How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (2022)

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Garlic is a small, pungent, super savory ingredient that adds a punch of flavor to meat, vegetables, rice and so much more. Learn how to store garlic, whole, cloves or peeled, along with tips on how to buy and how to make it last longer.

Make the most of your garlic and preserve its flavor for longer with these tried and tested storage tips!

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (1)

I don't think there is any other ingredient that can be compared to the small but mighty flavor of fresh garlic. It's incredibly savory with a strong, pungent aroma that transforms into a sweet flavor addition.

My family and I love the garlic-y flavor and I put it in just about everything. Which is why I always have extra on hand. Because of this, I thought it best to share my tried and true tips on how to store garlic properly, to make it last longer.

And if you love this, be sure to check out and make Garlic Paste, too!

Jump to:
  • What is Garlic?
  • Best Way to Store Garlic
  • How to Freeze Garlic
  • Tips to Make Your Garlic Last Longer
  • FAQs
  • 📖 Recipe

What is Garlic?

Garlic is a member of the lily (allium) family, along with onions, leeks and shallots. It grows underground in the form of a bulb, with an inedible skin that protects it's small, off-white cloves.

The bulbs of garlic are most often referred to as heads in the culinary world. And each head contains anywhere from 10-20 cloves.

Fun Fact: When left in the ground long enough, green shoots produce garlic scapes, flower stalks that can be eaten. They are a common ingredient spotted at Farmer's markets and specialty food stores throughout the spring season.

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (2)

How to Use Garlic - What Does it Taste Like?

Garlic is one of those popular ingredients that complete the dishes of just about every global cuisine. When raw, it is sharp, pungent and astringent. For this reason, it is often adding as a flavoring agent during cooking to mellow it's flavor.

Depending on how the garlic is cut, the flavor can range from mild to strong. Once cooked, the flavor mellows significantly to a sweet, savory aroma. To take is a step further, roasted garlic transforms in a creamy, somewhat nutty ingredient that can be enjoyed all on its own. (Think Bruschetta!)

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic has been used for millennia as a medicinal ingredient for it's abundance of nutritional properties. According to Healthline, garlic has the ability to:

  • Reduce oxidative stress since it naturally contains antioxidants.
  • Reduce blood pressure and is good for the cardiovascular system.
  • Improve cholesterol by reducing the total and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels.
  • Detoxify heavy metals in the body because of its high sulfur compounds.
  • Help prevent and reduce sickness, like the flu and common cold.

How to Buy - Tips & Tricks

One of the best ways to ensure your garlic lasts as long as possible is to first purchase the freshest garlic available.

Here are some tips on how to buy garlic at the grocery store:

  • The bulb should be firm to the touch and does not give against gentle pressure.
  • It should be tight, with smooth, dry skin and no signs of black powder (aka mold).
  • A few purple stripes are natural - the purple color is a sign of anthocyanins!
  • If the garlic shows signs of sprouting, that's an indication the garlic is old.

Quantity Tip: Most garlic you can find in the grocery stores these days is average in size. I have found that 1 bulb of garlic is made up of about 10 to12 cloves.

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (3)
(Video) How to Peel & Preserve Fresh Garlic cheekyricho

Where to Buy

Garlic is available at the supermarket in the produce section, usually near the onions and potatoes. It can be sold as individual bulbs and as a package in small, mesh bags.

Grocery Shopping Tip: I prefer to buy whole bulbs of garlic rather than already peeled cloves or minced garlic packed in olive oil. Fresh garlic is far better in flavor and much better for your wallet when compared to the pre-packaged variety. But when I'm running on a tight schedule, my next preference is to buy peeled cloves.

Best Way to Store Garlic

Garlic can be stored in a number of different ways - as a whole bulb, individual cloves, peeled or even as garlic paste. Follow any of the methods below, depending on your needs.

How to Store Fresh Garlic

Believe it or not, but garlic actually hates the cold, which is why I never store fresh, unpeeled garlic in the refrigerator. These are the storage practices I follow:

Whole Bulb: Store the whole bulb in a cool, dark, well-ventilated cupboard. Garlic will last the longest stored in a temperature between 60 - 65 degrees F. Because of this, I keep it in a cupboard away from the stove and near the floor. The garlic should last a few months.

Individual, Unpeeled Cloves: If you happen to have broken off a few extra cloves than you needed, store these right alongside the whole bulbs of garlic in your cupboard. Use within 10 days.

How to Store Peeled Garlic

Peeled garlic cloves are a great way to get ahead, especially if you know you'll be cooking throughout the week.

Break apart the clove and peel away the thin, papery skin. Place the peeled cloves in an airtight container or plastic storage bag, seal tight and store in the fridge. Use within 5-7 days.

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (4)

How to Store Garlic Paste

Garlic paste is a wonderful meal prep ingredient to have on hand to toss in meat, vegetables, stir fries and more.

To make garlic paste: Peel the entire head of garlic and slice off the stem ends. Place in a blender or food processor with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge to use within 1 week.

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (5)

Check out Garlic Paste Recipe to learn how to store in the fridge and freezer, along with recipes on how to use it!

How to Freeze Garlic

Garlic can even be frozen, but the method will vary depending on whether it's whole or peeled. Frozen garlic should last indefinitely.

Whole Heads and Individual, Unpeeled Cloves: Place the garlic in a freezer safe plastic storage bag, push out all the air, seal tight, label, date and freeze.

Peeled Cloves: Spread the individual cloves out on a small baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour. Wrap the frozen cloves in foil, then place in a freezer safe plastic storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze.

Garlic Paste: Place in a small silicone ice cube tray and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer the cubes to a plastic freezer storage bag, label, date, seal tight and freeze for up to 6 months.

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (6)

Tips to Make Your Garlic Last Longer

  • Keep the bulb whole. This ensures the bulbs stay cool and dry, which are exactly the conditions garlic needs.
  • Store in a cool, dark, uncrowded cupboard. Garlic will spoil under conditions of heat and light, so it's best to keep it in the coolest part of your kitchen, ideally away from the stove and near the floor. A well ventilated cupboard or pantry works best.
  • Do not store whole garlic in a plastic bag unless freezing. Garlic needs ventilation and air to breathe, which is why an uncrowded (or empty) cabinet is best. If you would prefer to store it in a bag, mesh bags are the best and paper bags are a close second. However, when storing in the freezer, use a plastic bag to keep all the moisture out.

FAQs

Can garlic be stored in the refrigerator?

Garlic can be stored in the refrigerator, but it won't last as long. The refrigerated garlic will only last a few weeks, as opposed to months in a cool, dry cupboard. That being said, if you must store your garlic in the fridge, keep it in the main part of your fridge rather than the crisper drawer.

How long can you store garlic?

Whole bulbs of garlic will keep for 3-6 months when stored in a cool, dark place while whole, unpeeled cloves will keep for up to 10 days. Peeled garlic cloves should be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge and used within 5-7 days.

How do you store garlic for a year?

There is a method of preserving (or pickling) garlic in vinegar to allow it to keep for up to 1 year. I have never tried this myself, but would love to know the results if you do!

Is sprouted garlic okay to eat?

Yes, sprouted garlic (and the shoots) are perfectly safe to eat, although the sprouts themselves may impart a bitter flavor. If you'd like to remove the sprout, simply peel and slice the garlic clove lengthwise. Then remove the green shoot with your fingers or a small pairing knife.

(Video) How to Peel & Preserve Fresh Garlic - Food Tips

More Cooking 101 & Meal Prep Recipes

To checkout the complete range of kitchen basics and how-tos, checkout the Cooking 101 series.

  • How to Store Ginger
  • How to Cut Ginger
  • Ginger Paste
  • Ginger Garlic Paste

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📖 Recipe

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled) (11)

(Video) 4 Ways to Store Garlic for Very Long Time! CiCi Li - Asian Home Cooking Recipes

How to Store Garlic

Aneesha Gupta

Learn how to store garlic, whole, cloves or peeled, along with tips on how to buy and how to make it last longer.

4.84 from 6 votes

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Prep Time 15 mins

Total Time 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
(Video) Bon Melo Tips ☆ Freezing Peeled Garlic Cloves

Instructions

How to Store Fresh Garlic

  • Whole Bulb: Store the whole bulb in a cool, dark, well-ventilated cupboard. Garlic will last the longest stored in a temperature between 60 - 65 degrees F. Because of this, I keep it in a cupboard away from the stove and near the floor. The garlic should last a few months.

  • Individual, Unpeeled Cloves: Store these right alongside the whole bulbs of garlic in your cupboard. Use within 10 days.

How to Store Peeled Garlic

  • Break apart the clove and peel away the thin, papery skin. Place the peeled cloves in an airtight container or plastic storage bag, seal tight and store in the fridge. Use within 5-7 days.

How to Store Garlic Paste

  • To make garlic paste: Peel the entire head of garlic and slice off the stem ends. Place in a blender or food processor with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge to use within 1 week.

How to Freeze Garlic

  • Whole Heads and Individual, Unpeeled Cloves: Place the garlic in a freezer safe plastic storage bag, push out all the air, seal tight, label, date and freeze. The garlic should last indefinitely.

  • Peeled Cloves: Spread the individual cloves out on a small baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour. Wrap the frozen cloves in foil, then place in a freezer safe plastic storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze.

  • Garlic Paste: Place in a small silicone ice cube tray and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer the cubes to a plastic freezer storage bag, label, date, seal tight and freeze for up to 6 months.

Notes

  • Keep the bulb whole. This ensures the bulbs stay cool and dry, which are exactly the conditions garlic needs.
  • Store in a cool, dark, uncrowded cupboard. Garlic will spoil under conditions of heat and light, so it's best to keep it in the coolest part of your kitchen, ideally away from the stove and near the floor. A well ventilated cupboard or pantry works best.
  • Do not store in a plastic bag, unless freezing. Garlic needs ventilation and air to breathe, which is why an uncrowded (or empty) cabinet is best. If you would prefer to store it in a bag, mesh bags are the best and paper bags are a close second. However, when storing in the freezer, use a plastic bag to keep all the moisture out.

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates based on 12 cloves of garlic per head. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Did you try this recipe?Share a photo and tag @spicecravings or #spicecravings

(Video) How to Store Fresh Garlic For 6 Months

FAQs

How to Store Garlic (Whole, Cloves, Peeled)? ›

Place the peeled cloves in an airtight container or plastic storage bag, seal tight and store in the fridge. Use within 5-7 days.

How do you store peeled and chopped garlic? ›

If you've peeled more cloves than you need, the fridge is the best place to store them—wrap them in plastic or put them in a sealed bag or container for up to a week. Chopped generally doesn't last more than a day in the fridge, but you can eke out another two or so days if you cover it in olive oil.

How do you store fresh garlic for a long time? ›

How to Peel & Preserve Fresh Garlic - Food Tips - YouTube

How long does whole peeled garlic last in fridge? ›

How Long Does Processed Garlic Last? Peeled and chopped garlic usually stay good for about a week in the refrigerator and 10 to 12 months in the freezer, same with frozen cooked garlic.

How do you store whole garlic? ›

Just store in a cool (60 to 65 degrees), dimly lit place with air circulation. You don't want to put your garlic in an airtight container or it will begin to rot. Plastic bags are no good either—they'll trap moisture, which makes garlic rot faster. Reach for mesh bags or paper wrappers, instead.

How do you store peeled garlic for a long time? ›

Peeled garlic cloves are a great way to get ahead, especially if you know you'll be cooking throughout the week. Break apart the clove and peel away the thin, papery skin. Place the peeled cloves in an airtight container or plastic storage bag, seal tight and store in the fridge. Use within 5-7 days.

How do you preserve fresh peeled garlic? ›

Peeled garlic cloves may be submerged in oil and stored in the freezer for several months or in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days. Label refrigerated garlic in oil mixtures to show the preparation date (or preferably with a “discard after date” label). Do not store garlic in oil at room temperature.

Should garlic be stored in the refrigerator? ›

The best way to store leftover garlic is to put it in an airtight, covered container in the refrigerator, where it can last up to 2 weeks.

Should garlic be refrigerated? ›

Whole garlic should be stored between 60°- 65°F, and for most people, the pantry is a good spot. But peeled or chopped garlic is a different story, and refrigeration is now the best storage solution. Seal it up in an airtight container or zip-top bag, and it will be fine to use for about one week.

How long will garlic last in the fridge? ›

Individual peeled cloves will last up to a week in the fridge, and chopped garlic will last no more than a day unless stored covered in olive oil, in which case it will last two, maybe three days.

Can I preserve garlic in olive oil? ›

"To keep fresh garlic on hand, you can store it submerged in olive (or vegetable) oil. Another perk for storing garlic this way is that you can also use the garlic flavored oil for cooking. Just remember to replenish the oil to keep your cloves submerged."

Can peeled garlic be frozen? ›

Freezing garlic lets you hold onto a crop for many months without risking spoilage or botulism (caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium). Peeled or pureed garlic will last several weeks in the freezer, while whole bulbs can easily last six months.

How do you know when peeled garlic is bad? ›

You really get a good feel for this when you start to peel garlic. If you find that it has give to it or is soft then I would say that your garlic has expired and I wouldn't use it. Sometimes if it's soft you will see a little liquid inside when you peel it also. Another sign that it has gone bad.

Can you store garlic cloves in a glass jar? ›

Here's how: Fill a glass jar with the peeled cloves. Pour in your choice of wine or vinegar to fill the jar. You may add extra flavor by adding herbs or salt to the jar. Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator.

Can you store garlic in a Ziploc bag? ›

Wrap whole garlic heads tightly in plastic (I like Ziploc freezer bags) and freeze whole. Simply break off as many cloves as you need when you need them. Freeze extra roasted garlic as whole cloves in freezer bags. Minced or chopped garlic can also be frozen.

Can garlic be stored in plastic containers? ›

To keep garlic for the longest storage time, place garlic in a cool (47-65ºF) dry area such as an unheated room. Do not store garlic in plastic or air tight containers or garlic will mold, rot or try to grow.

Should peeled garlic be refrigerated? ›

Leftover peeled or chopped garlic can also be stored in the refrigerator. The best way to store leftover garlic is to put it in an airtight, covered container in the refrigerator, where it can last up to 2 weeks.

Can peeled garlic be frozen? ›

Freezing garlic lets you hold onto a crop for many months without risking spoilage or botulism (caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium). Peeled or pureed garlic will last several weeks in the freezer, while whole bulbs can easily last six months.

How long does pre peeled garlic last? ›

To store PEELED garlic, keep it constantly refrigerated at cold temps - 32º to 37º is best. Under ideal conditions, it can stay fresh for up to 7 weeks from date of peeling, but look for the “best by” date on the bag when purchasing.

Should garlic be refrigerated? ›

Garlic is best stored in a cool, dry area in your kitchen. A kitchen cupboard, pantry, or shady corners on your countertop are good suggestions. Many people make the mistake of refrigerating their bulbs. Refrigeration will cause them to deteriorate, and the added moisture may cause them to become moldy.

Videos

1. How to Store Garlic Cloves for Months
(Jerry James Stone)
2. How to Freeze Garlic for a Year
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3. How to Store Garlic for Long-Term Use
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4. How to Store Peeled Garlic in Oil
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5. a super efficient method for peeling and storing garlic
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6. How To Freeze Garlic Cloves
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