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.
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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