How to Pickle Garlic

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Pickled garlic make a great hors d’oeuvres to serve at a party; a garnish, or a side addition to any meal. My pickled garlic started as an old french family recipe I grew up on, traditionally made with white vinegar. I like to make my pickled garlic spicy with apple cider vinegar. So I always make a couple jars with a hot pepper in them just for me.

Peeling garlic in mass can be tedious and time consuming, however I have an amazing trick to peel garlic that makes it so incredibly fast and easy, you will fall in love with if you use a lot of garlic.

Vinegar based pickling is a much faster process than fermentation pickling. In its quickest form, you'll just boil a vinegar solution, pour it over the the object of your pickling desire, let it all cool and stash it in the fridge.

For maximum preservation power, you'll want to brine the vegetables, then drain them, then boil them in a vinegar solution. Package the vegetables and liquid into jars, cover them in the remaining hot vinegar solution and can them.

Either way, the vinegar’s acetic acid will increase the the vegetables’ acidity and kill off any existing microorganisms, which will help prevent prevent short-term spoilage.

Special note: I have used raw and pickled garlic, to stave off an infection until I could get to modern medicine, it works.

This recipe makes about 6 to 7 x 1/2 pint or 250 ml jars.

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Step 1: Ingredients & Supplies

1 kg or 2 pounds Peeled Garlic

Red Tie Peppers if you like it hot.

Black Peppercorns

Apple Cider Vinegar

White Vinegar


Sea Salt or Coarse Pickling Salt

Measuring Cup

Table Spoon

Pickling Funnel



7 x 250 ml or 1/2 pint canning jars & lids.

Step 2: Peeling the Garlic

This is an amazingly easy way to peel garlic.

Break up a bunch of garlic and place it in a jar.

Close the lid and shake the jar vigorously until you see the skins coming loose.

Poor it out onto a bowl and separate the cloves from the skins.

Do this until you have 2 pounds or 1 kg of good garlic.

Step 3: Sorting the Garlic

Sort out any wilted or soft cloves of garlic.

You can cut off any bad spots and still use the clove.

You can use cloves that have started to grow however they can turn green from chlorophyll in the growing garlic.

They look a little funkey until the chlorophyll is bleached by the vinegar.

Step 4: Packing the Jars

Fill the jars to about 1/2 inch or 1 cm from the rim.

Sprinkle a few pepper corns on top.

Since I wanted a couple jars of spicy pickled garlic I added a Red Tie pepper to two of the jars.

Step 5: Making the Brine

In a saucepan, combine two cups apple cider vinegar, one cup water, and one tablespoon salt.

Bring the brine to a rolling boil and simmer until the salt dissolves.

Using a ladle and the pickling funnel, pour the brine over the garlic in the jars.

Place the lids on the jars loosely

Step 6: Sealing

Place the jars in a pot.

Add water to the pot and a splash of white vinegar. The white vinegar prevents minerals from the water collecting on the pot and the jars.

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat so it just simmers for ten minutes.

Tighten the lids and let the jars cool to room temperature.

You can now store the jars in a cool dark place or the refrigerator.

Step 7: Serve

Refrigerate for 3 days to 1 week before serving.

When the garlic is cured you can serve them whole as your favorite hors d’oeuvres or crushed and diced in your favorite dish.

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    5 Discussions

    Joerg Engels

    11 days ago

    Punch holes into the pepper or cut the top off, they can actually mold inside. You also get more aroma and pungency.

    4 replies