipe on Modernist Cuisine’s website.

The coolest thing in Modernist Cuisine at Home? Cooking in canning jars in the pressure cooker. They use the technique where the food would have to be stirred if it was in contact with the bottom of the pot – which can’t happen in a locked pressure cooker.
*I’ve heard of pot-in-pot cooking and pressure canning, but I never thought to do them both at the same time…

Pressure cooker garlic confit called out to me. I love the idea of a jar full of roasted garlic cloves in the refrigerator. And the garlic-infused oil is as useful as the cloves. I made braised kale using a few tablespoons of the oil and a few cloves of garlic from this recipe, and Diane was raving about it.
*See the Notes section for the kale recipe

After I got over how cool it was to see canning jars in the pressure cooker, my next thought was: Garlic infused olive oil? That can be a bad idea. Botulism multiplies in low-oxygen, low acid environments – like being covered with oil. Garlic, like most vegetables, can carry botulism spores. Fresh garlic in olive oil should be thrown away after a day or two in the refrigerator, and homemade garlic infused oil is dangerous. What about pressure cooking it? Does that make it safe?

It took a lot of searching, but I finally found out that the recipe is safe. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, botulism spores are killed if you can hold the temperature between 240°F to 250°F for 20 to 100 minutes, depending on the size of the jar. Conveniently, those are the temperatures you get with 10PSI to 15PSI pressure cookers. This recipe pressure cooks the jars for 2 hours, so there’s no way botulism can survive. After the jar is opened, the garlic keeps for a month in the refrigerator.
*From what I could find, 3 minutes at 250°F kills the botulism spores. But it takes 20 to 100 minutes to be sure that temperature reaches the center of the jar, depending on the size.

Enough scary, but neccesary, food safety tips. This recipe couldn’t be simpler if you own a pressure cooker and canning jars; the only hard part is peeling all that garlic. I’m already addicted to having a jar of roasted garlic in the refrigerator, ready whenever I want it.
*I used the technique shown here – [Youtube via]. It took multiple rounds of shaking to get all the cloves peeled. Don’t be gentle – shake as hard as you can. Or, If there is a good Asian market nearby, keep an eye out for pre-peeled garlic, which makes this recipe much easier.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Garlic Confit

Adapted From: Modernist Cuisine at Home

Cooking time: 120 minutes


  • Pressure Cooker (I used my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
  • 16oz canning jar


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 50 cloves garlic, peeled (4 large heads)
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1 bay leaf


1. Fill the jars
Put everything in the canning jar, wipe the rim of the jar clean with a wet paper towel, then tighten down the lid finger tight.

2. Pressure cook the garlic
Put a rack in the pressure cooker pot and add 1 inch of water. (For my nine inch diameter cooker, this is about a quart of water.) Put the jar on the rack, lock the lid, and bring the cooker up to high pressure. Pressure cook on high for 2 hours. Let the pressure come down naturally. Carefully remove the jar from the PC, using tongs (or, even better a canning jar lifter). The jar will still be dangerously hot, with bubbling oil inside – let it cool to room temperature before handling. The sealed jar will last for a year at room temperature; refrigerate after opening, and the garlic will last for a month.


  • I used my electric pressure cooker, which made it very easy – turn the timer to two hours, and walk away. But any pressure cooker will do, as long as it can get to 10 PSI.
  • The recipe doubles easily…as long as you can live with peeling all that garlic.
  • Bonus recipe: Braised Kale with Garlic Confit and Oil. Strip the leaves from the stems of a large bunch of kale, and rough chop the leaves. Put four cloves of garlic confit plus two tablespoons of the garlic oil into a large pot. Add the kale, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, then toss to coat with the oil. Add a half cup of water, put the pot over medium-high heat, and cover. When steam starts escaping from under the lid, turn the heat down to medium-low and steam the kale for 20 minutes.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Adapted from:

Modernist Cuisine at Home

*Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner using the RSS or Email options on the right, link to this post from your blog, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, or buy something from through the links on this site. Thank you.

Sharing is caring!

Filed under: Pressure cooker


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Brian, laboratory and hospital autoclaves generally operate at over 30psi (tough this is selectable). The lower the psi, the longer the time needed to zap everything. As Mike noted, if you get below a certain psi no amount of time will kill the baddies because the minimum temperature threshold for inactivation is never met.

    Since the book recommends storing the garlic in the refrigerator, and consuming within a month – 100% sterilization is not expected or required.



  2. Fantastic, Mike! I would add a warning that the contents of the jars are pressurized until the contents have completely cooled – nothing like spraying super heated oil around the kitchen and yourself because to sneak a taste!



  3. If you’re worried, run a test. Put 4 cups of water in your cooker, bring it up to pressure, and keep it at high pressure for an hour.
    Let the pressure come down naturally, then pour the water into a measuring cup, to see how much is left.

  4. Jammerer says

    Mike, will one inch of water at the bottom last through 2 hours of pressure cooking at high temperature?

  5. fletch says

    Mike, I just got a hand me down pressure cooker and I’ve never used it before. Can you recommend a good pressure cooker cook book for someone who is just starting out?

  6. Brian O. says

    Got it. BTW, thanks for this post! Ever since I read Adam Perry’s Lang’s recipe for cooking cloves in oil (“Serious Barbecue”) I’ve been wanting to try something like that, this is definitely another good take.

  7. Two hours does seem like a long time. I think the NCHFP’s range of cooking times to kill botulism go from 20 minutes to 100 minutes because they are covering half-pint to quart jars. Since this recipe uses a pint jar, it’s probably safe well before the 2 hour mark.

    But, we’re not just cooking it to kill the spores; we want the high heat of the pressure cooker to roast the cloves in the jar. The long cooking time gave me garlic cloves that spread like butter, which is what I was hoping for.

    I have noticed that the Modernist Cuisine pressure cooker times are longer than I’m used to, especially for things like stock. One of these days, I’m going to cook a recipe with my usual timings and the longer M-C timings to see how the two compare; but until then, I’m going to stick with MC’s timings for their recipes.

  8. In the original, they used fresh herbs – thyme and rosemary, a sprig of each per jar. I’d use whatever you like, or have on hand. (And yes, basil will probably turn black.)

  9. Brian O. says

    2 hours? Isn’t the clove well-cooked after a much shorter time, like 30 minutes? I know that back in the lab we’d autoclave (sterilize under pressure at high temp.) media volumes larger than these jars for 30 minutes maximum, so I don’t think 120 minutes is necessary to kill the spores either.

  10. Great post, can’t wait to try it. What herbs do you suggest, should I use fresh or dried? If I use fresh baisil will it turn black and mucky….

  11. While K-R cookers will work for pressure canning, the Fagor is the best combination of price and performance. Of course, if you CAN afford the $400 12 quart K-R, you should get it…

  12. For both pressure cooking and canning, I recommend the Fagor Duo 10 quart pressure cooker and canner, with the Fagor Home Canning Kit. (Though, if you already have a regular canning setup, you have most of the tools in the canning kit – funnel, jar lifter, that kind of thing.)

  13. Debbie Fox says

    I am in the market for a pressure cooker and would like your recommendation for which one to purchase. I have a smooth top electric range, and would also like to do a small amount of pressure canning.

Comments are closed.