Whether you like it or not, no kitchen is complete without garlic. If you are a huge fan of garlic and the raw flavor it infuses into every dish, you’ll want to know how to store your precious bulbs to keep the rot away.
How to store garlic? The best way to store garlic is at room temperature in a dry and dark place with ample airflow, such as a mesh bag. Fresh garlic can also be stored in a refrigerator or in a freezer if it’s roasted. For an added variety you can also pickle, dehydrate, or make a garlic-flavored oil.
Garlic can stay fresh for months, but it will start to deteriorate once you break the bulb and take individual cloves. In this article, we’ll list all the ways you can store fresh garlic and preserve it at home.
Ways On How to Store Garlic
If you’ve returned from a grocery store or a farmer market with more garlic than you actually need, don’t worry. There are many ways you can store the extra garlic bulbs and keep them fresh for later use.
Here are the most common methods of preserving garlic:
One way to keep garlic fresh is to keep it stored in the refrigerator inside the crisper drawer. Crisper drawers have a different level of humidity and are specially designed to keep fruits and veggies fresh for longer (source).
Keep in mind, the fridge isn’t an optional long-term storage solution since colder temperatures stimulate sprouting. If your garlic has sprouted just cut the clove in half and remove the green sprout.
You can also use the fridge to store peeled garlic cloves or chopped garlic for a few weeks. When refrigerating garlic use an airtight container to prevent strong smells taking permanent residence in your fridge.
Many people believe that frozen garlic isn’t as good as fresh, but that’s not really true. You can store fresh garlic in the freezer for a month without it losing flavor.
If you opt for storing garlic in the freezer, peel the cloves, mince them, add a little bit of water or a broth, and then freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, the garlic ice cubes should be kept in an airtight container.
Making dehydrated garlic is a convenient and easy way to preserve fresh garlic at home. You’ll need to peel and slice your garlic in half and place the slices into a food dehydrator or an oven.
Keep the temperature at around 140˚F for two hours and then reduce to 130˚F. Leave the garlic in the oven or food dehydrator until all slices are completely dry and crisp.
Once the garlic is dried out you can store it in an airtight container or use a blender to chop the dried garlic into a powder. Dehydrated garlic can stay fresh for months at room temperature if stored in an airtight container.
Making roasted garlic is another option to store the extra bulbs if you had an abundant harvest or got carried away at the grocery store. The best thing about roasted garlic is that you can use it to add flavor to just about any dish or simply spread it on a toast.
To roast your garlic, start by gently peeling the papery skins without separating individual cloves from the bulb. Next, you’ll need to slice the top part of the garlic’s head off leaving the cloves exposed to roast evenly.
Once that is done place the garlic on a baking sheet and lightly grease it with olive oil. Place everything in an oven and bake at 350˚F for about 45 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and has a golden color.
When the garlic is cool, squeeze out the roasted cloves in an airtight container. Roasted garlic can last two to three days in the fridge and up to several months in the freezer.
Pickling is another way you can store garlic at home. Pickled garlic has a mellower taste than raw garlic and can be used in salads or as an appetizer.
Making pickled garlic is a very straightforward process, just peel the cloves and put them in a glass jar with some salt and vinegar. Picked garlic can keep indefinitely in the refrigerator and you’ll have a steady supply until you run out and need to make another jar.
If you have dried garlic slices, you can use them to make garlic-flavored oil. To make garlic in oil, you’ll need to put a handful of dried garlic slices into a small glass jar and then cover them with olive oil.
Note, you’ll need to be extra careful when storing fresh garlic in oil since these mixtures provide an ideal environment for botulism, when kept at room temperature (source). You can store fresh garlic in oil in the freezer for several months, and no longer than four days in the refrigerator.
Lastly, the easiest way to store garlic at home is at room temperature in mesh bags that provide air circulation. Keep the entire bulb whole and avoid plastic bags if you want to keep your garlic fresh and edible for months to come.
Fresh garlic keeps the best when stored at room temperature of 60 to 65˚F in moderate humidity. Due to these specific conditions, storing fresh garlic at home can be difficult during winter when most homes tend to be very warm and dry.
In this case, the best you can do is find the coolest place in your house and store your garlic there.
What Is the Best Way to Store Garlic?
The best way to store garlic is at room temperature in a dry and dark place that has good air circulation. Store your garlic in paper or mesh bags that will maintain a constant airflow which is essential if you want to avoid mold and rot.
How Long Can Garlic Be Stored in The Fridge?
Once you peel the skin off garlic, it’s hard to store it and keep it fresh long-term. Peeled cloves will last for a week in the fridge, but chopped garlic won’t last more than a day unless it’s submerged in oil, in which case it can last up to three days.
Garlic is an invaluable ingredient in many dishes and you probably have several bulbs tucked away in your pantry right now. The great thing about garlic is that it can be stored in many different ways and stay fresh for a long time.
Whether you bought too much or had a huge harvest, you can roast, dry, freeze, pickle, or refrigerate your garlic. However, the easiest way to preserve garlic is to store it at room temperature in a dry and well-ventilated place.