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Garlic is in everything, but it can be finicky. It cooks very quickly, and burnt garlic tastes like ass, so you’ll have to throw the whole sad, bitter mess into the garbage if you screw it up.

For many recipes, the idea is to infuse the oil with garlic flavor, so you can just put the oil and garlic over low heat and let it mellow for a bit, even if the recipe calls for high heat.

Lifehacker’s spicy senior food editor Claire Lower is all about garlic, and she pointed out to me that if you’re cooking with high heat, like in a wok, you add garlic for just long enough to release its aromatics, then take it off and add it back in later. But whether it’s high heated or slow cooked: Don’t burn garlic.

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