Peeling Garlic Question....

Hi all, I have a question for you.

My mother is going to pickle a batch of cucumbers late this week or early next week. While she is doing that I’d like her to pickle some garlic for me.

I don’t want her to have to peel 20 cloves of garlic, so I want to do that for her.

My question to the dope is how long is peeled garlic good for? It may have to sit for up tp 5 or 6 days. I was going to put it in a Zip-Loc bag or glass jar. Should it be refridgerated?

Any suggestions?



I don’t think it will make it. I’ve peeled garlic and put it in a saran-wrap covered bowl in the fridge. It starts to discolor and get “shrivelly” within about 24 hours.

If I had to make it last 5 days, I’d probably cover it in vegetable oil. But I know you’re not supposed to make garlic-infused oils at home because of botulism, so I’d probably just give up the idea altogether, or at least do a bunch more research, first.

My first instinct was to tell you to put them in a jar, cover them with olive oil or vinegar, and stick them in the fridge. Googling seems to bear this out.

ETA: It appears that refrigerating (for no more than a week) should avoid the botulism problem.

Peeling 20 cloves of garlic will go quite quickly if you blanch them. Boil a pot of water, break up your bulb, and throw them into the boiling water for about 20 seconds. Scoop out with a spider or slotted spoon and plunge the cloves into ice water. The hot/cold cycle will cause the skins to split, and you can slide them right off.

If your mother does this, it will add no more than 10 minutes to her canning day, the garlic will be nice and fresh and plump AND it has the side benefit of sanitizing the garlic before it goes into the pickling solution. (While that last part isn’t usually required, it’s a nice way to reduce the already small chance of bacterial contamination in your pickles.)

If you decide to do it ahead of time, then yes, I agree that covering them in olive oil and refrigerating them is the best way to preserve them. The olive oil will turn hard and opaque in the fridge, but it will melt again at room temperature.

A garlic clove is really easy to peel if you first cut it in half, lengthwise.

Maybe you could buy the prepeeled garlic cloves that come in a jar from the store. I hate the chopped garlic in a jar but love the peeled stuff–it’s indistinguishable for me from the “real thing,” never has those green sprouts in it, and almost always has lovely plump smooth cloves.

Ummm… I could have peeled twenty cloves of garlic in the time it took me to read through this.

Smack them with the broad side of a chef’s knife and off you go, assuming diced or chopped is your plan.

If, OTOH, you’ve confused cloves (the individual segments) with heads (a collection of a dozen or so cloves) then yeah, you’re in for more work. If your desire is cleanly peeled and unsquashed cloves, save the effort and pick up a bottle of peeled garlic. Christopher Ranch is one of the better-known brands that’s available at most grocery stores.

The thing is, for pickled you want whole cloves, not smashed ones, and in my experience, blanching them cooks them enough that the pickled cloves will not be crisp. I tried it last year and was very unsatisfied with the results.

This is one of the most used items in my kitchen. Makes peeling garlic a snap.

I’d definitely Zip - Loc it with a little olive oil. Should be fine.

How long did you blanch them for? I find most online directions say to boil the suckers for minutes, which is way, way too long. All you need to do is get the skins hot, not even the garlic cloves themselves. 10-20 seconds, max, which is not long enough to cook them.

By the way, the jarred ones in the stores are cooked, unless there’s some miraculous new canning technique I’m unaware of. To sterilize and seal a jar, it has to be hot enough for long enough that whatever’s in it is cooked by the canning process, if it wasn’t cooked before putting it into the jar.

psycat90, you like your garlic peeling gizmo? I haven’t gotten one, 'cause my garlic just gets smashed and peeled and put into dishes like that, but I was shocked to see Alton Brown use that. A unitasker! In my AB’s kitchen! :eek:

I have seen Robert Irvine take two identical stainless steal bowls, pop a bunch of garlic inside one, flip the other over ontop to create a hollow container with the garlic inside and shake like mad to remove the peels. I have also just recently started seeing vacuum sealed, peeled, uncooked garlic cloves in the store. See if you can’t find this item at your store.

I’m not sure how long I had them in there. For pickling the food itself doesn’t have to be hot, although the liquid is boiling. That’s going to cook stuff a little bit, of course; the idea is not to cook it so much it’s mushy. My garlic was mushy. (My pickled ginger will put hair on your chest. Actually, it’ll put hair on your chest, your fetus’ chest, and your dead grandma’s chest. I don’t really advise eating the ginger.)

I don’t have one myself (single guy, not a big garlic freak, so not of much use), but I got one for my mom and she loves the thing. I’ve tried it out, and it really does the job quick and easy.

I’m not surprised AB picked one up. He’ll go with unitaskers if it’s the only tool for the job, and if you’re doing 20 whole cloves of garlic, I think psycat90’s got the answer.

I love it. We use a lot of garlic, so it gets used at least 3 or 4 times a week. (Although admittedly not lately, we’ve been eating out a lot this summer.) I think my husband and I picked it up in Gilroy a couple of years ago (along with a Fresh Fingers Bar, another frequently used item in our kitchen) and it’s gotten lots and lots of use.

I just stuff as many cloves as I can fit in it (usually 4 or 5 at a time) and give it a quick roll or two on the counter, and voila! peeled cloves of garlic.

Sweet. I’d like to change my answer then! (As well as add a garlic peeler to my wish list. I have a stainless steel sink, so no need for a stink bar, though. I just rub my hands on my sink. So gauche, I know.)

I rub my hands on the not-sharp side of my knife, since I’m already holding it anyway. Note: this is an advanced technique and it is important to know which side is the not-sharp one!

Dumb question: what do you do with pickled garlic?

Eat it! :smiley:

Seriously though, we have some in our fridge and I just pop them in my mouth and eat them like olives or pickle slices or anything like that. I’ve never tried cooking with them.

I love garlic, but yikes – isn’t the flavor overwhelmingly strong? It seems like it would need some kind of mellow accompaniment to balance it out, at the very least.

No, it’s tasty. A little sweet, a little vinegary, a lot garlicky. With a nice crunch.

For something really garlicky, I make a mean Bagna Cauda. It’s delicious, but my husband has requested it only be made on Friday nights or long weekends. The garlic smell stays with us for at least a couple of days after we eat it. Not a big deal for me since I’m in a cubicle (and as long as I don’t expect to be tasting wines), but he sees patients and can’t really be reeking of garlic.