How to Preserve Fresh Garlic
Garlic is an ancient ingredient used to flavor food. To preserve fresh garlic for cooking, here is a quick guide.
Part 1Keep Fresh Garlic
1Garlic is a very strong flavor, so a little bit goes a long way. It's easy to overestimate how much you'll need, so be careful not to get too much.
2You want a very nice white shelled bulb, free of any black spots. Make sure the garlic you get all has its own distinctive shell.
3This is key to keeping garlic fresh. Keep it in a dark, cool, dry place, maybe in a container or a glass. It's okay to leave it sitting out on a counter, but try to keep it away from heat, moisture, and too much sunlight.
4Garlic can go bad very quickly once you peel it, so make sure to do so only just before you use it.
Part 2Long-term Preservation
1This is the easiest way to preserve garlic for later use. Simply peel the garlic cloves, put them in a plastic bag, and stick them in your freezer. Chop garlic before freezing to make it easier to throw into a dish quickly. Freezing chopped garlic in oil prevents it from freezing solid, which will allow you to scoop only appropriate amounts out when you're ready to use it. Using olive oil can make your garlic last longer than any other oil. Peel the cloves and purée them. Purée with oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic. The puréed garlic will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape out parts to use in sautéing. Freeze this mixture immediately—do not store it at room temperature.
2Use a food dehydrator, or bake at a low temperature on drying racks in your oven.
3This slightly alters the flavor, but it drastically increases the shelf life.
4This is an easier way of pickling your garlic, and it will keep almost indefinitely. Simply submerge peeled cloves of garlic in red or white wine vinegar and add a tablespoon of salt for each cup of vinegar you used. If you want, add dried herbs like red pepper flakes or oregano to flavor. The garlic will keep as long as it remains submerged in the vinegar.