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Storing GARLIC --- for garlic lovers

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Now you know, my bride and I love garlic.

Since moving to the "dry" side of Wa. our garden has grown. This last year we froze and vacuumed packed the garlic to get it to last longer than dry cool storage method. She says it works great. Like freshly harvested.


The first pic is about 600 plants. Blossom, Zemo, Metechi and elephant. Seems as though Feb-March, that was the end of the garlic in storage. It doesn't last more than 8 months.



Spring Garlic.jpg


We still have the garlic we dried, and it is darn good but a lot of work.


Dried Garlic Chips.jpg


We harvest in June and hang in the shed for 3-4 weeks to dry.


Garlic in drying shed.jpg


Last winter we decided to try to freeze a bunch for keeping. Break up the heads into cloves and place on a sheet pan to quick freeze the cloves. After frozen, pack into vac bags for the freezer. These have been in the freezer since July '10 and are about as good as it gets.

Vaccum Pack Garlic.jpg


I am thinking, these will make excellent dried garlic also. At a more leisurely pace than would be in June.


This is our first year for shallots. I think they will be in the bags like the garlic too.


Any Northern growers here who plant shallots in October for the spring?

That is when we plant garlic and I am thinking it should also work for shallots.


Thanks for reading. Dave

post #2 of 18

Garlic is my friend. I can't imagine life without it. Then there's the shallots. Yummmmm. I never thought of freezing. They're not mushy? Thanks for the great post!


post #3 of 18

Nice garden Dave!!


How far apart have you spaced them?




You run out of garlic????  Yikes!!



post #4 of 18

Great idea for storage- I love Garlic  

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post

Garlic is my friend. I can't imagine life without it. Then there's the shallots. Yummmmm. I never thought of freezing. They're not mushy? Thanks for the great post!


Squirrel, Bride says she removes them from the freezer and grates them directly onto whatever. They have no brown on them and look and grate like fresh. They are dried pretty well and flash frozen on an aluminum sheet pan in a freezer with a circulating/cooling fan. I will try that with the shallots also.

Originally Posted by fpnmf View Post

Nice garden Dave!!  Thanks


How far apart have you spaced them?  6X12 in a raised bed




You run out of garlic????  Yikes!!



Craig,   NOT!!!!   Can't run out of garlic. It goes in pretty much everything. We have great neighbors that help out and we all trade stuff. This hardneck garlic is so much better than the Cal stuff everyone loves it. I have been picking wild asparagus from the roadside and it even loves garlic. Imagine that.




post #6 of 18

   Dave,I too love garlic,and one of my favorite dips is Smoked Garlic and cream cheese or sour cream.drool.gif I'd love to try some of your stronger typesicon14.gif.

I will be in Knee surgery recovery for a while,but when I get up and around(they say with rehab it will be around 6 weeks). I would love to trade some thing for some.

   Garlic is the only colesterol med I take, and at over200#, my level is lower than my Doc's77.gif,thanks to Garlic.I also put loads of it in my Pico de Gallo and it turns out great,I use some of the greens of it toobiggrin.gif,that and a little onion,tomato,Cilantro and Serranno Chileicon_mrgreen.gifso good.

  Have fun and a good crop to you.

  Your friend in Smoke,Stan   aka   oldschool



Betty 004.JPG


Yes , they have Garlic on them;have fun and...

post #7 of 18



We have tried to freeze garlic several times without any luck, but we never left the skin on.

Is that our mistake?

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post



We have tried to freeze garlic several times without any luck, but we never left the skin on.

Is that our mistake?


Al, don't know for sure??? Our garlic is "hardneck" that we froze. (1 st time I will add) Harvested while there were 4 green leaves and the rest brown. (different for other varieties). No water for 2 weeks. Did and hang with leaves and roots in place. 90* + days and 45* nights. Hang in the shade with fans blowing on the garlic.

The stuff in the store is usually California (early or late). A softneck variety. I read somewhere garlic would freeze so I tried it. I very well could have got LUCKY with this attempt. Time will tell.


Another thought. I plant the hardnecks in October. These varieties originated in very cold regions. They require freezing in the ground to mature properly. I have seen garlic shoots poking through the snow in the spring. Pretty cool watching them grow when it is freezing and snow on the ground.


Al, Now you know everything I know...  goodluck.gif          How does it feel............th_dunno-1[1].gif


post #9 of 18

Being a couple hours from Gilroy, we are also garlic heads. 


You evidently have a lot of space to grow things.  Garlic is cheap enough that I don't grow it.  However, there are times of the year when the quality of garlic is not the greatest.


Good luck and good smoking!

post #10 of 18

So, what wood flavor would you put to garlic if you were to smoke it before storage?

post #11 of 18

And yes, I did the search thing (there's over 945 entries) but only one after several pages of review that mentions smoke flavor and it was 2 parts cherry 1 part Hickory.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by NWDave View Post

So, what wood flavor would you put to garlic if you were to smoke it before storage?

Dave, Good evening.

Interesting question. It depends on the garlic variety.

The hardneck varieties are really packed with flavor. I would smoke them with mesquite. I think the powerful garlic needs powerful smoke. Reason being, not much garlic would be needed for most folks thus reducing the smokiness.

Elephant garlic, on the other hand, is mild enough to eat raw for most folks. I would use alder or bigleaf maple.

Store bought california varieties, I would start with a subtle smoke and work up to something stronger.

Cold smoke about 100-110 using the AMAZN would be awesome.

Bark on wood has been a discussion a few times here. I would remove the bark. I know alder bark adds a bitterness to the delicate flavor of salmon and think it would do the same to garlic.

Since moving to Omak I have switched to apple. No alder or bigleaf here. Friends do haul alder over perodically for me to smoke fish with.


post #13 of 18

No alder??????  Never noticed.  Guess I was too busy seeing all the pine-beetle damaged trees along I-90 in Idaho and Montana.  What devastation.   


SWMBO picked up a bag of peeled garlic and said: here, do something.  They're the california type.  I have "many" sawdust flavors (quit laughing, Todd).  I think I'll go with the Oak Bourbon Barrel, one lit end on the AMNS, maybe 2 hours for good penetration.  Chop coarse with a little EVOO, infuse with neutral cold press EVOO for a few days in the fridge, then let her use as a drizzle on some fresh spinach salad, or any where else we'd use EVOO.  It'll be interesting to experiment with.  Usually I just buy a large clove head, trim the top, drizzle some EVOO and a dash of kosher and pepper and onto the grill or smoker.  It will be interesting, that's for sure.  Once I get a handle on this, then I'll branch out to other garlic varieties.  As for growing my own, well they better come with life jackets and know how to swim.



Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post



Since moving to Omak I have switched to apple. No alder or bigleaf here. Friends do haul alder over perodically for me to smoke fish with.



post #14 of 18

hi there

i know this is old thread but i just saw it in google :)

its my first time in this forum

i like what you do with the garlic and i have a good idea for you


first excuse my english , cause its not my language so try to avoid my bad spelling :)

ok now the idea at your second picture use this garlic after you dried it and make it hard just like wood you need vinger the black vinger dont use white or fruite vinger im sorry i dont know what is it name in english , add your hard dried garlic with littel bit of salt and the same of sugar then cook it on small flame for 1 hour also you can add your own spices if you like but first time try it with few garlic and then decide what you need to add after you cooked it stuffed it in gar and leave it for few days between 2 to 4 weeks as the weather outside if it summer 2 weeks enough then you know its ready if the garlic piece being so soft just like marshmelow then its ready to eat its perfect with fish and chicken , try it and i hope you enjoy it :)

i learned to making this pickels from indian friend its called in they language Aachar also you can use tomato or carrot or anything else you like , but i like the dried garlic just like the one you have.


sorry if i have many spelling mistakes


thanks for reading



post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

vaycon, morning and welcome to the forum....  Thank you for the "heads up" on black vinegar and black garlic...  I've heard of black garlic and seen it on TV but did not realize how much healthier it was than regular garlic.....  I hope I understand the recipe correctly, I will find some black vinegar and try and make it.....   Stay around the forum...  everyone here is interested in fine condiments to go with their food......    Dave




I'm glad you found this forum....  Please take a moment and stop into " /Roll Call/  " and introduce yourself and get a proper welcome from our members.... Also, if you would note your location in your profile, it will help in the future when answering questions about smokin'...   elevation, humidity etc....    

We're glad you stopped in and joined our group...    Enjoy the long smokey ride....     Dave

post #16 of 18



I must have missed this when the thread was originally started. That's quite a garlic production operation you've got going there. I envy you. I'd love to do the same with garlic but don't have the space, as well as patience. Thanks for the tip on freezing. I tend to buy garlic in a large quantity and usually end up throwing the last 15%-20% away


With the volume of garlic you're producing you really should look into making the condiment vaycon recommended. Achaar (aachar, achar), when properly prepared, is addictive. Achaar is the Hindi term for pickle and there are literally thousands of different types made throughout India from a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and sweet and spicy garlic achaar is extremely popular. Garlic pickle is not to be confused with pickled garlic.


Though it's been quite a while I've made it several times using an excellent recipe given to me by an Indian chef. I can't locate it at the moment, but once I do, I'll send it to you. Basically, in addition to a quantity of garlic, a masala is prepared made up of toasted fenugreek, cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds which are then ground, and a pinch of asasafoetida (hing) is added. The garlic and masala is then cooked in gingelly (sesame) oil. Along the way, turmeric powder, jaggery/gur (palm sugar), chile powder, and lime or lemon juice are added. I may have missed an ingredient or two and I don't recall the quantity measurements. Once I find the recipe, I'll clarify that as well as the procedure.


One item vaycon mentioned is black vinegar which I've never seen used in achaar. Black vinegar is a popular ingredient used in Southern China so it may be a regional thing I'm not familiar with.


Once you've made garlic achaar it will be a staple condiment in your refrigerator.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

Dave, afternoon.....  Hey, I'm always looking for full flavored condiments to add to my diet ....  (Diet, HA, I've gained so much weight this winter, I should be 9 feet tall.... That's what I told the nurse when she weighed me)....  Anyway, I found Black Vinegar on Amazon and it's in my wish list file....  anything you can provide on an Achaar recipe, I'd appreciate it....  I spent yesterday looking up Achaar on the web and couldn't really find a "recipe" so to speak, just different ingredients that are added....  I read up on Black Garlic and supposedly it's health benefits are 100 time more beneficial that raw.....   Thanks for the reply......



post #18 of 18

Now, this is all very interesting.....the Internet is a marvelous thing. Here's Vaycon finding us off Google and bringing up an Indian condiment called Achaar that we are now all looking into to. Now I must look into Black Garlic.....

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