Can You Freeze Garlic? Learn How to Preserve Garlic
If you’ve noticed that mold started growing on your garlic bulbs and you’re now wondering whether garlic can be frozen, then you’re in the right place. This article will give you a step-by-step summary of the whole process.
If you love garlic and have to use it in all your dishes and have several bulbs in storage but one day you notice some black spots forming on them. You’re now left trying to figure out the if you stored them in the right conditions or if there is a better way that they can be stored. Here’s an example of what it looks like:
It seems that something was wrong with the storage conditions. Since garlic cloves are known to last for a short time, you can try freezing them to see whether they will last for a longer time. It turns out that freezing garlic isn’t a strange thing, and it normally needs a few minutes to be done. For more information on how to freeze garlic, read on.
Can You Freeze Garlic?
So, you’re left with no other option that to freeze the aromatic ingredient. But before you actually do so, you want to be sure that the method actually works. You can decide to either freeze the garlic or discard it since it will eventually get spoiled and because you don’t want to waste it, the obvious choice is to freeze it.
When you find yourself in the situation where it’s cheaper to buy the garlic bulbs in large quantities from your local grocery store, and want to freeze the surplus. You can probably do so. Since freshly minced or chopped garlic adds more flavor to your dishes, you’re a little skeptical about freezing it because you don’t want it to lose its aromatic capability.
If you want to make a more garlicky bread for your family and friends, definitely use the fresh variety. But if you don’t mind it being less aromatic, then its okay to use the garlic from the freezer.
How To Freeze Garlic
There are 3 popular methods you can use to freeze your garlic, and every one of them has its upsides and downsides. After reading through all of them, you’ll be able to know which one of them works best for you.
If by the end you’re still not certain, use the first method because it doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time, and you’ll still be able to utilize the thawed garlic as you wish.
The Lazy Way: Freezing Whole Garlic Cloves or Bulbs
This was our favorite one since it enables you to use the garlic in any dish you want once it’s thawed. This means that you can either chop, mince or crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle, or a hand garlic press.
We preferred freezing our garlic cloves (as it was faster and still effective) but you can also freeze the entire garlic head using the same method. Here’s how you can do it :
- Start by cleaning all the dirt from the bulb (if you’re planning on freezing it whole), or separate the cloves from the main head (if you prefer freezing the cloves). If you choose the latter, you can either leave the cloves as they are or peel them. It all depends on what you want. Peeling them before storage is a great idea since it’ll save you some time when preparing your food.
- Put the cloves or bulbs in a freezer bag or container then seal tightly. You can even add a label containing the date and name if you want.
- Place your already packed and sealed garlic in to the freezer.
If you decided to freeze whole bulbs, you’ll need to separate the cloves from it when they are still frozen. It may take longer and may be a bit problematic than you’d expect. That’s why it is better to freeze already peeled cloves, so you only need to thaw and use them.
Freezing Chopped Garlic
Freezing chopped or minced garlic makes it more convenient for use. You will just need to break off the required amount, and then put it directly to the food you’re preparing. The only downside about this method is that the garlic needs to be chopped or minced beforehand. Either way, the garlic will eventually need to be chopped, so its better when it’s done before freezing. Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to do it:
- Chop or mince the garlic cloves. Separate the cloves from the bulb, then peel and mince or chop them. Since you’re going to add it directly to the food you’re cooking, ensure that you’re prepping it the exact way you’ll need it.
- Put the already chopped/minced garlic in a freezer container or bag. Remember to spread it flat and not in a big chunk. This will make it easy for you to scoop whenever you want to use some. Make sure to remove all the air from the freezer bag before sealing and storing it (you can label it if you wish).
- Chuck the bag of garlic in the freezer.
That’s basically everything you need to do. Now each time you want to add some chopped garlic to your dish you’ll remove the bag from the freezer, scoop out what you need and return the rest in the fridge.
Freezing Pureed Garlic With Oil
We don’t really like pureed garlic that has oil and would be our last resort. However, a lot of people swear by it, so we decided to include it for the sake for competency.
This method needs a lot in terms of preparation and you’ll have to be very cautious so that you can avoid getting botulism poisoning. So, if you choose to go with it, you’ll have enough garlic in oil readily available for when you want to cook you dishes. If you prefer this method, the following is what you’re required to do:
- Begin by peeling the skin from the cloves then puree them using vegetable oil using a food processor or blender. The given recommendation is that you use one part garlic to two parts oil, but you can be free to play around with the ratio.
- Pack (immediately!). Put the puree in a freezer container before sealing it.
- Freeze (immediately!). You can now place the container into the freezer.
Note that the pureed garlic in oil has to be packed and stored immediately into the freezer. The most important thing is to avoid leaving the garlic puree at room temperature. This will prevent it from producing Clostridium botulinum bacteria and ensuring safety.
Apply the same method when thawing the garlic puree, it has to be defrosted in the fridge or put it in its frozen state directly in a pan. Its not safe to leave it to thaw on the counter.
How To Thaw Garlic
So, you opted to freeze your garlic cloves and you’d like to thaw and use them (ours are below).
You can do it in several ways. Go with the one that suits your situation perfectly.
- In the fridge. This option works perfectly regardless of the freezing method you used. The only disadvantage is that the garlic will need at least one to two hours to defrost properly.
- On the counter. This is a great option for frozen cloves or whole bulbs. You’ll be able to remove as much garlic as needed, chop them (you might face some difficulty since they’ll be frozen solid) for faster thawing. The cloves will be soft and ready after about 10 to 20 minutes, and you can proceed for further refinement; crushing, mincing or using a garlic press. Don’t forget that the same doesn’t apply when it comes to garlic puree that has oil.
- Thaw the frozen garlic. If the garlic you froze was chopped or pureed, normally, you’ll be able to add it directly to the food you’re preparing without needing to defrost it.
Don’t forget that the garlic need some time to defrost and should be left to thaw for as much time as possible before you can start preparing you next dish (this is what most people do), or for several days, tops.
How To Use Frozen and Thawed Garlic
Frozen and thawed garlic can be used in the same say that fresh garlic is used. However, there aren’t a lot of recipes that work great with thawed garlic, so use it the way you want to. Most people use the thawed garlic when the recipe involves sautéing vegetables and meat or even on pasta sauces.