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Pickled Garlic is Delicious!

Posted by Matthew Garlic Shaker / garlicshaker.com on

These recipes yield the most delicious pickled garlic, ever. Why not try pickling garlic? But pay close attention to the directions. Cleanliness and sterilization are absolutely mandatory.

Pickled garlic is a delicacy that is loved by many people. These pickled garlic recipes should be shared with your friends and family. Pickling garlic can be a very fun way to preserve delicious garlic for the long-term. Many people pickle a variety foods because it is a popular hobby. You can store freshly grown foods for long periods of time and the taste is delightful. Pickling is a process of preserving food through anaerobic fermentation in brine or vinegar. The result is called a pickle which is often the common name for pickled cucumbers. Because the PH is extremely low when food is stored this way almost all bacteria is killed. Pickling can preserve perishable foods months or in some cases years.

To make the pickling process work to produce the best results; use of antimicrobial herbs and spices is the best practice. Common herbs and spices such as; mustard seed, garlic, cinnamon or cloves are often added to the vinegar or brine prior to storage. A well sterilized environment and personal hygiene is also critical to the process of pickling garlic. Make sure to wash your hands, wear clean fresh brand new gloves, and thoroughly sterilize all canning items and utensils in boiling water.

To pickle garlic you will first want to start with the absolute freshest garlic you can obtain. It is preferable to use garlic that is grown organically because you can be absolutely certain there are no pesticides or chemicals on the garlic. You can choose any type of garlic you prefer, but if you use non-organic garlic make sure you clean and scrub the garlic thoroughly. Make sure it is unspoiled too. Verify there is no dirt or soil of any kind on the cloves. If there is any dirt on the garlic wash it completely clean. Dirt and soil can have microorganism that are dangerous in the pickling process or can ruin the flavor. If you always start with the very best freshest highest quality garlic you can find it will ensure that you have a delicious end product.  

How to peel garlic for pickling. Break apart garlic cloves. Remove cloves from extra material. Put cloves into Garlic Shaker ®. Close lids of the kitchen gadget. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Open. Pour out peeled cloves.

Wash the cloves thoroughly with water and remove any remaining skin or leaves. Rinse and wash completely. The next step is to use is to use canning or pickling salt. Do not use iodized table salt! The iodine in common table salt will cause the brine or vinegar to become cloudy and even change the colors and textures of the vegetables being pickled. Iodized salt will also leave sediment in the bottom. These effects are very undesirable.

You will also want to use white distilled or cider based vinegars with 5% acidity. White vinegar is absolutely preferred and highly recommended for pickling garlic because it will maintain the light color of the cloves. You can also use apple cider vinegar if you prefer the taste, but it while change the color of the garlic to a brown almost milky look and we do not advise using it for that reason. For a crisp, bright, white color you will want to stick with white vinegar for sure.

The next step is to put the clean cloves into a large mixing bowl and spread a layer of salt generously over the top. The best practice is to cover it and let it sit overnight in a dry cool place. 24 hours later discard any liquid that has accumulated from the salt removing the water and moisture from the garlic. This process makes them crispier prior to pickling.

One of the great pleasures of the pickling process is that you can customize the flavor to suit your particular taste buds. This does not mean you should mess around with the water or the vinegar mixture at all. The balance of that ratio has to stay stable for taste and safety reasons. But you can be as experimental as you like with the various seasonings you choose to use in your garlic pickles. However, do not mess around with the salt ratio. Salt has two very specific critical functions in the process of making pickled garlic. It draws the water out of the garlic which creates room for the vinegar to brine. Then the salt will settle in the space it has created inside the garlic cloves. Second, salt acts as a preservative by keeping your garlic pickles fresh and tasty for a longer period of time. Salt is critical to pickling and we recommend using the highest quality salt you can find. It will directly affect the flavor of the garlic pickles. 

You will want to measure or weigh your contents carefully. The proportion of garlic to the other ingredients will affect the flavor and often safety of the food.

Pickling Measurements

Pickling salt 1 pound = 1–1/3 cup
Granulated sugar 1 pound = 2 cups
Brown sugar 1 pound = 2–1/4 to 2–3/4 cups, firmly packed
Fresh herbs 1 tablespoon = 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried herbs

You have sterilize your canning jars. This is a critical step in the pickling process. Do not skip it. Start with USDA recommended tempered-glass jars that are free of cracks or nicks. Look for jars that have a two-part vacuum cap consisting of a flat, gasket-lined metal lid and metal screw band. (Note: The flat metal lid is not reusable.) I do not recommend using recycled jars or old school home canning jars. They break too easily.


You have to sterilize your canning jars. This is a critical step in the pickling process. Do not skip it. Start with USDA recommended tempered-glass jars that are free of cracks or nicks. Look for jars that have a two-part vacuum cap consisting of a flat, gasket-lined metal lid and metal screw band. (Note: The flat metal lid is not reusable.) We do not recommend using recycled jars or old school home canning jars. They break too easily and are hard to sterilize. Avoid them completely.

After you purchase your canning jars, wash them, and the bands with hot water and rinse thoroughly. Put on a clean dry rack. Next fill a large clean pot with empty jars, right side up, and completely cover them with clean water. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat, and boil them for fifteen minutes minimum. Turn off the heat and add the canning lids to the pot. The best way to keep everything clean is to use tongs, not your hands when dealing with the sterilized items in the pot. If you must use your hands sterilize them by washing with hot soapy water and then using antibacterial gel (We highly recommend using brand new sterile gloves, as opposed to bare hands if possible). Leave everything in the water for at least ten minutes, up to an hour. Put garlic cloves in boiling water for 30 seconds; immediately immerse in cold distilled water, drain and peel cloves.

Place clean jars in a boiling water canner; fill with water, bring to a boil. Boil snap on lids 5 minutes minimum to soften sealing compound. They must be sterile!

When you are ready to fill each jar, use the tongs to remove the jars one at a time. Pour out the hot water and allow to drip dry for a 30 seconds on a paper towel. Then set the jar open-side up, on a clean paper towel and while jars are still hot, fill them with the warm ingredients to highest possible point. ( CAUTION): adding hot ingredients to a cool jar may cause it to crack, make sure it is warm not hot). Use the tongs to remove the lids from the pot. Remove any bubbles or air pockets by skimming them off the top. Do not leave any bubbles or residue around the rim or top of the mixture. Put the over the contents and seal the jars tightly. Be sure to refrigerate after mixture is cooled to room temperature. They will not last forever though. This is a common myth. Do not keep pickles older than one year for any reason. Be sure to refrigerate and your pickles will last a very long time – up to one year. We prefer to eat them within six months for optimal flavor.

1) Tangy spicy pickled garlic recipe measurements

  • 12 large heads garlic, 1 ¾ lbs. 
  • 2 ½ cups of white vinegar 
  • 1 cup of dry white wine 
  • 1 tbsp. of pickling salt 
  • 1 tbsp. of granulated sugar 
  • 1 tbsp. of dried oregano
  • 5 dried whole chili peppers

2) Garlic dill pickle recipe

  • 12 -15 large heads of fresh garlic, 1 ¾ lbs. Peel multiple cloves of garlic.
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups of white vinegar
  • Combine vinegar, water, and salt into saucepan and bring to a slow rolling boil. Remove hot sterile jars from canner.
  • 1 head of fresh dill or 1 tsp of dill seeds into the jar
  • Pack it full of garlic cloves and dill.
  • Pour the boiling vinegar, water and salt mixture over the dill and garlic in the jar.
  • Leave about ½ inch of rim space at that top of the jar
  • Clear off all bubble using a sterile spoon

For each recipe follow these steps but modify the spices to taste. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, wine, pickling salt, sugar and oregano. Bring to a boil for 1 minute; remove from heat. Add peeled garlic cloves to hot vinegar mixture. Stirring it constantly for one minute. 

Garlic and one dried whole chili pepper into a hot jar to within 3/4-inch of top rim. Add hot liquid to cover garlic to within 1/2-inch of top rim. Using a spatula, remove air bubbles completely (critical). Wipe jar rim completely clean and remove any stickiness.Snap lid onto jar and then apply screw band until it is fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat with remaining garlic and liquid. 

Cover canner and then return water to a rolling boil. Process the boil filled jars for 10 minutes. Remove the sterilized jars (No sooner than ten minutes, the longer the better). Allow the canning jars to remain undisturbed for twenty four hours as the jars to cool off. Check and verify jar seals are intact and completely sterile. Sealed lids curve downward when they are correct. Remove screw bands and then wipe the dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars. Label and store in a very super clean, cool, dark place.

Wipe the rims of the jar clean for a good seal after filling and just before putting the lid on. Make sure the jar lids are brand new because they will form the tightest seal. You will also want to avoid rust, so remove the screw bands from processed jars that are stored. Label and date your pickled garlic jars and store them in a clean, cool, dark place such as a pantry, cabinet, or basement. Do not store in a warm or hot spot. Store in a cool, dry, sterile place. Allow the flavors to blend and mellow. Wait at least three weeks before eating. Makes five 250 oz. jars.

  • NOTE: If your garlic pickles aren’t crisp and come out soft or squishy it is likely that you didn’t measure the water and vinegar accurately. Also, if you process everything for too long in the boiling water you will end up with soft garlic too.
  • NOTE: For elevations higher than 1,000 ft. you need increased processing time. Add 5 minutes at 1,000-3,000 ft.; add 10 minutes at 3,001-6,000 ft.; add 15 minutes at elevations higher than 6,0001 ft.
  • NOTE: It is always better to use distilled water if possible. While the boiling process will kill any bacteria, viruses, or organic matter in tap or municipal water, there are still other contaminants in public water such as; fluoride, heavy metals and other compounds and chemicals. While generally considered safe for public consumption in trace amounts – they could negatively affect the flavor of your garlic pickles and in some cases cause other contamination issues in the pickling process. We highly recommend distilled water for these reasons.

Two Spicy Pickled Garlic Recipes 


  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 cups peeled garlic cloves
  • 12 coriander seeds
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 3 dried hot chilies, split
  • 4 jalapenos
  • Hot sauce of choice. 
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 1 bay leaf, torn into three pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons canning salt


Bring water to a boil. Add garlic and boil 1 minute. Do not boil any longer or you will ruin the flavor. 

Divide coriander, peppercorns, chilies, allspice and bay leaf among three hot half-pint jars. Drain garlic and pack into jars to within 1/2 in. of the top.

Combine vinegar, sugar and salt jalapenos and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Carefully pour hot liquid over garlic, leaving 1/2-in. at the top. Remove all air bubbles and adjust, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Clean rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until hand tight.

Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

The time for various altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.


What You'll Need

  • 4 to 6 heads garlic
  • 1-pint jar
  • 3 dried red chiles, such as Arbol (optional)
  • 1 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

How to Make It

1.Bring pot of water to a boil. Separate the garlic into individual cloves. Put cloves into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Rinse the cloves with cold water. Peel the cloves with a Garlic Shaker®.

2.Pack the cloves in the pint jar and arrange the chiles in a jar, too, if you like.

3.Combine the vinegar, salt, and sugar, stirring until the salt and sugar fully dissolve. Pour the mixture over the garlic cloves to cover them completely. Put on the lid after wiping all of the inside of the lid clean. It must be sterile and store it in the refrigerator for at least 1 month before using. Spicy pickled garlic will keep, chilled, for at least a year.

REMINDER:Maintaining the very highest possible level of cleanliness by washing hands completely with hot water and soap is paramount to keeping your pickling process bacteria free. We always recommend using tongs, or gloves, even after cleaning hands to maintain sterile conditions throughout the pickling process. 

WARNING: Recipe is for home canners to preserve garlic in a commonly available boiling water canner. It is best if you have some previous experience or work with someone who has pickled garlic before. Do not deviate or change recipe or ingredients; quantities, jar size and processing method or time. Do not change or skip the sterilization process. Any change could affect the safety of the end product. If you have any doubt you have followed the directions correctly, please throw out the batch. Pickling if done right is great, if not it can produce food borne illnesses such as botulism. Do not attempt to eat if you are not 100% confident you have followed the directions precisely. Do not store in a warm or hot spot. Allow the flavors to blend and mellow. Wait at least three weeks before eating.

Too make these recipes you will need peeled garlic. Watch this video to learn more about the best garlic peeler for sale

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