I recently read where it is dangerous to cut up garlic and keep in oil because it can cause Botulism. I buy diced garlic already in oil in a jar, and cut up fresh garlic sometimes and add to the same jar. It has concerned me, because I love to use garlic a lot in my cooking. Any advice or ideas on a safer method?
Lisa from SC
Botulism? Doubtful. It is caused by an organism known as clostridium botulinum and associated with inadequately processed, home-canned foods. Sausages, meat products, canned vegetables, and seafood products have been the most frequent vehicles for human botulism.
I have been cutting up garlic into olive oil for quite a while with no problems, although after about 2 weeks the flavor goes off.
It seems important to add some kind of acid (example vinegar) to garlic/oil preparations that are going to be kept for a while:
I wouldn't use the garlic or oil "raw", so to speak. I keep mine chopped in a baby food jar, filled with whatever oil I have handy, in the refrigerator, use and replenish as needed. I just use it for cooking, though. (01/13/2007)
I cut up cloves of garlic and make an elixir of chopped garlic, vodka, and water (30% vodka to the rest water). I put chopped garlic with vodka and water into brown or green bottles and cork, shake bottles each morning and set in a sunny window each morning, then set in a dark cabinet at night for 30 days. After 30 days, strain the chopped garlic and pour the liquid back into the bottles and cork.
This elixir will keep 1 year and even though it doesn't taste good (take a teaspoon of honey behind it), it works great
to kill a virus of cold or flu. Now, the left over chopped garlic can be stored in the refrigerator until used. I use the chopped garlic to cook with. (10/05/2007)
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