Garlic Shelf Life: How Long Does Garlic Last?

What is the average shelf life of garlic? How long does garlic last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store garlic to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Garlic

Fresh3-6 Months2-3 Months2-3 Years
Ground4-5 Years--

Garlic, the superfood is part of the onion family. It is praised for both its nutritional and medicinal value. The herb can be used as means to reduce hair loss. The smell of Garlic is very strong and very overpowering. To maximize the shelf life of Garlic keeps the bulb as a whole. It is best to be placed in a pantry in warm conditions but away from sunlight. Garlic as a whole bulb can last from three to five months. The best part being that this can be achieved at room temperature.

Purchasing Garlic

By looking at the garlic tips, you can easily tell if a garlic bulb is fresh or not. The tips should be soft, and the color will be the same as the rest of the peel. Garlic bulbs are firm while Garlic cloves are soft on the sides. The bulbs do give off an aroma when the Garlic is held close to the face. The aroma coming from a distance about a foot indicates that some of the peel has been removed exposing raw garlic to the air. To avoid this and get the best out of your buy find bulbs with unbroken skin.

Storing Garlic

The optimal way to store Garlic is at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Garlic can be stored whole, peeled, or as cloves in the fridge. Keeping it in the fridge can lead to the Garlic sprouting. Keeping the green sprouts on gives a sharper and bitter taste to the Garlic. Removing the sprouts will keep the flavor the same. Peeled Garlic should be mixed with olive oil and placed in the freezer. The freezer will keep the Garlic cold, and the oil will prevent it from freezing. Peeled Garlic can be stored in the fridge as long as it is kept in an airtight container. In the fridge, the Garlic will last around seven to ten days and in the freezer around two months.

How to Handle Garlic

Garlic can be chopped, smashed, or diced. The herb does tend to leave a strong aroma on utensils and hands. To remove the smell of Garlic from your fingers use a little bit of toothpaste with soap to wash your hands after cutting Garlic. Take a bulb of Garlic and using a knife spate it into two. The cloves can be separated by hand from one another. Lay the clove down on a chopping board and lay the flat side of a knife on top. Hit the knife with the palm directly above the clove. The impact will separate the Garlic from the peel, and the rest can be stripped away by hand.

Cooking With Garlic

Garlic because of its strong aroma and taste is used in very little quantities. The herb can be fried, roasted, or blended in combination with other spices. Dried Garlic can be used raw in salads and dressings. For a tomato sauce base Garlic is fried along with onions till the onions turn tender and the Garlic starts to brown. Garlic can be roasted in the oven or in a pan on the stove. No oil should be used for roasting.