How to Braid Garlic (or Onions) – Photo & Video tutorial

An easy to follow tutorial on how to braid garlic (or onions) with step by step instructions and a video. For the emerging homesteader in you. Not a homesteader?  A garlic braid will still make you look cool in front of your cheffy friends.

 

Skip right to the tutorial.

So you’ve harvested your onions or garlic and are feeling a little fancy. Sure you normally just cut the leaves and stems off and throw everything into a basket but THIS year you want to rock a garlic braid. Because you’re cool and determined and they look great in a kitchen.

For this tutorial I’m going to use onions but the exact same technique is used for braiding garlic.

When braiding garlic use softneck types. You can also braid hardneck garlic, it’s just a bit harder. Literally.  The necks really are hard so you’ll have to soften up their stems by soaking only the stems in water or wrapping them in a wet towel for half an hour or so (to make them pliable for braiding).

Oh wait. You don’t grow your own onions or garlic?  O.K. well put that on your calendar for next year. Here’s How to Grow Garlic and here’s How to Grow Onions. Garlic is planted in the fall and onions in the spring so plan accordingly. I’ll meet you back here next year for when you’re ready to braid.

For everyone else? Here we go …

Lay out 13 heads of garlic in front of you and divide them from biggest to smallest. Group together 3 large, 4 medium and 6 small.

Place the 3 largest heads together and tie a piece of twine with a 2 foot tail around them. The string holds the initial 3 heads together plus gives the braid support if you start to run out of stalks to braid.

Step 1
Now braid the 3 stalks just like you would hair counting every time you cross over. You want to braid three times. So count one, two, three and stop.

Step 4

Criss cross 2 medium sized onions over the stalks so they’re on either side of the middle onion. Remember to keep your stalks lined up.

Step 5

Braid the stalks again, one, two, three.

Step 6
Continue like this using up your medium sized garlic first and ending with the smallest ones.

When you’re out of garlic, continue to braid the stalks and then fold them down behind. Secure the turned down braid with the tail of twine.

 

How to Braid Garlic (or onions)

How to Braid Garlic (or Onions)

How to Braid Garlic (or Onions)

Yield: 1 Braid
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

An easy to follow tutorial on how to make a garlic braid or onion braid.

Materials

  • 13 heads of garlic or bulbs of onions
  • Twine

Tools

  • No tools needed.

Instructions

  1. Lay out 13 heads of garlic in front of you and divide them from biggest to smallest. Group together 3 large, 4 medium and 6 small.
  2. Place the 3 largest heads together and tie a piece of twine with a 2 foot tail around them. The string holds the initial 3 heads together plus gives the braid support if you start to run out of stalks to braid.
  3. Now braid the 3 stalks just like you would hair counting every time you cross over. You want to braid three times. So count one, two, three and stop.
  4. Criss cross 2 medium sized onions over the stalks so they're on either side of the middle onion. Remember to keep your stalks lined up.
  5. Braid the stalks again, one, two, three.
  6. Continue like this using up your medium sized garlic first and ending with the smallest ones.
  7. When you're out of garlic, continue to braid the stalks and then fold them down behind. Secure the turned down braid with the tail of twine.

Notes

Just keep braiding the twine with the garlic as you go. It doesn't matter which stem you hold it with.

The main reason to braid garlic is because it looks good. There's no evidence it will last longer if you braid it as opposed to keeping it in a ventilated cotton bag.

Garlic will store for up to 6 months if you keep it in a place with a bit of humidity, like near the stove where you'll be boiling water etc.

To use the garlic either pluck off a piece of cut the entire head (starting with the head closest to the top of the braid)

 

 
 

Garlic Braiding Tips 

  1. Yes! Braiding garlic is exactly like French Braiding as a matter of fact. :)
  2. Softneck garlic is the easiest to braid, but hardneck garlic will work if you make the stems pliable by soaking them in water and massaging them.
  3. A garlic braid will last up to 6 months if you keep it in a well ventilated area with 70% humidity and a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. If you want to though, you can absolutely keep it in conditions other than that (like in your kitchen), it will just start to dry out and sprout earlier.
  5. Cut the top head off first and then work your way down the braid.

Still confused?   Braiding produce probably isn’t for you.  Perhaps you can get some enjoyment out of just playing with the ball of twine.  Luckily for you, balls of twine also look pretty cool in a kitchen so it’s not a complete loss. 

How to Braid Garlic (or Onions) - Photo & Video tutorial

37 Comments

  1. Jane says:

    Been drying my garlic in the garage…can’t wait to try to braid it…but can’t keep my garden goodies on my porch because the coons visit every night…Par Tee time for them….tried putting out coyote urine to keep,em away…didn’t work…guess I need a trap. We caught about 6 last summer…rolled up our new sod every night! They are very brave….and we all wanna see your moonwalk video:)

  2. frances mcginlay says:

    Have jst harvested my garlic under yr tutolage..thanks!
    Wd post a pic but don’t think i can? ..Suffice to say mine is little bit different :) yr site is GREAT tho..ta x

  3. Sam H says:

    So when you cut an onion off… which one do you start with or does it not matter?

  4. Laura Bee says:

    Just checking to see when my garlic will be ready…about two weeks. Thanks Karen, you’re as useful as the Farmer’s Almanac & way more entertaining.

  5. Gayla T says:

    That was way too much trouble when we gardened because we had enough to last a family through the winter. We used the panty hose method. I have bought the strings from the farmer’s market but I guess my kitchen has too much moisture and it starts going soft. It sure looks good until then, though.

  6. AnnW says:

    Your blog gets “curiouser and curiouser” every day. What is that from? Alice and Wonderland? What Can”t You Do? I know, sew.

    • Karen says:

      AnnW – I can sew. I just sewed 2 nights ago. I don’t particularly like to sew. Although the other night I didn’t hate it for some reason. ~ k!

  7. marilyn says:

    wicked!

  8. Nikki Kelly says:

    I don’t have onions or garlic, but I did French braid my grass earlier this year….

    Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

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