If you often use garlic in your cooking or you buy it in bulk, you're probably wondering how to store garlic. Your dishes are as good as the spices and flavorings you use. Therefore, it's very important that your spices (and garlic in this particular case) are of the best quality. To achieve that you need to know how to store them properly.
Storing immature garlic
Immature garlic (also known as 'new season' or 'wet') is harvested early in summer and has not been hung up to dry. That kind of garlic should be stored in the fridge and used within about a week. Some people consider immature garlic as the most flavorful one. If you haven't used this condiment yet, I encourage you to experiment with it. Maybe you'll fall in love with its flavor.
Drying homegrown garlic
If you would like to store your homegrown garlic for a longer period of time (like several months), you need to dry it first. After the garlic is harvested, you need to wash its roots and the bulb. Now it's time to dry it. Place it in a dark, dry place where it has a lot of air, so it can dry thoroughly. Garlic should be kept in that place for a week or even more. It's important that it is dried properly, so if you're unsure whether it's dried thoroughly, you should keep it there for another day or two. Once the garlic has dried, you need to trim off the roots and rub off the outer layer of skin around the bulb. Do that carefully.
Storing dried garlic
Whole bulb of dried garlic (either your homegrown garlic or store-bought one) should remain fine for several months when stored in a moisture-free, shady place at room temperature and with good air circulation. Please bear in mind that this applies only to whole garlic bulbs. As soon as you remove the first clove from the bulb, shelf life of this condiment decreases. You can store dried garlic in containers such as paper bags, egg cartons, wire mesh baskets or even in a garlic keeper. The container itself isn't really that important. Just make sure that the condiment has a lot of dry air in where it is stored and that it isn't in direct light. This way you should be able to avoid sprouting.
Storing minced garlic
If you've minced more garlic than you can use for a specific dish, you need to know how to store minced garlic. The bad news is that minced garlic looses its flavor pretty fast, the whole process starts within a few hours of mincing. Minced garlic can be stored in the fridge, possibly in an air-tight container. This way, you'll be able to slow down the process of deterioration.
Garlic – other useful information
If you'd like to store garlic for an extended period of time, you can freeze it. There are few ways of freezing garlic, some of them retain its flavor and texture better, others don't perform that well. If your garlic sprouts – throw it out. Storing dried garlic in the refrigerator isn't a good idea – it'll probably go mouldy or sprout because of the humidity in there. You mustn't store raw garlic in oil .
As you can see, there are a few things worth knowing about storing garlic.