How to Dehydrate Garlic in an Oven
Garlic is ripe all at once. Put up your crop by dehydrating in an oven, then use your minced garlic year round. This tutorial shows you how.
I started this blog (and most of my posts are for) people like me who eat locally and seasonally from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Every once in a while, though, I've got posts for backyard gardeners. We're an intrepid bunch, looking to grow our favorites each year as well as try new things.
Many gardeners I've known start with tomatoes, because nothing beats a homegrown summer tomato. With tomatoes as the gateway vegetable I find that peas, peppers, squash and melons aren't far behind. Growing garlic is the next level up, and I've lost count how many folks I've encouraged to give it a whirl.
Where I've grown garlic--places that have some snowfall--I've found if tulip and daffodil bulbs will grow, so will garlic. [Never mind if your local varmints eat your tulip bulbs. In my experience the varmints don't have a taste for garlic.] You plant garlic in the Fall, and--this is why I'm posting now--harvest it all at once in early summer.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post on how I grow two crops in a single raised bed over the course of the year, garlic and basil. I've also shared, in one of my earliest posts, how I put up my garlic crop by roasting it. Today, though, I'd like to share how I dehydrated part of my garlic crop.
I saved out the solo garlic bulbs, the elephant garlic, and decided to mince and dehydrate them. I don't own a dehydrator, but my darling dog Robert Barker showed me how my oven has a some bells and whistles--one of them is a DEHYDRATE setting. It runs the convection oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, with the fan on and the door closed, which did a bang up job drying my garlic.
For more recipes using garlic or garlic scapes, please see my Garlic and Garlic Scapes Recipe Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.
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How to Dehydrate Garlic in an Oven
- Finely chop the garlic. I chose not to use my food processor because I was worried about making garlic paste. At work I've learned the value of a good sharp knife and a large cutting board, but last year I had neither. Instead, I used my Pampered Chef chopper thing. It did the trick of chopping the slices of garlic up finely, but not making a paste.
- Preheat convection oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread chopped garlic in an even thin layer on a piece of parchment paper.
- Place in preheated oven. Close door. Set timer for 30 minutes.
- When the timer dings, stir garlic, spread out in an even thin layer, and set the timer for 30 minutes again.
- Repeat Step 5 until the garlic is dry. For me this meant that when I pushed on a piece with my finger it did not 'give'. It was slightly darker than the original color but not browned at all. We're talking a tan/ecru/eggshell/light beige type of slight darkening. My garlic took 2.5 hours to dehydrate, and towards the end I was setting the timer for 15 minute increments.
- Remove from oven and let garlic cool completely before transferring to a jar.
- I store my dehydrated garlic in the freezer and add it frozen to soups, stews, and dough. I thaw it and mix in oil or stock or water when I am sautéing.
- I've kept this garlic for just about a year without noticing any change in quality.