A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Storing Garlic for Up to Six Months

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Garlic, or its more suitable moniker, the stinking rose, may be kept correctly for up to six months. This is fantastic for me since it means I always have some on hand. While I cultivate some garlic in my yard, I do sometimes need to purchase a large quantity for batch cooking. By keeping it appropriately, I save money since I don’t have to continually purchasing fresh because it has began to shrivel or sprout.

In this article, I will show you how to properly preserve garlic, whether it is homegrown or purchased from a shop. As we will see in the next sections, correctly preserving garlic is also a safe method to preserve it.

All About Garlic

Garlic, like onions, shallots, and leeks, is a member of the allium (Latin for garlic) family of vegetables. Garlic is classified into four varieties:

Hardneck garlic

This kind has a woody and firm core stalk and a stronger flavor. The skin and cloves of a hardneck might have a subtle pink or reddish tinge.

Softneck garlic

It has a softer core stalk that makes it simple to braid while drying. Softneck is the most common kind seen in supermarket shops.

Creole garlic

Unless you produce your own, rose colour all over the bulb is typically only accessible from specialised shops or marketplaces. With a purple hue

Black garlic

This is garlic that has gone through a heat aging procedure to turn it black. It has a characteristic caramelized taste and is no longer pungent with garlic.

Depending on the type, a garlic bulb or head will contain four to 30 or more cloves. The majority of store-bought garlic bulbs include between 10 and 15 cloves.

Unless the dish is roasted, most recipes only need one to three cloves for regular cooking. When garlic is roasted, its taste softens, sweetens, and becomes much less powerful, allowing you to prepare and eat much more of it. Nevertheless, roasting destroys allicin, one of the therapeutic chemicals in garlic.

Garlic is supposed to have arisen from a wild strain of Asian garlic that evolved through time into the bulb form that it is today, and the term garlic originates from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word that means spear-leek. Garlic is one of the world’s oldest crops, and its origins are unknown, while evidence indicates it is native to south Asia, central Asia, or southern Siberia.

Garlic moved around the globe as people traveled and established in various nations, with Spanish, Portuguese, and French immigrants ultimately bringing garlic to the United States.

Garlic is mentioned in numerous ancient literature, including the Bible, Quran, and Talmud, and the ancient Egyptians worshiped it as a deity. Clay garlic bulbs were deposited in the graves of deceased family members, and several of these clay garlic bulbs were discovered in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Garlic was utilized as a local currency, and slaves and workmen were given it as payment and nourishment while working on the pyramids. One of the two known labor stoppages by slaves during this period was apparently prompted by garlic crop failure owing to Nile flooding.

Yet, not all Egyptians ate garlic; the higher classes feared it would upset their stomachs, and even priests who worshiped garlic avoided preparing or eating it. Garlic was ignored by the higher classes in other cultures and nations, and it wasn’t until the 1940s that it transitioned from being regarded an ethnic culinary item to being part of common food.

The United States is the world’s largest garlic importer, with people using around 2 pound (or 300 cloves) of garlic each year. To far, China and India have been the largest commercial producers of garlic, with China accounting for around 50% to 75% of garlic consumed in the United States. Garlic is also grown commercially in Egypt, Russia, and South Korea.

Around 80% to 90% of home-grown garlic originates in California, either west of the Diablo mountain range or in the San Joaquin Valley. Garlic is also grown commercially in Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon.

Garlic, like other trade imports, remains a priority for US political leaders, which indicates that a change in commercial garlic supply is possible in the not-too-distant future.

Nutrition of Garlic

A 1 oz serving of garlic has 42 calories, 0.3 oz of carbohydrates, and 0.06 oz of protein. It also includes 23% of our RDA for manganese, 17% of our RDA for vitamin B6, and 15% of our RDA for vitamin C. Garlic also contains selenium, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron.

Health Benefits of Garlic

For millennia, garlic has been used medicinally. Garlic was a simple remedy for a variety of maladies in ancient Greece and Rome, including dog bites and asthma, and it was supposed to prevent the spread of smallpox and even guard against leprosy.

Louis Pasteur demonstrated in 1858 that garlic was antibacterial and could kill bacteria. Garlic was extensively utilized as an antiseptic and remedy for dysentery as a result of this study during the First and Second World Wars.

Garlic’s sulfur compounds, which are generated when it is chopped, crushed, or chewed, are responsible for many of its health advantages. Several of these essential components, such as allicin, are eliminated when garlic is cooked, according to a large body of study.

Garlic has been demonstrated in studies to help lower high blood pressure or hypertension, and one research found that a supplement of 6001,500 mg of aged garlic extract worked as well as medicine to reduce blood pressure over a 24-week period. The dosages used in these research are rather high, about 4 cloves each day! Similarly, garlic may reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels, which, like hypertension, lead to heart disease and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Another condition that garlic may aid with is the common cold. According to one research, participants who took a garlic supplement every day for three months had 63% fewer colds than the placebo group, and the amount of time they experienced cold symptoms was also decreased.

Garlic includes antioxidants, which may help the body fight damage caused by chemicals known as free radicals. These free radicals contribute to aging as well as some diseases including cancer and heart disease.

We are all exposed to heavy metal pollution in the environment, such as lead. Garlic has been demonstrated to lower blood lead levels by 19% in those who work in a car battery factory, thus it may help guard against this heavy metal poisoning.

To enhance your raw garlic intake, consider adding it to homemade pesto or making aioli (garlic mayonnaise). If you don’t want to consume it raw (or expose others around you to garlic breath), consider adding it right before the dish is completed cooking, rather than at the beginning. This will enable it to maintain some of its raw nutrients.

Safe Storage of Garlic

Clostridium botulinum spores may be found in garlic. This bacterium and its spores are abundant in soil and are harmless when present in soil with oxygen. But, when these spores are exposed to an environment at 50°F or above without oxygen, such as during canning, they have a chance of germinating and creating a toxin that causes botulism, a serious food poisoning.

This is why keeping garlic in oil or canning should be avoided; instead, storing garlic at room temperature or in the freezer is always the safest choice, as demonstrated in the lesson below.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

  1. Keeping a bulb intact rather than splitting it into cloves extends the life of garlic. The bulb’s lifetime is reduced to no more than 10 days once it is split into cloves. Whole garlic cloves
  2. A mesh bag, basket, or even a paper bag is an excellent storage container.
  3. An appropriate storage environment A pantry or cabinet that is between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, dark, and damp.

While it may be tempting to store garlic in the refrigerator, doing so will actually encourage it to grow. If you must keep it in the refrigerator, avoid using plastic and instead place it in the crisper drawer to decrease humidity. You must, however, store it in the fridge until ready to use to avoid sprouting.

Refrigerator storage is also discouraged since C. botulinum germs may thrive at lower temperatures. If the garlic is in a citric acid-containing oil, it is typically safe to keep in the refrigerator.

If you roast your fresh garlic, it will keep in the fridge for around two weeks or freeze for up to three months. This may then be used in cooking, on toast, or to make hummus.

Garlic may also be frozen if it is chopped and firmly wrapped, or even entire unpeeled cloves. They must be defrosted before peeling and used. I detest freezing garlic because, no matter how neatly it is wrapped, the stench seems to penetrate everything in the freezer.

You may also pickle or dry excellent quality peeled cloves in the oven for around two hours at 140F. Home storage in oil or canning increases the danger of botulism and should thus be avoided.

Step by Step Instructions

If you produce your own garlic, like me, you should inspect it for symptoms of pest or disease before hanging it to cure in a well-ventilated place at roughly 80F for a couple of weeks. Next, just like fresh garlic, follow the procedures below to preserve it.

Step 1: Check the garlic

When preserving garlic, whether produced at home or purchased at the shop, there are a few things to keep in mind. If the bulb is sprouting, squishy, or broken, it will not keep well and should be utilized as soon as possible after purchase. Sprouting garlic is still edible, although it has a bitterer flavor.

The ideal garlic for storage should be fresh and firm, with skin that is white, papery, and dry, and it should not have been kept in the store’s refrigerator.

Step 2: Place the whole bulb or head into a storage container

Unless you have a garlic keeper, a crock with holes and a top, an open paper bag, mesh basket, or bag is the ideal method to store garlic since it allows air to flow. A lack of circulation might cause the garlic to decay.

A tiny inverted unglazed garden pot with a hole in the bottom makes an excellent garlic keeper as well.

Step 3: Place into the storage location

The pantry or cabinet is typically the best location to keep garlic. Mold will develop if it is stored in direct sunlight or in a wet environment.

The temperature in your storage area should be between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you put it someplace where the temperature varies, the garlic will often sprout after a dip and rise. This is why it is recommended to avoid purchasing garlic that has been stored in the refrigerator.

Storage should also be in a location with moderate humidity. The garlic will shrivel fast if the air is too dry.

Pro tip: It is more difficult to keep garlic correctly throughout the winter since the air inside gets extremely dry, causing the garlic to shrivel. Rather of tossing it away, use the shriveled cloves skins and all in vegetable stock.

You may simply leave your garlic in this position for the time being. With luck, it will keep for up to six months, enabling you to purchase garlic in quantity.


In this article, we looked at the simplest method to preserve garlic to maintain its longevity while also reducing the danger of botulism food poisoning. I hope you found this lesson useful and enjoyable to read. Please take the time to share it with your friends if they might find it interesting as well.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post, as well as any other expert tips or money-saving ideas you have for keeping or utilizing garlic that has beyond its prime.


How do you store garlic for a long period of time?

Just keep it in a cool (60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit), well-lit area with good air circulation. You don’t want to store your garlic in an airtight container because it will decay. Polypropylene bags are also ineffective because they retain moisture, causing garlic to decay quicker. Instead, use mesh bags or paper wraps.

What is the best way to preserve garlic cloves?

The simplest method to store garlic is to freeze it. Just peel the cloves and store them in freezer bags. Even easier, store the unpeeled garlic in freezer bags and take it out as required.

What is the best container to store garlic?

A terra-cotta or ceramic container built expressly for garlic storage is ideal, but a paper or mesh bag, a wire basket, or even a basic bowl will do. The purpose is to promote the circulation of dry air, which is why a plastic bag is not permitted since it traps in moisture.

How do you store garlic and onions long term?

Storage Requirements A dark location that is slightly above freezing (32-38 degrees Fahrenheit) and has low humidity is ideal. A basement (away from the furnace), garage, root cellar, or a dark and cold closet or kitchen cabinet near to the floor are all common areas that function well.

How do you store garlic for 12 months?

Entire heads of garlic and individual unpeeled cloves: Put the garlic in a freezer-safe plastic storage bag, squeeze out all the air, seal tightly, label, date, and freeze. Garlic should keep forever.

Can I preserve garlic in olive oil?

“To preserve fresh garlic on hand, soak it in olive (or vegetable) oil. Another advantage of keeping garlic in this manner is that the garlic-flavored oil may be used in cooking. Simply keep the oil replenished to keep your cloves buried.”

Can garlic be pressure canned?

Garlic, like onions, is a low acid food. Garlic may be canned exclusively in a pressure canner. Even yet, the USDA has not evaluated garlic canning techniques.

How do you jar garlic?

Fill a jar big enough to hold the cloves with the garlic cloves, allowing approximately an inch of headspace. Finally, add pickling vinegar into the container until the cloves are completely submerged. 5. Cover the jar with a cover and keep the “pickled garlic” in the refrigerator.

How do you store garlic to prevent botulism?

The University of Georgia conducted research that indicated that garlic in oil mixes held at room temperature are susceptible to botulism development. Garlic in oil should be prepared fresh and refrigerated at 40°F or below for no more than 7 days. It might be frozen for months.

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