Ways & How

how to cook with garlic

how to cook with garlic

As kitchen and cooking staples go, garlic is very popular. It is a root crop that was dubbed as the “Stinking Rose” because of how it looks and when the cloves are crushed or sliced, they release a strong pungent odor. Among food items used to add flavor, garlic is considered to be the most versatile because of how the flavor can be controlled from nutty, mild, to really strong, so much so that a single clove of minced or crushed garlic gives more flavor than two dozen cloves that are cooked whole. That’s one reason most amateur cooks want to learn how to cook with garlic. But how do you handle this wonderful vegetable and how do you use it in cooking? Here are a few easy tips:

  1. The first important step is learning how to choose the good bulbs. Garlic comes in bulbs, which are composed of cloves. The bulbs are covered with papery white skin, which should be dry and can easily come off, while the cloves should be plump and firm and not shriveled and soft.

  2. Next is knowing how to store garlic right.

    can be good for days as long as it stays plump. Don’t put them in the refrigerator; instead, store in a container where air can flow, and put in a cool, dry place that the sun can’t reach.

  3. Now, the golden rule when it comes to controlling the garlic’s flavor is that the smaller you cut the pieces the stronger the flavor becomes. The most common way to skin garlic is to crush the bulb and the skin. But remember that crushing garlic (with your fist against the blade of a knife or with the use of a garlic press, for example) strengthens its flavor.

  4. Ways to cook.

    Mild flavor. Garlic can be an interesting addition to baked goods or desserts as you can bake it whole, which will lend a mild, nutty flavor to the recipe. As long as the clove isn’t broken or opened, the flavor will be nowhere near pungent.

    Moderate. When you want the garlic flavor a bit stronger, you can slice the clove into two or three. Thinly slicing it without crushing can result in a moderate flavor. An easy way to take the skin off without crushing it is by blanching, which is when you dunk the clove or bulb in boiling water and then put in ice water.

    Strong flavor. Depending on just how strong you want the flavor to be, you can mince or crush the garlic. Again, remember, the smaller the pieces, the stronger the flavor.

  5. Garlic becomes bitter when burnt (like in sautéing, for example) so remember not to sauté it too long because it cooks quickly. Also, remember that the skin is not edible.

  6. Getting rid of the smell. You can rid your hands of the “stinking rose” smell by rubbing it with lemon juice, and you can get rid of garlic breath by chewing on a bit of parsley or mint.

Garlic is great with several types of dishes from appetizers to main dishes to even desserts, but the flavor has to be properly controlled so it best suits the dish and does not overwhelm it. When using garlic, we must remember that the size as well as the length of time of cooking controls the flavor. The rule of thumb is: the smaller the pieces the stronger the flavor, and the longer you cook it, the softer the flavor. Keeping these tips in mind ensures that you know how to cook with garlic.


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