How to Preserve Garlic: the Easy No-Bake Method to Preserve it Using Vinegar and Lemon

A simple method can help preserve garlic, avoiding seasonal shortages and the need for imported varieties. The technique involves garlic, vinegar, salt, lemon slices, bay leaves, and water, keeping garlic fresh for four months. For longer storage, refrigerate, or re-boil and reseal after four months for up to a year. Caution is urged against storing garlic in olive oil due to botulism risk.

By Cookist
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Garlic is a culinary staple around the globe, lending its pungent aroma and rich flavor to countless dishes. However, garlic lovers often face a seasonal dilemma: after the harvest, there's a gap before fresh, locally grown garlic returns to market shelves. This lull forces many to turn to imported varieties, often of lesser quality. But there's a simple, quick, and effective method to preserve garlic, avoiding the need for foreign imports. The following technique requires no baking and keeps garlic fresh for up to four months.

A Quick and Easy Garlic Preservation Method

To preserve garlic for months, gather 2 kilograms of garlic, 300 milliliters of apple vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons of coarse salt, 1 teaspoon of fine salt, 4 thin lemon slices, 2 bay leaves, and 2 glass jars.

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Start by cutting the stems off each garlic bulb, removing most of the outer skins. Submerge the heads in a bowl of water, stir thoroughly, and drain. Next, place the garlic into the jars, distributing a bay leaf and two lemon slices in each. In a separate bowl, dissolve the salts into the vinegar, stirring well. Pour this mixture into the jars, filling them with water before sealing tightly. This technique ensures garlic stays fresh for an extended period.

How to Store Preserved Garlic and Make it Last Even Longer

After sealing, store the jars in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or refrigerator. Refrigeration is particularly useful in warmer climates, as it helps maintain the garlic’s freshness. For those seeking a year-long storage solution, an additional step can extend garlic's longevity. Once the garlic has marinated for four months, consider re-boiling the contents, repeating the preparation method, and resealing. This renewal process allows for an additional eight months of storage, pushing the total to a full year.

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Storing Garlic in Olive Oil: Pros and Cons

Another potential storage method is to submerge garlic cloves in olive oil. While this creates a flavorful infusion that’s useful in cooking, it poses health risks. Garlic submerged in oil can become a breeding ground for botulism, a dangerous toxin-producing bacterium. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid storing garlic in oil at room temperature. If you do choose this method, store the mixture in the refrigerator, and consume it within a week to mitigate the risk.

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