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 few years ago, I was discussing Dilly Beans with my mother-in-law. She made them for a church fundraiser, and she was planning to set aside a jar for me as a Christmas gift. Would I like a clove of garlic in my jar of Dilly Beans?
"How about a whole jar of Dilly Garlic?"
Aren't we all glad she agreed?
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! You can read more about storing, preserving, and enjoying garlic here.
Why did my pickled garlic turn blue?
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).
Tips to prevent your garlic from turning blue:
- 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.
Pickled Garlic Recipe
- 1/4 cup canning salt
- 2 1/2 cups distilled water
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 2 pounds fresh garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 heads fresh dill
- Combine canning salt, water, 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 1/4 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).
- This is my mother-in-law's recipe which aligns very closely with the Dilly Beans recipe in the Ball Blue Book's Guide to Preserving.
- The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises the garlic and vinegar mixture be in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Discard if the liquid or cloves show any signs of mold or yeast growth.
- "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.