I first wrote about this topic in January of 2016 but I tried some new methods this year and thought I would give you an update.
Peeling the garlic is the longest part of the process and is probably the reason most people will choose to buy garlic powder rather than make their own. Peeling garlic is not a hard job, if fact with this handy silicone garlic peeler, that we highly recommend, it is so easy that a child can do it. However, peeling large amounts of garlic to dehydrate is still a big and seemingly never ending a chore.
In a quest to find an easier or at least quicker way I did an internet search. I found a few methods that looked promising so I tried a couple. I first tried putting the garlic in a bowl and placing a second bowl on top and shaking it. The video made this look so easy that I figured I could have all my garlic peeled in no time. My attempts at this were futile. I ended up with one or two cloves partially peeled and the rest of the peels clung tight to the cloves. 😦 I really don’t think it was anything that I did wrong or that these videos are fake. I suspect it has everything to do with the variety of garlic that they were using verses the varieties of garlic that I was using. Yes, in case you are wondering there are many (I’ve heard as many as 600) different varieties of garlic. While I can’t endorse this method of peeling garlic I would say it is probably worth a try before you move on to something else. It might just work for you.
The other method I decided to try was blanching the garlic. I didn’t want to cook the garlic so rather than put it in boiling water I decided to immerse it in hot (probably about 180 F) water for 1-2 minutes I then put the cloves in a bowl of cold water until I was ready to peel each one. This method produced better results in that once the skin was pierced or broken it easily slipped off the clove. I pierced the skin using a paring knife while cutting off the root end. Even though it seemed easier I’m not sure that it was any quicker than peeling each clove with the handy little garlic peeler shown above. It is also worth mentioning that I would only recommend this method if you are peeling a large amount of garlic.
Another thought came to my mind as I was writing this and it may just be the answer you/we are looking for – purchase several of the silicone garlic peelers and get the whole family or even the neighbor kids involved. Many hands make light work. (See why my kids moved out. LOL)
There was one other thing I did differently this year. Last year I wrote that I used the slicing blade in my food processor to slice the garlic. For some reason my slicing blade is missing so I decided to use the shredding blade. This actually turned out really well. It was difficult to spread the garlic evenly on the dehydrator trays but even in small clumps the garlic dried in about 1/2 the time as it did last year.
Lastly I will leave you with a warning. Dehydrating garlic in a food dehydrator produces a strong and somewhat overpowering garlic odor. This is a job that is best done in outdoors, in an out building, or in a closed off room with an exhaust fan.
I hope you find these tips useful and if you have any tips to share please leave them in the comments section below.