In most kitchens worldwide, garlic is an ingredient that gives food a terrific flavor. Garlic comes in at least 11 different varieties in taste, appearance, and size. The most prevalent varieties of garlic include hardneck, creole, black, and softness, which you typically see in supermarkets.
The best garlic bulbs to choose from are fragrant and contain firm cloves. Avoid buying bulbs with dry skin, sprouting, or black, rotten parts. After making your choice, you might be curious about the best way to store it because it will greatly affect your cooking.
This article examines the ideal methods for storing garlic.
What is Garlic?
Along with onions, leeks, and shallots, garlic is a plant member of the lily (allium) family. It grows underground in the shape of a bulb, and an inedible skin shields its tiny, off-white cloves.
Garlic bulbs are most frequently referred to as heads in the culinary world. And there are generally 10 to 20 cloves in each head.
How do you Store Garlic?
Garlic may last for months if it is properly kept.
Garlic can be stored in a few different ways without sacrificing flavor or shortening its shelf life.
At Room Temperature
The easiest approach to storing fresh garlic is to leave the entire bulb whole.
The lifespan of the garlic shortens after the bulb is broken. A broken head of garlic usually lasts for around ten days.
Fresh garlic should be kept at room temperature in mesh bags for the simplest storage method at home.
It’s preferable to keep fresh garlic in a dry, dark environment. Garlic should be kept at a temperature of 60–65°F (15–18°C) with low humidity.
In the Refrigerator
Additionally, garlic can be kept in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
However, after being removed from the refrigerator, cold garlic will begin to sprout after a few days (2Trusted Source).
Although sprouting garlic can be eaten, it is less desirable and has a more bitter flavor.
If you want to do this, keep the garlic in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Garlic peeled, or minced extra can also be kept in the fridge.
Garlic leftovers are best kept in the refrigerator in an airtight, sealed container that lasts up to two weeks.
In the Freezer
Frozen garlic is an additional method of preserving it.
Frozen garlic is not universally regarded as having the same flavor as fresh garlic.
Peeling the cloves, chopping the garlic, adding a little water or broth, and freezing the mixture in ice cube trays are the simplest ways to store garlic in the freezer.
The garlic ice cubes can be kept in the freezer for up to a month without losing flavor if kept in an airtight container.
Preserving Garlic in Olive Oil
Preserving garlic in olive oil is a common practice. This type of storage allows you to extend the shelf life of garlic and can be a fun way to make garlic taste fresh.
You must follow a few simple steps when preserving garlic in olive oil. First, you will need to clean the cloves before storing them. Then, you will need to place them in a sterilized jar.
Next, you will need to seal the jar with a screw-on lid. Once you have sealed it, you can store your garlic and oil in your fridge or freezer.
Garlic in olive oil does not last as long as other ways of preserving garlic, so you should plan to use it within about three weeks. However, if you’re not planning to eat the garlic right away, you can store the garlic and oil mixture for a few months in the refrigerator or freezer.
Another way to preserve garlic in olive oil is to add dehydrated garlic. Dehydrated garlic does not have a high acid content, so it should not be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Preserving Garlic in Paper Bags
You can store garlic in various ways. However, one way to keep garlic fresh is to use paper bags. Garlic can last for several months when stored in these bags.
The key to storing garlic is to keep it in a cool, dry place. Paper and mesh produce bags are the best for this task. If you’re planning to store it for a long period, you can also use plastic containers.
A general rule of thumb is to store garlic at 65 degrees. You can also leave it in a dehumidifier room. Alternatively, you can store the bulbs in oil. Oil-preserved garlic should never be stored at room temperature.
When storing your whole head of garlic, you should find a dark, cool, and dry place. You can use a wire basket or ceramic container. Or, if you don’t want to buy a new container, you can wrap the whole bulb in a brown paper bag.
If you store garlic for a few weeks, you can store it in a refrigerator. You can even freeze the whole bulb. This is a great option if you use garlic to make a sauce or dip.
Preserving Garlic in a Mason Jar
Preserving garlic in a Mason jar is a great way to keep fresh garlic available for months. It’s easy to do and saves you money!
For best results, store garlic in an airtight container or a sterilized mason jar. Be sure to label and date your jars and store them in a cool, dark place. The jars will last for about 12 months and will be ready for use the following year.
A few days before you preserve garlic, wash all your jars and canning tools thoroughly in hot soapy water. Clean the rims of the jars with a damp cloth to ensure a good seal. After that, fill the jars to at least 1/2″ of the headspace.
Once the jars are filled, you should place them in a canner. Make sure the canner has sufficient water. Using a stockpot lid will speed up the canning process.
Place the canner on top of a trivet. Fill it with at least 3 cups of water. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. If the lids are still hot, turn the heat off and let them sit for another 10 minutes.
How to Store Unpeeled Garlic Cloves?
Don’t worry if you cut off a few extra cloves than you needed. Simply save the unpeeled cloves with the remaining heads of garlic and be grateful for the extra preparation you made. Again, store any cloves away from direct sunlight to preserve their freshness.
Don’t be alarmed if you see that your garlic cloves are sprouting! These shoots might have a bitter taste that will change the flavor of your garlic, even if they are not hazardous. Garlic that sprouts can still be used, but carefully remove any green branches.
How to Store Peeled Garlic Cloves?
Peeled garlic rots more quickly than unpeeled garlic because the papery skin is a protective layer. Peeled garlic cloves should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container (jar, plastic bag, etc.).
Similarly, if you chop any extra garlic, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Use the garlic within two to three days, regardless of its shape. After that, it will start to degrade and foul up anything nearby. If you’re confident you won’t use all of the peeled garlic before it spoils, see the instructions for freezing it below.
How to Store Chopped or Minced Garlic?
Did you unintentionally mince more garlic than was required for a recipe? It can be covered in olive oil, placed in an airtight container, and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week before use. Try not to hold on to it any longer than that: According to the USDA, fresh garlic in oil has a long-term risk of developing botulism (the pre-minced garlic you buy at the grocery store has been treated with preservatives that keep it safe to eat for longer). Visit our article on how to store homemade minced garlic for more information on how to mince garlic beforehand.
How to Use Garlic – What does it Taste Like?
One of those widely used items, garlic, is a staple of almost every cuisine in the world. It is astringent, harsh, and pungent when it is raw. For this reason, it is frequently used as a flavoring agent in cooking to mellow its flavor.
The flavor of the garlic can be faint to intense, depending on how it is sliced. After being cooked, the flavor dramatically softens to a pleasant and delicious scent. Furthering the point, roasting the garlic creates a creamy, mildly nutty component that may be eaten on its own. (Consider bruschetta!)
Health Benefits of Garlic
Due to its wealth of nutritious qualities, garlic has been utilized as a therapeutic agent for ages. Garlic, according to Healthline, has the following properties:
- Since it naturally includes antioxidants, it reduces oxidative stress.
- Blood pressure will drop, and the cardiovascular system will benefit.
- Reduce total and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels to raise cholesterol.
- Due to the high sulfur content, it can detoxify heavy metals from the body.
- Assist in reducing and preventing illnesses like the flu and the common cold.
Reference: The Miracle of Garlic: Practical Tips for Health & Home
Is Sprouted Garlic Okay to Eat?
Yes, sprouting garlic is safe to eat, even though the sprouts could taste harsh. Peel the garlic clove and cut it in half lengthwise to remove the sprout. Then, remove the green shoot using your fingers or a little pairing knife.
Garlic Prefers it Cool But Not Cold
It’s a nice reminder that garlic prefers cool temperatures—not freezing ones. After being cold, garlic will sprout a few days after returning to room temperature. When fresh garlic is kept in the fridge, this is typically what happens. This does not imply that the garlic shouldn’t be kept there if it has been preserved in another manner. For instance, if you cook with fresh garlic, you must keep it in the refrigerator and use it within three weeks to avoid botulism.
Another excellent technique for using fresh garlic is picking; the pickling process softens the garlic flavor. Garlic cloves that have been pickled can be eaten directly from the jar or added to a salad. The fresh garlic can be kept in the back of the refrigerator by being placed in a jar with salt and vinegar.
Is garlic bad when it starts sprouting?
Once the garlic begins to sprout, it does not go bad. However, many people perceive the flavor to be more bitter and do not enjoy the alteration. However, I don’t dislike the flavor at all, especially after being grilled or roasted.
Plant the garlic in a small container of soil if you unintentionally leave it out, and it grows. Harvest the garlic greens and enjoy them by setting them on the window sill. These can easily be added to various foods without a taste difference. For any dish, use the soft green garlic stalks for ordinary garlic, scallions, onions, leeks, or even shallots!
A wonderful and often used ingredient, garlic gives many meals flavor and depth.
Although there are various varieties of garlic, the majority can be used in everyday cooking.
There are many different ways to store garlic, including at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer. You can also roast, pickle, or dehydrate it for variety.
Still, keeping fresh garlic in your kitchen’s cool, dry area is the simplest and most effective storage method.