Why You Should Buy Frozen Garlic

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Some people like the ritual of peeling and chopping up garlic, but I hate it. The garlic sticks to the knife, I hate picking out any green shoots in the middle of a clove, and my hands have a faint eau-de-garlic on them for the rest of the day. But skipping the garlic in a recipe is not an option since I love its flavor. My happy discovery? Frozen garlic.

I've purchased the Dorot brand of frozen crushed garlic cubes at Trader Joe's for years. Made of mostly garlic (91%), oil, lemon juice, and salt, there are 20 (1-teaspoon) portions of crushed garlic frozen individually into a little plastic tray for about $2.00. When you need garlic, you just pop out one cube directly into whatever you're cooking and it defrosts quickly.

Frozen crushed garlic means that garlicky smells stay in the food and not on my hands, I shave off a few minutes of prep time, and I never have to worry about having fresh garlic around. I've used it in all kinds of cooking — marinades, stir fries, and even uncooked things like salad dressings and pestos — with great success.

While frozen garlic isn't as strongly flavored as fresh garlic, I find that it's really hard to tell the difference, and it definitely doesn't have the strange off-flavors I taste in jarred crushed garlic. As a cooking school graduate, I used to be embarrassed to have this shortcut ingredient in my freezer, but now I proudly show it off to anyone who happens to be in my kitchen when I'm cooking with garlic.

(Image credits: Christine Gallary)