What is confit (and why do I care)?

By
Hannah Koelmeyer
Added
24 June, 2014

We look at what the term 'confit' means, and why you should use this fancy-sounding technique.

What is confit?

Confit is a French term, meaning ‘preserved’, and is generally used to describe a cooking process that involves submerging in liquid, usually oil or sugar syrup, cooking at a low temperature – around 90–100ºC for meat – and then storing the food in the cooking liquid for some time before consuming. Originally, this method was used to cook and preserve meats such as pork, goose or duck in their own rendered fat, but now the term is often used much more broadly and can describe vegetables or fish slowly cooked in olive oil and fruit cooked and preserved in sugar syrup.

And why do I care?

Since we’re lucky enough to now be able to just stick our duck legs in the freezer, you may be wondering why anyone would bother with confit. Like many traditional cooking techniques born out of necessity, confit has many other benefits; the primary one being deliciousness. The cooking temperatures required for confit are just high enough to break down connective tissue, but low enough to prevent moisture from evaporating, which results in meat that is extremely tender and juicy, and, as the juices aren’t running out of the meat during cooking, very little flavour is lost (the effect is relatively similar to that of sous vide). Confit vegetables take on a range of interesting new textures depending on the vegetable, but most commonly retain their shape and structure, yet are meltingly soft and creamy when eaten (confit garlic is one of life’s true pleasures).

While the preservation element of confit is no longer a necessity, meat does continue to tenderize during the storage phase ­– duck confit stored for several weeks should be melt-in-your-mouth tender. The fat or syrup (for fruit) creates an airtight bacteria-proof seal which allows the confit to be kept at room temperature for a number of weeks (confit meat will keep in the refrigerator for several months, and confit fruit keeps almost indefinitely).

 

 

 


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again