Garlic is a delicious, healthy and versatile food spice. Growing and harvesting your own onions is very useful because you will never run out of vegetables in your kitchen. However, if onions are not properly dried after harvesting, they will taste bitter and will not last long and will eventually rot. To dry whole garlic, you will need to store it in a dry, warm location for about 10 to 14 days. To speed drying, peel and chop the onions after you harvest them. Heat the minced garlic using a dehydrator for 6 to 8 hours to remove any liquid content. When the onions are dry, you can braid the leaves to hang, store them on the counter, or place them in an airtight container.
Method 1 of 3: Drying Whole Garlic
Step 1. Harvest garlic 6-8 months after planting when the lower leaves dry out
Once the garlic plant is 5-6 months old, inspect the plant weekly. Check to see if the base of the plant is starting to turn brown and wilt. If the leaves start to wilt, clean the soil around the cloves. If the tubers are large and have already formed cloves, use a trowel (small shovel) to pry open the base of the plant. Once the soil is loose, pull the garlic plant out of the soil to harvest it.
- If you can't pull it out easily, dig about 8-15 cm below the bulb with a sledgehammer. This will cut the root system so the garlic will be easy to remove. However, garlic can usually be removed from the soil easily.
- This method works for all varieties of garlic, although some types of onions dry slightly faster than others. In general, the larger the tuber, the longer it will take to wait for the leaves to dry.
Step 2. Use your hands to clean the soil stuck to the garlic bulbs
Hold the onion by the stem and place it on the table with the bulb down. Remove the onion bulbs and pat the clumps of soil off with your hands. Repeat this step for all the garlic bulbs.
- If any of the cloves are open or detached from the tubers, set them aside and use them immediately. These cloves may have dried in the soil. If they aren't dry, they will dry quickly once you leave them in the kitchen.
- Garlic should not be washed. You have to peel it off before you use it, and all you have to do is remove the moisture, not add it.
Step 3. Cut the roots using scissors
Hold the stalk above the garlic bulb, then cut the roots at the bottom of the bulb with scissors. Try to leave the leaves attached to the stalk of the garlic bulb. Continue this process until the roots in all the bulbs are cut.
- Don't worry if there are a few roots left. As long as you remove most of the roots, the garlic should have no problem.
- If the onion stalks are no longer green, you can trim them before doing this if you wish. Onion bulbs will indeed continue to get nutrients when the stalks are not dry. However, if the stalks have turned brown and are starting to wilt, this is of no benefit to the tubers.
Step 4. Dry the garlic in a dry and warm place
Choose a place inside or near the house that is not exposed to direct sunlight with a temperature that is stable at 24–27 °C so that the garlic can dry quickly and thoroughly. The ideal place is the basement, warehouse, and boiler room as long as the temperature in the room is stable and does not have large windows.
- You can dry the onions in a cool place if necessary, but this will take longer.
- If the temperature in the room is more than 32 °C, the garlic may rot or sprout.
- If possible, choose a room that has good ventilation. However, garlic should be kept warm and not exposed to direct sunlight.
Step 5. Hang the garlic bulbs or place them on the table
You can dry garlic horizontally or vertically. If you are drying them on the counter, arrange the garlic evenly so that the bulbs hang over the edge of the table. You can also tie 3-5 onion plants with twine and hang them on a hook or planter if you want to dry them vertically.
If there are still hardnecks in the center of the garlic, wrap the stalks in a warm, damp towel to soften them before storing the garlic. You can tie a towel with a rubber band if you want to hang the plant.
Step 6. Wait about 10-14 days for the garlic to dry completely
Keep the garlic indoors without direct sunlight. Do not move or disturb the garlic while the drying process is in progress. Wait at least 10 days before you examine the onion to see if the skin is brittle and easy to peel.
The garlic drying process is complete when the cloves have hardened and the skin has started to peel and become brittle
Method 2 of 3: Drying Garlic Slices with a Dehydrator
Step 1. Cut the stalks and skin on the garlic bulb
Use scissors to cut the stems on all the onion bulbs. Next, take the onion and peel off the outer skin. Use your fingernail to open the outer skin between each clove, or use a small knife to tear the skin off the onion without damaging the clove.
- If you are doing this outdoors, take the garlic into the kitchen after the outer skin has been removed.
- You may need to gradually drain the garlic if you have a lot of garlic and don't have a large capacity dehydrator.
Step 2. Peel and peel the garlic cloves to remove the skin
Wash your hands with soap and water, then dry them with a tissue or napkin. Once the outer layer is removed, peel the garlic apart to remove the cloves. Next, use your fingers to remove the epidermis until all the garlic cloves are peeled. Place the garlic cloves on a clean cutting board.
Dry your hands thoroughly after you wash them. Don't let the garlic get soggy when you peel it
Alternatively, you can crush the onion with a flat object, such as a cutting board or the side of a knife, to loosen the skin. This makes it easier for you to peel it off. You can squeeze a few cloves between all the onions, but this shouldn't be a problem because you'll end up chopping them later.
Step 3. Slice the garlic into small pieces that are about 1 cm in size
Place the chopped garlic cloves on a cutting board and prepare a kitchen knife. Slice each clove slowly and carefully into about 5-10 small pieces about 1 cm wide. Continue slicing the garlic until all the cloves have been chopped.
You can also cut the garlic into small cubes instead of cutting it into thin slices. Thin slices of garlic tend to dry more evenly, but if your dice are very small, this shouldn't be a problem
Step 4. Place the garlic in the dehydrator tray
Remove the dehydrator tray and place it on the table. Next, spread the garlic slices on the tray evenly and don't overlap them.
Preheat the dehydrator when you do this process
Step 5. Dry the garlic at 46 °C for 6 to 8 hours
The temperature in the garlic should not exceed 60 °C. So, dry the garlic at 46 °C. Let the garlic sit in the dehydrator for 6 to 8 hours, and remove the onion when the slices are crisp, firm, and crumbly. Once the onion slices are removed, you can store, cut them into even smaller pieces, or grind them into a powder for storage.
Method 3 of 3: Storing Dried Garlic
Step 1. Braid the garlic bulbs for long-term storage
Place 3 garlic bulbs side by side with the stalks overlapping each other. Fold the stems together so that they are intertwined by crossing the stalks 2-3 times before tying the strings together. Add 2-3 new onion bulbs on top of the previous bulbs and create a new, overlapping braid by wrapping and tying the stalks together. Repeat this process until you have braided about 8-12 garlic bulbs. Tie all the remaining stalks together so that the braid is firmly tied.
- Trim any excess stalks sticking out of the braid line using scissors.
- The tough garlic stalks will break off when you braid them. This will happen if you don't cover the tough stalks with a wet towel while drying them.
Step 2. Hang the garlic braids on a clothesline or hook, and place them in the kitchen for 6 to 12 months
Once the garlic braid is firmly tied, use the last stalk at the top to tie the braid. You can keep the onion braids in the kitchen to hang on hooks or the edges of kitchen cabinets, or use a clothesline to hang the braids in the air. Garlic braids can usually stay fresh for 6-12 months after you hang them.
This process can also be used to dry garlic, although there is really no need to do this because the separated garlic will get a sufficient amount of airflow.
Step 3. Store the removed tubers at room temperature for 4 to 6 months
If you don't want to hang it, cut the onion stalks with scissors. After that, place the cut bulbs in a mesh bag or place them in a bowl on the kitchen counter. Garlic in general can last for 4-6 months if stored in the open.
If possible, store garlic in a location with a temperature of 16–18 °C. Keep the garlic out of direct light (if possible)
Step 4. Put the garlic slices in an airtight container and store for 2 to 3 months
When the garlic is dehydrating, place the sliced onions in an airtight container. Close the lid and press along the edges of the lid to ensure that the container is completely closed. Leave the container on the counter and store the onions at room temperature for 2 to 3 months.
- If possible, store garlic in an area of the house where the temperature is not higher than 16-18 °C.
- Wrap a dark towel around the container to keep the garlic out of direct light.
- Store-bought garlic does not need to be dried. These onion bulbs have been processed and dried.
- This drying process is also known as curing. These two terms can be used interchangeably because they have the same meaning.