Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Drying garlic wasn't something I thought of doing until I read an article on making your own garlic powder. The article said how easy it was and that the dried garlic produced a superior product to what is available in the stores. Since we have been putting more emphasis on drying foods I decided to give it a try.
Easy is right.
Actually, the hardest (and most time consuming) part is peeling all the garlic cloves. The nice thing, though is it doesn't all have to be done at once.
After peeling the garlic I cut the larger pieces to somewhat the size of the smaller pieces so that the drying time would be fairly consistent.
We have a large screen with stainless screening on it that I use for drying fruits and vegetables. I simply placed the garlic on the screen, being sure the pieces didn't touch each other, set the screen on top of our ladder pot/herb rack and waited. A REALLY long time; months. Nothing molded and the garlic dried beautifully.
I also dried some by stringing it. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, but if you look at the photos on our food drying post you can see the garlic. Basically I used a kitchen string and embroidery needle and strung the pieces of garlic, spacing them out on the string so they were not touching each other as well. You want to have good air flow. I hung the strings off the pot rack and they dried in about the same time as the garlic on the screen. The hanging garlic looks like teeth hanging.....very interesting when company comes over.
You will know when the garlic is dry because it becomes very hard.
It can then be stored in an airtight jar and used in soups as you would use fresh garlic, or it can be ground into powder.
We use a coffee grinder and grind only small amounts at a time. That way we can have the powder very fresh. It has a much stronger flavor than store bought, and a little goes a long way.