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What's the point of a garlic holder?

It's a squat earthenware jar with holes and a lid. I think my mom regifted it to me. The opening is too small for a whole head of garlic to fit through. So, should I bother breaking the head into cloves? I go through garlic pretty quickly, so I'm not too concerned about making it last longer. Until now I've just been throwing it into a basket with the onions and shallots. Any reason to stop?

Edit: I see that the correct term is garlic cellar.

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  1. Regift it again; they're too small to be useful.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caralien

      I think there are federal statutes on re-regifting!! I like my silly little garlic "cellar". Yes, you do have to "bust some heads" to fit them in there, but then they're a step closer to being used. The idea is that the garlic will be less likely to send up shoots if kept in a dry, dark place (not unlike my soul....). I've never had a clove sprout on me in 20 years of using it, though I do go thru the garlic pretty rapidly. Adam

      1. re: adamshoe

        Mine are in a bowl with the shallots, next to the large bowl with whatever produce we picked up at the market. The only time garlic (or onions and potatoes) sprouted was when they were in containers and thereby forgotton. Pick up, break off clove, return head to bowl, put clove on board, smack and pull off skin (or twist and pull off skin), cut up and toss into pan.

        If I had to find them in a covered container, I would forget that they're there.

        1. re: adamshoe

          According to the Boston Warehouse website their first product was this garlic thingy back in 1980 and it became wildly popular. It is pretty silly. I think it may go into the yard sale box.

          (btw, my mom knows your mom.)

          1. re: Glencora

            It's very possible, being that I'm in Oakland and you're in Berkeley, that our moms know each other. (Brrr...shudder...) The garlic thing was a gift from my Mom way back in 1986 and came w/ a garlic cookbook and one of those equally silly garlic "tubes" to aid in the "de-skinning" of those pesky cloves! LOL. Adam

        2. the terra cotta is smart,but the home kitchen gizmo is a joke.I keep mine out in a double weight plain terra cotta flower pot with shallots and small onions.one clay dish under,one
          over.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lcool

            This might actually make sense if I lived in a humid place and didn't go through garlic as quickly as I did. I like the flowerpot idea, and may try that the next time I'm in the south.

            For Oakland, however, I don't really see the point. I was there for the summer, and it's was neither hot, nor humid (no A/C needed), and between there and SF (at least where I lived after then), it was never damp and warm enough indoors for the bulbs to start sprouting.

            1. re: Caralien

              I am fussy and do not have easy unlimited access to Texas or California garlic.So I make every effort to "preserve" what I have.The amount of local grown is a pittance.
              Slimy,swampy,humid etc would apply here much of the year.(DC) So when really
              lovely domestic garlic is around I buy 3-5 pounds.

              1. re: lcool

                Quick, offer her a price for the garlic cellar!

                1. re: Soop

                  Soop
                  My terra cotta pot is just fine as is thank you.Holds 4 - 7 pounds of garlic and shallots without complaint or the benefit of a lid "ornament".

          2. I got one...it was only a couple bucks. I'm not sure how effective it is because it always seems like the garlic at my local supermarket is already scant hours away from sprouting in the store. But it at least keeps it all in a single location. I do have to split the heads to fit them in sometimes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jzerocsk

              At my local supermarket, they keep the garlic on the refrigerated produce shelf (where it's cold and moist). Even if I put them in a dry place at home, they start sprouting within a week.

              Does anyone else's supermarket do that? Why....?

              1. re: razkolnikov

                Sure do ... I keep in the refrig if that is where I buy them otherwise on the counter. However, It is 80 hot and humid in FL. I don't like air that much so the refrig is usually the way to go.

            2. I put mine in the cupboard.

              Even if it does sprout, it's not the end of the world - I've had some fairly new ones that were green at the tip, and they were fine.

              But I tend to use garlic regularly.

              1. Garlic holders are really great filled with potpourri. Use the one you have in the kitchen, then if you like it you can pick up more for the bathroom, the mud porch, one for anyone who has a gym locker. Garlic holders are great! You can even put garlic holders filled with potpourri in the cellar! '-)

                I keep my garlic in the peck sized basket that stores my potatoes and onions and winter squash.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Caroline1

                  I only wish I had a mud porch -- and a cellar!

                  I recently stopped keeping potatoes with the onions, garlic and shallots because I read that the potatoes go soft or sprout more quickly that way. I never have a problem using up the other stuff, but I often have to toss potatoes into the compost.

                  1. re: Glencora

                    I keep my potatoes separate from the garlic, onions, and shallots. The potatoes sometimes get lost underneath the shedding skin, and I didn't like the funky discoveries.

                    So now they line the big clear glass mixing bowl with the other goodies from the farmer's market.

                    By all means, if you the least bit lazy or forgetful, please do not store potatoes, onions, or anything which sprouts in drawers. My husband had some jump out at him a few times, recoiling from the alien fingers which had come out to say "hello!". Ok, so that was college and this was well before we even met one another, but it's something I remember to this day, particularly when he's unpacking the groceries.

                    1. re: Glencora

                      I think mud porches are like mosquito netting. They're wonderful as long as you don't have to use them for their original intended purpose.

                  2. I have a big earthenware one with a cork top that I bought at Ikea like 14 years ago. It's great because it holds a few heads at a time as well as shallots. I don't know how well it keeps garlic from sprouting - I use a lot so I usually use it fast and/or like others already said, the garlic was already close to sprouting when I bought it and nothing was going to hold it back at that point. But I keep using it because it is a convenient place to kepp the garlic and it fits on the shelf of the little granite topped roll away cart I use for a lot of my prep work.

                    1. OK, I'll bite. I've got one and I use it but I don't know why. I have to break down the heads, unless they're from my garden, to get them through the hole. It sits on the counter, by my cutting boards... near all the whole heads that are in a big bowl with shallots and dried mushrooms. So, it often just holds the loose cloves leftover from a head massacre.
                      What are they supposed to do, anyway, reduce air passing around them? Keep them all warm and snuggly? A hideout from light?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Scargod

                        even humidity and darkness,ergo clay only glazed on one side or nat at all

                      2. Mine works great and is easily large enough to hold even a large head of garlic. I think it was handmade by a craftsperson, the cork at the top is at least 4 - 5" diameter.

                        1. janniecooks and alkapal love their garlic keepers. they work!

                          alkapal's is like this one, exactly, which holds five -- yes five -- large heads of garlic: http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-5-Inch-C...

                          jannie and me -- we don't need any sissified, dinky garlic keepers. get one that holds lotsa garlic!!! mine doesn't hold as much as lcool's terra cotta pot with 7# of garlic and shallots, by any means. (she is just a much better woman than i to be able to go through so much garlic and shallots before the bulbs sprout. ;-).

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: alkapal

                            NAH,but I do source local/domestic garlic and shallots.Being so much harder to come by ,I want it to LAST.(within reason) Also certain I use more.16 person wine class with snacks and 2 food courses 40Thursday evenings a year.Lunch and dinner for two or more 6 days a week.Add on students and clients and I may use/need like a small cafe'.
                            If you think they won't keep;ROAST & FREEZE,maybe mix 50/50 with butter or oil and it will stay spreadable.
                            Oh,and the pot was free if you overlook the plant that died.Recycle with pride

                            1. re: lcool

                              where's info on your wine class?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                email,put CHOW AND ALKAPAL IN THE "subject" lynnescool@gmail.com

                            2. re: alkapal

                              Maybe FL is too warm and humid, doesn't work, but I don't keep the air on all the time so humidity and heat is a problem.

                            3. What's the point of a garlic holder you ask? Well, it keeps those ridculous butter bells company.

                              1. I tried to sell it for one buck at my yard sale this this weekend. No luck. Now it's in the free box on the curb, being snubbed in favor of old VHS tapes and beat up paperbacks. I can't get rid of the thing!