You can pull garlic right out of the ground and eat it. Just peel off the paper wrapping, and then enjoy it raw or cooked, depending on your preference. The curing process does not improve the flavor of the cloves. Fresh, uncured garlic tastes great all on its own. Curing garlic is only necessary if you want it to last for months. If you do dry garlic for storage, expect the process to take up to three weeks.
Table of Contents
What Do You Do with Garlic Once Picked?
After picking garlic, shake all the dirt off the bulbs and lay them out flat on the ground. Inspect the garlic bulbs for any signs of damage. Any bulbs with minor nicks, cuts, and abrasions should be used right away. Throw out bulbs with extensive damage.
- Shake all the dirt off your garlic after picking and lay them out on the ground.
- Inspect the garlic and bring the lightly damaged bulbs inside to eat right away.
- The rest of the garlic must cure for long-term storage or the moisture could cause mold to grow.
- Cure your garlic by spreading them out on a wire rack or hanging them from the stems.
Any bulbs you don’t plan to use immediately will need to cure to prepare for long-term storage. Either spread the garlic out on a wire rack or suspend them from the ceiling by their stems. The air circulation will help eliminate excess moisture that would otherwise result in mold growth.
Do You Have to Cure Garlic Before Eating?
You do not have to cure garlic before eating. The fresh garlic will have a softer texture than cured cloves. The cloves may also feel somewhat moist to the touch. They will still work perfectly well for cooking and eating raw. The cloves will usually last up to 10 days after getting broken off the bulb.
- You definitely do not have to cure garlic before eating it.
- Fresh garlic has a relatively soft, moist consistency compared to cured garlic.
- Garlic cloves will last up to 10 days after they’re broken off the main bulb.
- Always cure garlic bulbs that you plan to store for any length of time.
- The curing process eliminates moisture that would otherwise result in mold.
Garlic bulbs must go through the curing process to prepare them for storage. Otherwise, the moisture in the bulb will likely result in mold growth. Curing helps eliminate excess moisture in the cloves and shrinks the papery skin.
Can You Eat Fresh Uncured Garlic?
You can eat fresh, uncured garlic raw or use it to flavor your meals. The way you use your fresh garlic cloves is totally up to you. Consider slicing, crushing, dicing, or grating the garlic to spread out the flavor across your entire dish.
- Fresh, uncured garlic is delicious raw or used in the creation of your favorite meals.
- Slice, crush, dice, or grate your cloves like normal to capture their bright, bold flavor.
- For even more flavor, consider roasting your uncured garlic cloves in the oven.
- The roasted garlic goes great on toast, baked potatoes, and so much more.
Want to add complexity to your fresh garlic flavor profile? Roast it to create a delightful spread for your toast, baked potatoes, and more. You’ll just need to preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C). Then, slice through the bulb, cutting off the tips of the cloves. Wrap the bottom of the bulb in foil, and then drizzle olive oil over the exposed cloves. Fully cover the bulb in foil, place it on a baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes. Then, let it cool and squeeze the roasted cloves over whatever you want.
Do You Have to Dry Garlic After Picking?
You only have to dry garlic after picking if you want to store it for an extended period of time. Fresh, uncured garlic bulbs will stay good for several weeks in a dry pantry. Once you break the cloves off the bulb, they’ll last for up to 10 days.
- Only dry your garlic after picking if you want it to last months in storage.
- Fresh, uncured bulbs will stay good for several weeks in the pantry.
- Cloves broken off the fresh bulbs will only last for about 10 days.
- Garlic will last for months if you cure it properly.
- You must keep the bulbs spread apart for at least 3 weeks for them to cure.
Garlic will last months without molding if it undergoes the correct curing process. The bulbs must stay spread apart for up to three weeks to remove excess moisture. They’re done curing when the neck gets constricted, and the papery skin feels dry.
How Long Do You Dry Garlic For?
Dry your garlic for 3 weeks to fully cure the bulbs. Plan to check the bulbs every couple of days for any signs of a problem. Choose a cool, dry area with ample ventilation. Avoid areas with a lot of sunlight or high temperatures.
- Garlic needs to dry for 3 weeks to fully cure.
- Check on your garlic every 2–3 days to make sure there is no mold or other issues.
- Cure your garlic in a cool, dry area with great ventilation.
- Give the bulbs lots of space for air circulation while they cure.
- Cured garlic bulbs stay good in storage for about 9 months.
During the curing process, the bulbs should have plenty of space around them for air circulation. Spread them out on a wire rack or hang them up by the stems. Otherwise, the moisture will not fully dissipate, extending the curing process. Fully cured bulbs will stay good in storage for up to 9 months.
Is Freshly Picked Garlic Safe to Eat?
Freshly picked garlic is perfectly safe to eat. You can peel off the paper wrapping and enjoy it right away. The bulbs will last for several weeks in the pantry. Individual cloves are good for up to 10 days.
- Fresh, uncured garlic is safe to eat raw or cooked.
- Peel off the wrapping and enjoy it right away—or keep it on hand for later use.
- Uncured bulbs stay good in the pantry for weeks, while individual cloves last up to 10 days.
- Dry all the garlic bulbs you want to put in long-term storage.
- The fully cured garlic will stay good in storage for up to 9 months.
Drying garlic after picking prepares it for proper storage. Curing is necessary to remove excess moisture from the bulbs. Mold growth could arise if you don’t cure your garlic. So, always take the time to let the bulbs sit separately in a cool, dry area for at least 3 weeks if you want to store them. The cured bulbs will stay good in storage for up to 9 months.
Fresh garlic is delightful to enjoy right out of your garden. So, give it a try. Then, cure all the rest of the bulbs, so you’re swimming in garlicky goodness for months to come.