If you were fortunate to experience a childhood with your grandparents, we’re sure you made dozens of sweet memories from it. Some of the fondest childhood memories include enjoying home-cooked meals with one’s grandparents.
But what was the secret to those delicious treats? Any guesses as to your grandma’s secret behind those rich, fragrant sauces and compound butter? Smoked garlic, of course!
Our elders often dried and smoked garlic for its natural flavor and preservation, cleaning, healing abilities, and other reasons.
While most of us have branched beyond traditional techniques, some old-world charm remains, including the magic of smoked garlic. Apart from the exotic and flavored aroma that it adds to your home-cooked meals, smoked garlic has multiple health benefits, too, all due to its medicinal properties.
If you have been curious about why you still some people smoking their garlic over wood, we have all the answers for you right here.
How to Make Smoked Garlic
Garlic is botanically a member of the lily clan, from the family of onions, shallots, and chives.
Regardless of whatever garlic variety you have, you can smoke it in various woods, including birch and hickory. It is common to choose a particular type of wood for smoking garlic to create a specific flavor profile.
You can pick one out of two methods to smoke garlic: cold smoking and hot smoking.
Your cloves remain fresh and raw in their wrappers in the cold smoking process because you have to smoke them uncovered. You do not expose them to the heat too.
Related: How to Build a Clay Pot Smoker
On the other hand, in the hot smoking process, you have to oil the bulbs, perhaps even peel their outer layers away and smoke them over the heat. With close heat exposure, you essentially roast the garlic till it is soft.
Step by Step Instructions for Smoking
- First, you need to collect some wood chips. From applewood to birch, you can choose whatever you prefer.
- Soak your wood chip for thirty minutes in water, an hour before smoking the garlic.
- Pat your chips dry, then put them in a bag to bring to your smoker.
- Next, chop the heads of your garlic bulbs and drizzle some olive on top. You can even sprinkle salt and pepper if you like.
- Put the wood chips in your grill’s drawer or any other method you prefer for smoking.
- Then place your garlic parcels on the lower rack for the first round of smoking.
- After the initial smoking, move the garlic to the top rack to absorb more smoke.
- Remove off the grill, open the package, and your smoked garlic is ready to go.
Benefits of Smoking Garlic Cloves
For starters, garlic retains its nutritional value even when you smoke it. You will find small quantities of vitamins C, B6, and A in each, along with minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, and selenium.
As we mentioned above, previous generations would smoke garlic as a means to preserve it.
Smoked garlic has an extended shelf life and does not go bad for at least a month; hence, you can reserve big batches like this.
Hi-tech preservation techniques were non-existent decades ago when our great grandparents had to prepare food. Therefore, they needed to come up with clever natural techniques to preserve their products and foods. Smoked garlic was a helpful agent in maximizing the life of their foods and ensuring they were fit for consumption for longer.
Also, smoked garlic enhances the flavor profile and aroma of various dishes, from pasta, spaghetti, steak sauces, and whatnot. One only needs to be handy in the kitchen to know how to use this smoked golden magic creatively.
Related: The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking
Smoked garlic also does wonders for our health.
You must note that garlic, coming from the lily family, has the characteristic substance Allicin. This substance lends garlic its medicinal powers, perhaps a reason why all your elders advise you to eat more garlic when you feel the flu coming on.
Additionally, garlic also helps reduce your blood pressure, while its rich antioxidant content reduces the risks of developing neurodegenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
By consuming six smoked garlic cloves daily, here is how your health benefits:
- Your body absorbs the nutrients from garlic, which help it fight cancer cells. Also, eliminate free radicals in your system.
- Boost your body’s metabolic rate.
- Burns stored fat
- Regulates the process of removing excess fluids from the body.
- Garlic’s antibacterial properties circulate in your bloodstream and fight bacteria in your body.
- Garlic’s nutrients help your body at a cellular level. You are, therefore, safe from oxidation.
- Garlic’s nutrients conduct a deep system cleaning. They regulate cholesterol, clean your arteries, protect you against cardiovascular issues, reduce and improve your blood pressure, strengthen your immunity, strengthen joints and bones, prevent fatigue, improve your athletic abilities, and extend your cells’ life.
Other Applications of Smoked Garlic
Smoked garlic is a versatile ingredient, and apart from coming to the rescue to improve one’s health conditions, it can help you earn the title of a master chef as well. You can elevate your marinades, sauces, soups, stir-fry, and baked foods to other-worldly levels.
Related: 5 Delicious Recipes Made with Ingredients that Last 100 Years
Smoking garlic helps it develop a bolder flavor, and even spreading it on some bread with a variety of cheese turns it into an exotic delicacy.
In case you don’t already know, garlic adds extra oomph to barbecued meats and stuffed chicken too.
Ask your mom, if you don’t believe us, why she never fails to stuff your favorite baked chicken with smoked cloves. If you’re learning to cook, believe us, you’ll thank your lucky stars for discovering this easy yet wonderful tip.
You can store all your extra garlic for four weeks simply by smoking it. Cold smoked garlic lasts well for four weeks in the refrigerator, while hot-smoked bulbs will last for a week in your refrigerator.
Garlic has been a timeless medicine for centuries. People from long ago used this herb for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Since emergency rooms and hospitals were words unknown back then, people would even treat emergencies like wounds and infections. The extracts of this natural substance accelerated the healing process of wounds while eliminating the risks of fatal infections.
Nowadays, we use smoked garlic to add flavor and spice to our meals as a way to enhance the flavor, but also to preserve some goods. You will love how such a simple ingredient can drastically improve your health and the life of preppers.
All you have to do is smoke some wood chips, place your wrapped garlic over them, and enjoy the best form of this natural herb. We promise that you will not regret adding this survival item to your stockpile.
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This is a wonderful article. Another reason I need to get started on my backyard smoker. Cob style.
I regularly roast garlic in the oven. When cool, I roll the garlic into roughly the size of a cigar with plastic wrap, and freeze it. I slice it off as I need it. Usually lasts me two-three months depending on what I cook.
Wow! I never thought of smoking garlic before.
Thanks for the info!
Garlic is truly a superfood!!
Wow how interesting. I didin’t know that I can make it. Useful tips.
Wondering if this is how you make something called Black Garlic”? Seen Black Garlic Powder for sale in southwest supermarkets.
Didn’t we have an article on how to make black garlic a while back? It seems to me that we did have such an article although I must confess you now have everything in my memory banks that might exist on such an article. All the articles are available on the site. The only problem I have is that there isn’t a search engine. If there is, I have not been clever enough to discover from whence it is launched and how it works.
LLC, top of the page on the right.
this article told how to smoke garlic but not how to cold smoke it. I am growing garlic this year and would like to try smoking it both ways
I am not sure I understand the “garlic parcel” as it is not described anywhere. Also, if the garlic is in an closed parcel how is it smoking, isn’t it just roasting? The article mentions two methods, cold and hot, but doesn’t say which one this is and how to do the other.
What-happens-if-you-smoke-garlic-cloves? Bowl for bowl? BADDD Breath and a very smelly pipe! LOL!
It took me about a hour to get past the title………
I have the most vivid vision of ‘meth-mouth vampires’ and can’t stop laughing!!!!!
Dude, we know it’s bad for us but…. WHOA!!!!
That was my reaction to the headline on this article, too! But then I figured it was an old timey cold and cough remedy, like onion poultices on the chest.
But it sounds delicious. I’ve made baked garlic to spread on crusty Italian bread – this sounds even better! 🤤
I was thinking about clove cigarettes, which were popular back in the 80s. Then I saw “garlic cloves” in the title and thought, “No one would smoke garlic, would they?”
Omega: All flavored cigarettes started out as medicinals. Yeah, they added powdered garlic to cigs for some problems. No, I have no idea how much would be too much. Clove cigs, yeah, 1/4 teaspoon in the first half of the cigarette is how I clear out bacterial lung infections. Tobacco smoke, itself is good for most problems, including the dem flu/corona. niio
I’m wondering if that’s one of the reasons the gooberment decided to all but outlaw tobacco use in certain dem run states, but legalize marijuana.
Another thought. The really big push against tobacco use in the US came after the US opened up to “normalizing” trade with China. Could this possibly have anything to do with the sudden increase in soy farming, or the more recent buy up of American farm land by China?
Miz Kitty: No, mosty tobacco comes from outside the country. the pusch against tobacco started when Hitler claimed tobacco causes cancer, then told his researchers to prove it. So far, the only nations outside Nazi Germany to claim that is the UK by way f Manchester U (which advocated Nazism even thru the war), Penn State in the US (AKA Rape U), and now Mexico, but the PRI is called in mexico the maritos of the American DNC. A marito is a little boy a perv buys for unclean things. niio
Can you dehydrate it after smoking it for longer shelf life?
Yes, one can even buy dehydrated garlic in #10 cans from various companies that either make or sell dehydrated foods. A #10 can of garlic should last you at least one lifetime and perhaps two lifetimes unless you are a real garlic fanatic.
You can buy dehydrated garlic, sure, but not dehydrated SMOKED garlic.
My raw garlic in the bulbs last months, so I’m not understanding the preserving feature of this, so that it lasts a month.
That said, the smoking of the garlic does sound interesting. I have an offset smoker, so I’m not quite following moving the bulbs from lower to upper, but I guess I can slide them away from the offset. I may have to try this.
Sometimes the cooked version of a vegetable will not last as long as the uncooked. For example, I know from first hand experience that cooked carrots in the fridge will grow green fuzz quicker than uncooked carrots stored in a root cellar. While I am sure in an EOTW situation, I would scrape the green fuzz off, cook the carrots once again and hope for the best, my current practice is to toss fuzzy green carrots. Whereas I will put merely limp fresh carrots in the stew pot.
Could well be that once one cooks the garlic the shelf life is shortened. Of course, with another poorly written article by Brandi M. that whole question is unexplored. I wondered about the one month shelf life myself. I do wish the lady would take a remedial writing course at the local junior college in Reno. Her syntax and word usage leave much to be desired.
Yeah, yeah, I know, it is threatening and cause for banishment to be critical these days. Sorry — no i’m not. That’s a lie. I am not sorry for criticizing someone who claims to be an author and is paid for articles who is not careful about their writing.
LCC- Better be careful or you will find yourself tasked to write another informative yet action paced article for publication!
CC: Well, I started to write an article about car camping but decided it wasn’t that relevant to a disaster scenario or an EOTW event. We utilized too many modern conveniences to make it relevant. I did read a book about living in a car that I recommended to the followers of this list if they thought that might be a possibility, It was a how-to book by a fellow who was actually doing it. It was well-written and offered a plethora of practical tips to the would-be vehicle dweller by a guy who was there and doing it.
I did suggest to Claude that I write book reviews about survival. I read a lot and could save followers of this list from spending money on “survival books” that offer very little because they are so basic or offer erroneous information that is more hurtful than helpful.
For instance I am reading a book by called. “SHTF Survival Boot Camp; A Course for Urban and Wilderness Survival.”
It lists the authors as Selco Begovic and Toby Cowern.
Selco Begovic, in case you are not familiar with the name managed to survive the Sarajevo genocide. A major achievement in itself. I read his first book about his existence during that genocidal period. I was significantly impressed and also wonder because Mr. Begovic seemed to be suffering PTSD at the end of the book and seemed to be significantly depressed. I was actually concerned for his mental health status.
It was his name on the credits that led me to buy the new book. He is not an author in the sense of the word. He does make comments on each segment of the book, sometimes only a paragraph or two long.
It is hard to tell when Mr. Cowern is writing his own creation or when he has borrowed from some unnamed other source. In my opinion, having read his treatise on purifying water, I am of the opinion that he knows less about purifying water than I know about flying a rocket to Mars.
On the other hand, Mr. Begovic, having been there and done that, in my view is a solid voice on how to behave and act in a truly desperate situation. It’s too bad the book doesn’t contain a lot more of Mr. Begovic and a lot less of Mr. Cowern.
I can’t state whether the book is worth the purchase price at this stage because I have not finished reading it. I will add my recommendation to this list when I have finished reading the book.
I will admit that I have a special peeve about this particular “author” because she too freely writes articles about subjects where her knowledge is limited at best. In addition, her writing is particularly inept. She uses awkward sentence structure and uses words where obviously she doesn’t know the meaning of the word.
I went to Amazon and borrowed one of her “survival” novels. It featured a pill-popping totally unbelievable female heroine whose antics finally got the best of me and I stopped reading about a third of the way through when the heroine was about to trounce into the enemy stronghold after popping a couple of “tranks” to calm her nerves.
In my estimation, pure unadulterated tripe.
LCC – Well, I think it’s important to write it down and share it! Those of folks who have been around the block sort speak, don’t realize just how much life experience they have that if shared can help prevent undo headache and heartache for others. Been txt with Texas kinfolk trying to help them get through the storm. They’re not too familiar with taking steps we would automatically take here in a cold climate, like shutting off the water and draining the pipes! Would welcome reading series of articles on first steps in various emergencies. Think it would be most helpful as it is the beginning of SHTF.
CC: You know, you are right. It is hard for me to believe that upon hearing about a freeze about to descend upon one that one wouldn’t know to shut the water off and drain the pipes and cover the outside faucets. It seems to some of us that is so basic it falls into the category of how to put shoes on. Or, being unwilling to shut the water off, open the faucets so that they run a little constantly to keep them clear.
Don’t worry about the fridge or the freezer being off. If the freezer is in the garage, just leave it. It will probably be colder in the garage than you keep the freezer when it is running. As for food in the fridge, put it in an ice chest and put it in the garage or on the back porch. And if the temps start to inch closer to 32°, then is the time to start looking for dry ice for the freezer and fridge if the electricity is not back on yet.
Obviously if your neighborhood is frequented by bears, and especially raccoons, the garage is the better place unless the back porch is enclosed and you can hide the ice chest from casual glances. The garage would still be better.
You do have ice chests big enough to store the contents of the fridge, don’t you? If not, why not? They are cheap insurance for electricity outages which seem to be coming more frequently as our country seems to be inexorably sinking to some banana republic or African country level.
The house I live in was new in 1968. It is a Gold Medallion house. That means it was up-to-the-minute with electric service and had electric service for each appliance the house might need, including electric water heater if one were so inclined.
That would not be a big selling feature these days with the electric companies turning off electricity every time the wind blows hard or having “rolling” blackouts when it is hot and folks have the a/c cranked up high. We moved into this house 53 years ago this month. We have never had a/c and as far as I am concerned, don’t need it. For those few days a year when the temps top 85° a fan does quite nicely and doesn’t make our electric meter spin like a top.
I saw the pictures of folks dashing around with buckets and other devices to catch the water draining from their overhead pipes. I thought it was just a few folks who were, perhaps, intellectually challenged. From your comment I gather it is more widespread than just a few. Perhaps after things settle down they will have those pipes in the overhead wrapped in insulating material so as not to suffer the drama of water cascading everywhere while temps hover around 32°. And might remember to open the taps to let water run a bit. OR shut the whole system off and drain the pipes and put covers over the outside faucets.
LCC – When the dust settles in Texas, or should I say the snow melts, they will need to revisit not only their power grid from top to bottom, but also local housing building codes just like they did in Florida after Andrew. From what I gather, they’ve been throwing those homes up down there as fast as they can to meet demand. In some cases, actually running exposed Plumbing Pipes through the attics!
Being from North Central Texas, yesterday’s temps in the 60s and 70s have melted all the snow. I have some pipes exposed in the attic, mainly going from the hot water heater for a couple of feet, but they’re mostly insulated. Most of the burst pipe problems are from exterior walls. I’m lucky that the kitchen and one toilet are my areas of exterior wall plumbing (except for the outside faucets, of course), and since I didn’t lose electricity, I didn’t have any issues. Most of the issues were from those who lost heat for many hours or days. However, for some reason, I was only getting warm water from the hot water heater the last few days, so flushed the heater, and now the pressure relief valve won’t seat.
The plumbing appointment is on March 4th, but it may move if they can do it. This is because of all the people who are without water completely, though they said my hot water was a priority. We’ll see when it actually happens.
You should never open the TP valve on a hot water heater; not to help drain or fill it at all. They never seem to seat right once this is done, especially if they have been a year or more in service. Always open a water valve closest to the heater to help the tank drain or to fill it, and use the drain valve at the bottom of the tank to drain it. Have a (preferably) 3/4″ brass cap with a black, not red rubber washer inside to put on the drain outlet once you’re done draining. It will almost always leak after draining the tank. This is because of lime buildup and particles of it blocking the seal of the valve. Black rubber is much better than red, doesn’t deteriorate as quickly, imho. Brass caps don’t crack like cheap plastic ones. Hope this makes sense to all. I did a lot of water heater installs and replacement when I worked for Sears.
CC: darn right! If nothing else, I always try to read anything LCC posts.
Old-timers were taught do not intrude, it’s not polite, so much of what they know goes with them. Dad, for instance, taught me how to cuss in 3 languages, and one grandmother how to rip people up without saying a single naughty word. That college ed sure came in handy for her!
today, new treasure, a set of silverware, probably 1930s, made in India and of silver. when we can find them, American made silver coated brass silverware. Silver is even more anti-bacterial than copper, and safer to use. Silver saved a lot of lives in plague years. Wealthy ate from gold and died with peasants who used wood. As jewelry, in SHTF, it turns black and it’s unlikely anyone would want it. Black forks make good weapons for in-close fighting. Much harder to see than stainless steel. The handle can be strapped to the hand with the tines stuck out between the fingers.
Red – You’re definitively prepared for anything!
CC: Shh! don’t tell no-buddy!
I just had to open my big mouth to a neighbor. I’d do her a few favors, and she’d give me bags of grapefruit and so on. I said, you love grapefruit, but the kids don’t. why not just juice them? Net result, no more grapefruit. Yeah, farm markets carry them, 10 bucks for a 15 lbs bad of Rubys. But, just not the same,. Now she asked for some canna lily to grow for starch, too. From Kali, she was raised survive or be ground under. And, every time she sees my Trump for Pres sign she said she lectures her kids how the dems are a bunch of bigoted backstabbers. niio
I concur on your review of this person’s writing. I gave her the benefit of the doubt on her last article of a week or so ago, but her writing is atrocious.
From now on if I see that she is the author of an article, I will just pass on it and skip to the comments.
I am sure running this blog is quite time consuming, but seems like for the past month or so, it has been phoned in.
Hope things turn around soon. Really really like this blog.
I have been mostly lurking here for about 3 years, but occasionally will give a comment.
Hate to bash anyone for their effort, but this is awful.
Exactly. It’s not a preservation method if it isn’t making the product last longer.
I had a smart-alec remark to make, but instead I’ll simply say that this is fine for most people, but it doesn’t bode well for people that are allergic to garlic, such as is my wife,
What “package” do you remove them from (step 8) when you take them from the smoker?
My grand dad is 92 and grew up on a ranch. He’s never heard of anyone doing this.
Then place your garlic parcels ???????????
Are you talking about wrapping the garlic heads in foil before putting them in the smoker ? If so, you are just roasting not smoking. I smoke garlic without wrapping it up in foil. I love smoked garlic.
If you want to know my method for doing garlic, email me & I will tell you step by step the different ways I like to do it.
old troll: Why not write an article on how to really roast garlic from someone who does it on a regular basis rather than this article by an author who apparently has lifted an article from some other source. Send it to Claude at his address at the top of the article.
I for one really appreciate articles from someone who is not just blathering about a topic of which they have little knowledge as opposed to someone who has actually been there and done that. That’s why many times the comments on the articles are far more helpful than the article itself. The comments are what make this list so helpful.
For instance, just look at the comments on the article about makeshift weaponry. the article itself was ehhhhh but the comments from people who were actually making EOTW weapons that would be useful after such an event and the ultimate wearing out of modern weapons or using up all the supplies that they require. A very clever tip for making bolos. Bolos are fine for self-defense and may be a life saver if attacked by a coyote or badger or feral dog. And might be applicable where you either don’t want the noise of a gunshot or don’t want to waste a bullet on the animal for whatever reason.
I’ve read or heard that pioneers used to keep a silver coin in their water barrels to keep the water free of ‘bugs’ and germs. Might be something to remember for eotw or shtf situations.
Nemo: when traveling, they carried copper or brass cups, pots, eating utensils. During the plagues in Europe, a higher percentage of the middle class, who ate off and with silver and brass, survived than wealthy. Wealthy died like peasants because they used gold and the peasants used wood. We collect American-made Irish silver, which is silver coated brass. European is pewter-coated. Old-timers also mixed some cider vinegar or wine in their water to help sterilize it. Copper will knock out about any parasite even liver flukes and tape worms. Fleas and mosquitoes can carry the eggs. niio
Thanks Red! Didn’t know that!……………………nemo
It sounds good, but nope, never had it, and we used to raise garlic for a farm market and huckstering. ‘Seedheads’ (bulbils, small plants) were broken off when dry and many scattered in a pasture steers and pigs would use in spring. for a few weeks, you risked your life if you got downwind of them 🙂
If you want a perennial bed of garlic, allow the best bulbs to seed and let them drop on the dirt. If in an area where carrot/onion maggots are a problem, save up tea bags and scatter the dried remans around the plants. Do not use fresh, tannin in the tea can burn them.
A perennial bed is easy to do, but once in a while, change locations if only to keep animals from eating all of them. Right now, birds are trying to mow off the garlic. A chicken wire tunnel with one-inch openings works best for anything but turkeys.
Southern gardeners are advised to get Creol seed garlic. It grows best in the heat, where most varieties wither. Also, it can be stored months longer than other garlic. Mine is kept in the garage in paper bags, not cold storage. niio
Makes my pipe smell awful! LOL
I smiled Rick, but didn’t roll on the floor lmao. Keep your daytime job. I don’t think you are just quite ready to quit and go on the Comedy Club Circuit.
LCC: Comedy Club Circuit is already crowded with liberal politicians telling un-funny jokes. niio
When I used to prospect the LaPlata mountains of southern Colorado, I found something more to fear than coyotes and badgers, and that was a pack of once domesticated dogs heading toward my camp. Having once been domesticated and now running in packs, they have no fear of man unlike wolves or coyotes. I pulled camp that night and slept in my truck, not taking any chances with them.
Nemo: Every summer in this part of Arizona we get summer people. They rent a house by the month and on leaving, many abandon pets. Coyotes can take out pit bulls if they can get them down in the brush. Get the dog tangled up in the cactus and that’s the end. SHTF, packs of dogs will be all over, and starving. The Pack (1977) is based on fact. niio
Putting oil on something you’re smoking? Nope. That would interfere with the smoke getting absorbed. And you don’t get SMOKE if you soak your wood chips in water, you get STEAM, and you would absolutely NEVER EVER EVER wrap something in foil in order to SMOKE it, you’re blocking the smoke from getting to the food. This is a cumbersome method of roasting garlic and nothing more.
Total BS article.