Garlic is a versatile ingredient that boasts loads of health benefits. Garlic is packed with manganese, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C, plus it’s low in calories!
Its high nutrient balance means garlic is often recommended to boost the immune system. If you have a cold or if you’re feeling some congestion, garlic may help you feel better, and clear up that cold faster.
You’re already convinced of garlic’s benefits, but you’ve bought a whole bunch that you want to last a while.
You’ve come to the right place. Freezing garlic is a great option for long-term storage and for super-easy cooking.
In this article, we’ll cover exactly how to freeze garlic, whether that’s freezing unpeeled cloves, garlic puree, or roasted garlic.
Should You Freeze Your Garlic? Other Storage Methods
First up, let’s double check freezing your garlic is the right option.
You can also keep your garlic at room temperature, in a dark, dry place, with plenty of air circulation. Think a pantry, or even a roomy kitchen cabinet that’s a fair distance away from any heat sources, like the oven or hob.
If your garlic head is whole, it will last up to 2 months at room temperature.
If the garlic head’s been broken, that protective layer has now been removed, meaning your garlic is more vulnerable to temperature changes, light, bacteria, and moisture, all things that will cause your garlic to go bad faster.
Therefore, garlic with a broken head will last just 10 days.
Given the above, if you’re going to use garlic within the next 2 months, it may not be worth freezing it. That said, creating frozen garlic puree can speed up your cooking. More on that later!
Whatever you do, don’t store your garlic in the refrigerator. Although you’ll find this done in many kitchens, it causes the garlic to sprout faster, making them inedible.
The only exception is with peeled garlic. Store peeled garlic cloves in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Consider wrapping the peeled cloves in plastic wrap before you put them in the airtight container. This is an extra measure to ensure that delicious (but smelly) garlic odor won’t spread throughout your fridge.
Freezing Garlic The Easy Way: Unpeeled Cloves
This is the best option if your whole head of garlic is almost 2 months old, or your broken head of garlic is almost 10 days old, and you’re short on time.
Simply separate the cloves, but don’t peel them. Pop them in an airtight container and place that in the refrigerator.
Note: your garlic cloves may be a bit soft once they thaw. That’s nothing to worry about – in fact, it will make cooking your garlic a little faster!
If your recipe calls for finely-chopped garlic, leave your garlic on the counter to defrost for 10 minutes.
Freezing Garlic The Slightly Harder Way: Garlic Puree
This option is a bit harder, so give yourself at least 15 minutes.
- Peel your garlic cloves.
- Use a food processor to blend your garlic cloves. Add 1 tablespoon of oil per head worth of cloves.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Drop teaspoons of garlic puree onto the tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap.
- Flash freeze for 2 hours.
- Now your garlic puree drops are frozen, they won’t stick together. Transfer them all to an airtight container and place that back in the refrigerator.
- When it comes to cooking, you can add the drops straight into your pan without thawing. A 1 teaspoon drop is equal to 1 large garlic clove.
Freezing Garlic The Wild Card Way: Roasting Garlic
Here’s a different method. It takes a little longer than the garlic puree way, but it arguably requires less effort.
Simply wrap your garlic heads in foil, then pop them in the oven for an hour.
After your garlic has been in the oven for an hour, check on it every 20 minutes. Take the garlic out once it’s golden brown and leave it to cool.
Once the garlic has cooled down, use your hands to squeeze the puree out of all the heads.
Then, repeat steps 3-6 for freezing garlic puree above.
Remember: you’ve already cooked this garlic, so add it right at the end of cooking.
How Long Does Frozen Garlic Last?
Whichever method you choose, you can expect your frozen garlic to last for up to 6 months.
Therefore, freezing garlic is a great option if you know your garlic’s getting to the end of its shelf life, or you’ve just bought a bunch of garlic and you know you want it to last over 2 months.
The Summary On Garlic
In this article, you’ve got all you need to freeze garlic in three different ways. Here is the recap of the three options and their benefits:
- Freeze garlic as unpeeled cloves if you’re short on time right now. This will extend your garlic’s shelf life and make cooking a little faster, but it won’t make prep any quicker.
- Blend garlic and freeze it for a relatively easy way to make ready-to-cook garlic puree.
- Roast garlic, squeeze out the puree and freeze it for ready-to-eat garlic.