Homestead Life - Preserve Your Harvest!

How to Preserve Garlic – 4 Storage Methods

How to Preserve Garlic - 4 Easy Storage Methods by The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

How To Preserve Garlic for Best Storage

Learning how to preserve garlic isn’t difficult or time-consuming. And it will save some money if your garlic has a tendency to go bad because you don’t use it up quickly enough. Whether you bought garlic or grew your own, it’s a waste to toss it out!

Garlic keeps up to nine months under proper storage conditions. However, if you don’t have the ideal space to keep it, your garlic will get soft, sprout, or dry out. Keep reading for more information to help you preserve garlic for longer storage life.

This post contains affiliate links or advertisements.

How to Preserve Garlic

How To Preserve Garlic In A Root Cellar

After harvest, allow your garlic to cure for a week or two in a dry, airy spot, out of direct sunlight. Brush off any dirt and trim roots back. Hang garlic (braiding is optional) or trim stems and store in a shallow layer in an open crate. Ideal storage temperature is 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity should be in the 50 to 60% range. Softneck garlic stores well for up to 9 months and hardneck (such as Elephant garlic) keeps up to 6 months under these conditions.

Read ‘How to Harvest and Store Rood Crops’ for information on root cellar storage.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Storage Tip – Use a garlic keeper to store your garlic on the counter or in your pantry. The ceramic crock will allow your garlic to ‘breathe’ and will keep it cool and dark. Do not store your garlic in the refrigerator or in a plastic bag or plastic container, this will hold in moisture and may lead to mold or rot.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

How to Freeze Garlic Easily

Freezing garlic is pretty much the easiest way to keep it from sprouting or drying up if you don’t have ideal storage space. It won’t be as crisp as fresh garlic, but the flavor will be fine. There are several ways to prepare garlic for freezing.

An easy way to freeze garlic is as simple as placing a whole bulb of garlic into an airtight container and popping it in the freezer. You don’t even have to peel it. Easy!

Want to simplify the prep time when you’re ready to use the frozen cloves? Peel the papery skins off before you place them in the freezer. Still easy!

Freezer Tip – If you are using plastic freezer bags, double or triple up to help prevent the odor from escaping. (This is the one time that using plastic bags for storing your garlic is appropriate.)

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Can You Preserve Garlic in Oil?

Maybe you’d like to take a little extra time and freeze your garlic in oil. Place whole, chopped, or minced cloves in a freezer-safe container and cover with olive oil, stir to coat the garlic, seal, place in the freezer.

When you’re ready for some garlicky goodness…just grab the container, scoop out what you need, and place the rest back in the freezer. Store garlic in oil for several months in the freezer. (The oil gets somewhat hard in the freezer, so you may want to use the mincing option, below, for easier scooping.)

Handy Tip: Scoop garlic and oil into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. When it’s solid, pop out of trays and store in freezer bags. When you are cooking you’ll be able to grab a cube or two and toss in your pan!

Minced Garlic in Oil

For an even easier to use solution, mince the garlic before covering in oil and freezing. Warm a metal spoon to help scoop the minced garlic and oil from its container. Once thawed, the garlic-flavored oil is great for dipping your homemade bread, or use it in homemade oil and vinegar dressing, and also replace vegetable oil in recipes with garlic oil to give the finished product extra flavor!

But Wait, Is Garlic in Oil Safe to Eat?

Maybe you’ve read some old timer’s advice about storing garlic in a jar of oil on your counter? Never store garlic in oil on the counter or in the refrigerator!  

Garlic stored in vegetable oil must be stored at cold temperatures to remain safe for human consumption. Refrigerate at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for up to 4 days, or place your garlic and oil combo in the freezer.

Here’s Why…

Placing garlic in vegetable oil and leaving it at room temperatures provides conditions for Clostridium botulinum to thrive and cause serious illness. If you suspect that you, or someone else, has consumed botulism toxins, seek medical attention immediately. Left untreated, botulism poisoning can be fatal.

For more information about killing botulism, check out this Extension office post.


Dehydrate Garlic for Long Term Storage

If you have a lot of garlic and you want to keep it long term, the best method for preserving it is by dehydrating to remove the moisture. Here’s how:

  • Peel garlic and brush off any dirt or debris
  • Slice garlic very thin
  • Arrange in a dehydrator with some space between slices
  • Use a mesh covering on the tray if you have one
  • Set dehydrator to 115 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Dry until all of the garlic slices are crispy and break easily
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot out of sunlight
  • Vacuum seal dehydrated garlic for even longer storage

How To Use Dehydrated Garlic

  • Drop a few slices into soups, stews, or chili
  • Rehydrate in water until soft (10- 20 minutes), mince and use in place of fresh garlic
  • Run through a food processor for powdered garlic

DIY Garlic Salt

Blend powdered garlic with salt to make your own garlic salt. Try a blend of half salt and half garlic, or increase the salt if you wish. Place garlic salt in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight.

Dried Garlic Storage Tip – Very dry garlic may be placed in a mylar food storage bag with an oxygen absorber for the longest storage life.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

How to Pickle Garlic

Another easy way to preserve your garlic is by pickling. Garlic pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for shorter periods or you may can them for really long term preservation. Here is a quick and easy refrigerator garlic pickle recipe that will wake up your taste buds!

Sweet Hot Garlic Refrigerator Pickles

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 – 3 dozen garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp non-iodized salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, stir together vinegar, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Add garlic cloves. Return to a boil. Boil for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Cool slightly. Scoop garlic into a sterile container. Pour enough pickling liquid into container to cover the garlic. Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks before using. These zesty pickles are quite spicy! Use as a pickle, or mince and use in recipes where you’d like to add some garlic and spice.

Keep refrigerated.

Recipe Variation – If you have fresh hot peppers, you may slice them and add to pickling liquid along with garlic and omit the crushed red pepper.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

How to Preserve Garlic

Preserve Garlic Several Ways

If you have a lot of garlic, try preserving some with each of these methods. You’ll have a variety of different ways to use your garlic! There are some delicious sounding recipes out there for canning garlic pickles and they would make excellent gifts for your friends and family.

What is your favorite way of preserving garlic?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

How to Preserve Garlic - 4 Easy Storage Methods by The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

My Linky Parties

8 Comments on “How to Preserve Garlic – 4 Storage Methods

  1. Can you peel garlic then put the fresh garlic cloves into a vacuum seal bag or vacuum zipper bag, vacuum it then place the bag into the freezer?

    Also, can you do the same with dehydrated crispy garlic?

    1. Hi Heidi,
      Yes, you can free fresh garlic or dried garlic. Vacuum sealing will help keep the garlic from getting freezer burn, so that is a good idea.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I have been jarring meals for long term storage with dried/powdered/dehydrated goods. I know it is not good to vacuum seal raw garlic because of the botulism but is it safe to include dehydrated, powdered, or cooked garlic in the vacuum sealed jars? Will the powdered or dried minced garlic still produce the toxins under vacuumed conditions? I am also making marinades and sauces with tomatoes, fresh herb, lemon juice, garlic, etc. After I have cooked the sauce, let it cool, and freeze it, is it ok to then vacuum seal it in the mason jars? I like to vacuum seal my combinations of seasoning like for chili. I vacuum sealed my mix of cayenne, chili powder, minced onion, garlic powder, etc in a small vacuum seal plastic pouch, then add my beans, etc then vacuum seal the mason jar all the ingredients are in. Is this safe from botulism? How about cooking slow cooker meals full of garlic, them freezing them?

    1. Hi WannaBPrepper,
      From everything I’ve read concerning the safe storage of garlic, if you freeze it, it is safe to consume. If you are vacuum sealing dried mixes with garlic powder or dried minced garlic, it is safe to vacuum seal the dried foods (but NOT if they have moisture added to them before vacuum sealing them) and store them at room temperatures. When freezing jars of cooked foods with garlic in them, they will be safe to consume, but do not leave them in the refrigerator for more than a few days before consuming. Although it is not necessary to vacuum seal foods that you are freezing, it will help to prevent freezer burn and will keep the foods tasting fresh for a longer period of time.

      If you are making jarred meals for long-term storage at room temperature, they should be canned in a pressure canner. You can add garlic (raw or dried) to your soups, sauces, or other meals, as long as you are either vacuum sealing and freezing them or you are pressure canning them according to the directions and processing times for the foods with the longest processing times. For example, if I pressure can chicken soup with vegetables, I process the soup for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure at an elevation of under 1,000 feet.

      If you wish to dehydrate your own garlic, just make sure that it is completely dried out before you store it at room temperature to be safe. If you aren’t sure, you can stick the bag of dried garlic in your freezer and just pull out what you need.

      I hope this answers your questions! Best wishes!

  3. Wow. There is a lot of great info here that I did not know. I was given a bunch of garlic this year and I want to be sure to preserve it as best I can. I am glad I came across this post in Farm Fresh Tuesday or I probably would have wasted a lot of garlic by storing it wrong. Thanks.

    1. Hi Laurie!
      How wonderful to receive that garlic! My Dad always gives me more garlic than I can use quickly…so I’ve become adept at storing it up for later. 🙂
      My own garlic is almost non-existent this year.

      Best wishes with your garlic storage and thanks so much for stopping by to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.