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aperture

Garlic in Infused Oil and Ghee

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Various recipes call for making flavored oil or ghee by adding raw garlic cloves to fat, cooking over low heat for some time, and then straining the result.

 

Since I'm pretty wary of raw garlic in fat (botulism paranoia), I'd like to know if anyone can explain how safe this is. The garlic itself is strained out at the end, but can botulinum spores persist in the fat itself?

 

I imagine there is some temperature/time combo that makes this safe. For example, if I remove the milk solids from butter, add garlic to the clarified butter, and bring the result to a low simmer for 20 minutes -- good?

 

I should specify that the recipes I'm looking at call for making a large quantity of flavored ghee at once and then storing it for weeks afterward.


Edited by aperture (log)

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When I do this, I peel and finely chop the garlic. I like to use a cheap EVOO and heat it until it sizzles , but not so much that it browns. It only takes a few minutes at the sizzle. I will use it right away or cool it and refrigerate it. At that point, it's no longer raw.

HC

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Read through this thread:

 

"no longer raw" doesn't cut it. It has to be 250° for at least five minutes and that needs to be checked with a thermometer. Of course, all the water will be gone from the garlic long before it reaches 250°. (and a pressure fryer is recommended)

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14 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

 

"no longer raw" doesn't cut it. It has to be 250° for at least five minutes and that needs to be checked with a thermometer. Of course, all the water will be gone from the garlic long before it reaches 250°. (and a pressure fryer is recommended)

https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/how-to-make-garlic-infused-olive-oil-article

HC


Edited by HungryChris (log)

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Sounds like clarifying the butter on the stove and then "steeping" the clarified butter with onion/garlic/spices in a 275F oven for a couple of hours would be safe (I'm confident that my oven can maintain 275).


Edited by aperture (log)

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1 hour ago, aperture said:

Sounds like clarifying the butter on the stove and then "steeping" the clarified butter with onion/garlic/spices in a 275F oven for a couple of hours would be safe (I'm confident that my oven can maintain 275).

 

If you had read the thread I linked to, you would have seen posts by MaxH outlining how difficult it is to get oil at or above temperature under regular atmospheric pressure. This is why acidulation then pressure frying are recommended.

 

There is only one scientifically proven method for home cooks to make a safe garlic oil. HERE is a link to a page run by Clemson University's extension service. (a place where real science happens, not a suzie-hommemaker clickbait website)


Edited by Lisa Shock (log)

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1 hour ago, Lisa Shock said:

If you had read the thread I linked to, you would have seen posts by MaxH outlining how difficult it is to get oil at or above temperature under regular atmospheric pressure. This is why acidulation then pressure frying are recommended.

 

There is only one scientifically proven method for home cooks to make a safe garlic oil. HERE is a link to a page run by Clemson University's extension service. (a place where real science happens, not a suzie-hommemaker clickbait website)

 

Ah, didn't read pages 2 or 3 there. So oven or stove sans pressure can't produce guaranteed safe garlic oil. I wasn't aware of this 250F issue with unpressurized food.

 

It's interesting, the incidence of botulism cases from garlic oil appears to be vanishingly low relative to the number of people engaging in scientifically unsafe practices. I don't doubt the science behind the temperature/acid guidelines, but the picture appears incomplete. Shouldn't we see more cases?

 

It's not like vanilla food safety where lax practices may result in a few more conventional illnesses a year or something -- I don't think there's a "mild" case of botulism. So the low case count is strange to me.


Edited by aperture (log)

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18 minutes ago, aperture said:

It's interesting, the incidence of botulism cases from garlic oil appears to be vanishingly low relative to the number of people engaging in scientifically unsafe practices.

 

 

I'm guessing it may be more difficult to give yourself botulism than, say, salmonella or listeria, but the severity  and permanency of the effects mean that NO risk is acceptable.

 

 

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But what about acid?  There are often mentions of 'low acid environments'.  Although I don't know if the result would be palatable, what if one were to soak garlic cloves in lemon juice?

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1 minute ago, IndyRob said:

But what about acid?  There are often mentions of 'low acid environments'.  Although I don't know if the result would be palatable, what if one were to soak garlic cloves in lemon juice?

3% cutric acid.   See the link that Lisa provided. 

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21 minutes ago, Anna N said:

3% citric acid.   See the link that Lisa provided. 

Thanks, I saw her references to heating, and thought it would be more complicated.  In fact Lisa said that "This is why acidulation then pressure frying are recommended. "  But the Clemson link only mentions heating (to 140F) as a way to speed up the infusion.  So the pressure frying is not necessary?

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7 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

Lots of sites run by non-scientists and non-food professionals have bad/incorrect information on them. Even the NYT ran an article by Bittman which was essentially a guideline for culturing botulism.

Don't you think that the NYT would have retracted their post by now, if it was , in fact,  a guideline to killing people, as you imply?

HC


Edited by HungryChris (log)

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1 hour ago, HungryChris said:

Don't you think that the NYT would have retracted their post by now, if it was , in fact,  a guideline to killing people, as you imply?

HC

 

They sort of did. It was a video, and they clipped a bit of it and over-dubbed it to say to not keep it more than a day. But, it was the Food section, not a department with real reporters and ethics rules.

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6 hours ago, aperture said:

Ah, didn't read pages 2 or 3 there. So oven or stove sans pressure can't produce guaranteed safe garlic oil. I wasn't aware of this 250F issue with unpressurized food.

 

It's interesting, the incidence of botulism cases from garlic oil appears to be vanishingly low relative to the number of people engaging in scientifically unsafe practices. I don't doubt the science behind the temperature/acid guidelines, but the picture appears incomplete. Shouldn't we see more cases?

 

It's not like vanilla food safety where lax practices may result in a few more conventional illnesses a year or something -- I don't think there's a "mild" case of botulism. So the low case count is strange to me.

 

 

Vanilla is one of the most complex foods on earth. I hate when people conflate "shipped to you discreetly in a plain manila envelope" with the fruit of the orchid. That aside, there was outbreak of botulism in California this year, covered pretty extensively here on eG. One person died and nine others were hospitalized. Botulism survivors generally don't fully recover, some paralysis will affect their muscles and organs for the rest of their lives.

 

Garlic oil is one of the few foods mentioned specifically in the FDA food code, and in most county health department regulations. Classes like ServSafe, which help cooks get food handler cards, cover it -as do all culinary school programs. (and degree programs in sanitation, nutrition, etc.)  Pretty much anyone with industry experience learns about it early on.

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Cook, strain, then heat to 250F for 5 minutes with a thermometer to verify.

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This is probably a really dumb question but is the minced garlic I've purchased in jars cooked? I'm assuming it's not and just kept in some type of oil. 

 

  I've taken ServeSafe classes and the some ages ago when I was in college. I know raw garlic and cooked rice are potentially harmful even deadly but I don't know why exactly. 

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7 hours ago, MetsFan5 said:

  I've taken ServeSafe classes and the some ages ago when I was in college. I know raw garlic and cooked rice are potentially harmful even deadly but I don't know why exactly. 

Raw garlic in oil, because the oil creates an anaerobic environment where C. botulinum can flourish. Cooked rice because Bacillus cereus loves the stuff.

 

B. cereus can produce enterotoxins directly in your gut, or in the rice itself before it's eaten. It's triply problematic, because 1) the toxin is heat-stable; 2) the bacterium itself "spores up" for protection and can survive high temperatures and emerge fully functional; and 3) once established, like Listeria monocytogenes, it can continue to flourish at refrigerator temperatures. 

 

Fortunately, for most people, B. cereus passes quickly with only 6 to 12 hours' misery in most cases. The usual disclaimers apply (it can be more serious for the elderly, the very young, those whose immune systems are already depressed, etc). 

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So do these warnings on infused oil apply beyond garlic? For example, is infusing then straining with spices a no-go too?

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15 hours ago, chromedome said:

Raw garlic in oil, because the oil creates an anaerobic environment where C. botulinum can flourish. Cooked rice because Bacillus cereus loves the stuff.

 

B. cereus can produce enterotoxins directly in your gut, or in the rice itself before it's eaten. It's triply problematic, because 1) the toxin is heat-stable; 2) the bacterium itself "spores up" for protection and can survive high temperatures and emerge fully functional; and 3) once established, like Listeria monocytogenes, it can continue to flourish at refrigerator temperatures. 

 

Fortunately, for most people, B. cereus passes quickly with only 6 to 12 hours' misery in most cases. The usual disclaimers apply (it can be more serious for the elderly, the very young, those whose immune systems are already depressed, etc). 

 

 

Thanks. I wonder at times if I am making myself sick, eating rice that has been cooked at then sat out for a few hours. How long is it okay to keep cooked rice at room temperature before it can cause harm? My husband has an iron stomach and can and will literally eat anything but I am not a leftovers fan. 

 

  Does this raw garlic threat apply to jarred minced garlic? I always keep it in the fridge after opening.  

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If you have to wonder whether you're making yourself sick, you haven't made yourself sick. Yet.


Leftover rice should be refrigerated as soon as it's cool enough to move to the fridge. Rice is a fantastic substrate for bacterial growth and it's not acidic or salty enough to fight off microbial invaders (unlike some of your other leftovers, which are comparably more hostile). If you need the rice to cool down faster, move it to a large bowl and fluff it with a spoon or rice paddle. It will cool off rapidly. 

 

Jarred minced garlic isn't raw. It's been cooked during the canning process, which is one of the many reasons it's not a full substitute for real raw garlic. Jarred garlic is also packaged in water, which creates an aerobic environment (where the threat from botulism arises in anaerobic environments like oil or a vacuum bag).

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I heat garlic in oil over low heat. 

Then I bung it in the ISI whip and charge it with N2O to pressure infuse.

Strain and USE

 

I DONT KEEP IT.

 

But still, who is looking to keep infused garlic oil at room temp or for more than a few days?

 

 

“. failure to acidify will result in a final product that must be stored under refrigeration and used within two or three days.”

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