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Easy Steps for Storing Garlic – Do It Right Every Time!

Posted by Katelyn Willoughby / garlicshaker.com on

Storing garlic properly is the best way to enjoy its delicious flavor and multitude of health benefits. You want to make sure to treat your garlic right! The first step to ensuring you receive the maximum benefits from your bulbs is to store them the proper way. Fresh garlic is ideal for flavor and for reaping the health benefits, and can be found in your local grocery store (or in your garden). Storing garlic can sometimes be tricky because either the garlic can rot or dry out and render it completely unusable. Sometimes the garlic will sprout which will make garlic unusable too. If you store garlic properly it can last a long time and you will enjoy all of its benefits, especially the delicious taste which is our absolute favorite.

Entire bulbs of garlic can be stored for several months at room temperature as long as they are kept dry, in a shaded location that has very good air circulation. It is important to not allow the garlic to be exposed to any moisture if you store it this way. Also, garlic begins to degrade immediately after you remove the cloves from the bulb, and even faster when you remove the skin from the cloves. The potency decreases at an accelerated rate once the skin is removed from the cloves. It is ok to store peeled garlic, but it is best to freeze it when you do. Storage containers such as; wire baskets or small bowls are often very useful. Paper bags can also be used. Never store garlic in plastic bags or sealed containers. If you do the bulbs will likely sprout and be useless. Refrigerating garlic is not ideal for this same reason. It is preferable to freeze garlic instead of storing in a refrigerator. Garlic has to breathe to stay fresh. Garlic is tasty and delicious. It can be stored for months is done properly. It is critical to store it immediately to maximize the freshness.

Quick note: The amount of time garlic will last depends on a number of factors including the exact garlic variety, its age and how it was handled during harvesting. Start by buying good garlic in the first place - it should be firm with plenty of dry papery covering and no sprouting. If your garlic seems to be going bad soon after buying, consider going to a different store. The difference in shelf life between bulbs bought in different places can be surprising! Up first: how you should not to store those beautiful bulbs.

Tip 1: Never store raw garlic in oil - this can lead to health complications and botulism. Garlic heads and cloves should also not be stored in your kitchen fridge: they’re likely to go soft and moldy. The same problem is likely to occur if garlic is stored in a sealed plastic container.

Tip 2: Garlic needs to be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight (think cool, dark cupboard). Store garlic at room temperature (garlic does best at around 60 °F, 16 °C). If you have chopped or minced fresh garlic, you can store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for a short period, but use it as soon as possible.

Tip 3: Garlic needs to "breathe" - the correct air circulation will extend its shelf life. Again, avoid plastic bags. Check out a fun contraption called the Garlic Keeper; it has special holes that allow for air circulation. If you don’t want to spend money on a device, you can keep your bulbs in a mesh or wire basket, a small bowl with ventilation holes or even a paper bag.

Tip 4: Have homegrown bulbs? Dry them first! Drying before storing allows the flavor to develop and become more concentrated. This is easy to do: 1.) Wash your recently harvested garlic bulbs and allow them to dry in a dark, but moisture-free, place for about a week; and 2.) Hang garlic from its stalks to dry. Easy. Fun. Delicious!

Tip 5: Once you break your bulbs, be sure to use your garlic quickly. The shelf life of your garlic is shortened significantly when you break up the bulb to remove the cloves. If the garlic begins to feel soft, or the cloves have green sprouts through the middle, then it is time to throw the garlic away.

Unbroken garlic bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks if stored properly. They must be kept dry. Cloves broken from the garlic bulb will keep from 3-to-10 days. It’s important to remember that garlic cloves are not seeds; they are plants that are alive after harvesting and continue to be alive until eaten. Treat your garlic right by using our top five tips and enjoy the bountiful benefits of your bulbs all year round! We hope you enjoyed our storing garlic adventure!

Learn more about how to peel garlic fast by watching this garlic peeler demo. Whether you buy it from the store or grow it yourself, you can use the following tips to make your garlic go the distance. For the best way to peel garlic cloves you should open your Garlic Shaker®. Toss an in a handful of garlic cloves. Close the lids. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Open a lid. Pour out the peeled garlic cloves. They will be fresh and ready to use immediately.

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