Drying garlic at home is easy to do and requires no special equipment. It can be used to flavor soups and tomato sauces throughout the winter months. Many people make their own meat rubs, combining their own ingredients to make a special, one-of-a-kind spice rub for poultry, beef, pork and fish. In its dried form, it is convenient for camping and long-term storage needs.
The garlic can be dried either sliced thin for soups, stews and sauces or grated or chopped fine with in rubs and spice mixtures in a food processor, blender or sharp chef's knife to get small pieces that will dry quickly.
Fresh garlic bulbs
Sharp paring knife for peeling the garlic cloves
Large grater, food processor, or blender for processing the garlic
OR Large chef's knife and cutting board
Parchment paper for oven drying or waxed paper for air drying
Cookie sheets or air-drying trays
NOTE: Depending on the intended final use of the garlic, you might need a sharp chef's knife, if you are planning to thinly slice the garlic for drying.
1. Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and trim the hard end and the top end off with the paring knife.
2. Prepare the cloves by one of the following methods:
After the cloves have been separated, use the knife to cut them into thin slices and spread them out in a single layer onto the parchment paper. Place in an oven pre-heated to 170 degrees (or the lowest setting that your oven will heat to) and bake for 30 minutes or so. Check the garlic slices and turn if the slices are not dry. Because the slices are thin, they will dry fairly quickly. Check the slices every 15 minutes or so until they are shriveled somewhat and feel dry to the touch. Once the garlic slices are dry, store in a small jar in your cupboard, freezer or refrigerator out of direct sunlight.
Once the cloves are skinned, place the whole cloves in the food processor or blender bowl. Pulse several times to chop up fine, scraping the bowl down after each pulse. When the garlic has been chopped as fine as you want, remove the chopped garlic and place onto the drying tray and dry. At 170 degrees in the oven it will dry out quite fast, so keep an eye on it. When it feels dry, place the garlic into a jar with a tight fitting lid and store either in the freezer or in your cupboard out of direct sunlight. If you have a vacuum sealer with a jar lid vacuum sealer attachment, sealing the jars with a vacuum seal will help keep it fresher longer.