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I know fresh is always better, but would I notice much of a difference if I bought a container of pre-minced garlic?

Loaded question, right? Reddit seems to think so. But, let’s face it: cooking great food from scratch takes time. Sometimes more than we can allow. But, we still want delicious results and practical help that leads us there (meal planning with great recipes helps, and we can help with that). Some people can be snobbish about cooking – if they’re not eating your food, and you are comfortable with the taste and quality of what you prepare – you don’t need to bother with what other people think of your ingredients.

If your budget allows, get a small jar of the pre-minced garlic, try it out and see how you and your family feel about. Many varieties are quite acidic or bitter in taste because of the way the garlic is preserved. However, some people actually enjoy the taste, or don’t mind it. Ultimately, the way you and those you cook for/with feel about it is the most important thing.

If you find that the jarred stuff isn’t to your liking, here are a few things to consider:

  • Some grocers sell peeled garlic cloves – look for it in the refrigerated section near produce or meat. It isn’t pre-minced or preserved, but can save some time and cleanup

  • As others have mentioned, a silicone peeling tube, good-quality garlic press, and/or hand-chopper can all save a lot of time when it comes to peeling and mincing fresh garlic

  • If your family is up to it – recruit them to peel garlic (if you have children, little hands are surprising adept at this) or even do the mincing (adults, or older children who know how to safely use knives). Cooking can be a family affair if everyone is interested

    • Be careful of the mess/spillage if recruiting little ones to peel garlic. Garlic shouldn’t be ingested by dogs or cats, so you’ll want to be cautious of this if you have pets.

  • Garlic in brine may be worth considering. It will still taste different than fresh, but it’s often not as far-off as pre-minced garlic. It’s usually shelf-stable until opened, and sold near spices. These cloves will be peeled and in a solution that makes them softer in texture, thus a bit easier to mince.


TLDR: Most people agree that fresh garlic is better, but the best option is usually the one that works for you and your family.

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