I plan on making duck confit and since making more is about as much work as making a few I am going to making as much as fits in my pot. I was looking to buy large confit jars with a latch like they have in France and I was wondering if anyone here would know a good source for that?
On a related topic does confit have to be stored in the fridge or is it fine outside the fridge as long as the meat isn't exposed to air?
I store mine in the fridge. I just make sure the duck is completly covered in the fat, like an inch at least. I keep it in a covered casserole dish. I have aged it for over a month this way and it was awesome. I don't know about storing outside of the fridge.
Here is something to think about if you own a crockpot and a vacuum sealer (you can also use a stock pot in the oven).
If you vacuum seal the duck with just a tablespoon of fat or so and then put it into water just below a simmer you can confit much more efficiently. There are some great added benefits to doing it via this method as well. The first is the lack of needing jars to store the product, and dealing with topping them off with hot fat. Your finished confit is already under vacuum and great for storage. The second plus for me is that I need much less fat. I don't render my own duck fat, and it's not the cheapest stuff in the world to buy. Being able to do it with less fat makes it much easier on the wallet. The final plus for me is that my wife doesn't complain about the house smelling like fat for days.
Confit probably would be ok at room temperature, but I figure the fridge is better just to be sure. With my vacuum method, I'm not sure the stuff would ever go bad as long as it isn't opened. I used pink salt in my cure and enough heat to kill just about any baddies, I plunge it in ice water to cool cool, and it goes straight into the fridge. Of course, I've never had the stuff last for more than a few months either :)
You can usually find the jars at hardware stores that have a canning section or at kitchen supply stores. I just buy them whenever I see them at thrift stores.
The jars you are speaking of can be purchased at The Container Store. The ones I use are made by La Parfait. They can be purchased through Amazon or any number of other online retailers.
Store in a root or wine cellar or a fridge. 40-50ºF is ideal. Do not store at room temperature.
You can use any glass or earthenware crock (food grade plastic would probably work too) and it doesn't have to have a lid. If you plan on maturing the confit for more than a couple of weeks, after you've packed the jars with the duck and duck fat, let the fat congeal, then cover with a 1-inch layer of molten lard. (The lard makes for a better seal.) Then cover the jars with parchement paper or a lid and store for up to six months.
Ah, youth! It's a lot of years since I made my own confit. But... The traditional "lock lid" glass jars come in multiple sizes. Rather than one large container, I usually did 4 "smalller" jars at a time with two legs per jar. I mostly used mine for cassoulet, and one jar per cassoulet worked out perfect. I don't like digging around in one big container, then having to deal with the mess of making sure that the unused legs are well submerged in fat. I "stored" mine on the top shelf of the refrigerator because it's the "warmest" shelf. Well, it used to be anyway.
EDIT: I've bought the jars at WalMart, but that was a couple of years ago.