HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Diced Garlic in a jar - a travesty or do you think it is OK?

I love garlic and cook with it every week or so. I found that often fresh garlic that I would buy would end up getting soft, sprouting etc., so with some reluctance on a night when I felt like an easy solution I bought the refrigerated chopped garlic in a jar to see what kind of results I would get. To my surprise, it seemed to work well enough, and on the lid of the jar was instruction about what amount to use vs. a fresh clove in a recipe. In general I am still a fresh ingredients purist, and I will buy fresh garlic in the future, but this worked well for me, and I may very well buy it again.

I was wondering what other Chowhounders experience with jarred garlic was?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. YOu don't cook often enough for your fresh stuff to last, so you are wasting. If you like the results of the jarred, USE it! You are eating it, no one else is judging it.

    You might look to doing your own "jarred". I have saved jars that have good rubber looking gaskets tops, to reuse for my own stuff to keep in the frig. I have taken a Sat. afternoon to roast a bunch of garlic head in the oven with great olive oil. Then I saved it all in a jar in my frig. lasted well and sometime I just used the oil.

    1. I have never found a jarred garlic that I liked. I have minced my own (both fresh and roasted) then flattened them in zip lock bags and froze them. I can easily take a "chunk" off to use if I run out of fresh. I think frozen has a better flavor than jarred.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sedimental

        Interesting! I have never saved and frozen garlic. To be honest, I know myself; Instead of freezing and re-using I would probably just go out and buy fresh, but that is a great idea. The brand I have is Roland, and it has good flavor.

        1. re: SamuelAt

          It works really well. I freeze alot though. I like to buy different kinds of garlic at the peak of the season, then freeze some. It avoids the gross little shriveled bulbs available in the stores at times.

          1. re: SamuelAt

            I've used the Roland brand before, but I prefer the larger container that a friend bought me from Costco. Just make sure not to get the top layer of garlic 'dry'- as in don't pour off too much liquid.

            It worked fine for me, and if I needed to roast a head of garlic, I went and bought one and used it right away. Now I use lots more garlic and buy it fresh. But... at the time I used the jarred stuff and it was great.

          2. re: sedimental

            I only like the Christopher Ranch jarred Garlic. Most of the other brands( they use Chinese garlic) suck.

            1. re: Calipoutine

              Can you describe some of the different types of garlic and which is preferable?

          3. I use more garlic now BECAUSE it is in a jar and all minced already, just keep it cold and it will last.

            1. I found a big jar at Costco for about $4.00, will save me a bunch of time making Paella and other big cooks.

              1. I use both. Some times I just do not have fresh on hand. The jarred is easy to keep on hand and use. I see nothing wrong with using some things like this. It is garlic, not some fake, flavored, chemical composition. Fresh is great, but jarred fills a need, too.

                1. I'm sorry, but jarred garlic is awful. Fresh garlic is really cheap, so microplaning a bit into a dish is quick and easy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I am soooo with you on this. Makes me gag thinking about it.

                  2. I've never tried jarred garlic so I won't poo-poo it but you don't say how long you had the fresh garlic before it spoiled or how you stored your fresh garlic. I grew hardneck garlic this year and harvested the heads in early-mid July. The few bulbs that remain are still in perfect condition, none sprouting or rotting.

                    I stored the garlic in my laundry room which is the coldest part of the house in a bag. I did NOT put the garlic in the refrigerator crisper. NOTE that hardneck garlic will not keep as long as softneck garlic, so if I had grown softneck I could probably had kept those heads for many months more!

                    1. In my opinion, jarred garlic is a little less good than fresh and lot better than dried garlic powder. And garlic is so good, and good for you...why not make it easy to use a lot of it? Go for it!

                      You can also peel fresh and preserve in oil in a jar in the fridge. Chopped or whole cloves. Then you can also just use the oil sometimes!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: scuzzo

                        You can also peel fresh and preserve in oil in a jar in the fridge. Chopped or whole cloves. Then you can also just use the oil sometimes!

                        WARNING!!!!! This is NOT a good idea! Go to http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/p....

                        Scroll down to "Storing Garlic in Oil - Warning! - Not Safe."

                        "When raw garlic is stored in oil, Clostridium botulinum bacteria can grow. These mixtures must be refrigerated to slow bacterial growth. After 3 weeks of refrigeration, the increased number of bacteria will become a food safety hazard. Therefore, these mixtures should not be refrigerated longer than 3 weeks. "

                      2. I have not tried the jarred garlic, but I have been potentially turned off to it by a local pizzeria. I had asked for garlic on the pizza, and instead of fresh chopped, they dumped a handful of jarred garlic chunks on it, and you could tell!

                        I think there may be something having to do with the aromatics or other chemical constituents released when garlic is freshly cut that get dissipated when the garlic is not used right away. A certain flavor "sting," if you will. I'm not a food scientist here, but it's a hunch. Of course, with long cooking, maybe it doesn't matter that much.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: comestible

                          It's very true that jarred garlic loses it's sting! That's a great way to put it. But I don't think it's weird at all. It's got a bit of sweetness like what roasted garlic has...but subtle.

                        2. SamuelAt, it might be an OK ingredient in some applications, but it bears very little resemblance to freshly-chopped garlic. It has preservatives and sometimes vinegar added, and the flavor is just incredibly different. Fresh garlic is hot, acrid and incredibly (wonderfully) stinky. The minced in the jar is so mild by comparison.

                          The "jarred" pre-peeled cloves like restaurants use are a lot better -- but sounds like you don't go through enough of the stuff to make this even a remote possibility.

                          I'd rather throw out 80 cents' worth of the fresh to avoid the weird flavor of the pre-minced stuff.

                          1. I've tried jarred garlic and it tastes bland compared to the real thing. I like the convenience though. So my compromise is to mince a whole bunch of garlic myself, maybe 3-4 heads, put in a jar and cover it with oil. The oil protects the garlic from oxidation, plus the garlic flavored oil is great for garlic bread, salad dressing, etc. etc. I find that it keeps for weeks and the garlic tastes just as fresh as if I minced it on the same day. Without the oil, the garlic goes flat much more quickly.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: ctl98

                              You are setting yourself up for botulism poisoning. This is a totally unsafe practice. Please do some research so that you can make your kitchen a safer place.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                I think the idea of keeping food "under oil" is only good for a couple of days, I agree.

                                The old Italian ladies in my family used to add vinegar to their garlic, peppers, etc, but as you know, oil and water don't mix, so it's not really helping matters after the mixture separates.

                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  pikawicca, that's what I thought too, after reading all these responses in here about keeping garlic in oil. I was under the impression that was a no no for any amount of time, same goes for home-made flavored oils with the "stuff" still in there.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    Eeeek, I forgot to mention that I keep this jar in the freezer. The oil doesn't freeze but does get very viscous. Thanks for bringing this up. Yup, room temp is definitely a no-no and even fridge is only ok for a few days. But freezing temps prevent the botulinum from mutliplying.

                                    1. re: ctl98

                                      Now that's an interesting tip to try. Do you use any specific oils to prevent the mixture from freezing into a solid block, to make it easier for using? I thought olive oil sets to a solid block even in the fridge, for example.

                                      1. re: tarteaucitron

                                        I use plain canola or grapeseed oil and it becomes very thick but not solid.

                                      2. re: ctl98

                                        Me too AND I am very OCD about cleaning and washing the garlic well before I do anything to it like mince or press or whatever. Plus, I only use this kind of garlic in cooked recipies. The heat of sauteing garlic, cooking in a sauce or soup, or other typical cooking application will solve the bacteria problem.

                                        Botulisim is caused by a toxin produced by an anerobic (Low/no oxygen) spore. Botulism is most often a problem in improperly canned foods, both commerical and home canned. There was a weird incident a long while back involving grilled, sauteed onions, but those kinds of things are very rare. The freezer should halt the growth of the spore and the production of the toxin but once the toxin is produced, there isn't anything that will practically, remove it.

                                        So yes, it should be perfectly safe to use garlic cleaned and stored in oil or minced and either style stored in the freezer. Especially if you will be cooking it later. Your risk of food poisoning or botulism is no greater than for the fruit or vegetables you harvest from your garden or get at the farmer[s market, wash, and/or blanch and freeze. Blanching helps reduce surface bacteria and helps in color preservation and stop some types of enzymatic decay, so I guess you could apply that to garlic, if you want to, but I don't think it would have any noticible benefit since, it's a root/bulb anyway and long term storage is what bulbs are built for.

                                        If I could just use the garlic I buy at the store before it sprouts, I would but it always seems to spoil before I can get it all used. So why does my garlic sprout? I'm keeping it in a cool dark pantry well away from fruits, and other vegetables besides the onions. I've been looking into the tubes of garlic paste i see along side the tubes of basil as an option. Anyone have experience with that?

                                        1. re: aggiecat

                                          Cleaning garlic will NOT kill/get rid of botulinum spores, nor will cooking.

                                          1. re: aggiecat

                                            cleaning garlic???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? i have never and will never do such a thing!!

                                            also, i eat sprouted garlic. i eat it all the time. half my garlic is sprouted, and i rarely have a head of garlic in the house for more than 3-4 days before i eat it all. a lot of the garlic i buy at the store is already sprouting. but i don't care -- it's delicious!

                                      3. re: ctl98

                                        you've just described an UNsafe kitchen practice.
                                        garlic is not sufficiently acidic to use your approach safely.


                                      4. Jarred garlic works well for most applications; however, you can take fresh garlic (whole or chop it) and put it into a jar with olive oil; keep refrigerated until needed & it lasts a long time. Also, there are many kinds of garlic products by different manufacturer's so I would use my own judgement and not just shun it because someone else said they didn't like it.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                          Agree Cheryl. I have found it pretty serviceable in most recipes. I don't know if I would bother to jar my own like some of the recommendations above. I would probably just but a new garlic knot first.

                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                            Again, please DO NOT store fresh garlic in olive oil. If you google "garlic in olive oil" you will find many links explaining that this carries a danger of botulism. Not worth the risk.

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              Yeah, I will just go fresh. Thanks for the advice.

                                          2. I keep a jar of Christopher Ranch minced garlic in water. I use it in the salads I take to lunch where I want a mild garlic flavor but don't want the sharpness of fresh garlic (or the breath effects). It has decent flavor and no aftertaste.

                                            However, for any other purpose I use fresh garlic (and lots of it :)).

                                            1. Let's clear up some terminology here - You don't "love" garlic if you only cook with it once a week or so. You have an acquaintance with garlic.

                                              A real garlic lover knows any real recipe starts with the words "peel a head of garlic" and ends with "sprinkle with fried garlic chips to garnish". Those are the dessert recipes.

                                              The stuff in the jar is neither good or bad, it's just not the same as the real thing. I buy peeled garlic in 1/4 bags. It keeps for a week or two in the fridge and a microplane makes quick work of it, If I have a bunch to use up I throw it in the oven with a little olive oil mash it and toss in the freezer.

                                              The problem with the jars is they tend to live in fridges for months or years, ending up entirely flavorless.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                I can't stand jarred garlic myself. The taste is so strong, or off-tasting. I would rather have my own fresh garlic, and have complete control over how the garlic will taste, rather than have it already cut, in oil, etc., and God knows what else they put in there.
                                                I always keep a couple of heads in a garlic cellar, and take out what I need. I've never been tempted to used jarred garlic.

                                                1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                  Whoa Scrapironchef! easy! I do love garlic, and use fresh as well. I just don't cook every meal with it. My terminology was correct!

                                                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                    As an aside, most Chinese start with "whack a clove of garlic with the cleaver" to get rid of the skin and to allow for better release of the juices and easier mincing...

                                                    1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                      @ Scrapironchef: thank you for the chuckle of the day! I like the peeled fresh garlic product. For some reason I find it incredibly fresh and extreme on inexpensive. A delight to work with.

                                                      1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                        you're so right. if a recipe doesn't have garlic in it, it's going to when i make it. (or else i'm probably not gonna make it.)

                                                        i just ate a salad tonight with a wonnnderfully intense garlic dressing and all i could think was, "how can i have garlic for dessert, too?"

                                                        1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                          I buy a HUGE jar and it lasts about three to four weeks. I actually have had issues with thin blood from eating so much garlic. My doc couldn't figure it out for the longest, then finally asked me about my garlic consumption-lol. Anyway, the jarred stuff is a good substitute in dishes that have lots of layers of flavor, but if you want the garlic to shine, you need to use fresh, or fresh roasted.

                                                        2. I prefer Trader Joe's brand of minced jarred garlic to the supermarket brands. There's less preservative taste. I also use garlic powder. I gave up on regularly buying fresh because of sprouting and because I often found it too sharp and harsh even after sauteeing - I do roast whole heads sometimes. Never thought about freezing roasted garlic and will try that.

                                                          1. Not trying to start a war here, but I have worked in the restaurant industry for at least 20 years....because we don't have time to peel garlic for the quantity of food we cook, we order in garlic, peeled in gallon plastic jars (no water or oil). The ingredients on the label state: garlic. It does not list any additives which may or may not be in there BUT it can last at least a month maybe more (it never stays that long in our walk-in) so I stand by the refrigerating fresh garlic in oil (which one chef taught me) as I'm not dead yet.. Also you can cook with the oil. However, to each his/her own opinion.....

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                                              the addition of oil makes the garlic a better growth medium for botulism than is plain garlic.
                                                              what the restaurant did was much more safe than what you are doing.
                                                              you may have worked in the restaurant industry, but not as a food scientist.. . .

                                                            2. Growing up in a Korean family, my mom yelled at me when I brought garlic in a jar home one day as a teenager. They didn't mince their garlic fresh, but pre-chopped it and froze it. She made me try it side by side. There was no comparison. Her frozen chopped garlic was so much better than the jarred one. I haven't done the test with freshly chopped garlic, but I imagine the fresh one to be superior. As I don't use garlic in copious amounts that my family did, I do chop my garlic fresh. I buy cloves of garlic, peel them all at once and stick it in a mason jar and vacuum seal it and chop it when I need it. It lasts for quite a long time that way.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                Food Saver brand of vacuum sealers advises NOT to vacuum seal garlic because it can become toxic.

                                                                1. re: Alfred G

                                                                  Does it really? Under what conditions? Garlic in oil? Whole cloves? Minced? For how long? That serves me right for never reading instructions (and I've thrown them out already).

                                                                  Although I don't use garlic like my parents did, I go through about a bulb a week. I peel my garlic cloves once a week and generally use it by the end of the week. The longest I've ever kept garlic cloves is for 2 weeks. I've never had a problem.

                                                                  1. re: Alfred G

                                                                    It's that whole, anerobic botulism thing. that's the purpose of the vacuum sealer, to remove the oxygen. Which is great for slowing and stoping bacteria, molds, and spoilage, but NOt good for a spore that does it's best work without oxygen.

                                                                    1. re: aggiecat

                                                                      I see. Luckily, nothing has happened to me yet. But why chance it? I'll just stick my cloves in a jar sans vacuum. Thank you so much for your explanation!

                                                                2. I use it. I also use jars of minced ginger the same way. It's handy for work-night suppers and soups and such. I know it's not as good as fresh, but it does in a pinch. I wouldn't use it in a dish where the garlic is meant to be the star.

                                                                  1. I am a good Italian girl, and I had a good Italian gourmand of a godfather who cooked beautifully. He used jarred garlic in some situations. So do I. For recipes in which garlic is the main flavor, I use fresh garlic. I avoid garlic powder and garlic salt like the plague, because they just make things taste odd. There are dangers in trying to preserve garlic in oil, so be very careful; if you try it, make sure you investigate fully how to do so safely!

                                                                    Oh, and whoever had the problem with the pizza place dumping jarred garlic all over a pizza...good lord, I don't blame you for being turned off of the jarred stuff after THAT experience! Yuck! There are some situations in which fresh garlic is a must, and that's definitely one of them.

                                                                    1. I buy the big bottle of whole, peeled cloves (Christopher Ranch, I think?), and the mince them in the food processor, cover generously with olive oil, and store in the freezer. When I need garlic, I just scoop out what I need, and put the jar back in the freezer. I like the taste of the whole cloves better, but the convenience of the minced garlic can't be beat. so this is a good compromise. Those big bottles are about $5 at Sam's club.

                                                                      1. personally, I don't use jarred garlic.

                                                                        I am fascinated by the term "granulated garlic" in lieu of garlic powder

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: laliz

                                                                            Penzeys carries it--I don't use garlic powder but the granulated seems to lack the nasty chemical taste. Still, only in dry rubs or if I'm out of fresh garlic.

                                                                          2. I use it all the time! got no problems with it. :)

                                                                            1. I used to always use the stuff in a jar... it works okay but fresh is much more aromatic, and not nearly as 'stinky' or difficult to work with as I'd always feared it would be.

                                                                              1. My mom grinds her own garlic with plenty of salt and puts it in tiny containers in the freezer defrosting whatever she needs for the week only. It tastes really good.

                                                                                I don't care much for the supermarket diced garlic.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: hala

                                                                                  Which might solve some of the problem bacuse you are changing the Ph of the garlic with the salt. So, this high salt, or high acidity charcteristic changes how you can or preserve foods, like pickles, fruits, jams, etc. Salt is a classic preservative, so in combination with the garlic it might be safer. I just can't remember if the botulinin spore likes or dislikes a salty environment. Most everything does not do well in a salty place so odds are good it would work. But I'd check. Which makes me wonder, if you stuck whole bulb of garlic in a tub o'salt, would that solve the sprouting problem? Hum....

                                                                                  1. re: aggiecat

                                                                                    i'd bet that you'd get a dessicated, dried garlic result.
                                                                                    too bad i don't have a clove of garlic on hand because your hypothetical intrigues me.

                                                                                2. I'm a fan of the frozen already minced garlic from Israel that I find in Trader Joe's and have seen in Harris Teeter too. Each frozen cube is equivalent to a clove of garlic.

                                                                                  As an aside, a past mayor of my hometown nearly died from botulism that involved some garlic in oil, don't know if it was home-jarred or what, but he was out of action for a very long time.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                                    Indeed, botulism poisoning is horribly painful and can easily turn deadly. I know convenient foods and spices are a big help, but when it comes to garlic and oil, one needs to be ultra-cautious.

                                                                                    1. re: tonina_mdc

                                                                                      I make garlic confit where i simmer garlic cloves completely covered in olive oil for about an hour until they are really soft. I have always stored this in the fridge & just pulled out a clove or two when needed because they are sweet and delicious--like roasted garlic. Is this safe since I cook the garlic? Or is it not safe because the garlic is covered with oil & refrigerated?
                                                                                      I buy huge bags of peeled cloves at the asian market for very little $$.

                                                                                      1. re: sparkareno

                                                                                        I wish I knew what to tell you, but this isn't an area of expertise for me and the information on the web is contradictory. What you are doing sounds very chancy according to the recent warnings about garlic stored in oil and botulism. Making quantities that lead you to keep your mixture in the fridge for more than a week is probably a bad idea. Perhaps nothing would happen if you kept it around for several weeks or a few months. However, botulism poisoning is extremely serious and it seems foolhardy and capricious to ignore the possibility.

                                                                                        1. re: tonina_mdc

                                                                                          I thought botulism developed in raw garlic. So it can develop in cooked garlic too? What about if you saute garlic and use it in a sauce & refrigerate the sauce---is that dangerous too? So is there no way to store roasted garlic or garlic confit that is safe? :(.
                                                                                          I use raw garlic in my caesar dressing and will usually keep that in the fridge for a few days--dangerous? I am genuinely concerned about food safety but am confused.

                                                                                  2. I don't mind the jarred garlic in very small doses. I also have to be careful to drain off all the liquid.

                                                                                    The first time I made hummus, I wondered why it tasted so much like plastic. It was the liquid from the jarred garlic. Lesson learned, I'd rather peel.

                                                                                    1. Ok, We need a definative answer; here it is from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service:

                                                                                      "Botulism can be prevented. Foodborne botulism has often been from home-canned foods with low acid content, such as asparagus, green beans, beets and corn. However, outbreaks of botulism from more unusual sources such as chopped garlic in oil, chile peppers, tomatoes, carrot juice, improperly handled baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, and home-canned or fermented fish. Persons who do home canning should follow strict hygienic procedures to reduce contamination of foods. Oils infused with garlic or herbs should be refrigerated. Potatoes which have been baked while wrapped in aluminum foil should be kept hot until served or refrigerated. Because the botulism toxin is destroyed by high temperatures, persons who eat home-canned foods should consider boiling the food for 10 minutes before eating it to ensure safety. Instructions on safe home canning can be obtained from county extension services or from the US Department of Agriculture. Because honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum and this has been a source of infection for infants, children less than 12 months old should not be fed honey. Honey is safe for persons 1 year of age and older. Wound botulism can be prevented by promptly seeking medical care for infected wounds and by not using injectable street drugs."

                                                                                      Check out their website for additional information:

                                                                                      If you fall into one of the high risk groups then you should decide what is risky and what isn't. The New Zealand Food safety authority has a wonderful chart that spells out who falls into what groups and why, children, pregnamnt women, the elderly and the immune compromised.


                                                                                      Be informed. Make rational choices.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: aggiecat

                                                                                        The benefits are too small for Botulism. But if I may, I would like to point out to all the posters the OP is about pre-packaged, SAFE garlic. The discussion is a foodie one, not and FDA one.

                                                                                        1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                          you are correct, but the thread got hijacked.
                                                                                          i was one of the culprits.

                                                                                      2. Just like I said, nothing wrong with garlic in oil, hell, they sell it in the grocery store...Although I realize everyone have their own opinions & habits, not everyone knows the right way to do things regardless of what they are used to doing, so my advice is get your info from the EXPERTS

                                                                                        1. I use a bit of both.

                                                                                          Jarred for when I'm just too tired after work and want as much flavor for as little effort possible.

                                                                                          Fresh the rest of the time, because little smells better than fresh crushed garlic.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Popkin

                                                                                            My husband cooks with garlic every day. We usually buy a fresh head every 10 days or so - if you use it fast enough, there's no worry about sprouting, etc. Jarred garlic has a weird taste so we don't use it.

                                                                                            1. re: theminx

                                                                                              Amen, Ms Minx! Last weekend we found a jar of unopened garlic in my deceased MIL's pantry. Fresh garlic is sooo easy to use fresh, just press on the clove, to break the skin loose, peel, hold in hand and dice into the pan. We took the big jar out to our compost bin, opened it and dumped it in. My wife said, "What a smell!", but it didn't smell of garlic. It, may, however, keep the coons out of our compost bin!

                                                                                          2. The only good use I've found for the stuff is on pizza. Jarred garlic and salami is the pizza combination of the Gods.

                                                                                            1. Put me in the "travesty" camp. At least i've never had any that could hold a candle to fresh. We go through it at a good clip so no sprouting issues and I can chop up a few cloves in mere moments.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                Yet another in the travesty camp. Jarred sort of tastes fake - definitely not the same aroma and flavour as fresh. Too watery, too. Mincing fresh garlic can be done in mere seconds! I use so much garlic I purchase it pre-peeled in 1 lb bags about every two weeks (or less) and use as needed. If perchance I do have lots leftover I make garlic jelly, candied garlic, garlic confit, etc. You can never have too much garlic!

                                                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                  Me, too, alas. I don't like the taste of the citric acid solution in the kind I've had. I buy garlic by the bag, cloves already peeled. If I don't finish it within a reasonable period of time, I freeze the rest. That works well for me.

                                                                                              2. I use both. It depends on what I'm cooking. It's soooooooo convenient out of the jar for everyday cooking, but if I'm taking the time and trouble to cook something extra special or expensive, I absolutely use the real thing. Real or jarred.... it's all a labor of love to extract the best taste you can for you and your loved ones!