Garlic is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It is used to add flavor and aroma to dishes, as well as for its numerous health benefits. However, storing garlic can be a bit of a challenge, as it tends to go bad quickly and lose its flavor. Here are some tips on how to keep garlic always fresh and intact in the fridge.
- Choose Fresh Garlic
The first step to keeping garlic fresh is to choose high-quality, fresh bulbs. Look for garlic bulbs that are plump, firm, and have tight skin. Avoid bulbs that have soft spots or moldy patches, as they may be spoilt.
- Store Garlic in a Cool, Dry Place
Garlic bulbs should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Avoid storing garlic near sources of heat, such as the stove or oven. A pantry, cupboard or a dry corner in the kitchen are good places to store garlic.
- Don’t Remove the Skin
Garlic bulbs should be kept in their skin to help preserve their freshness. Only remove the outer papery layers before using the cloves. Leave the skin of the cloves intact to keep the garlic fresh and prevent it from drying out.
- Use a Breathable Container
A breathable container, such as a mesh bag or a paper bag, is ideal for storing garlic in the fridge. This allows air to circulate around the garlic, preventing moisture from building up and causing spoilage. A plastic bag or an airtight container can trap moisture and lead to mold growth.
- Place Garlic in the Fridge
Once you have stored garlic in a breathable container, place it in the fridge. The temperature of the fridge should be between 0-4°C (32-40°F). Storing garlic in the fridge can help extend its shelf life by several weeks.
- Use Garlic Within a Reasonable Time
While storing garlic in the fridge can help extend its shelf life, it is still best to use it within a reasonable time. Garlic can start to lose its flavor and aroma after a few weeks, so it is best to use it as soon as possible.
Peeled Garlic Cloves:
Peeled garlic can also be stored in the fridge to help extend its shelf life. Here are some tips on how to keep peeled garlic fresh in the fridge:
- Store in an Airtight Container
Peeled garlic should be stored in an airtight container to prevent moisture from entering and causing spoilage. A small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or a plastic container with a snap-on lid are good options.
- Add Some Olive Oil
Adding a small amount of olive oil to the container can help keep the garlic moist and fresh. The oil forms a protective barrier around the garlic, preventing it from drying out and losing flavor.
- Label and Date the Container
To avoid confusion, label the container with the date the garlic was peeled and stored. This will help you keep track of how long the garlic has been in the fridge and when it is time to use it.
- Store in the Fridge
Once the peeled garlic is stored in an airtight container with olive oil, place it in the fridge. The temperature of the fridge should be between 0-4°C (32-40°F). Peeled garlic can last for up to two weeks in the fridge.
- Freeze for Long-Term Storage
If you have a large amount of peeled garlic that you cannot use within two weeks, consider freezing it for long-term storage. Spread the peeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to six months.