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Garlic: fresh or pre-peeled? I always buy fresh but the last cooking class I went to at canyon ranch, chef told me to quit wasting time peel

I feel funny about that, and it can't be as fresh, can it?

asked by palletdancer almost 5 years ago

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12 answers 8204 views
470a7ada 521d 4b9f a37c c2319269ee8b  kirsten gourmet 2014
added almost 5 years ago

I grew my own garlic this year, so I'll be peeling garlic forever. But if it's any help, I've taken to keeping a jar of minced ginger in my fridge. When I only need a Tbsp at a time, it's so much easier!

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Wholefoods user icon
added almost 5 years ago

Cook's Illustrated recommends buying the pre-peeled and freezing it. It preserves the flavor and saves a whole lot of time. I use a microplane grater, and grate it into my dish right from frozen - it defrosts almost instantly.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I like fresh garlic. One of the best tricks I learned on this site is how to just smash the clove with a meat pounder - the peel comes right off.

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4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

I use the side of my chef's knife to knock the garlic. (Sometimes you want to keep it whole) the skin slips off easily after that. I can't imagine why I would buy already peeled garlic. I want mine to be as fresh as possible.

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B0e51b35 a002 4fdd adc2 f06fa947184e  baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added almost 5 years ago

If you're using a lot of garlic every week, then go ahead and get the pre-peeled stuff. It's great. It's definitely fresh. The old stuff looks wrinkly if not discolored (sort of reddish and white). Every few months I get a bag of it (~1lb) from my Korean supermarket to make garlic oil and confit. It keeps in the fridge for about a week or so. Tends to keep longer if it is kept dry and refrigerated.

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9a61d3c7 2821 4579 8601 c61c43d1c19f  img 0472
added almost 5 years ago

I'd never get pre-peeled just because I've never minded using whole garlic! Just whack it with a knife presto, the peel separates. Seems like there isn't a huge difference according to previous posters so go with whatever you think would be easier for yourself.

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79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk
pierino

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

added almost 5 years ago

Another note; the pre-peeled stuff that you purchase in a jar has a remarkably short shelf life whereas whole unpeeled cloves can hang around for awhile. The idea of frozen garlic is, well, bleh! Restaurants do go through tons of garlic (and salt, and butter) but make your decision on how frequently you use it. It's one thing to peel two or three cloves (easy) but if you are using up maybe 100 than that's different.

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516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added almost 5 years ago

Yes, the two, three and four star restaurants may use bulk pre peeled, but in five star and Michelin starred restaurants they assign the peeling and chopping to the apprentice each morning.

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F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 5 years ago

Pierino and Sarah Reinertsen are spot-on. Commercial kitchens can't afford to basically have a person in the kitchen whose job is to do nothing but smash, peel, and mince garlic. At the same time, peeled garlic has a short shelf-life; it turns slimy and molds within about 7 to 10 days. Fortunately, most commercial kitchens go through it easily more rapidly than that (and they turn it into roasted garlic if it ends up on the cusp). So your chef's recommendation is great if you operate a restaurant; if not, smash, peel and mince your own. Here is an interesting conversation about peeling garlic:
http://food52.com/hotline...

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E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added almost 5 years ago

A friend who owns a restaurant that uses a lot of garlic points out that much of the bulk pre-peeled garlic comes from China. I've read that competition from inexpensive Chinese garlic has put a lot of pressure on California growers.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I totally agree with using a meat pounder to peel garlic. Give the clove a few good whaps and the peel should come right off. I know technically sometimes recipes don't want the garlic bruised - but whatever. If you don't want too much garlic flavor, just hold back a little of what you throw in the dish. Not only is this way easy, but it's fun too!!!

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