June 23, 2020

There’s hardly a flavor out there that triumphs the complex, strong, and delectable flavor of garlic.  If you’re a fellow garlic lover, then you’ve come to the right place! 

I love garlic so much for its unique flavor and versatility that I use it generously in a lot of my dinner recipes. This is why I would like to grow garlic in my garden! 

Have you ever accidentally added too much garlic in your dish and didn’t know how to fix it? Check out this fantastic guide on how to fix too much garlic in a dish!

With that said, I always used to struggle with storing garlic and it would either sprout or become too dry until I learned how to store it the right way. 

There are various ways to store garlic so that it lasts for a long time and you get to enjoy it in your dishes regularly. 

Wondering how to store garlic? Read on to find out 3 easy ways to store garlic.  

Can Garlic Be Kept in the Refrigerator?

You can store garlic in the crisper drawer of your fridge. However, this storage method isn’t ideal as it doesn’t keep garlic fresh for long and if the temperature isn’t right, then the bulbs will start to sprout. 

With that said, you can store peeled and chopped garlic in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. 

As for homegrown, new season garlic, also known as "young wet" garlic, which is harvested in early summer and has a milder flavor than regular garlic, you’ll need to refrigerate it. It’ll easily last for a week and you can use it in your recipes instead of onions and leeks.  

How Long Can You Store Garlic for?

When stored at room temperature, garlic bulbs can easily last for about 8 to 12 weeks. However, broken cloves will only last about 3 to 10 days. 

Peeled and chopped garlic can be stored for about a week in the fridge and about 10 to 12 months in your freezer.    

How to Store Garlic?

There are four primary ways to store garlic. Let’s discuss them in detail:

Storing at Room Temperature

Inarguably, the best way to store garlic so that it stays fresh and lasts for a long time is to store it at room temperature. Here‘s how to store garlic at room temperature:

  1. Harvest or buy firm garlic that’s without any soft spots as those indicate over-ripeness. The bulb should have papery dry skin and no sprouts. Avoid buying garlic bulbs from the refrigerator section of the store or those that have shriveled up.
  2. Dry homegrown bulbs before storing them as it allows their flavor to become more concentrated. Simply wash the harvested bulbs and let them dry in a moisture-free, dark area for around a week. If possible, hang them by their stalks to dry.
  3. Keep the bulbs in a wire basket or a mesh bag to ensure proper air circulation. Void storing the bulbs in sealed containers or plastic bags as it can cause mold to grow and the garlic to sprout.  
  4. Store the garlic bulbs at room temperature in an area with good air circulation. This will allow the garlic to remain moisture-free and extend its shelf life. Choose a spot that’s away from moisture and sunlight and is dry and dark such as your kitchen cabinet or a shady area of your countertop or pantry.
  5. Make sure to use the garlic quickly once you break the bulb as its quality starts to degrade quickly once the bulbs are broke.  

Storing Via Freezing

If you want to store garlic for a long time, then you can look into freezing garlic. However, frozen garlic might not taste as good as fresh garlic or garlic that’s stored at room temperature. Here’s how you can freeze garlic in different ways:

Unpeeled Whole Cloves:

  1. Divide the garlic bulb into cloves and place the whole, unpeeled cloves directly in your freezer. Note to use a high quality freezer bag.
  2. Whenever you need to use garlic in your dish, just thaw the cloves, unpeel them, and use them.

Garlic Paste:

  1. Peel some garlic cloves and throw them in your food processor or blender.
  2. Add a little water into your blender and then pulse the garlic cloves until they are evenly pulverized.
  3. Take the garlic paste out of the blender and freeze it by spreading it out in a thin layer on a silicone sheet  or in ice cube trays.
  4. Once flash frozen, store the blended garlic pieces or cubes in an airtight container in your freezer. 

Alternatively…

  1. Instead of using water, you can also puree the garlic with an oil of your choice. My preferred oil is high-quality olive oil.
  2. Store the puree in a heavy-duty container and put it in your freezer.
  3. The oil won’t freeze over, which will allow you to simply scrape some pureed garlic off the surface to use it in your cooking.  

Garlic Blocks:

  1. Peel the skin off the garlic cloves and chop them into tiny even pieces.
  2. Form the chopped garlic into blocks, wrap them tightly in a plastic wrap or bag, and store it in your freezer.
  3. Whenever needed, simply grate the frozen blocks or break off a piece and use it in your dish.

Pro Tip: Whichever method you choose to freeze the garlic, make sure to store it in your freezer right after preparing it. 

Storing in Wine or Vinegar

If you want the garlic to last, store it in wine or vinegar. Here’s how:

  1. Put the garlic cloves in a glass jar or container of dry white wine or white vinegar.
  2. Place the jar in your fridge. The stored garlic cloves will easily last for 3 to 5 months under optimal temperature. 

Pro Tip: When storing garlic via this method, make sure to keep an eye on the surface of the vinegar or wine. If you see any unusual growth forming on the surface, then it’s probably mold or yeast growing due to a warmer temperature than required for proper storage. Discard the contents of the jar right away.

How to Make Garlic Last Longer

There are quite a few factors that you need to keep in mind to keep garlic fresh. Firstly, when buying or harvesting garlic for storage, choose the bulbs that aren’t damaged, soft, or starting to develop sprouts. 

Next, store the garlic cloves in a mesh produce bag or a loosely woven basket. This will ensure that the cloves get enough air circulation to keep them fresh and prevent them from rotting. 

Just make sure to store it between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and a moderately humid environment to ensure that it doesn’t sprout or shrivel up. 

Can You Freeze Whole Garlic?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze whole garlic! Just leave the peels on and store the bulbs directly in your freezer after harvesting or purchasing them. Just make sure that there are no moist spots on the bulbs and they aren’t soft or damaged.

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to store garlic. Do try the aforementioned storage methods and let me know which one you liked the best!

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About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

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