This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Probably the most asked question in r.f.p.
>From Carol Nelson :
After the garlic is harvested, it can be stored in mesh bags or slatted
crates or hung in braided ropes or bunches. Any cool, well-ventilated place
will do for storage through the winter months. In very cold areas, the
bulbs should be protected from freezing. The ideal storage temperature for
garlic is 32-38F at less than 70% humidity.
All garlic placed in the freezer should be tightly wrapped. Garlic
can be frozen in three ways:
(1). Chop or grind the garlic you want to freeze. To use just grate or
break off the amount you need.
(2). Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as you need them.
(3). Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender using 2 parts oil
to 1 part garlic. The puree will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape
out amounts to use in sauteeing.
Peeled cloves may be submerged in wine and stored in the refrigerator.
The garlic can be used as long as there is no sign of mold or yeast growth
on the surface of the wine. Both the garlic and wine may be used.
Garlic can be dried and made into garlic powder and garlic salt. Select
only fresh firm cloves with no bruises. Separate and peel the cloves.
Small cloves can be cut in half and large cloves should be cut in 1/4 inch
slices. Dry at 140F for 2 to 3 hours or until garlic is crisp. Grind
using a coffee grinder, or add salt and grind, depending if garlic powder
or garlic salt is desired.
Raw or cooked garlic and/or fresh herbs in oil may be STORED IN THE
REFRIGERATOR FOR NO LONGER THAN 3 WEEKS.
All this information comes from Oregon State University Extension bulletin
SP 50-701 (Herbs and vegetables in oil) and SP 50-645 (Preserving Garlic).
[There are also several preserving garlic recipes in Henriette Kresses'
>From Ross Reid:
My wife and I are true garlic lovers and we grow several hundred feet
of row of various cultivars, both soft neck and hard neck varieties.
Plus, we have for years made garlic oil in the manner noted above.
However, during my surfing of various garlic sites on the web I came
across the following information and copied it for future reference.
Unfortunately, I neglected to make a note of the source.
Regardless of its flavor potency, garlic is a low-acid vegetable. The
pH of a clove of garlic typically ranges from 5.3 to 6.3. As with all
low-acid vegetables, garlic will support the growth and subsequent
toxin production of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum when given the
right conditions. These conditions include improper home canning and
improper preparation and storage of fresh herb and garlic-in-oil
mixtures. Moisture, room temperature, lack of oxygen, and low-acid
conditions all favor the growth of Clostridium botulinum. When
growing, this bacterium produces an extremely potent toxin that causes
the illness botulism. If untreated, death can result within a few days
of consuming the toxic food.
STORING GARLIC IN OIL
Extreme care must be taken when preparing flavored oils with garlic or
when storing garlic in oil. Peeled garlic cloves may be submerged in
oil and stored in the freezer for several months. Do not store garlic
in oil at room temperature. Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room
temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin
(low acidity, no free oxygen in the oil, and warm temperatures). The
same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. At least three
outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been
reported in North America.
By law, commercially prepared garlic in oil has been prepared using
strict guidelines and must contain citric or phosphoric acid to
increase the acidity. Unfortunately, there is no easy or reliable
method to acidify garlic in the home. Acidifying garlic in vinegar is
a lengthy and highly variable process; a whole clove of garlic covered
with vinegar can take from 3 days to more than 1 week to sufficiently
Needless to say, we no longer make our garlic oil by peeling a bunch
of cloves and dropping them in a three liter bottle of olive oil.