Tangy and delicious, pickled garlic is a versatile treat that can be used in a variety of dishes or alone as a snack.
Do you have an abundance of garlic growing in your garden? Or maybe, you are just plain ol' obsessed with the stuff. Well, I have a flavorful way for garlic lovers to enjoy this pungent treat and add an exciting twist to their favorite dishes with this simple recipe.
Pickling garlic in a vinegar solution adds a satisfying tang to each clove. My recipe uses my pickling spice blend as the primary flavor component, however, you can customize the blend to add more or less of your favorite (and disliked) seasonings, or buy a store-bought blend instead.
Feel free to customize the recipe further by adding herbs like dill, or even making spicy pickled garlic by including a Thai pepper, or other chile peppers, in each jar.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Fresh Garlic cloves
- White vinegar - For a different flavor, feel free to use apple cider vinegar.
- Distilled water - You can substitute tap water, but it has the potential to discolor the brine. Distilled water will help prevent color change.
- White Sugar
- Pickling salt - Pickling salt is best because it doesn't have iodine, which will discolor the brine.
- Pickling spice - Either homemade pickling spice or buying some at local grocery stores is fine. My homemade pickling spice includes coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns, mustard seed, allspice berries, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, cloves, red pepper flakes and ginger.
- Pint jars - Quart jars can be used for larger batches.
How to pickle garlic
Pickling garlic is easy. Peel cloves and add the fresh cloves of garlic to pint jars along with pickling spices. Meanwhile, a pickling solution of white vinegar, water, sugar, and salt is simmered on the stovetop in a small saucepan until sugar and salt dissolve.
The hot vinegar mixture should be poured into the jars with the garlic. The hot pickling brine will slightly cook the garlic, softening it partially, which will allow it to take on the pickling flavors better. Finally, wipe jar rim and seal the jars. Place the filled jars in the refrigerator for at least a week before eating. (Careful, you will be handling a hot jar!)
Why did the cloves turn blue?
Garlic can discolor while pickling, but it is still safe to eat. Minerals in tap water, iodine in table salt, or excessive exposure to sunlight can all cause garlic to turn blue. To avoid this use pickling salt, which is iodine free, distilled water, and store in the refrigerator.
What to do with pickled garlic?
Refrigerator pickled garlic is easy to make at home and can be enjoyed as a simple snack, added to charcuterie boards, or a little bit added to your favorite dishes as a flavor booster. Try mincing it and adding this flavorful garlic to salad dressings, egg salad, German cucumber salad, mixing with sauerkraut, or a great addition to my charred corn salad. It is best added to your favorite cold dishes so the bright flavor isn't cooked out.
Can this recipe be used for canning?
Garlic is not a suitable vegetable for canning because it is a low acid food. Its low ph requires a pressure canner to process jars properly, however, doing so will cook most of the flavor out of the cloves, defeating the purpose. This recipe is best used for strictly for refrigerator pickling. Read more about safe storage of garlic here.
Easy Pickling Recipes
- Bar Pickled Eggs - Just like you'll find in taverns.
- Half Sour Pickles - Like your favorite deli.
- Quick Pickled Red Onions - Perfect for topping sandwiches or tacos.
- Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans - Bright dill flavor!
Can you do me a favor? If you enjoyed my post would you mind sharing it with your friends? You can see more of my recipes by liking me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. Otherwise, stay up to date by getting each new post sent directly to your inbox by subscribing today.
Pickled Garlic Recipe
- 4 cups peeled garlic cloves (about 1 pound)
- 1 ½ cups white vinegar
- ½ cup distilled water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pickling salt
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice (homemade or store bought)
- 2 pint jars
- Add peeled garlic cloves and pickling spice to sterile pint jars, divided evenly.
- Combine vinegar in a saucepan with water, sugar, and salt. Set over high heat to bring to a simmer, then reduce to low and cook until sugar and salt has dissolved.
- While vinegar solution is still hot, carefully pour the hot liquid into jars with garlic, leaving ½" of head-space. Remove any air bubbles and adjust head-space as needed.
- Wipe the top of the jar and seal with lids. Place jar in the refrigerator for at least a week prior to enjoying. However, additional weeks will improve the flavor. Use within 3 months.