Garlic is one of the most commonly used ingredients in most recipes that satiate us. It enhances the taste of a lot of dishes. It apparently offsets the spiciness or bitterness in the item to a large extent. But how long does garlic last?
Garlic bulbs are believed to last for about 1 to 2 months in the pantry. The unpeeled garlic can stay on the kitchen counter for around 2 weeks. Peeled garlic is just better off to be stored in the fridge and can stay there for about a week.
We will have to know all the protocols for the storage of garlic and the types at which they are available. There are different ways to classify garlic, and the ways of storing them also vary accordingly.
There are garlic bulbs, cloves, and minced garlic, either homemade or store-bought.
As we glide through the article to understand the storage procedure of garlic, we will also learn about the different types and how you store them. They need to be fresh to offer a delightful flavor to the food item they are added to.
If they have lost the sense of taste or gone bad, they might play spoilsport in the recipe rendering it a waste.
One needs to be wary enough to identify whether the garlic is in good condition to leverage it for recipes. If you find anything off about the smell of garlic or the taste, throwing it out would be the right approach.
This article will be a detailed review of how long garlic lasts and how you store them to prolong its shelf life to the maximum extent possible.
While doing so, you should remember that garlic is a vulnerable ingredient, and exposing it to too much heat or moisture would spoil it.
How Long Does Garlic Last?
A whole garlic bulb can exist in the pantry for about 1 to 2 months if it is cool and dry at max. Unpeeled garlic can stay in the pantry for about 2 weeks and beyond if stayed intact.
However, if the garlic is peeled, it should be immediately shoved into the fridge and can rest there for about a week.
1. Whole Garlic Bulbs
A whole garlic bulb will last for about 1 to 2 months in a cool, dry pantry area. The temperature should be ambient and quite convenient for the garlic to retain its shelf life.
If you refrigerate the garlic bulb and maintain a temperature of 60 degrees F, it can last up to 3 to 5 months. Once the bulb is disintegrated into cloves, the freshness would wear off sooner.
It will last only up to a month if the bulb is fresh. If it has already lost a considerable amount of shelf life, then a week or 2 would be the appropriate time for it would keep its quality.
2. Garlic Cloves
An unpeeled garlic will last up to 2 weeks in a cool, dry pantry. The peel actually works as a shield from moisture and external air. Peeling the garlic clove makes it vulnerable to spoilage sooner.
So it has to be stored in the fridge for about a week if it is sealed and protected.
The garlic can be processed or minced to retain its long shelf life.
3. Minced Garlic
Homemade wet minced garlic stays fresh for about a day and not more than that. After a day, there is a considerable loss in the aroma and taste. The intensity of the punch of the garlic flavor is also gone after a day.
The minced garlic’s final processing should be done before cooking it. Preparing it early will not serve the purpose. Store-bought or dry minced garlic is better when it comes to durability since it stays for a year.
4. Store-Bought Minced Garlic
Dried minced garlic is treated similarly to spices and herbs. It stays in the pantry for about a year without any problem. It might require refrigeration after it has been opened, in which case it can be stored for up to 2 years.
The garlic is dropped in the olive oil to retain its shelf life for about 4 days. It can be kept in the fridge for that time span and sometimes even in the freezer, according to your convenience.
How To Tell If Garlic Is Bad?
There are evident signs to find out whether the garlic has spoilt. Below are the eventual signs to warn you that time is up for the garlic you have stored.
The garlic bulb would become light and soft, indicating that there has been some water loss. It would also feel hollow for us to infer that the garlic has already turned bad.
An off smell could radiate from the garlic clove to signal that it has turned bad. Sometimes the smell would not be that conspicuous since the clove is sealed with the skin.
There would be a perceptible loss of garlicky aroma, which is typical of any garlic. When that essence is lost, the garlic should be tossed off.
The smell of the garlic can be radiated only if you break open the clove and peel the clove. If you get a repulsive aroma, then it is better discarded.
3. Dark Spots
If there are dark spots or molds on the surface of the garlic bulb, then it has to be thrown off. If you break open the bulb and split it into the clove, then check on the surface of the garlic clove for dark spots.
If one of the cloves has a dark spot, then discard that clove alone and keep the rest intact.
Other than the above-mentioned eventual signs, if you spot anything disturbing about garlic, it is the right time to discard it. It is better to err on the side of caution.
4. Sprouted Garlic
As garlic ages, it tends to sprout up and form plants. These are not very harmful, but they have their own detrimental effect.
The taste and quality may not be up to the mark. The green area can be discarded from the top, and only the body can be used.
Sometimes the garlic might also turn yellow; this is not a harmful sign but can be avoided. They may have decreased quality and not radiate the typical garlic flavor.
Signs Of Spoilage For Minced Garlic
Minced garlic is better to be stored in the fridge rather than anywhere else. It would not emanate any bad signs to identify that it has gone bad. It would be flavorless at the max and would not serve the purpose.
The signs of spoilage for dry minced garlic would be
- Mold or other signs on the surface of the garlic
- Change of color
- Bad smell
- Bad taste
How To Store Garlic?
1. Refrigerating Garlic
Refrigerating the garlic bulb would not be that necessary because cold temperatures can sprout up the garlic. This may not be harmful, but the quality might be compromised.
2. Garlic Bulbs In The Pantry
Storing whole garlic bulb in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place is all it takes to prolong its shelf life. Any random cabinet in the kitchen would do.
It may not last as long as 1 to 2 months in a stretch if the temperature is warm. Neither can you switch on the AC all along during summer to keep the temperature cool.
The best way to preserve garlic is to wrap it in a wire mesh cover or holed bag where there can be ample ventilation for the garlic to breathe. Peeling off the bulb would harm the garlic. Instead, it can be cut into cloves and used whenever needed.
3. Storing Garlic Cloves
Unpeeled garlic cloves can be kept in the pantry where the temperature is moderate and pleasant. A dark, cool place is all you need.
If you peel the garlic cloves, it is better stored in the fridge without delay. Peeling the garlic cloves will be a mistake, and this might expose the garlic to harmful bacteria.
4. Minced Garlic
Minced garlic is stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It is sealed tightly without any air intrusion. You have to mince the clove just before you are going to cook it and not delay the process by any chance.
It retains the taste when it is stored properly, and when you goof up, there is a high chance that it has been spoiled.
Buying minced garlic warrants using it immediately and not storing it for long. If you have dry minced garlic that is store-bought, then you can follow the instructions stipulated by the shop.
This article will be a clear-cut description of storing garlic and the factors that involve its durability. Garlic is essentially stored a certain way and maintained a certain way, as mentioned above, to prolong its shelf life.
Following the above protocols can help you savor the best garlic for all your recipes and enjoy the punchy flavor that comes with the garlic.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does garlic last?
A whole garlic bulb can exist in the pantry for about 1 to 2 months if it is cool and dry at max. Unpeeled garlic can stay in the pantry for about 2 weeks and beyond if stayed intact. A whole garlic bulb will last for about 1 to 2 months in a cool, dry pantry area. The temperature should be ambient and quite convenient for the garlic to retain its shelf life.
How to tell if garlic is bad?
The garlic bulb would become light and soft, indicating that there has been some water loss. It would also feel hollow for us to infer that the garlic has already turned bad. An off smell could radiate from the garlic clove to signal that it has turned bad. Sometimes the smell would not be that conspicuous since the clove is sealed with the skin.
What are the signs of spoilage for minced garlic?
The signs of spoilage for dry minced garlic would be
1. Mold or other signs on the surface of the garlic
2. Change of color
3. Bad smell
4. Bad taste
How to store garlic?
Refrigerating the garlic bulb would not be that necessary because cold temperatures can sprout up the garlic. This may not be harmful, but the quality might be compromised. Storing whole garlic bulb in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place is all it takes to prolong its shelf life. Any random cabinet in the kitchen would do.