Knowing how to store garlic is essential if you are someone who likes to use this tangy spice throughout the entire year. Fortunately, there are a number of great ways to extend the shelf life of garlic in any form.
How to Store Garlic?
Before you can store garlic, you need to select the best bulbs. When you pick up a bulb, which should always be bought loose, it should feel solid and compact, without any major breaks or peels in the skin. If the bulb feels lighter than it should, the individual cloves are likely dried up. Once you find a good bulb, if you plan to store it for any length of time, you should avoid peeling it into individual cloves, as this will extend the shelf life. For most people, storing garlic consists of hanging it in mesh bags or in a hanging vegetable basket, allowing proper air flow, but avoiding excess humidity. However, if you want to store garlic for a longer period of time, some of the tips below can be helpful.
Ways to Store Garlic
The best way to store garlic is in a dry, dark place with room temperature and proper air flow. Other good ways to store garlic include putting it in the fridge, freezer, or dehydrator, roasting it, pickling it, or storing in flavored oil, to name a few.
If you choose to store garlic in your refrigerator, put them in the crisper, as this will help to reduce humidity, the biggest danger for garlic. Humidity will stimulate the garlic bulbs to sprout, making them less than ideal for cooking purposes. You should keep the garlic bulbs in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them, as the sprouting process will likely begin within a day or two after removing them from the fridge.
A popular way to store garlic for extended periods is in the freezer, but this will require you to blend or puree the garlic in a food processor. At this point, you can put the minced garlic in an ice cube tray and allow it to solidify. You can then store these frozen garlic cubes in an airtight container or bag until you are ready to use them. At that point, simply pop one of the cubes into your soup or stir fry and enjoy the potent flavor, although it may be slightly lessened through the freezing process.
If you dry your garlic in a dehydrator or in the open air, you can place them in a small mason jar and cover them with olive oil, then use them when you need in salads or other culinary preparations.
You can roast garlic bulbs at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until they are crisp. This type of garlic will keep almost indefinitely and will have a unique flavor than regular garlic cloves.
You can slice peeled garlic into thin slices and then pop them into your dehydrator at about 115 degrees. Once they are completely dehydrated, they will be soft and squishy. Then, you can remove the tips of the bulbs and squeeze out the garlic, which can be eaten with a spoon or added to any number of dishes. The risk of sprouting is also significantly reduced and you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.