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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.

Storage MethodShelf LifeTips
Whole Heads of Garlic6 monthsStore in a cool, dark place with good airflow. Do not store it in the refrigerator, as this will cause the garlic to sprout.
Peeled Garlic Cloves1 week in the refrigeratorStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Frozen Garlic Cloves6 monthsPeel and chop the garlic cloves, then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Chopped Garlic1 week in the refrigeratorStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Do not store chopped garlic for longer than 1 week, as it will lose its flavor and texture.
Frozen Chopped Garlic3 monthsChopped garlic can also be frozen. To do this, place the chopped garlic in an airtight container or freezer bag. Be sure to label the container with the date so you know how long it has been frozen.

How to store peeled garlic cloves

peeled garlic

Garlic cloves are the individual segments that make up a garlic bulb. They’re encased in a papery skin, which when removed, gives you peeled garlic cloves.

Now, you might wonder, why peel garlic before storing it? The answer is simple – peeling can be a part of meal prep to save time later, or you might want to preserve garlic that would otherwise spoil.

Without the protective bulb and skin, peeled garlic cloves need special storage in the fridge or freezer to stay fresh.

In the fridge

Store your peeled garlic cloves in the fridge, making sure to place them in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag.

Stored this way, your garlic can stay fresh for about a week. A sealed container is essential to prevent the garlic from drying out and absorbing other flavors present in your fridge.

The longer garlic stays in the fridge, the more it tends to lose its potency, so aim to use it within a week.

If you’re wondering how to identify spoiled garlic, check out this post!

In the freezer

Freezing is a fantastic method to preserve the freshness and flavor of peeled garlic cloves.

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange your peeled garlic cloves evenly on the sheet.
  3. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap.
  4. Place the sheet in the freezer and allow the cloves to freeze solid for a few hours.
  5. Once frozen, carefully remove each clove.
  6. Individually wrap each frozen clove in aluminum foil.
  7. Place the foil-wrapped cloves into a Ziploc bag.
  8. Store the bag in the freezer.

By following these steps, your garlic cloves will remain separate and easy to use individually. Properly stored, they can retain their quality for up to 10 to 12 months.

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!

Frequently asked questions about how to store garlic

It’s not ideal to store fresh garlic in the fridge, as the humidity can lead to sprouting. However, peeled or chopped garlic can be stored in the fridge for a short time. Consider freezing or pickling for longer-term storage.

Absolutely! Freezing is a great way to store garlic long-term. You can freeze whole unpeeled bulbs, individual cloves (peeled or unpeeled), or chopped garlic.

Chopped garlic can be stored in the fridge in a tightly covered container for a few days. For longer storage, consider freezing it flat in a plastic bag and breaking off pieces as needed.


Garlic is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. By following these tips, you can store garlic properly and keep it fresh for longer.

Whether you store it in a cool, dark place, the refrigerator, or the freezer, garlic will stay flavorful and delicious for weeks or even months.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a few heads of garlic and store them properly so you can enjoy them all year long.

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