If you are looking to add some amazing flavor to your home cooking then I suggest you try smoking some garlic. The process only takes an 1 hour using either an electric or a temperature regulated smoker, and the outcome is amazing. Home smoked garlic is guaranteed to enhance any meal you are preparing and will be something you will want to have on hand regularly.
Each year as we plan the garden we dedicate an entire large bed to hardneck and softneck garlic; each variety is chosen based how it will be prepared and the type of flavor it brings to a dish.
A large majority of the softneck garlic we plant is braided and used for cooking or given to the livestock & dogs as part of their holistic healthcare regiment. The hardneck is reserved for pickling, smoking, and we will soon try our hand at fermenting a few heads in honey. Yep, it’s all pretty delicious!
If you chose to smoke garlic you will want to make sure it’s been cured, in other words you will not want to use freshly picked garlic. Cured garlic allows for the smoke to be thoroughly absorbed throughout the bulb, which is exactly what you are trying to achieve.
Generally we smoke about 12 heads of garlic at a time using our little electric smoker, if you are using a temperature gage smoker you will want to smoke it at a low temp, for 1 hour; anything longer than an hour will cause your garlic to dry out.
Through the process of clearing our land we have been able to make our own Alder and apple chips for smoking, which makes them our chip of choice for anything we chose to smoke, but feel free to use any flavored smoking chip. Since we have begun making our own chips for smoking it has saved us quite a bit of money, also bringing us one small step closer to living a self sustain life.
Once the garlic has finished smoking you will find that storing it is as easy as smoking it. Simply place the smoked heads into a wide mouth quart size jar and refrigerate, it will save nicely for up to 1 month. Keep in mind that storing it longer than a month will cause it to slowly lose its flavor.
We have used our smoked garlic to make bread, add it to soups, threw in a clove or two when making pasta salad, or we oven roast a head in olive oil to make a perfect smoked garlic dip for bread. Regardless of how you use it, you will love it!