Canning garlic isn’t usually done, but there are some circumstances where it might be worth a try.
Garlic is one of those crops that usually keeps well on its own. Harvest it in the late fall, braid it and hang it to dry before keeping it all winter in a cool, low humidity environment. The trick is…most vegetables and fruits want a high humidity root cellar.
To properly root cellar garlic, you need a completely different root cellar environment, and the book Root Cellaring actually recommends having two completely separate root cellars. Who has space for that?!?!
If your house is moist, or you live in a humid climate, storing garlic can be a challenge.
Garlic is a low acid food, like onions. Garlic can only be canned in a pressure canner. Even then, methods of canning garlic haven’t been tested by the USDA.
Garlic tends to lose flavor when it’s cooked for extended periods. If you’re pressure canning it, it’ll be cooking hot for a good long time.
According to the USDA, “Canning of garlic is not recommended. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that requires a pressure canner to be properly processed. Garlic loses most of its flavor when heated in this way. For this reason, adequate processing times have not been determined for canning garlic.”
The USDA has not bothered to test canning times for garlic, but just because they haven’t explicitly tested it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with canning garlic. This is one of those places where you need to use your best judgment, and acknowledge that if you are going to attempt to can garlic, that you’re not using a USDA approved method.
In theory, you could can garlic using the same method that’s approved for onions. They’re in the same family, and they’re similar in texture and composition. The recommended canning time is 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure for both quarts and pints.
Any whole onions need to be pearl onions, no bigger than 1 inch in diameter. Otherwise, the onions should be chopped. They also recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint for flavor, but it’s not necessary for preservation.
If you want to try pressure canning garlic (at your own risk), try the recipe below.
Canned Garlic Recipe
A basic recipe for pressure canning garlic. This method is not approved by the USDA.
- 2 cups garlic cloves peeled
- 1/2 tsp salt optional
- boiling water
Peel the garlic, and chop any extra large cloves.
Pack a pint mason jar with garlic cloves, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace.
Add one-half teaspoon of salt directly to the jar (optional).
Fill the jar with boiling water, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Attach 2 part canning lids and seal to finger tight.
Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes. Adjust pressure to altitude if you're above 1000 ft in elevation.
Again, just a reminder that there is no USDA Approved method for canning garlic, and if you choose to can garlic, you do so at your own risk.
Canning Pickled Garlic
This year, I hope to test whether not pressure canning garlic causes it to lose its flavor. The reality is though, pickled garlic might be a better option.
Anywhere I’d want to use canned garlic, a simple pickled garlic would work just as well. The acid from the vinegar brings out the garlic’s flavor, and a little extra salt added to my cooking is easy enough to balance out.
To can pickled garlic, make a brine with equal parts vinegar (5% acidity) and water. Add salt, somewhere between 1/2 to 1 tablespoon per cup of water, depending on your preferences.
Add in spices of your choice. Peppercorns are a particularly good choice for pickled garlic. You can also make dill pickled garlic by using this basic dill pickle recipe.
Well, whats the verdict? Did the canned garlic lose its flavor? Did you find any nice way to use either your canned or pickled garlic?
I can garlic every year. I find it doesn’t look one flavour but becomes more paste like. If you shake it, it becomes more saucy, but the cloves do hold their shape after the canning process.
I grow my own garlic that is usually ready to dig up in September. I tried canning peeled toes of it in a dill pickle brind – some with dill some without. I just opened a jar the other day (without dill) finding it crisp on outside but, sadly, soft/mushy on inside. I used processing pot/water bath instead of pressure cooker… curious if pressure cooker would allow garlic to remain crunchy. In the past I just poured hot brind over prepped dills, garlic & dill weed. Maybe I don’t need to process or pressure cook? Thoughts?
This is great. I’m not off grid…yet! But this will be awesome when I get there. Thanks!
I will b trying this with a zesty spice I use to make my hot sausages. Ty for the recipe
Were you able to find out if your garlic lost it’s flavor after pressure canning? What do you do with pickled garlic? Just eat it?
Pickling garlic is a great way to preserve your summer harvest of garlic for use over winter. It still tastes garlicky and can be used the same way you’d use fresh garlic.
I pickled garlic 2 years ago and it turned sweet after a year. I could drink the brine. Probably do good in garlic soup.
I’ve canned a lot of fruits and vegetables but never garlic I think I will give it a chance. I live in a state that produces lots of fruit and vegetables. Plus I grow a garden too Good luck everyone
when i did garlic i peeled it and and cut it up or minced it threw it in a pint jar and made hole and put vodka in to cover it. put it in the fridge. kept good didn’t lose its taste and you didn’t taste the vodka
Could you then water bath it? And how long do you think it should be water bathed for? Bought a qt jar of diced garlic because there were no smaller jars…
Garlic is a low acid food and cannot be canned in a water bath canner.
Im going to try a prep of garlic and basil processed, with salt and a dash of lime or lemon juice. My desire is an easy was to complete a pesto later, easily adding the oil and nuts, which are less canning stable. How long would others process is I’m going to use the tiny 1/2 cup jars and this would be more of a puree?
I don’t know that I would recommend canning pesto. Most people prepare it and then freeze it to keep the fresh flavor.
WELL, WHAT TO DO? IM DEHYDRATING
SLICED THIN AND DRY IT FOR GARLIC POWDER AND RICE FLOWER FOR CAKING
AND SPICES FOR RUBS, AND IT’S A TON A TON A TON did I mention a ton? A TON OF WORK
Have you pressure canned garlic in Olive oil?
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation garlic in oil should be made fresh, stored in the fridge and used within 4 days or it can be frozen for several months.
I have this question too… was thinking of trying to pressure can garlic confit. Has anyone had this experience?
The same would be true for the garlic confit. It is not safe to can garlic in oil. You can keep it in the fridge. I believe the recommended time is 2 weeks or you can freeze it.
@steve i also dry garlic in a dehydrator i like it sliced thin and the trick to that is to use a salad shooter you can buy
them at most department stores and on amazon. my daughter gave me one many years ago for xmas and it is still
going strong use the slicing disc and it is great i just put 5 trays in the dehydrator and i could have thinned them
out and made 6 but by then the smell was getting to me took maybe 15 minutes. super fast give it a try and you will use your salad shooter for a lot of things.
I have canned carmalized onions (i make a huge batch), and now am wondering if it is possible to can roasted garlic (no oil, no foil method) in the same fashion. Any ideas?
I guess it would certainly be worth trying. Let us know if you decide to try it out.
Will it turn it blue?
The blue color comes when garlic is exposed to an acidic ingredient for a long period of time such as lemon juice or vinegar. This recipe does not use any kind of acid so you don’t need to worry about it turning color.
I use whole garlic for our dill pickles. We opened some in the third year and the garlic cloves were still firm, almost crunchy.