How To Sauté Garlic: What You Need to Know

Published Categorized as Guide

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Sauté is just a fancy word for pan-frying something on medium-high heat for as little time as possible or enough for it to release some fragrant scent, which usually indicates that it is ready for the next step. If you’re familiar with the phrase, then perhaps you’ve spent your time in the kitchen sautéing shallots or onions, and want to try your hand at sautéing some garlic cloves. Well here’s what you’ll need to know.

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How do You Thoroughly Cook Garlic?

Garlic is the foundation of a great many recipes, from stir-fries to spaghetti, stews and so much more. But not everyone is aware of the best way to cook garlic. There are two methods of cooking garlic: roasting and sautéing. Sautéing works wonderfully to imbue your oil (and by extension, food) with flavour, while roasting does the same, but in different circumstances.

Roasting can be used for cooking a turkey or any other whole animal that’s been stuffed with whole heads of garlic, as the heat from the oven will make sure that they’re cooked thoroughly whilst retaining their shape and flavour. You can also roast garlic with a little oil to make a puree. Serving it on bread is a classic method of enjoying this delicious spread. When roasting garlic for stocks or other dishes, most people will simply cut the top off of the whole bulb and add a little oil before cooking; this allows you to squeeze out all those delicious, potent juices later on if desired.

How To Sauté Garlic

When Should You add Garlic When Cooking?

Garlic can be added at the beginning of the cooking process, or after other ingredients have been cooked. For example, sautéed onions will add flavour and sweetness to your dish if they’re fried first before adding any other vegetables or sauces. You could also fry up some meat before adding it to your sauce or soup.

For roasted dishes like roasted white meat or dark meat chicken parts or lamb shanks with potatoes and carrots, it’s best to roast your garlic whole so that its flavour infuses into the oil without burning it. Once roasted, don’t slice off its outer layer until just before serving – otherwise, all that deliciousness will escape from inside!

How Long Does it Take to Sauté Garlic?

Sautéing garlic is one of those things that you might not think about, but it’s actually pretty easy. A lot of times, when you buy fresh garlic in the store (or even when you get it from a farmers market), it comes with the heads still attached to the clove. You can pull off as many cloves of garlic as you need and use them in whatever recipe calls for them, or just eat a few raw if you can handle the heat!

If it’s already separated into individual cloves, then all that’s left to do is sauté them until they’re golden brown and soft enough to smash between your finger and thumb. The amount of time it takes to squish would rely on how powerful your burner is, how well seasoned your pan is and how hot your pan gets while cooking over high heat on an electric stovetop or gas burner. Usually though, if you have high heat going on at all times during sautéing then this step can take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes depending on what kind of pan or pot was used.

What to Fry Garlic in?

As you may know, garlic has a very strong flavour that can easily overpower your dish. It’s best to go with an oil that doesn’t have a strong taste of its own. Olive oil is a great option because it’s also high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which are good for your health.

  • Choosing an Oil
  • Sautéing Garlic in Butter
  • Sautéing Garlic Without Oil

Choosing an Oil

If you’re using high-quality olive oil and are sautéing garlic on the stovetop, it will be fine. However, if you’re cooking your garlic in a skillet over high heat and want some light smoke coming off of it – which is what we want, then try using canola oil or peanut oil instead of olive oil. You should also be aware that some oils have smoke points that are too low for frying: coconut and grapeseed oils should not be used to sauté garlic because they have low smoke points and could burn easily.

Sautéing Garlic in Butter

Sautéing garlic in butter is possible, but you need to be extra careful. Most chefs will tell you that olive oils have a higher smoke point than other types of fat, so it’s easier for them to burn and result in bitter-tasting food if sautéed in butter or margarine for example.

However, there are ways around this issue: if you crave that juicy, buttery flavour, try drizzling just a tiny bit of oil on top of your pan before adding your solid fat – like butter. Now place your butter down into the pan and watch as the liquid oil forms an invisible barrier between itself and your simmering solid fat! This way when the heat hits the surface area where these two meet – which will happen shortly after it has started cooking – only fresh-smelling vapours will be released into your kitchen, rather than potentially harmful fumes from burning fats like olive oil or canola oil (which both have low smoke points).

Sautéing Garlic Without Oil

Sautéing garlic without oil is a little more difficult, but not impossible. You need to use a non-stick pan and sweat your garlic dry on medium heat, moving it every now and then to ensure it doesn’t burn. Do this for a few minutes until your garlic has achieved a golden tinge, releasing an almost sweet aroma, then add in your other ingredients.

How to Sauté Minced Garlic?

If you’re using garlic paste or minced garlic, you’ll be glad to know that the same rules apply. You might just have to cook it a little longer since it’ll most likely have more liquid as opposed to whole cloves. Since the garlic pieces will be much smaller, reduce the temperature of your pan to medium-low and cook for about 1 minute in total. Check after 30 seconds; if there is still a lot of moisture present in your pan, continue cooking until almost all of the juices have evaporated out and the oil begins to separate from them.

How To Sauté Garlic

Why Sauté Garlic?

The reason why you should sauté garlic is that it’s awesome. It all comes down to its aroma and flavour. Raw garlic has an aggressively acrid and bitter taste that can be overpowering in a dish if not used properly, but when you cook it down, you soften the garlic’s harshness while also releasing its perfume and taste into the cooking oil (and other ingredients). Fats are an excellent carrier of aroma and flavour, so as soon as you add the rest of your ingredients to your pan, your dish is going to come out naturally pleasant and garlicky – no more than necessary!

Perfect Garlicky Recipe Ideas

Now that you know how to sauté garlic, it’s time to get cooking! What better way to make the most of your delicious garlic than with a recipe? Here are a few of our favourite ways to use this superfood:

  • Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
  • Spicy Spaghetti with Garlic Mushrooms
  • Cheese and Garlic Filled Mushrooms

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Air fryer chicken breasts are delicious, and this recipe will show you how to make them. The garlic adds a great flavour to the dish, while the sweet paprika and herbs give it a unique twist on an old standby. This recipe is easy enough for beginners, but also has some more advanced tips so even seasoned pros can use their creativity and make something new!

Spicy Spaghetti with Garlic Mushrooms

If you want to infuse your pasta with incredible flavours, then this is the dish for you. The garlic mushrooms are silky and slightly spicy, making them the perfect side dish to go with any meal.

Cheese and Garlic Filled Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a great party appetiser. They’re easy to make; can be made ahead of time and they’ll surely please everyone. They’re also versatile, allowing you to fill them with anything you desire: try chicken or prosciutto instead of cheese and garlic next time!

Sautéing Garlic

We can wholeheartedly say that sautéed garlic is one of the best things your kitchen has to offer. With its sweet, aromatic potency infusing the rest of your ingredients beautifully, it’s no wonder why so many people think of sautéed garlic as their favourite way to prepare the vegetable.


How Long do You Sauté Garlic?

Sauté the garlic until it’s fragrant for about 20 to 30 seconds. As the garlic cooks, keep stirring to prevent it from burning. Turn up the heat if the garlic is taking longer to cook.

How do you Sauté Garlic on the Stove?

Peel your garlic, slice your garlic, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, warm the oil till it’s simmering, add your garlic, and spread it out in the pan. Allow the garlic to cook for a minute.

Should You Sauté Garlic First?

Onions and garlic should be sautéed first or together so that it adds flavour to the oil. This way the taste is absorbed better by the food that is being cooked, such as pork or beef.

How Long Does it Take to Sauté Garlic in Butter?

To sauté garlic in butter, peel, and mince the garlic cloves. Add a knob of butter to your frying pan, and preheat it for 2 minutes over medium to medium-high heat. Toss the minced garlic in, and cook it stirring every now and then for 15 to 30 seconds.

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