Learn How To Peel One Pound of Garlic in Seconds!
For this recipe, you need a whole pound of peeled garlic and that would normally take FOREVER to peel. You can’t just smash the cloves to get the peel off because you want them whole and in good condition. So peeling them the traditional way would take a lot of time.
So here is a trick for how to peel garlic…FAST!
As you can see in the video above, you can actually peel one pound of garlic in about a minute. I swear this works! The hardest part is holding the two metal bowls together without letting the papery peels fly all over the kitchen. (And your arms get a little tired.)
- First, smack the garlic down on the counter and break up the large cloves. (I do this wearing an oven mitt so that my hand doesn’t get sore.)
- Then, place the individual (un-peeled) cloves in a metal bowl.
- Cover with another metal bowl and while holding the two bowls closed, shake as violently as you can.
- After about a minute, check the cloves. Most will be peeled. Honest!
- Pull the peeled cloves out, cover the bowls again and shake a bit longer to get the stubborn cloves peeled.
- Ta-da! Peeled!
Why Should You Pickle Garlic?
If you grow garlic, you know that it basically all comes on at once. Yes, you can store it for long periods of time in the pantry. But many times, I end up with way more garlic than I can use up before it goes bad. That’s when I turn to pickling it! It allows for longer storage AND when given as gifts, I am sharing some of my garden with my friends.
But more importantly, Garlic is also one of those produce items that can cause botulism if not preserved properly. It has a pH that puts it in the “danger zone” and it is grown below the soil line. It is very common for it to harbor botulism spores and therefore should never be stored in oil, which is an anaerobic environment (even though many people do it). Instead, you should store it out in the open air (like potatoes), freeze it or pickle it in vinegar. I prefer to pickle it because there are so many benefits!
Benefits of Pickled Garlic:
- Lasts for up to a year on the pantry shelf
- Can be used as “fresh” garlic in recipes
- The texture stays the same
- Gives you a very flavorful brine
- Tastes just like fresh garlic in any recipe
Now, you may be wondering about how the vinegar affects the flavor of your garlic. Other than toning down the bite a bit, it does not change the flavor much at all. When I remove a garlic clove from the vinegar, I just give it a quick rinse (Optional) and use it as I would any fresh garlic. The flavor is basically the same.
What If Your Garlic Turns Blue?
Yes, you read that right. Occasionally, when garlic is stored in any vinegar (even in dill pickles, flavored vinegar, etc) it sometimes turns an odd blue color. Don’t worry! The garlic is still perfectly safe! The garlic is just reacting to minerals.
That is why it is important to always use non-reactive pans and utensils (stainless steel is best) and if you have water that is high in mineral content, you should use purified water in this recipe. But rest assured that it is only a color thing – nothing toxic and the flavor is the same. (But good luck explaining that to your kids!)
The Brine is Like a Secret Flavor Elixir!
The beauty of this recipe is that the leftover brine is packed with flavor. It is basically a spiced garlic vinegar. When you have used up the garlic, do NOT throw the brine away. Use it in salad dressings, sauces or to season vegetables. It can even be used to add a little “kick” to a bloody Mary recipe. Be creative!
If you enjoyed this video:
Pickle Garlic Recipe
Makes 4 (1/2-pint) jars
Notes: In this recipe, it is perfectly safe to change up the herbs or spices as long as you keep the vinegar – water – salt ratio the same. So if you don’t have (or don’t like) a particular herb, change it out for a different herb. I highly recommend you use pickling salt or kosher salt to keep the brine clear. Regular salt has anti-caking agents, which will make the liquid cloudy.
- 1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup water (see note)
- 1 tbsp. pickling salt (or kosher salt)
- 1 lbs. garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (lemon thyme is great!)
- 4 tsp. brown or yellow mustard seeds (divided)
- 4 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (divided)
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns (divided)
- 4 lemon slices
1) Fill your water bath canner with water and heat it up.
2) Place four, clean 1/2-pint sized canning jars in your water bath canner to warm up.(You do not have to sterilize the jars because you will be processing for longer than 10 minutes.)
3) In a small nonreactive pot, combine vinegar, water and salt and bring to a simmer. Stir until the salt is dissolved.
4) Into each of the jars, place: a bay leaf, rosemary sprig and thyme sprig.
5) Then into each of the jars, place: 1 tsp. mustard seeds, 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns.
6) Fill the jars with the peeled garlic and pour hot brine over everything in each jar leaving just a little more than a ½-inch headspace in each. (You will adjust the headspace again before sealing.) Make sure all the cloves of garlic are covered in the liquid.
7) Top each filled jar with a lemon slice to help hold the garlic in the vinegar.
8) Use a plastic knife, skewer or chopstick to dislodge any air bubbles. Add more brine if needed to achieve a 1/2-inch headspace.
9) Wipe the rims of the jars and add lids with rings.
10) Process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. After cooling, store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks. Store sealed jars on the pantry shelf and use within one year.