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How to Store Garlic

Garlic is the most popular flavor used in many dishes and foods. It has a very distinctive taste that makes everything it touches taste better, but storing garlic can be challenging for some cooks.

This article will give you tips on how to store different types of garlic as well as what other ways there are to preserve your chopped-up bulbs.

Sometimes it is best to store in the refrigerator and sometimes it is better to leave the garlic in a cool dry place.

How to store fresh garlic

Ultimately, the best place to store garlic is a cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. The ideal temperature to store fresh garlic bulbs is 60-65°F. This will depend of course on what kind of garlic you are storing.

If you think about how garlic is grown that will help you figure out where to store it. Garlic is grown underground where it is cool and dark right? You want to mimic its natural habitat.

A fresh whole garlic bulb can last you about 6 months but once you break it apart into cloves you will want to use it up within 3 weeks or so.

With that said you have to take into account if you are storing bulbs, cloves, chopped or minced garlic? If you have already cut into your garlic you will want to refrigerate or freeze it.

There is so much more to it though so let’s get into how to store garlic based on its state.

Interested in how to peel garlic check out my post.

How to store peeled garlic cloves

peeled garlic

Peeled garlic cloves are when you have broken apart the bulb into pieces which are referred to as cloves in the garlic world.

They are covered with papery skin and once that has been removed is when you have peeled garlic cloves.

You might be asking, why would I peel garlic just to store it?

Well, peeling it can help you prep and get ahead of your cooking, or maybe you know you wont to be able to use it all before it’s going to go bad?

With the garlic no longer having the bulb or its papery skin on it to protect it you will want to store them in the fridge or in the freezer to make them last.

In the fridge

It is important to place peeled garlic cloves in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag when storing them in the refrigerator.

Your garlic will last you about a week in the fridge if stored correctly.

Storing peeled garlic in a sealed container or bag is crucial because not only would it dry out but also your garlic cloves will absorb the lingering smells and flavors in your fridge.

The longer you leave your garlic in the fridge the more it will dry out and lose its pungency. You want to use them up in a week’s time.

Wondering how to tell if garlic has gone bad? Check out this post!

In the freezer

Freezing peeled garlic cloves is a great way to save their freshness and flavor.

Place your peeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap. Allow for your garlic to freeze for a couple of hours.

Once they are frozen, individually wrap each one in aluminum foil and then into a Ziploc bag. This will keep them from freezing together and allow you to grab as many as you need at a time.

They will last in the freezer for 10 to 12 months if stored correctly.

How to store minced and chopped garlic

pile of minced garlic

In the Fridge

Minced and chopped garlic are similar in a way except one is chopped finer than the other. Storage is going to be the same for either one.

You have probably noticed that when you buy minced garlic from the store it always has oil in it. This is because the oil helps to protect the garlic from the air and preserves that garlic flavor.

The same goes for if you have minced or chopped garlic that you want to save at home. Adding a little bit of a neutral-tasting oil such as olive oil or avocado oil will keep the garlic safe from air and save your flavor.

You want to make sure that you store it in a tightly sealed container like a mason jar that tightly seals closed or something alike.

The USDA recommends that you do not save garlic that has been stored in oil for more than 7 days as it will be at risk for what is called Botulism.

Botulism is a toxic poison that can attack the nervous system according to CDC.

In the Freezer

When freezing garlic I highly recommend freezing it into individual portions as this will make it a lot easier to use in the future. Much like when storing minced or chopped garlic in the fridge, you will want to add a mild oil to freeze it as well.

Once you have your chopped or minced garlic mixed with a little bit of oil, divide it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once they are frozen you can throw them all into a sealed bag and they are ready to grab and go.

You may opt to wrap each cube in foil to ensure that they don’t end up stuck together.

Do not leave them in the ice cube tray to store as they will get freezer-burned and also lose the pungent flavors that you are trying to preserve.

These are great to throw right into the pot or pan that you can cook and they will melt into your dish. They will stay good in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Check out my recipe for homemade Texas Toast garlic bread! It is mouth-watering!


How long can you keep fresh garlic in the refrigerator?

Fresh garlic can last in the fridge anywhere from a few days up to a week depending on if you are storing peeled bulbs, chopped garlic.
Whole cloves can last about a week in the refrigerator. Chopped or minced garlic will only last you a day or two unless you keep it mixed in olive oil in a sealed container it will last you about a week.

Can you store onions and garlic together?

Yes, you can store onions and garlic together as they both need to be stored in similar environments. You want to keep them stored in a dark, dry, and cool space like a pantry or a well-ventilated cupboard.

How to store garlic in oil

In order to preserve chopped garlic, you want to add a neutral-tasting oil such as olive oil or avocado oil. In a tightly-sealed jar or container add about a tablespoon of oil for every tablespoon of chopped garlic.

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