Easy Stove-top Roasted Garlic Using Cast Iron
I love roasted garlic but find it hard to justify heating up my large oven just to roast 4 to 8 bulbs of garlic. (Yes! That is bulbs, not cloves, of garlic. Told ya I love it! But I digress.) Instead, I use cast iron cookware on my stove top.
You can use a cast iron skillet, chicken fryer or Dutch oven. You must have a snug fitting lid for the utensil; a cast iron lid is ideal but a Pyrex lid will work too.
You must also have a trivet that fits in your utensil, to hold the garlic bulbs off the bottom and allow for air circulation. I find a 9" round cooling rack (intended for cakes) is just fine for either a 5-quart Dutch oven or a #10 or #12 skillet. The rack should be about 1 inch from the bottom. My solution is to use the cast iron burner ring from my gas stove in the pot and put the rack on that - you could also make some balls from aluminum foil and put the rack on them. For users of electric stoves, I would also recommend a heat diffuser, since my experience with electric stoves is that they have difficulty maintaining a low even heat.
Put the trivet in the pot, cover with lid and preheat it for about 15 minutes on the burner at medium (or low-medium) - just like you would preheat your oven. While the utensil is preheating, remove some of the loose, papery covering from the garlic bulbs. Then place the garlic on the trivet, recover, and "bake" about 30-40 minutes, or until a bulb feels soft when you press it. Remove garlic from utensil and allow to cool until you can handle it easily. With a sharp knife (I find a serrated knife works best), slice off the bottom and then squish the garlic out from the top. I store my roasted garlic in a covered glass jar in the 'frig but, honestly, it doesn't last long in my house since it is so good in lots of dishes.
The trick is keeping an even moderate heat while the garlic bakes. Avoid the temptation to peak a lot, since every time you lift the lid the temperature will drop.
Just out of curiousity, the last time I did this I put a small oven thermometer in the utensil along with the garlic. When the garlic was done, the thermometer was registering about 325 F.