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Saving/preserving garlic?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Getting lazier and lazier, I just bought a 3-pound jar of peeled California garlic at Costco. As much as we eat, my wife and I can't get through that in a few weeks.

I'd like to find some way to keep/preserve/freeze most of it.

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
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post #2 of 18
What I do with a lot of garlic is:

1) peel the cloves
2) cut each clove into a few pieces
3) put into a bakeable or microwaveable container that has a tight-fitting lid. The container should be just big enough to hold the garlic
4) add just enough vege oil to cover (I like EVOO)
5) bake or microwave with the lid off,just until bubbling a bit
6) put the lid on and keep in the fridge

For any particular preparation you can use just garlic, just oil, or both. My favorite way of having plain eggs is over easy, cooked in the oil from this.
post #3 of 18
One reason I do it that way is that I almost never use garlic raw, and this way it's easy to add to any cooked or raw dish. Hummus tahini and creamy dips are examples of what it's perfect for (to my taste). It's also great for dipping bread into, with or without garlic pieces.

Edit--oops, it's not fresh garlic that you bought, is it? That's the only way I buy it, fresh. I'm lazy too, but canned garlic is not worth using as far as I'm concerned. Not to be a snob or a snot, it's just one of those things I'm really picky about.
post #4 of 18
OY, you're running a botulism risk. Not huge, but you're creating an anaerobic environment (sealed by oil) with wet ingredients. This was touched on when Harold McGee was here as a guest for a week or so.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 18
But I bring the garlic to water's boiling point--still a risk? The mix is over 212 degrees
post #6 of 18
The spores can take very high temperatures.
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post #7 of 18
How high temperatures?
post #8 of 18
I think it's something on the order of 250 and held for a certain length of time. Usually a pressure cooking scenario for commercial and home canning. Also depends on the acidity. But garlic and oil is a recurring source as so many people do it.

Jeff Smith used to advocate a similar method to yours on his cooking shows. Reader's Digest printed a similar recipe once then issued a mass retraction.

Helen Witty who mostly writes pantry cookbooks goes over this in her books. Her recommended solution is to roast the garlic, mash into a paste, then freeze it. Then mix up SMALL amounts of garlic and oil intended to be quickly used up, always stored refrigerated. Refrigeration does buy you some protection as that retards bacterial growth.

There is also a risk with herb infused oils. Again, a wet ingredient covered in oil creating an anaerobic environment. Do it in small batches you'll use quickly. Herb vinegars are fine. They're oxygenated and acidic enough to prevent botulism. Except maybe rice vinegar at 1.5%? Not sure about the rice vinegar.

There were three threads on this topic when Harold McGee had a brief guest appearance here.


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So how do the commercial makers produce garlic oil? With industrial methods to guarantee safety, extractives and other pasteurization type processes.
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post #9 of 18
got wine?

STORING GARLIC IN WINE OR VINEGAR
http://cecalaveras.ucdavis.edu/garlic.htm


see also:
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/botulism_gi.html#8
How can botulism be prevented?

Botulism can be prevented. Foodborne botulism has often been from home-canned foods with low acid content, such as asparagus, green beans, beets and corn. However, outbreaks of botulism from more unusual sources such as chopped garlic in oil, chile peppers, tomatoes, carrot juice, improperly handled baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, and home-canned or fermented fish. Persons who do home canning should follow strict hygienic procedures to reduce contamination of foods. Oils infused with garlic or herbs should be refrigerated. Potatoes which have been baked while wrapped in aluminum foil should be kept hot until served or refrigerated. Because the botulism toxin is destroyed by high temperatures, persons who eat home-canned foods should consider boiling the food for 10 minutes before eating it to ensure safety. Instructions on safe home canning can be obtained from county extension services or from the US Department of Agriculture. Because honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum and this has been a source of infection for infants, children less than 12 months old should not be fed honey. Honey is safe for persons 1 year of age and older. Wound botulism can be prevented by promptly seeking medical care for infected wounds and by not using injectable street drugs


http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=16044
As extra insurance against the toxin, Washington State University extension service recommends boiling low-acid foods in a covered saucepan after opening the jars for 10 minutes (adding a minute for each 1,000 feet of elevation above sea level) before serving. It takes 240 degrees to kill botulism spores when canning, but if the toxin forms in canning jars it is killed at 212 degrees (boiling).
post #10 of 18
You can make some russian garlic salad to use it up faster :D what everyone is saying is true. Unless it was treated by the company selling it I wouldn't do the cover it in oil route.
post #11 of 18
I've seen garlic "chips" before. They're dried and toasted thin slices of garlic. I don't know the method, but it'd be interesting to learn how it's done.
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post #12 of 18
Thanks for the heads-up on botulism from garlic in oil. I thought 212 degrees would kill anything that was a risk. I'm aware of the botulism risk in anaerobic conditions (and yes, I know that means without oxygen).

I take it, then, that raw garlic with its potential spores is not a risk?
post #13 of 18
As long as you keep it in oxygen, it's fine. The bacteria doesn't tolerate oxygen and remains in it's spore form awaiting proper conditions to grow.

I suppose where the fresh garlic is still alive and processing oxygen, the spores don't activate.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 18
Fresh garlic kept in a dry, dark, cool place will keep for a long time — but never keep it in the fridge.

Other ways to preserve garlic are to:


Cut it into thin slices and then dry it.


Submerge in wine or oil and keep in the fridge. - depending on use



I would not reccomend freezing anything it ruins flavour and texture

Even if it is Garlic
post #15 of 18
What about one of those silly little garlic keepers that look like a bulb of garlic? Do they do anything? I see them everywhere. Also, is that garlic in the plastic jar any different than fresh garlic? Chopped or whole.....
post #16 of 18
I'd recommend not cutting the garlic. I read somewhere that when you cut it, there is some chemical reaction that takes place that takes away the garlic flavor. I haven't tried this, but I'd say keep them whole.
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post #17 of 18
post #18 of 18
That can differ due to use in my opnion
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