Garlic is a versatile, healthy and delicious ingredient in a multitude of recipes. The best part? Growing it at home is not difficult at all! You just need to be careful as his teeth rot in a short time when he's not properly dehydrated. But don't worry: you can use some strategies to preserve the product. Read the tips in this article and learn how to store garlic in optimal conditions, as well as peeling and cutting the heads and teeth to improve the dehydration process itself. Otherwise, clear all your doubts with the tutorial below!
Method 1 of 3: Dehydrating Garlic Heads
Step 1. Harvest the garlic six to eight months after planting, when the lower leaves start to wither
Start inspecting the plant every week after five or six months and see if the lower leaves are starting to wither and turn brown. When that happens, clean your garlic cloves. If the heads are large and the teeth are fully formed, dig around the plant using a spatula and pull it out of the ground as soon as it loosens.
- Dig a 3-inch to 15-inch hole under the garlic head if the stalks don't come out of place. You will be able to break the roots and extract the plant more easily. In any case, it is generally not difficult to harvest by hand.
- This method is valid for all varieties of garlic, although some species are easier and faster to dehydrate than others. Dehydration time is often directly linked to head size.
Step 2. Remove the remaining soil from each head with your hands
Place the garlic stalks on a table or kitchen counter, with the heads facing down. Take the first one and tap it lightly with your hands to remove the dirt. Then repeat the process with the rest.
- Separate exposed cloves and garlic heads for immediate use. They were certainly already dehydrated before harvesting (and, even if that's not the case, it will happen in a short time).
- Do not wash unpeeled garlic. This only makes the vegetable retain water, which hampers the rest of the process.
Step 3. Cut the roots with sharp scissors
Hold the first garlic by the stalk, close to the head, and cut the root under it with sharp scissors. Repeat the process with all the plants, but try not to extract the leaves.
- You have to remove most of the roots, but you don't have to worry about all of them.
- You can also cut the stalk of garlic if it's not green anymore. Each head continues to receive nutrients from the stem as it dies, but it doesn't do any good when it's wilting for good.
Step 4. Choose a dry, medium temperature place to dehydrate the garlic
Think of a place in the house that is not directly exposed to sunlight and has an average temperature of 24 to 27 °C. It's not hard to find a spot like this in most of Brazil, since it's a tropical country here. Just be careful with temperatures that go beyond that.
- You can dehydrate the garlic in a cooler place, but the process takes longer than usual.
- Garlic can start to rot or even develop new stems if the temperature goes above 32°C.
- Try to choose a well-ventilated location, but remember that temperature is the top priority.
Step 5. Hang the garlic heads or leave them on the table or counter
You can dehydrate garlic lying down or standing up, as long as each head has enough room and doesn't get suffocated. In addition, you can also tie three to five plants with a piece of string and hang vertically on a hook or something.
if the garlic stalk is too hard, wrap it in a warm, damp towel and secure it with a little rubber to soften the plant before putting it away for good.
Step 6. Allow the garlic to dehydrate for a period of ten to 14 days
Place the garlic in a cool, sun-protected environment and do not touch it during this time. Wait at least ten days, but check it out every now and then.
The garlic will be dehydrated when the teeth get hard and the skin on the head starts to fall apart
Method 2 of 3: Dehydrating Minced Garlic Pieces
Step 1. Cut the stalk and peel off the garlic heads with scissors
Then peel the outside of the first head with your finger or a knife - being careful not to pierce and damage the teeth.
- If you've dehydrated garlic outside the home, take it to the kitchen after removing the outer skin from the heads.
- You may have to slowly dehydrate the garlic heads if you don't have a large dehydrator at home.
Step 2. Separate and peel individual garlic cloves
Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a sheet of paper towel or a tea towel. After removing the outer shell, separate the teeth from the head and remove the inner shell from each. Finally, put everything on a clean kitchen board.
Dry your hands thoroughly after washing so as not to accidentally wet the garlic
you can also mash the garlic with a flat object, such as a second kitchen board or the blade of a knife. This makes life easier when removing almost all the shell at once. And don't worry: the shape of the garlic will change anyway later on!
Step 3. Chop the garlic into small pieces of 1.5 cm
Take a sharp knife after separating the garlic cloves on the kitchen board. Then cut each one into five to ten small pieces no more than 1.5 cm each.
You have the option to chop the garlic into even smaller pieces. This can even change the speed of the dehydration process a little, but the difference is not that big
Step 4. Spread the garlic pieces on the dehydrator trays
Take the trays out of the dehydrator and place them on the kitchen counter. Then distribute the garlic pieces evenly spaced over them.
Preheat the dehydrator in the meantime
Step 5. Dehydrate the garlic at 45°C for six to eight hours
Do not go above 45 °C, as the internal temperature of the garlic pieces must not exceed 60 °C. Leave them in the dehydrator for six to eight hours and take them off when they are crispy and hard. Finally, you can treat the garlic as you like before storing it: chopped, crushed or even powdered.
Method 3 of 3: Storing Dehydrated Garlic Pieces
Step 1. Braid the garlic to preserve the heads longer
Place three garlic heads side by side, with the stems overlapping. Then braid them two or three times and tie the end with a piece of string. Put two or three more heads on top of the previous ones and repeat the process little by little until you have something between eight and 12 heads. Finally, tie everything with more string.
- Cut off the stems that protrude from the braid with sharp scissors.
- Be careful, the garlic can fall apart if it's too hard. That's why you need to wrap the vegetable in a damp towel (as stated above).
Step 2. Hang the braid on a clothesline or hook in the kitchen for six to 12 months
Tie the braid to the structure from the last stem and the rest of the string. Use the clothesline (in a covered part of the house) or a hook made specifically for this purpose and set the time for no more than six to 12 months.
this process helps to dehydrate the garlic, but it is usually not necessary. Separating each head also has the same effect!
Step 3. Store the stemless garlic heads at room temperature for four to six months
If you don't want to hang the braided garlic, cut the stems with sharp scissors and place the individual heads in a grocery bag or fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. The vegetable lasts from four to six months under these conditions.
If possible, store the garlic in a place where the temperature is around 16 to 18 °C (again, away from direct sunlight)
Step 4. Store the minced garlic in an airtight container for two to three months
If you used a dehydrator, put the garlic pieces in an airtight container and cover tightly. Leave the vegetable on the kitchen counter at room temperature for two to three months.
- If possible, store the garlic in an area of the house that is not between 16 and 18 °C.
- Put a dark towel around the container to protect the garlic from sunlight.
- You don't need to dehydrate the garlic you buy from the market or grocery bag. It comes ready for consumption.
- Some people use the term "cure" which is synonymous with dehydrating garlic.