Can you confit using a slow cooker? Is that a thing? I wanted to confit some fennel and the other day and I was wondering if I could use the slow cooker to do it. I did a quick google (as one does) but there is not a lot of information on using slow cookers to confit.
Confit is a French cooking method that submerges meat, fruit or vegetables in oil or rendered fat and is then cooked at a low heat. I used my slow cooker on a low setting and after 5 hours of cooking the fennel, I took the temperature and it was sitting at around 85°C. Well that sounds like confit to me.
I haven’t done enough testing to declare this a 100% foolproof confit method and perhaps this will even differ between different brands of slow cooker. The confit fennel that I cooked is definitely delicious and was a success in my mind so I do want to share it with you.
I definitely plan to experiment further using the slow cooker to confit and I plan to try this again using duck (and a more accurate thermometer) and I will report back to you.
You do need a fair amount of olive oil to confit, but there is no need to buy an expensive extra virgin. A cheap and lesser quality olive oil will do the trick.
I used a mandolin to cut the fennel into slices about 7mm thick.
You will need enough oil to completely submerge all of the fennel and the aromats. I needed 2L for my wide based slow cooker. You can change up the aromats too, some bay leaves and peppercorns would be great.
The oil should slowly bubble but at no point bubble enough to fry the fennel.
Don’t waste that oil. You’ll need some to top off the jars of confit fennel, but strain off the rest and use it again. It will have a light fennel flavour to it so would be great for salad dressings and even just oiling your frying pan for cooking.
The confit fennel should be stored in the fridge and should last for a few weeks.
Delicious spread on crusty bread, tossed through a salad or served as a condiment with fish.
Confit Fennel Using the Slow Cooker
Ingredients – Makes Approximately 3 Cups of Confit Fennel and Approximately 2L of infused olive oil
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- Approximately 2L of olive oil
- 1 small handful of fresh thyme, tied into a bunch
- Rind of ½ a lemon, peeled into thick slices
- 1½ tsps of sea salt flakes
- Trim the tops off the fennel, retaining the fronds. Trim any woody base on the fennel and then cut into slices about 7mm thick. I used a mandolin to do this.
- Place the fennel into the slow cooker with the lemon rind, thyme bunch, retained fennel fronds and salt then cover with olive oil so that it is completely submerged. I needed 2L to submerge the fennel in my slow cooker.
- Turn the slow cooker onto low and then cook for 5 hours until the fennel is very soft. Ensure that after a couple of hours, the oil lightly bubbles but at no point bubbles rapidly.
- Let the slow cooker contents cool slightly, discard the thyme and any visible lemon rind and then transfer the fennel to jars. Tightly pack the fennel and pour some of the oil into the top of each jar.
- Strain off the rest of the oil and retain for other uses.
- Confit fennel should be stored in the fridge and used within a few weeks. Delicious spread on crusty bread, tossed through a salad or served as a condiment with fish.