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I noticed recently at my favorite produce market that they sell garlic cloves that have been peeled, in bags of about ten or fifteen. Is pre-peeled garlic any good? Does refrigerating garlic affect how it tastes when cooked? How long does the stuff last? I can see how it might be convenient to buy this occasionally. Thank you.

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

asked about 4 years ago
12 answers 2853 views
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added about 4 years ago

I don't like using it most of the time - most of the garlic is grown and/or peeled in China, so I'd rather support my local. That said, if I'm doing chicken with 40 cloves of garlic or some other garlic-heavy dish, my ethics go out the window and I buy it to save time..

It's super stinky though - so I try to buy it right before I'm going to use it, otherwise the fridge gets really fragrant.

Mrs._larkin_370
mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

added about 4 years ago

Ditto on the stinkiness level. I'd buy it only if I were feeling really really lazy, which is usually most of the time, but fresh-bought local garlic is sooooo much better.

Dsc_0048b
added about 4 years ago

I think that if the market is simply peeling the cloves for you and they are still local garlic, then if the time saving will help with certain dishes using a good number of cloves, then why not? For one or two cloves, peeling doesn't take much time at all. The only real questions are whether refrigeration will harm them and how long they last. 10 or 15 cloves is only about two heads - in my house that would go in a week or two. I suspect that they would keep that long. As to refrigeration, I sometimes throw whole heads into the veg bin when it's hot an humid and I don't notice any decrease in flavor. I do zip them in a ziploc or put them in a tight sealing frigoverre type container, though.

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added about 4 years ago

I'd take a good look at the peeled garlic. Ideally, garlic cloves should be pretty whitish when you use them, and pre-peeled garlic will almost always be very yellowed and not very fresh.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 4 years ago

AJ and I live in the same state and I'm thinking that those packaged garlic cloves are probably Christopher Ranch out of Gilroy (which for us would be local, halfway between us). The way I use them is a shortcut to a Keller recipe which I highly recommend; you poach them in oil for about 40 minutes, seal in a jar and old in the refrigerator. The cloves are there when you need them, and the oil itself is highly perfumed and swell for other uses.

Desert
added about 4 years ago

Professionally I've been using peeled garlic from Christopher Ranch when it deems necessary (need of large quantity) and have had great success with recieving a quality product. Just because it's not in it's own husk doesn't mean it's not as good. I recieve whole heads of garlic all the time of a varied quality. They do however have a problem of longevity. They start growing mold fairly quickly in thier plastic bag or container in refridgeration.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 4 years ago

I will second Donny's answer with regard to shelf life for peeled and packed garlic. It doesn't last long, which is why I take it to the Keller "confit" stage. I have some in my fridge right now if you'd care to taste it.

Desert
added about 4 years ago

I agree with pierino. The "keller" confit stage is the best way to store it for long term use. If I don't use the peeled garlic fresh within a couple days I poach in olive oil as well and usually take some to the next stage and put it in my little food processor and turn it into a paste and put it in a small canning jar to add to so many things. So I can either add the paste to garlic bread, dough or to a sauce or use the whole garlic to sauted vegetables or bread dough. Love it.

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added about 4 years ago

Please be extremely careful when storing garlic in olive oil. It is a low acid vegetable and that method of storage can be a breeding ground for botulism. Please read about this thoroughly before proceeding.

Desert
added about 4 years ago

Thanks Skooj-were actually talking about poaching the garlic cloves in olive oil and then straining them from the oil and storing them in a jar free from oil. It just leaves the garlic clove as if they were roasted. They turn out soft on the inside with the skin holding them together. This is my opinion of the perfect roasted garlic. Doing this allows for even cooking all the way through without any bitter dark over cooked spots on the garlic as you can get when roasting.

Birthday_2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

about 5 yrs ago the nyt dining section ran an article on this. recommended the pre peeled for chicken with forty cloves of garlic. bought some but prefer to peel my own after trying it. since i am an amateur cook i cook to relax not to be efficient.

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added about 4 years ago

I've been using both Christopher Ranch and peeled cloves I get at my Whole Foods market for years, but I seal them 5 to 10 at a time in my Foodsaver vacuum sealer. They freeze quite well and stay potently fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.