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Thread: Fresh garlic vs. jarred garlic -- what do you think?

  1. #1
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    Fresh garlic vs. jarred garlic -- what do you think?

    Hi all!

    I almost always use minced garlic in a jar since it is always in my refrigerator and so easy. I don't think I can tell the difference but was wondering am I crazy for doing this and do you think fresh garlic is worth the added hassle? Would love to hear.

    (I'm scared that there will be gasps when y'all read this message.)

  2. #2
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    I use jarred garlic, too, mainly for the convenience. I think that there is a difference between the fresh and the jarred, but I haven't made it a top priority except for on things where the garlic is a prominent ingredient - like the grilled portobellos, garlic butter.

    I think I'm going to try peeling some fresh garlic and leaving the cloves whole in a jar in the fridge. I'm not sure if they'll dry out, but it would be worth the experiment. Thay way I could peel the garlic when I have time.
    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

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  3. #3
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    No vampires in my house!

    Michele,

    I have never used garlic from a jar, so I can't make a comparison. I just love garlic- usually double the amount called for in a recipe- and I can't imagine not using fresh. I like chunks of it in my salads, sauces, vegetable dishes. The smell of roasting garlic emanating from the oven is heavenly; sauteing fresh garlic and onions on the stove, a dream. I'm actually weird enough to like the lingering smell of garlic on my fingers.

    Go for the fresh stuff, girl! You won't go back to the jar!
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  4. #4
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    I think some of our members may have fainted when they when they read the heading for this thread! ( ...just kidding, guys!)

    I generally prefer to use fresh, but if I'm pressed for time I will use the jarred stuff if it is for a dish that will be cooked or baked. If it's a dip or something where the garlic will stay raw, I always use fresh.

    I do keep a huge jar of chopped garlic in my fridge at all times. I always use it in my dog food and biscuits, because it is so convenient. It has come in handy during a couple of garlic emergencies!

    Chrisi

  5. #5
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    I'm a garlic-in-a-jar user as well. I'm sure it's a liitle different - but the convenience is too nice. Same with salad in a bag & pre-cut carrots. It's just too easy.

    By the way BlueMoose - dog food? Please tell me you don't make your own dog food! Ok - & now I have just read your name - dog chef. Is that a profession, or is it just for your dog?
    Last edited by Leanne; 08-03-2001 at 01:59 PM.

  6. #6
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    mmmmmmmmm garlic

    I love garlic and always use fresh...however it keeps longer in the fridge if you mince it all and put it in a jar than if you keep the bulbs around. My little veggie store sells pre-peeled garlic so I buy a little baggie, stick it in the food processor and I have lots of garlic on hand in the fridge

    JeAnne

  7. #7
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    DOes anyone know how long you can keep fresh garlic? Does it last longer if you peel the cloves and then stick them in the refrigerator or can you just leave the entire bulb sitting around for a while...

  8. #8
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    I love fresh garlic. I do keep a bottle of the minced, though, and use it in a couple recipes I have where garlic is baked into something. Then I don't think you can tell the difference as much. I think when you need to saute garlic in sauces, the fresh tastes a bit better.

  9. #9
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    I always use fresh garlic...I even have the garlic press in the first drawer since I use it so much.

  10. #10
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    I used to buy the huge bottles of jarred garlic at Costco for $3 each and use them for everything. In the last few months, however, I've rediscovered the taste and aroma of fresh garlic. I don't like mincing by hand much, and I never had a garlic press that didn't make me feel like I was wasting half the clove, since it seemed like most of it squished up along the sides! I have an OK press now, but because the majority of your reviews I'm taking the plunge and buying a Pampered Chef garlic press, and we'll see how that works.

    I still use the jar when it's a heavily-cooked item, but I try to keep fresh cloves convenient so I WILL use them as much as possible. So far, the best way to do that has been with my FoodSaver! I bought 4 heads of garlic last week when it was on sale. I separated and peeled the cloves (Chef's Knife on top, slam hand onto knife then 'pop') and put the peeled cloves in my smallest FoodSaver canister in the fridge. That way I've always got fresh ready to mince or press, and it doesn't go bad on me!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up Let's hear it for the fresh stuff!

    I used to use the jarred garlic sometimes, but mostly in soupy things that were going to cook a long time. If you try to sauté the jarred garlic, the wetness makes a lovely oil shower all over the stove, and the garlic quickly turns dark brown and bitter.

    But even in the soupy stuff, I found I had to use at least twice as much jarred garlic as fresh garlic to get the same amount of flavor -- and it was only the same amount, not the same rich flavor. So I no longer keep the jarred garlic around.

    Anyway, a good chef's knife, rocked back and forth across a peeled and cored clove of garlic, will work just as fast as a garlic press and clean up much faster. Or, for the long-cooking soupy stuff, I just peel the garlic and smash it with the side of the chef's knife. By the time the dish is done, the garlic has disintegrated.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  12. #12

    FRESH!!

    I can't imagine using jarred garlic! I have always used fresh and it just seems so easy that I can't imagine not. Especially since I got a garlic peeler - those are the best! I was recently reading that "Kitchen Confidential" book (that was discussed on another thread) and the author said "people who use garlic from a jar don't deserve to eat garlic" !! I'm not that extreme, use whatever suits you but I just love fresh. Plus isn't the jarred stuff packed in oil? I think that's what turns me off most is the added fat grams from the oil in the jar.

  13. #13
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    Leanne, I make food for my dog, but I also make biscuits which I sell.

    Peeps, I'll bet the people who wrote "kitchen Confidential" don't have 2 kids screaming at them when they are peeling and chopping their garlic! And no, the kind I buy isn't in oil.

  14. #14
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    As BlueMoose says, the jarred garlic we buy isn't packed in oil, and it's not really a salty brine either...I believe it's just water! There's not much water in there actually!

    I try to use fresh more and more now, and I know that this former jarred-only cook will be a fresh-only within months, using the jarred only occasionally!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  15. #15

    Fresh Garlic Only...

    ...this is one of those convenience items where fresh is worth the extra effort to me. And with a good garlic press, it's really not hard to mince your own. Now, I do admit that I use the mincer even when I really think that doing it by hand would be better when I'm feeling rushed or lazy (which is often!).

  16. #16

    Cool

    Chopping or pressing garlic = hassle? Never. It's fresh all the way for this baby-- I love the smell and the feel of the stuff. Undoubtedly, it is plastered all over my kitchen. I don't WANT to wash it off my fingers. I don't care if I have garlic breath. Is that deranged? So be it. Sure as Phoebe has her allegiance to beans, I have my affinity for garlic. I feel-- and undoubtedly smell-- very strongly on this point.

    ... and since someone asked...

    Per my "Food Lover's Tiptionary":

    Store fresh garlic in an open container (away from other foods) in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, unbroken bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks, through they'll begin to dry out toward the end of that time. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep from 3 to 10 days.

    According to the folks in the town of Gilroy, CA, whose chief product is their wonderful garlic, peeled fresh garlic may be dropped in olive oil and stored in the fridge for up to three months.

  17. #17
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    Talking

    Gail, I'm with you all the way! I love handling garlic. I even love plucking the cores slowly and lovingly out of the halved cloves. And then, ah yes, the lovely garlicky smell that lingers on the hands and in the air -- until (alas!) one must wash everything and so return to the mundane world again. Sigh.

    Aromatically,
    Phoebe

  18. #18
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    Well, I was just swimming in fresh garlic last weekend - we went to the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival. At this renowned food fest, there was every kind of garlic product you could imagine. One thing that there was tons of was all different kinds of jarred garlic - pickled garlic, olives stuffed with garlic, garlic braids, garlic bulbs, etc. And yes - there was plenty of garlic, preminced and in a jar. Now, most of the preminced garlic I saw was bottled in jars with not much else - and certainly not swimming in the oil like the brand with the blue lid that I always have found in my groceries. Christopher Ranch seems to be the biggest brand in Gilroy and their garlic products tasted delicious. So, my point is, if the garlic experts in Gilroy eat and sell bottled garlic too, why not everyone else. Now - I absolutely love fresh garlic and I also love the bottled stuff. The stuff that doesn't come drenched in oil tastes just like the fresh garlic that comes out of a press, in my opinion. I was very impressed and will buy that kind from now on too.

  19. #19
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    Pssssssssssstttt.......

    Keeganm....don't tell anyone, but I have been known to use (gasp!) .....garlic powder! I MIGHT even have some in my cupboard as we speak!

    Don't tell anyone!
    Chrisi

  20. #20
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    Another jarred garlic user here. I used to buy fresh, but like someone else said, with a child hanging on your leg and saying "mommy, mommy, mommy" all the time, sometimes its just easier to use the stuff in the jar.

    In a perfect world (back before child), I used fresh, but for the next five or so years, I will probably continue to use the jarred stuff. Ours comes in a minute amount of water.

    I will admit that I do occasionally make roasted garlic in the oven for putting on grilled burgers or just smearing on bagette slices. No hassle there though, just whack off the top, stuff it in a dish and pour olive oil around it.
    "You know I was talking to my friend Desdemona the other day she
    runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown. She told
    me that human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers
    took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the
    reason we're as crazy as we are and I believe it." Jimmy Buffet, Fruitcakes, 1994

  21. #21
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    Well thanks to BlueMoose and the other "jarred garlic" users, i don't feel completely inadequate! Thanks for the support guys! I tell you, while i know fresh is always better, I am so thankful for those short cuts out there that enables us moms-with-kids-hanging-on-to-our-pant-legs-at-dinnertime to get dinner on the table without killing ourselves. Thanks for the feedback.

  22. #22
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    Raise your hand if....

    How many of you have hunger triggered by the wonderful scent of garlic ...ok hands down.

    My stomach starts to growl, hungry or not, if I smell fresh garlic. I used to work at a kitchen store and we had a string of garlic cloves for sale hanging behind the counter. I would get off work at 9:30 CRAVING garlic breadsticks!
    ~Kim~

    Nashville Restaurant Examiner - check out my page
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    "Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
    Dave Barry

  23. #23
    Absolutely no reason to feel inadequate, Michele! I have two kids and am relieved that we cooks have so many convenience items at our disposal. Jarred garlic isn't one of the things I choose to use, but I'll bet I use items that you and others choose not to.

    A sane and happy mommy is the best gift you can give your children and they sure as heck don't care what kind of garlic you use!

  24. #24

    Smile Re: jarred garlic

    I use it mainly for convenience, although I do prefer fresh. If I'm making something special I'll go out of my way to use the fresh.

    amy

  25. #25
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    Not an issue for me anymore since you can't beat FREE! On one of my walks for exercise through our neighborhood last year, a lovely gentleman, who I had never met before and who lives about a mile away from us, stopped me and asked me if I would help him thin out the garlic in his yard by taking some bulbs home with me and planting them in my yard! He assured me that this was AGGRESSIVE garlic and that I would never have to buy another clove. He was right!!

  26. #26
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    I'll admit, I am a former bottle garlic user, but since receiving my PC garlic press I now use fresh all the time. It makes life so easy just popping the cloves into the press (skin and all) and presto ~~ pressed fresh garlic.

    Ann

  27. #27
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    Hi,

    I prefer fresh Garlic.

    I did just recently buy some garlic in a jar to try because someone said that was all he used and was very satisfied.

    The jarred stuff just dosen't do it for me, although if a person is in a hurry the jarred garlic probably is faster to use, but not for me because I have to hunt for it in the refrigerator, and the fresh garlic is in the garlic keeper in easy reach.

    I also use powdered Garlic and I just bought some dry garlic flakes to use when I'm in a hurry or to put into the Dog Biscuits I make for Katie. I don't know yet what she thinks of the Dog Biscuits with Garlic as I just made some today, but I can tell you they are a whole lot more fun to make with the aroma of garlic in the process, and if the cook is happy, well ---- everybody's happy.

    Ed
    http://www.recipecircus.com/recipes/Leo/
    Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again.

  28. #28
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    Fresh for Me...

    We love it so much, we grow our own.

    Kim, my hand is RAISED !

    (I even mince some fresh and put it on my salad for lunch, it drives my friends crazy, along with the fresh onions.)
    "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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