Preserving Garlic: Tips and Techniques

Preserving garlic ensures you have its aromatic flavor at your fingertips year-round. From drying to pickling, find out how here


6/12/20241 min read

clear glass jars with candies
clear glass jars with candies

Garlic is a kitchen staple cherished for its robust flavor and numerous health benefits. Learning how to preserve it allows you to enjoy its culinary magic even when it's out of season or in surplus. Discover the best ways to store garlic and keep it fresh for extended periods, ensuring you always have this essential ingredient on hand for your favorite recipes.

How to Preserve Garlic

Preserving garlic can be done through various methods such as drying, freezing, pickling, or storing it in oil. Each technique offers a unique way to extend the shelf life of garlic while retaining its flavor and versatility in culinary applications.

Drying Garlic

To dry garlic for preservation, start by curing freshly harvested cloves in a warm, well-ventilated area. If you are buying garlic from the store, it will already be cured and last several weeks or months in your kitchen. But you can further dry the garlic by slicing it thinly or crushing it into powder or granules. Spread the garlic pieces on a baking sheet or dehydrator tray and dry them at low heat until completely dehydrated - you can use your oven, a dehydrator, or a freeze dryer. Store the dried garlic in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for long-term preservation.

Freezing Garlic

Freezing garlic is a simple way to preserve its freshness. Start by peeling and mincing the cloves, then place them in an ice cube tray. Cover the cloves with water or oil and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the garlic cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container for easy storage. Alternatively, you can freeze whole cloves or pureed garlic in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Frozen garlic can be used directly in recipes without the need for thawing, making it a convenient option for preserving this versatile ingredient.

Pickling Garlic

Pickling garlic is a flavorful way to preserve it for an extended period. Start by peeling the cloves and placing them in a sterilized jar. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, and any desired spices or herbs, then bring to a boil. Pour the hot brine over the garlic cloves in the jar, ensuring they are fully submerged. Seal the jar tightly and let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. The pickled garlic will develop its flavor over time and can be enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, or as a tasty garnish.

Using Oil

Storing garlic in oil is a convenient way to preserve its flavor and aroma - but it shouldn't be confused with Confit Garlic. Begin by peeling and finely chopping the garlic cloves. Place them in a clean, dry jar, then cover them completely with olive oil. Seal the jar tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. However, it's essential to handle garlic in oil with caution to prevent the risk of botulism. Always use fresh garlic, keep it refrigerated, and discard any leftovers after the recommended storage period to ensure food safety.

In this article, we've explored various methods to preserve garlic and extend its shelf life. From drying to freezing, pickling, and storing in oil, there are several options to suit different preferences and culinary needs. Drying garlic allows for the creation of powder or granules, while freezing maintains its freshness for longer periods. Pickling offers a tangy twist, and storing in oil enhances flavor and convenience. However, it's crucial to follow proper procedures and safety guidelines, especially when storing garlic in oil, to prevent the risk of botulism. Whether you're looking to stock up on garlic for future use or experiment with new preservation techniques, these methods provide versatile options for keeping this flavorful ingredient on hand.


How to preserve garlic?

Garlic can be preserved by drying, freezing, pickling, or storing in oil, depending on personal preference and intended use.

How to preserve garlic in oil?

To preserve garlic in oil, ensure it's fully submerged, refrigerate, and consume within 2 weeks to avoid the risk of botulism.

How to preserve garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes can be pickled or frozen for longer-term preservation, maintaining their flavor and texture.

How to preserve garlic bulbs?

Garlic bulbs can be stored in a cool, dry place with good airflow, such as a mesh bag or garlic keeper, to prevent sprouting and maintain freshness.

Which preservation method lasts the longest for garlic?

Freezing garlic cloves or puree typically offers the longest preservation, maintaining flavor and texture for up to several months.