If you love pickles and you love garlic, this pickled garlic recipe is super simple to make and keeps in the refrigerator for a few months! Not suitable for canning.

A portrait photo of a canning jar of picked garlic. The garlic is in the brine surrounded by dill and chili flakes. There is a bottle of dos exis in the background along with a white bowl, and the jar's lid is to the right of the jar. There is a silver relish fork to the right of the jar.

Recipe tips:

  • WARNING: This recipe is not suitable for shelf-stable canning. Obviously people (or companies) sell shelf-stable pickled garlic, but I am not an expert in this area and garlic has a propensity to develop botulism. So, if you make this recipe, you MUST store it in the refrigerator. Even if you seal the jars with a water bath. Refrigerate!  “Canning of garlic is not recommended. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that requires a pressure canner to be properly processed. Garlic loses most of its flavor when heated in this way. For this reason, adequate processing times have not been determined for canning garlic.”
  • Refrigerator storage: The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises the garlic and vinegar mixture be in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. It’s safe to use the flavored liquid for other things. Discard if you see any signs of mold or yeast growth.
  • Blue garlic: Sometimes pickled garlic turns blue or turquoise when you pickle it. It’s completely normal and still safe to eat and you don’t need to worry. You can read all about the chemistry of garlic here (and exactly why it may or may not turn blue). To prevent the bluish color:
    • User kosher salt or sea salt to avoid iodine
    • Use stainless steel or enamel cookware and utensils (avoid copper, aluminum, cast iron, and tin cookware and utensils)
    • Reduce chlorophyll production by avoiding sunlight
    • Use distilled water to avoid the trace minerals found in tap water.
A square photo of a canning jar of picked garlic. The garlic is in the brine surrounded by dill and chili flakes. There is a bottle of dos exis in the background along with a white bowl, and the jar's lid is to the right of the jar. There is a silver relish fork to the right of the jar.

Pickled Garlic

This recipe is not suitable for shelf-stable canning. If you make this recipe, you MUST store it in the refrigerator. Even if you seal the jars with a water bath. Refrigerate!
4.95 from 58 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling time 12 hrs
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 32 servings
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 52

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 2 pounds fresh garlic peeled
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 heads fresh dill

Instructions 

  • Combine canning salt and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes (180 degrees).
  • Meanwhile, pack garlic in to 4 sterilized pint jars (about 8 ounces per jar) leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 head of dill to each jar. 
  • Using a ladle, divide hot pickling liquid between the 4 jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, clean jar rims, center lids on jars, and adjust band to fingertip-tight. 
  • Chill in the refrigerator until pickled as desired (I recommend at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator). Store in refrigerator for up to 4 months (see notes) or seal jars following the instructions below (the pickled garlic must still be refrigerated; it will not be shelf-stable).

To seal jars (MUST BE REFRIGERATED, NOT SHELF-STABLE):

  • Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. The jars must be covered by at least 1 inch of water. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Chill in the refrigerator until pickled as desired (I recommend at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator). Store in refrigerator for up to 4 months (see notes).

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Yield: Makes 4 pints.
  2. WARNING: This recipe is not suitable for shelf-stable canning. Obviously people (or companies) sell shelf-stable pickled garlic, but I am not an expert in this area and garlic has a propensity to develop botulism. So, if you make this recipe, you MUST store it in the refrigerator. Even if you seal the jars with a water bath. Refrigerate!  "Canning of garlic is not recommended. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that requires a pressure canner to be properly processed. Garlic loses most of its flavor when heated in this way. For this reason, adequate processing times have not been determined for canning garlic." For more information, click here
  3. Refrigerator storage: The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises the garlic and vinegar mixture be in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. It's safe to use the flavored liquid for other things. Discard if you see any signs of mold or yeast growth.
  4. Blue garlic: Sometimes pickled garlic turns blue or turquoise when you pickle it. It’s completely normal and still safe to eat and you don’t need to worry. You can read all about the chemistry of garlic here (and exactly why it may or may not turn blue). To prevent the bluish color:
    • User kosher salt or sea salt to avoid iodine
    • Use stainless steel or enamel cookware and utensils (avoid copper, aluminum, cast iron, and tin cookware and utensils)
    • Reduce chlorophyll production by avoiding sunlight
    • Use distilled water to avoid the trace minerals found in tap water.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 52kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 124mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

    1. Hi Sandra, yes you can! It will just have a slightly different taste. Hope you enjoy! – Meggan

  1. So I’m trying pickling garlic for the first time I’ve got a recipe that I use for my other pickles how do I avoid the developing of botulism bacteria

    1. Hi Riley, thanks for the question! Since you’re using your own recipe, I would like to share that the canning of garlic is not recommended since it is a low-acid vegetable, so you must refrigerate pickled garlic. Take care – Meggan

  2. Can I use any jar or does it have to be a jar only used for Pickling such as Mason jars? I only have the kind of jars used for storing legumes,etc that doesn’t have a tight seal.

    1. Hey there, you can use any kind of jar you want. The pickled garlic has to be refrigerated (it cannot be canned to be shelf-stable) so you could use literally any glass container at all (that has a lid). Thanks! -Meggan

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