Digital Culture
Kitchen

Air frying garlic is a simple hack you can use in countless dishes

Easy, garlicky, good.
By Tim Marcin  on 
roasted garlic with airfryday logo
Roasted garlic, made easy. Credit: Getty Images / Debby Lewis-Harrison / Mashable

Welcome to AirFryDay, where — you guessed it — every Friday Mashable covers the latest trends, dispenses advice, and reviews recipes for your air fryer.



I'll admit I like garlic more than most. If a recipe calls for a clove of garlic, I'm likely adding four.

But, then again, most people seem to really like garlic. There's like a whole category of Twitter and TikTok jokes about ignoring the "recommended" amount of garlic.

Regardless, I am definitely the target audience for a roasted garlic recipe. When I saw TikTok account @healthysimpleyum post air frying garlic as a hack, I knew I had to try it. Roasted garlic is fantastic, especially as a component of larger dishes. The roasting process mellows the harsh bite of raw garlic, sweetens the flavor, and turns the cloves into soft, smoosh-able pieces. Mush those cloves into butter, or an aioli, or whip it into a salad dressing and you've ramped up the complexity and flavor of a dish.

If you could do that in the air fryer, it would be a fantastic hack because roasting garlic in the oven takes forever and a day. The recipe from @healthysimpleyum promised to get it done in 30-35 mins. A standard oven might take 15 minutes to preheat alone, a process that's done in just 5 for the air fryer. And you know what? That promise turned out to be true — I totally recommend you air fry some garlic.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic

  • Oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Aluminum foil

Directions

  • Cut the top of the garlic off, leaving the bulb intact but exposing the tops of the cloves.

  • Apply just enough oil to coat the cloves, then season with salt and pepper.

  • Wrap the entire bulb of garlic in aluminum foil, sealing the top to form a pouch.

  • Air fry at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

  • After letting the garlic cool for a bit, squeeze the bulb to remove the cloves, then enjoy.

Here's how the end result looked in the TikTok.

roasted garlic being pressed out by hand
Garlicky goodness. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @healthysimpleyum

The details

Honestly, there isn't much more to report in the details here. This recipe is wildly simple and there's no need to add any unnecessary complications. Now there is a quick disclaimer here. I found this recipe via @healthysimpleyum on TikTok, who posted it as one of five essential air fryer recipes. The details of the recipe were sparse, just that it should cook at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

I scanned the internet to put the rest of the details together, but my final product turned out just like the original TikTok. Pretty much every recipe called for cutting open the garlic, oiling, then seasoning. And, again, pretty much every recipe called for pouching the whole bulb of garlic. Some processes were more involved than others, and I opted for simplicity — just scrunch it all up in tin foil. it doesn't have to be pretty, we're just keeping the heat down so the garlic doesn't burn and turn acrid. It should look something like this.

garlic wrapped in tin foil
Please excuse the close up of my hands. Credit: Mashable

From there, you just toss it in the air fryer for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and forget about it. When it's finished, the garlic will be softened, browned in spots but not burnt.

process of cooking garlic
Garlic, up close and screenshotted. Credit: Mashable

There are countless ways you could use roasted garlic. But I though a really simple idea was to just mix it into garlic, making a quick-and-easy compound butter. I didn't use any fancy tools, just combined it all together with a fork. The end result was predictably delicious. The fatty, creamy butter was offset with the sharpness of the garlic and the sweetness from the roasting process. I slathered on toast and ate a kind of weird and smelly, but tasty lunch.

buttery toast picked up over plate
Weird lunch? Sure. But pretty good. Credit: Mashable.

An air fryer's main value is ease. It's basically a convection oven, but it's nonstick — easy to clean — and it's small, so it preheats quite fast. That's why this recipe, or hack, even, is so useful. It cuts out time and mess. With very minimal effort you have a tasty bulb of roasted garlic. Despite what TikTok recipes might tell you, not everything should be air fried. But garlic? You should absolutely air fry garlic.

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