Friday, September 14, 2012

Kitchen Tip: How To Preserve Garlic

Kitchen Tip: How To Preserve Garlic recipe by Barefeet In The KitchenWith a huge harvest of hard neck garlic and no possible way to use it all before it began sprouting, I decided to figure out a better way to preserve it. Raw, dried garlic can be kept for months in a cool and dark environment. However, here in the very warm southwest, it rarely lasts over a month in my home before it sprouts. My brother visited us last week and was kind enough to spend a couple hours showing me how to can it. As it turns out, it was almost ridiculously simple. I am so excited to have garlic ready to use now in the refrigerator!

This garlic tastes FRESH. If you've ever bought a jar of minced garlic or peeled cloves in oil or vinegar, this doesn't resemble any of those things. I have used the preserved cloves in a couple of recipes already and the taste is exactly the same as fresh. Simply take out the number of cloves you need, rinse quickly with water and use as desired. The natural oils of the garlic prevent the vinegar from being absorbed into the cloves. If you want a slight vinegar bite to the garlic, or if you are using it in a recipe that also calls for vinegar, simply use the garlic without rinsing. I plan to try some dressings and marinades using the garlic infused vinegar once I've used the cloves from the jars!

Also called pickling garlic, this method is one of the most common ways to save your garlic harvest. The jars can also be processed in a hot water bath or pressure canner and then stored at room temperature. I had enough space in my refrigerator that I decided to simply line a back shelf with my jars. I am so excited to have garden fresh garlic stored in my refrigerator for the winter!

Kitchen Tip: How To Preserve Garlic recipe by Barefeet In The KitchenUpdated 9/19/12 to answer multiple questions regarding, Why Did My Garlic Turn Blue? If your garlic does turn blue, it is still safe to eat. This can happen when enzymes and amino acids present in garlic react with the sulfur compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent smell. I've never actually seen this happen, but apparently it is fairly common.

How To Preserve Garlic
(printable recipe)

Garlic, heads broken apart and cloves peeled
Distilled vinegar
Large pot for boiling the vinegar
Jars for storing the garlic

Using the method shown below in the video, break apart your heads of garlic and peel the cloves. I've been using this method for over a year now and I LOVE it!

Place the peeled cloves of garlic in a large mixing bowl and fill with water. Use your fingertips to scrub any dirt off of the cloves. Once the cloves are cleaned, transfer them to a large strainer and rinse well.

Depending on when your garlic was harvested, you might have very few brown spots on the cloves. My garlic was harvested late this year, so the ends were quite brown with some spots on the cloves as well. Use a small paring knife to trim the spots and then transfer the cleaned and trimmed cloves back to the strainer. Rinse again.

Bring the vinegar to a boil in a large pot. For several hundred cloves of garlic, I used about 8 cups of vinegar. Place the clean garlic cloves into small jars. (I prefer to use small vs large jars to avoid contaminating a huge amount if the jar is open for too long in the refrigerator.) I filled 10 half pint jars with garlic. Once the vinegar has boiled, pour it over the garlic and screw the lids on tight.

Let the jars come to room temperature on the counter overnight and then store in the refrigerator. According to everything I've read and been told, this will keep in the refrigerator for up to a year.

I'll keep you posted on how the flavor may be affected by longer storage. Enjoy!

Kitchen Tip: How To Preserve Garlic recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen


ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: White Beans and Cabbage


55 comments:

  1. That is wonderfully useful information! Thanks so much. Can't wait to hear how it holds up. Have a lovely weekend Mary.

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  2. I have gone through the trouble of actually pickling and canning the garlic. I like this method much better!!

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  3. How easy is that! What an awesome, waste saving method. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Brilliant! I never think about not having a cool, dry place. We're heading into cooler weather these days, so that wouldn't be an issue here.

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  5. What a fantastic idea!! I go through so much garlic, so all of those cans would be great to have on hand.

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  6. I had no idea you could do this...none of the preserved or frozen garlic I've had tasted good to me, so the fact that this tastes like fresh is fantastic. I'd love to have all those little peeled cloves of garlic ready to go.

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  7. That video may be the best cooking tip I've learned in a decade. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. First of all, congrats on a terrific garlic harvest---and thank you so much for this tip. I had no idea that you could preserve the cloves in this fashion. Fantastic.

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  9. I don't have a huge fridge so can I process these in a hot water bath?

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    1. When I was researching this, most people agreed that you can process in a hot water bath. However, the recommendation is to add the garlic to the boiling vinegar on the stove for a minute and then pour both the hot garlic and the vinegar into the jars. I honestly do not know why it is done that way, but many have done it with success. Good luck!

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    2. It is to bring the internal temp of the garlic up so you can can them safely I believe. Of course a lot of things are raw packed with hot liquid poured over them so I'm guessing either one would work but the processing time may be longer? Or take longer to get up to a boil? I pressure can mostly, not waterbath so I'm not as knowledgeable on that part lol. Thanks for an awesome new way to can garlic!

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  10. I'm so excited to have found your post! Never knew I could preserve garlic like this and can't wait to try it. I use a ton of garlic in my cooking and find it a pain to always peel the garlic. Can't wait to get a bunch canned and also can't wait to try this method for peeling garlic. My jaw dropped when I watched the video. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  11. Good one. I can't be without my garlic. Thanks

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  12. Oh my, thanks for the Garlic Video, amazing how all the papers come off the Garlic!
    Terry Devine aka sunnywolfgar

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  13. How many minutes do you do the water bath, and do they turn to mush after the water bath?

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    1. The water bath doesn't affect the texture at all. They are in the water less than 5 minutes, or however long it takes me to rub the majority of the dirt off with my fingertips.

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    2. She's not talking about the cleaning, Mary. She's talking about a water bath canner, which shouldn't make it mushy, but wonder how long it needs to stay in canner?

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  14. So I followed the instructions as written, and for some reason...my garlic turned a greenish blue in some spots?! I have no idea how this happened! Did I just ruin a batch of garlic? :/ Have you encountered this before?

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    1. Updated link is above to answer multiple questions regarding why garlic turns blue. If your garlic does turn blue, it is still safe to eat.

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    2. Whoa! That is crazy haha. Good to know it's still good. Thanks!!

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  15. For shelf storage, how long would you process in a boiling water bath?

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    1. Ball Blue Book recommends 10-15 minutes and the USDA recommends 35 minutes. Just to be on the safe side, I'd probably process it for 35 minutes.

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    2. The processing is only to seal the lids on the jars, and that only takes about ten minutes. I've been canning for years and have never had a problem with only a 10-minute processing.

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  16. Yeah, gotta love the 'peel garlic is less than 10 seconds video,' because I always have 2 huge metal bowls at my disposal!

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    1. No ordinary metal pot with lid in your kitchen, then?

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    2. Just put the head of garlic in a quart jar, put on the lid and shake vigorously. Peels as well (easier in my opinion) as the two bowl method.

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  17. i just peeled 1800 cloves..by hand. A true example of "hind sight is 20-20".

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  18. On the blue garlic thing--if I use garlic from the supermarket in my pickles, it almost always turns blue. If I use the garlic I get from my CSA, no blue. Do you think the freshness has anything to do with it?

    And, thanks for this post. I never buy enough garlic from my CSA because it will sprout after about six months, no matter how I store it. This year, I'll use your method.

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    Replies
    1. Blue garlic comes from the soil, it is the metals present that turn your garlic blue if copper and green if ferrous oxide, no problem to eating however...

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  19. I planted a huge harvest last fall and now I know what I'm going to do with it all. How exciting! Thank you.

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  20. This is awesome! The 10-second method to peel garlic over the top cool!

    Thanks for sharing it. I shared your post on my facebook page.

    Velva

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  21. Figured the blue garlic out today-- it's a variety thing! I did this to two different kinds of garlic. No idea what types, but both were organic, and both were aged, not fresh. One turned blue, the other stayed pretty!

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  22. Do you think this process and recipe can be used successfully with shallots? I have a ton growing in my garden because I simply love them... but I actually never gave a thought to how to store them! LOL #didntplanaheadproperly

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    1. I don't know how that would work. I imagine that the shallots would absorb more of the vinegar and become more like pickled onions. (The garlic doesn't taste the least bit like vinegar after you rinse it right out of the jar.) It might be worth doing a jar or two of the shallots though, just to see if you like them. If you try it, let me know how it works!

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  23. Shallots will keep in the fridge if you just place them whole in a glass of water with the roots still on. They keep for a month or longer because they keep growing. I have seen them turn blue like the garlic. Just rinse them off and they are fine..
    I also freeze a lot of garlic. Clean and just put them in freezer bags. Pull out cloves as needed. You can also just preserve them in oil. Garlic is easy to preserve.

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  24. Too much trouble. Just peel , put in jar and cover with olive oil, Not only do you preserve the garlic you get garlic flavored olive oil- 2 for one!!!

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    1. PS refrigerate the jar

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  25. My kindle won't let me watch your video and it's taking me hours to peel all of my garlic. Please tell me your secret.

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    1. Break apart the head of garlic by whacking it with the heel of your hand on the counter. Place the broken apart cloves in a large metal mixing bowl and cover that with a second bowl. Hold them tightly together and shake as hard as you can for about 30 seconds. The skins will fall off and you'll have peeled garlic cloves in the bottom of the bowl. I hope that helps! (I've also done this using a large mason jar, when I didn't have bowls handy.)

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    2. Just break up the heads leave skin on and put them in a zip lock bag and freeze the whold bag full of garlic . use as need still has the flavor of fresh . Italians have done it this way for years also.

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  26. I use Foodsaver which has an attachment for these mason jars to create a vacuum within the jar.

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  27. I used this method today, very easy! Have your garlic cloves ever turned a grey/bluish color on one end when you've canned them? Some of my cloves are discoloring on the ends that i cut. Just wondering if this is them spoiling or if this is normal.

    Thanks!

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    1. If your garlic does turn blue, it is still safe to eat. This can happen when enzymes and amino acids present in garlic react with the sulfur compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent smell. I've never actually seen this happen, but apparently it is fairly common. (see the link above for more info.)

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  28. I peel, slice & dehydrate my garlic. Once dried it's stored in canning jars. When needed I put the slices in a nut/coffee grinder & powder them. Be careful though, it's much more potent than regular garlic powder.

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  29. Although peeling over 100 cloves by hand wasn't fun I am so lazy when I am rushing to make dinner that I often sub powder for the real thing. So today my hours of peeling will save me time later. Yay! And since I hate that frozen garlic leads to funky tasting ice water I am hoping nothing else in my fridge will reek of garlic.

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  30. How long should you let these jars of garlic sit before using?

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    1. They don't need to sit at all. You can use the garlic immediately.

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  31. Can you hot water bath this recipe and keep on the shelf?

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    1. I've been told that people have done that successfully, however I haven't done it myself. Sorry I can't be of more help with that!

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  32. Can I reuse assorted food jars, which may not be air tight, or is it important that I use only canning jars for this?

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    1. As long as they seal tight enough not to leak, they should work fine. This is refrigerator canning, not pantry storage, so I can't think of a reason why they would have to be canning jars.

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  33. This is a fantastic idea. I'm glad I found this info. I am tired of feeling guilty for throwing bulbs of garlic that went bad. Will do this tonight as I just bought fresh garlic. Thank you~

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  34. Does the garlic have to be dried first or can I do it right out of the garden?

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  35. Thanks for the great recipe, you've been featured on my blog: http://www.colorfulcanary.com/2014/12/its-cold-flu-season-19-germ-fighting.html

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