How to Store Garlic: The Best Way to Keep Fresh Garlic in Your Kitchen
Garlic is my go-to addition to so much of what I make in the kitchen. It is the ultimate flavor booster, not to mention the fact that garlic has major health benefits. Garlic is in the plant family called alliums which is also the family of onions, shallots, and scallions. These plants are incredibly good for you! The sulfides in garlic and onions have been shown to help with liver detoxification, reduce high blood pressure and help to prevent some forms of heart disease and cancer.
How to Store Garlic
Garlic is also commonly used in chicken soup and other foods that we usually give to people who are fighting off colds because it also has an immune-boosting property. One tiny garlic clove packs a big punch when it comes to flavor and health benefits. If I didn’t already find the smell and taste of garlic mouth-watering, I might still be attracted to it for all of the good health, eating garlic can bring. In order to have the best tasting garlic, and to eat the freshest, most healthful produce, knowing how to store fresh garlic is essential. Once garlic goes bad it can make you feel unwell to eat and storing it in certain places can make it lose its distinct flavor fast, taking it from wildly fragrant and flavorful to dull mush. When it comes to storing garlic, this article will teach you all you need to know about keeping garlic fresh.
How Long Can Garlic Last
If you follow the instructions in this article and store your garlic properly, it can last for quite a long time. Garlic comes in bulbs, it is grown underground and when you pull it out the bulb is large and covered in a white papery skin which also covers all of the small cloves inside that the bulb is made up of.
You are typically best off buying a fresh bulb of garlic at the supermarket. Before you break open a bulb or head of garlic, it can actually last for up to six months! If you go to a market and see a beautiful wreath of garlic bulbs, don’t worry that you won’t use them up in time! As long as you keep the bulbs whole and unbroken, they can last you for quite a while. Once you break open the bulb, however, the garlic would then only keep for about two weeks or fifteen days.
After that, it might dry up, start to sprout, or even go soft and rotten. If your garlic is soft and squishy, it’s no good to eat. If it is very deep yellow or brown, it is also no good. Most fresh garlic should be off-white. If there is some purple or black in the garlic skin, it might just be a coloring of the variety of garlic you’ve purchased. Check the peeled cloves to make sure that the garlic is still fresh.
Garlic Storage Temperature
When it comes to the proper way to store garlic, ideally, you would want to keep it in a cool/room temperature environment that is mildly humid. That is why the best way to store garlic is in a dark open space in the fall, but obviously, you can’t always keep your house at 60-65 degrees F all year round.
Try to store the garlic somewhere that gets plenty of ventilation. Don’t store it in an airtight container or plastic bag if you’re going to keep it in a root vegetable bowl or in the pantry.
Where to Store Garlic
So long as you don’t live in an intensely hot and humid or hot and dry place, the best place to store garlic is in a dark and well-ventilated cupboard in a bowl, mesh bag or paper bag. This would give the garlic enough circulated air to stay fresh, and it won’t lose its flavor.
If keeping it tucked away would prevent you from remembering to use it, you could put it in a small bowl near a window that doesn’t get much sun or on the kitchen counter. There are some special bowls that have presentational fruit on top and root veggie storage underneath.
Do You Keep Garlic In the Fridge?
It is possible to keep garlic in the fridge, but it can sprout more easily either in the fridge or once it has been in there for a short amount of time. If you’re going to keep the whole bulb in the fridge, use it quickly. If you have a peeled bit of garlic, keep it in an airtight zip lock or container so that it doesn’t lose too much flavor. If you have minced or chopped garlic you want to save, drizzle a bit of olive oil on it so that it keeps its fragrance and flavor and store it in an airtight jar for up to two days.
If you want to freeze your garlic, so it can last even longer, again you are going to want to keep as much air out as possible so that it is not affected by freezer burn and so that the intense flavor of the garlic doesn’t evaporate.
What Is the Best Way to Store Fresh Garlic?
While it is possible to store garlic in the fridge and freezer, it is not what most top chefs would recommend. If you don’t use garlic often enough to store it properly without it going bad, you could make a garlic confit or roast a whole bulb of garlic in the oven at 375 for an hour, so it comes out soft, jammy, and perfect for spreading on toast or adding into dishes for flavor. This cooked garlic can last longer.
Preserving garlic is a good way to keep some delicious flavor on hand without the hassle of storing, peeling, and chopping fresh garlic. Do note that fresh garlic and raw garlic are said to have a few more health benefits than older garlic, cooked garlic, and preserved garlic. I prefer to go through a bit more work for the most flavorful and nutrient-packed food.