South and Hickory Facade

Keeping Garlic Fresh for 6+ Months

Three heads of garlic on a wooden cutting board

July 2023


At South and Hickory Place, we have some of the most beautiful and well-equipped kitchens you’ll find in a South Wedge rental. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if you stay in and cook for yourself. Which, of course, means keeping fresh garlic on hand. Because where would we be without garlic. Pungent when raw, mellow when cooked, it adds a delicious aroma and deep flavor to so many dishes.

And while you might be tempted to use garlic powder, this is one case when fresh is not only better but very low maintenance. That’s because, if stored correctly, you can keep fresh garlic around for six months or more. And if you’re like most cooks, you’ll go through it long before that. Here’s how to keep yours fresh until you use it.

Keep it Whole

To keep your garlic in tip-top shape, remember this golden rule: keep it whole. Don’t split up the bulbs until you’re ready to use them. The natural paper covering acts as a perfect storage container. Once the cloves are pulled apart, they tend to dry out much quicker.

Use the Right Container

Don’t stress too much about the container you keep your garlic in. A terra-cotta or ceramic container specifically designed for garlic storage is great, but so is a simple bowl, a wire basket, or even a paper bag. The important thing is that it allows dry air to circulate. That’s why a plastic bag or airtight container is a bad idea. And if you decide to keep your garlic on the counter, keep it away from the window and direct sunlight. Like any other plant, sunlight will cause it to sprout.

Cool & Dry

While you want to keep your garlic cool and dry, that doesn’t mean the refrigerator. That’s a place will feel like autumn to garlic and cause it to sprout in a week or two. Also, humidity doesn’t help garlic. It causes it to become soft. The panty or cupboard is the best spot if you keep away from potatoes. Garlic, onions, shallots, and other alliums release gas thatyou’re your potatoes to sprout.

What About Peeled Garlic?

Once peeled or chopped, you want to prevent the garlic from drying out and accelerating the aging process. Keep it in an airtight plastic bag or small jar for up to three days. After that, you’ll start to see discoloration, which means your garlic is going bad. If you cook the garlic in olive oil before storing in the refrigerator, it can last up to a week. Also, chopped or whole garlic can last up to 12 months when stored in the freezer.

So, if you want to keep your garlic game strong and those home cooked meals delicious, just remember to keep it whole, let it breathe, and avoid moisture. Buon appetito!