so I am making beef stew and I usually chop everything up and let it all sit in the fridge for a day or 2 before cooking.
anyway from practical experience I am heasitant to use raw garlic because of the botulism factor. I know garlic can carry it and I know that its one reason you cant use raw garlic to make flavored oils (useing the slow method anyway)
so the question is, can I safely let raw garlic sit completely submerged in the marinade for 1-3 days without getting sick as a dog?
I think botulism is anaerobic, so as long as there is air present, it would have a hard time growing. Not to mention, you can buy jars of chopped garlic in the store and have them around for months, with the garlic completely submerged. I’ve eaten it my entire life and haven’t gotten sick from it. And I have commerically made garlic olive oil, with garlic floating in it.
In short, I think you’ll be fine. I would worry about other things spoiling first, before the garlic.
Anything can have spores of Clostridium botulinum on it; they’re common in soil - so that’s pretty much any vegetable. Washing probably helps a bit, but may not eliminate them all.
The only reason garlic makes people worry is when it’s used to flavour oil - submerging raw garlic in oil provides the anaerobic environment necessary for the organism to grow and reproduce. If your marinade had pieces made of, say, raw celery or chopped parsley instead, it’s probably about the same risk.
What are the ingredients of the marinade? If it includes wine or something, it won’t be an anaerobic environment anyway, like pure oil can be.
If you’re worried about it that much (and I wouldn’t be), then buy one of those jars of minced garlic that were mentioned and use it for this purpose.
I find for things like stews and marinades it tastes fine, and since it has been pasteurized, you needn’t worry about any nasties.
Botulinum toxin is heat labile, so unless you plan to eat the beef raw after it’s been marinaded you’ll be fine.
Thermal Inactivation of Type E Botulinum Toxin
Appl Microbiol. 1967 March; 15(2): 249–256
Apart from dishes like sauerbraten, I don’t think marinating past a day brings much benefit.
Don’t sweat it. Also, do not use the jars of minced garlic. That stuff doesn’t have anything like the flavor fresh garlic has. The extra work is totally worth it.
I didn’t think the work was an issue here, only the worry.
I don’t believe any of my marinades do not contain fresh garlic, and I’ve left some in the fridge for 2-3 days, depending on the meat, and/or the desire for depth of flavor.
Never had a problem.
However, and I am glad to see someone else marinating a bit before making stew, because I really think it adds alot, BUT…I prefer it subtle, so I wouldn’t marinate the meat for more than 24 hrs.
thanks guys, I was really wondering since I have tried the garlic oil trick and definitly found it a bad idea.
the ingredients contain some vinigar which should help I would think.
anyway thanks again, time to toss in some garlic. cooking it up tomorrow morning (well starting it anyway, love that slow cooker)
Do you have any red wine and/or bourbon? Niiiiice addition…tenderizes and adds flavor.