Garlic is a close relative of onions and leeks, and like them it is indispensable to many of the world's cuisines. Its richly pungent flavor enhances any savory dish, and garlic has an enviable ability to complement other ingredients. Garlic is at its juiciest and mildest when freshly harvested. Over a period of months, it will slowly shrink as moisture evaporates, concentrating the flavor and making the bulbs more pungent. Garlic will keep for many months, but some prefer to dehydrate the cloves and preserve a milder flavor.
Things You'll Need
- Fresh garlic
- Paring knife or garlic rolling mat
- Airtight bags or containers
Purchase the freshest garlic you can find for dehydrating purposes. Farmers' markets and local farm stands are always the best choice, unless you grow your own.
Separate the cloves, and peel the skins away with a paring knife or garlic rolling mat. Cut smaller cloves in half, larger ones into three or four thick lengthwise slices.
Fill the trays of your dehydrator, arranging the garlic in a single layer with enough space between the pieces for air to circulate.
Set the temperature for 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for six to 12 hours, until the garlic is firm and leathery to the touch. Remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow the garlic to cool.
Package the garlic in airtight bags or containers, and store it in a cool dark place until needed. Well-dried garlic will keep for several months.
Tips & Warnings
- To make your own garlic powder, dry the garlic until crisp and then grind it in a spice grinder or food processor.
- Unless you are very fond of garlic indeed, it's a good idea to do this on your deck or patio. The smell of drying garlic can become oppressive after 12 hours.
- "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"; Harold S. McGee; 2004
- Gourmet Garlic Gardens; the Guide to Preserving Garlic; Bob Anderson; May 2011
- Food Dehydrator Book; How To Dehydrate --- Online Reference Guide; 2009
- Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images