Minced Garlic -- Is this stuff phony?

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
136
Or did I just get a bad batch?

I've always bought fresh garlic in the past. I made a giant batch of Italian sauce around 10 days ago and peeling and mincing two large fists of garlic was a big hassle, especially because the cloves were super small! So, still having a lot of tomatoes on my vines I decided to pick up a jar of the minced garlic I saw at Costco if the ingredients looked not to contain anything I didn't want to consume, and add it to my next batch. The 48oz jar at Costco said: Garlic, water, citric acid. I figured, "cool," and put it in my cart.

Making a batch of sauce a couple days ago, I measured out the weight of drained minced garlic from the jar that corresponded to two fists of garlic and added it. After doing so I tasted some of this minced garlic and was amazed that it barely tasted like garlic! More than anything it just tasted sour! So, I added all the fresh garlic I had on hand, 1 fist, to save my sauce.

Is this "Minced Garlic" in a jar really just crap? I have a mind to bring back the rest of that jar for a refund when I hit Costco again in a couple weeks.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,296
7,442
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You should have gotten the kind packed in oil. Stronger and better flavor.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
136
You should have gotten the kind packed in oil. Stronger and better flavor.
Didn't see any there. I never shopped this stuff before, had no idea they pack in oil some times. Is that decent? Will it keep? I was going to freeze the rest of what I just bought. But I think it's useless and will return it.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
136
Use fresh garlic. Takes more time but is better
Yup.

A past roommate told me about a trick. You smash the cloves with the side of a cleaver or broad knife, it helps to remove the skins. I used that technique some this week. But I'm going to try to assess my garlic fists in the future and try to determine that the cloves aren't super small. Don't remember seeing that before... really adds to the hassle when you have 40+ cloves instead of 20 from one fist!

Another time saver: A cookbook I got when I was in college had a recipe for rice that included a whole clove of garlic. No mincing! The flavor from that clove permeated the rice! The fact appears to be that it isn't necessary to mince the garlic for the flavor to permeate a sauce... especially my sauce, which I boiled down to almost 1/2 the original volume before canning. Even so, I chopped the garlic quite a bit that I put in it, but didn't bother mincing fine.
 
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lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,296
7,442
126
I keep it in the fridge, and it lasts months. I buy aldi brand, but I'm sure it's widely available. The ingredients are garlic, extra virgin olive oil, water, and phosphoric acid.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
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I mainly use fresh, but keep minced on hand. Not sure if you got a bad batch or not..it's usually fine.

You don't need to knife mince, that's a pain. Get a garlic press, they are cheap..but get an all metal one. Saves a ton of time and mess. I used to think it was a waste of money until my wife bought me one. World of difference.
 

GagHalfrunt

Lifer
Apr 19, 2001
25,297
2,000
126
Minced garlic in a jar is real, not phony. The weakness is because it's probably been pasteurized which knocks down the flavor a lot and it's packed in citric acid. Since it's weak you have to use a lot and then you get the sourness from the citric acid. Use fresh whenever possible and just keep the jarred stuff on hand for emergencies. When you have to use the jar rinse it first to remove as much of the packing water as possible and smash the minced pieces with the side of your chefs knife like you'd do with fresh garlic. That will reduce the sourness and wake up the garlic flavor a little. It still won't be as good as fresh, but it will be better than just using it straight out of the jar.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
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I mainly use fresh, but keep minced on hand. Not sure if you got a bad batch or not..it's usually fine.

You don't need to knife mince, that's a pain. Get a garlic press, they are cheap..but get an all metal one. Saves a ton of time and mess. I used to think it was a waste of money until my wife bought me one. World of difference.
I used to use a garlic press. Looking, I have one in a drawer. It seems to have a ceramic coating. It's tile-white, says "Taiwan" and "Good Cook." Seems really fancy. The ones I've used in the past were aluminum, IIRC.

Edit: Looking further, in another drawer I have an aluminum one whose holes are about 10 times smaller! Used to share this house with roommates... they left all kinds of stuff over the years! Took a few of my things too!
 

Herr Kutz

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2009
2,545
242
106
Once I discovered the secret of minced garlic I never looked back. It's so much easier than having to deal with the fresh stuff and tastes good to boot. You can get a ginormous jar of it at Costco and it lasts forever.
 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,811
126
I never tried minced garlic jar stuff. Stuff looks so bad. I eat lot of garlic, raw and cooked. Yesterday I cooked some on the grill covered with foil for about an hour. It's great plain or spread on some bread.

SOWcgQh.jpg
Jt7iiQ4.jpg
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
136
I never tried minced garlic jar stuff. Stuff looks so bad. I eat lot of garlic, raw and cooked. Yesterday I cooked some on the grill covered with foil for about an hour. It's great plain or spread on some bread.

SOWcgQh.jpg
Jt7iiQ4.jpg
I've not done things like this with garlic. I haven't used any of my grills for years.

I do make a pesto with walnuts that's good.

I like to make carmelized onions, keep a jar in the fridge. Keeps very well, is magnificent stuff. I'd think that garlic could be similar somehow.

Bought 3 fists of fresh garlic yesterday... still planning to return the remains of the 48oz jar of minced garlic in water I got at Costco a week ago. Hardly tastes of garlic.
 

Feneant2

Golden Member
May 26, 2004
1,418
30
91
I don't know how you guys get a jar from Costco to last long. We use garlic 3-4 times a week and by the time we got through maybe a tenth of our Costco jar it went bad. And you can't miss it either because it smells like very rank vinegar.

We bought smaller jars for a while but gave up and went back to the real deal. Speaking of, if you grate garlic on the smallest side of a grater it ends up tasting awful although I don't understand how that could be.
 

Humpy

Diamond Member
Mar 3, 2011
4,463
596
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The jar of garlic from Costco I tried was unusable and immediatley threw it away.

Gross.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,386
14,744
126
Chinese supermarkets have pre-peeled garlic. they are in the fridge section if you are feeling lazy.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
13,384
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I dont understand the chemistry behind it, but prechopped garlic has no taste at all. Dont use it.

Shop around for some monobulb garlic; wikipedia calls it "solo garlic". It's garlic that only has one big ass clove instead of many small ones. Lidl generally carries it. Or fork out more for bigger garlic.
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
16,204
3,764
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I found a jar of freeze-dried chopped garlic once. It works well.

I recently bought a jar of minced garlic in olive oil. I haven't tried it yet.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
136
I found a jar of freeze-dried chopped garlic once. It works well.

I recently bought a jar of minced garlic in olive oil. I haven't tried it yet.
Crack that sucker... and please let us know how you like it!
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,253
7,975
136
Chinese supermarkets have pre-peeled garlic. they are in the fridge section if you are feeling lazy.
I think I've seen that stuff. My local Chinatown (Oakland's, not the touresty one in San Francisco!) is a favorite place for me to shop. Most places bug me but that area has a down home serious sense of authenticity... plus the variety of places, their types and the things you see in them is to put it mildly, staggering! I have bought many wonderful things there over dozens of trips over the years. In my mind, it's like being in another country altogether!
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
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Not sure what the heck you guys are getting, but the stuff I get is fine...I agree it probably isn't as strong so I use a bit more when I use it. I keep it for months without it going bad... I get it at Wal-mart > Costco :D
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,386
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Not sure what the heck you guys are getting, but the stuff I get is fine...I agree it probably isn't as strong so I use a bit more when I use it. I keep it for months without it going bad... I get it at Wal-mart > Costco :D

I use fresh garlic since I use it in pretty much every dish I make xd
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,735
446
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I haven't tried it yet, but I was watching food Network Star and this guy threw a whole head of garlic in a mixing bowl and then held another same size mixing bowl on top of it (upside down) to make an enclosure. He shook the ever loving crap out of it for a while, then opened it and quite a few cloves damn near peeled themselves and the rest didn't look like it took much extra to clean.
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,386
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I haven't tried it yet, but I was watching food Network Star and this guy threw a whole head of garlic in a mixing bowl and then held another same size mixing bowl on top of it (upside down) to make an enclosure. He shook the ever loving crap out of it for a while, then opened it and quite a few cloves damn near peeled themselves and the rest didn't look like it took much extra to clean.


I just cut off the top and press the cloves with the knife, the skin comes off easily. Not a big deal.
 
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Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,885
806
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Try Elephant garlic. It's not a true "garlic" but one clove goes a long way and peels quick and easy.