How do I make the garlic not come out blue during pickling? I know it is safe to eat, I just do not like how it looks. I have used minced garlic but sometimes I prefer cloves. There has to be a way, you can buy pickled garlic in the store and it is not blue!

  • 2
    Welcome! Can you clarify if you are pickling the garlic yourself or if you are buying commercially pickled garlic? If you pickled it yourself could you post the recipe? It may help someone answer your question. I have had it turn blue when pickled at home but never in a commercially packaged product (not that it can't exist).
    – Cindy
    Jul 6, 2015 at 18:32
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    I'm not posting it as an answer since I'm not sure if it'll work, but: I know the blue color is a reaction of anthocyanins to acidity. If you blanched the garlic before pickling it, it might prevent the reaction from occurring?
    – SourDoh
    Jul 6, 2015 at 23:51

3 Answers 3


Yes, I also got pickled garlic that got blue after I got it from market. What I always do is as soon as I get them from a market, I insert few cloves in it for a short duration of time because I don't want the flavour of cloves and blanching it does help. The heat in blanching will destroy the pigments for coloration.

How to blanch: - Dip garlic in cold water - Heat it - Repeat again and again (Preferably 4 times)

The blue color is mainly due to the enzyme (sulphur and amino acids) and is harmless.

Hope this helps....

  • When you say "heat it" after dipping it in cold water does that mean boil it or just warm it?
    – Tara R
    Jul 10, 2015 at 3:18
  • Heat it means slightly bring to boil and then suddenly add cold water... Jul 10, 2015 at 15:22

The people I talked to regarding the "blue garlic" have long since died, but were the ones who taught me how to pickle veges and pickles. Supposedly it is due to the freshness of the garlic. When we buy garlic in the markets, we don't know how long the garlic is there. Also, there are many types of garlic, and if you get your garlic from farmers markets, it is supposed to be fresh and usually bigger cloves in the flowers (the bunch). Personally, I usually make about 10 gallons or so of picked veges at a time, my family and friends want it and I am the only one who makes it, and sometimes one or two gallons have blue garlic, not all but one or two gallons. I have even rubbed them in salt and put them in white vinegar to marinade while preparing the veges. Till now, even the little kids don't get sick, on the contrary, they love to eat blue garlic. Go figure.


I am pickling the garlic myself-when I put it in with my cucumbers to enhance the cucumbers flavor it's normal garlic color and then after I add the brine it turns blue. From what it looks like blanching and/or buying brand new garlic is the only way to prevent this. I also read somewhere if you refrigerate it for 2 weeks prior this may prevent the discoloration but I don't always plan that far ahead of time. Thanks for all the replies.

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