Garlic can last a long time when stored correctly. To extend its shelf life, make sure it’s stored somewhere cool, dark, dry and with good air circulation.
Paper or mesh bags are ideal for storing fresh garlic because they do not trap moisture like plastic ones do.
1. Remove the Skin
Garlic skins provide essential sources of potassium, manganese and vitamin C as well as anti-inflammatory benefits which may help protect against cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
Peeling garlic may seem easy enough, but its sticky, stinky nature can sometimes prove challenging and time consuming. To help ease this tedious task, there are some helpful strategies and solutions that can speed up the process!
One great trick for unpeeling garlic quickly and efficiently is placing it into a container with hard sides – such as a bowl, jar or other container with tight seal – that has hard sides. This will prevent it from disintegrating when you smash it, making a seal that keeps its constituent parts together during processing. A large jar with lid or larger than normal bowl will work great.
Unpeeled garlic should be placed into a zip-top bag and crushed using a meat pounder, mallet, pestle, rolling pin or the flat side of a small saucepan. Although this method works well, it can be tricky to control how much pressure you use when pounding it – too much pressure will result in it breaking apart and peels being expelled from its cloves.
Try placing unpeeled garlic into a quart-size mason jar and shaking vigorously for 15-30 seconds, until its skins start loosening up as it hits against the sides of the jar. The garlic should start banging against its own walls as it shakes, helping its skins loosen further.
This method works best with larger jars, but you could try using multiple smaller ones if there’s an abundance of garlic to peel. Any cloves with skins still intact should be crushed until all skins have come off completely.
Alternative Method: Boil unpeeled garlic in water until soft enough for peeling, though this method will likely destroy any allicin content found within it and shorten their shelf life significantly.
If you want to keep your cloves fresh and flavorful for as long as possible, consider keeping them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days – enough time for allicin to convert to its active form and release its aroma.
2. Place in a Bowl
Garlic is an easy way to add incredible flavor to nearly every dish, especially those already heavily spiced such as salads or pasta dishes. It makes a wonderful addition to many recipes like these and is sure to please!
But storing garlic can be challenging; improper storage can quickly cause it to spoil and moldy quickly. The best way to preserve peeled garlic is by keeping it cool, dry, and out of direct sunlight.
One of the easiest and quickest methods of doing this is placing all the cloves from a head of garlic into a bowl that fits comfortably – then add another of similar size on top to double up on its effect.
Clasp the two bowls tightly and shake vigorously; this should loosen and allow the garlic skins to fall off more easily. Most find this method works best when using a large bowl or Tupperware container; however, others have found success using smaller containers.
This technique is an easy and convenient way to store an unpeeled head of garlic, and peeled cloves you intend to use later for cooking purposes. Additionally, you could opt to freeze peeled garlic rather than keep it on hand!
Make your own dehydrated garlic to preserve it and reduce moisture loss! Either use a food dehydrator or simply put it into the oven until all moisture has been eliminated from its structure.
Once your dehydrated garlic has dried, place it in an airtight container and store at room temperature until you’re ready to use it. While its texture will differ from fresh garlic, its robust flavors remain.
If your peeled garlic won’t be used immediately, it can be stored for up to six months in an airtight and moisture resistant container – this makes an ideal way to freeze minced or diced garlic when required in a recipe but you want it with different texture characteristics.
3. Place in a Jar
Refrigerating or freezing peeled garlic to extend its shelf life can be an effective and safe way to keep cloves fresh; however, this method encourages the development of harmful bacteria which could potentially lead to food poisoning.
One popular method for preserving garlic is placing it in a jar with oil, but this should be avoided due to risk of botulism – an infection of foodborne pathogens that can lead to nausea, vomiting and severe stomach ache.
For best results when it comes to preserving garlic, use it in its entirety and store in an airy room at room temperature. Keep the head intact while also offering adequate ventilation; for jar storage use a ceramic vessel with lid as much as possible.
Another method for fermenting garlic cloves is by placing them in a brine composed of water, kosher salt and lemon juice. As the garlic ferments in its own juices for several hours or days in this environment, its flavors and aroma will emerge slowly over time. Bonneau recommends making 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt per cup of filtered water. Once your brine is ready to ferment, place your cloves into an airtight jar leaving 1/2-inch air gap at its top to allow rising and bubbling during fermentation.
Once the jar has absorbed all the brine, transfer your garlic to the fridge. Although this process may take several weeks, you’ll be amazed at how well-preserved your garlic will be upon completion!
If you are making a large batch of preserved garlic, placing the jar in the fridge could extend its shelf life beyond one month. Although its contents will solidify within, you can scoop out one tablespoon to test its consistency to ensure it is neither too soft nor too firm.
Peeled cloves make an excellent addition to soups, stews and other dishes; especially helpful if you have young children or can’t be bothered peeling the garlic for long. When freezing peeled cloves for storage purposes it is recommended that they first be spread out on a baking sheet and frozen until solid before moving them into a freezer bag – this helps ensure their integrity is not compromised and that all cloves won’t stick together when stored inside its jar or bag.
Garlic can be preserved through various means, but microwaveing remains one of the easiest and most reliable ways. Doing this will keep it fresh for months to come!
Use this technique to preserve whole heads of garlic or peel cloves – its husk will disintegrate leaving behind fresh, fragrant cloves ready for your favorite recipes.
At its heart, this process is straightforward! Simply pop a garlic head in the microwave for 20 seconds and watch as its skin peels away easily – if not, wait a few minutes and then zap again until its split apart!
Frying microwaved garlic can also be an excellent way to use its flavorful paste: creating golden-brown, crunchy bits to add to rice or pasta dishes; it can even serve as a tasty topping on roasted veggies or salads!
If you like experimenting with different flavor combinations, roasting garlic in the oven will transform its taste from spicy to soft and sweet.
This method is simple and effective at maintaining the flavor of garlic. Furthermore, moisture from your oven helps extend its shelf life as well as protect it against bacteria and other microorganisms that may threaten its viability.
Roasting activates allicin molecules found in garlic that contribute its signature pungent taste, creating its signature zest.
However, heating garlic in a water bath or using blanching liquid will neutralize allicin-producing enzymes, rendering them inactive and potentially helping you save on costs as it will last several weeks or months in your refrigerator or freezer.
Step Two of Storing Roasted Garlic Properly (with White Vinegar and Closing Lid Tightly) will ensure maximum flavor retention of your freshly-roasted garlic. For best results, keep it stored in an airtight jar containing white vinegar to preserve its aroma and flavor.
Vinegar will keep garlic fresh for up to a month. Use it to create delicious salad dressing!