How to Store Garlic and Keep it Fresh for Long
Garlic is one of those “staple” ingredient in the kitchen that adds a special and peculiar flavor to many recipes. It also adds many nutrients that are good for your health.
Garlic is pretty much available all year round, meaning that there is no particular season when it is “best to buy it”.
As a rule of thumb, the firm bulbs are the better, while those that appear a bit dry and whose skin falls off easily are most probably a bit old.
There are many ways to use garlic in the kitchen. You can simply chop it and cook it in oil to add a delicious taste. Alternatively, you can roast it to exalt its stingy flavor or add it to your hummus or pesto.
You can be very creative with it, just do not overuse it because it might not be appreciated (and your breath afterwards won’t have a pleasant taste).
To maximise the flavor and keep it at the same level for long, you will need to store the garlic bulbs appropriately. As there are many uses for garlic in the kitchen, there are also many methods to store it. You can chose one (or several) and you’ll notice that it will be in good conditions for quite a bit of time. Let’s review some of those.
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Store garlic in a Cool and Dry Place
This is probably one of the most common methods to preserve garlic and it is very simple. You just have to put you bulbs in a basket, a mesh bag or a container and keep it at room temperature or in a cool place of your kitchen (not the firdge, we will talk about that later).
Usually a cupboard or some shady corner will work fine. The garlic bulb needs some darkness and air circulation. This method allows the garlic to avoid getting mold and to lose its powerful flavor and nutrients. It usually can last fro several weeks.
Do not store it in the fridge as it is
Even if many might prefer to store garlic in the fridge, is better not to chose this technique since the cold temperature tends to spoil your cloves and makes them deteriorate.
Instead, mince it first or peel it off
If you really want to store garlic in the fridge, there is a way which will let you avoid the cloves getting bad. This is to mince your garlic or just peel it off and place it in an air-tight glass jar. This way, your garlic can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks and keeps its distinct taste and texture.
Make Pickled Garlic
Another way to preserve your garlic cloves is to pickle them in vinegar or wine and store them in the fridge. This method allows you to add some different flavors to it depending to the spices you decide to use. The method is very simple and easy.
You only have to peel your garlic cloves and place them in a glass jar. Add your choice of vinegar or wine and fill the jar. If you want add some extra herbs or salt and mix. Put the jar into the refrigerator. This way, garlic can be preserved for several months.
When you need a clove, just open the container and take one of the cloves out. Easy peasy.
Store Garlic in Oil
To add a particular taste to your garlic cloves, you can decide to store it in olive oil (or any kind of flavored oil for more interesting results and combinations of flavors). Some prefer to dry the cloves first and then store them in oil. Even with fresh cloves, the method works fine, however.
What you need to do is to place the peeled cloves in a glass jar and add fresh oil to it. Close the lid and store the jar in the fridge.
Make Dry Garlic
It sounds complicated, but to make your own dehydrated garlic is in fact very simple. The only drawback is that it is a rather time-consuming method.
The process is the following. Peel your garlic cloves and thinly slice it. Then, place the slices in a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Set the oven at the lowest temperature and keep the garlic “roasting” until dry. Once the slices are crisp, store them in an airtight containter. Dried garlic does well at air temperature, but the container needs to be sealed properly.
Once dry, you can even decide to chope it in a blender.
This is one of the best way to preserve the special taste that garlic has. It is a rather quick method because the bulbs don’t need to be peeled. Additionally, it is a great method to choose if you are dealing with a lot of garlic. The consistency of roast garlic is a bit more mellow and makes it good to be spread on pizza or bread.
To roast garlic, just place your whole bulbs on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle them with a bit of olive oil. Bake them at 350 degrees until they reach a soft and squishy consistency. It usually takes around 30 to 45 minutes. This way garlic will last about a week in the fridge.
You can choose to Freeze Garlic
Probably your last option would be to freeze garlic. In fact, it isn’t the best method in terms of preserving the flavor but it still works.
To store garlic cloves in the freezer, the best way is to blend the cloves in a food processor or a blender with a bit of water and freeze them in clean ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can place your garlic cubes into a bag or a container.
This method works fine when you need to use garlic to cook with and you do not want your dishes to take too much of its flavour.
These are some methods to preserve garlic at best. It is a shame to buy bulbs and find out their powerful taste and strong flavor is not as strong. Follow these methods and you will not be unstatisfied!