Can you freeze garlic? Garlic, due to its flavor, is widely used as a seasoning. Some people use it often, while others use it seldom or even not at all. Even though garlic stays fine for a long time, some people would like to store it even longer. Sometimes it’s because they use it rarely, sometimes because some people cook only for themselves and can’t use a package of 3 garlic heads before the vegetables will sprout or go bad. No matter the cause, you can freeze garlic and you can do that in a variety of ways, depending on your needs.
Freezing whole garlic heads
This method is fairly simple. You just need to wrap the vegetable in plastic wrap or aluminum foil or put into a freezer bag or a plastic container and put it into the freezer. You can remove individual cloves as you go. Please remember that most people state that this method of freezing garlic isn’t the best when it comes to preserving garlic’s flavor. If you are unsure whether freezing whole garlic bulbs will meet your needs, you can do it once and decide whether the outcome satisfies you.
Image used under Creative Commons from David Pursehouse
Freezing chopped or crushed garlic
Remove cloves from garlic’s head and press each one with with a knife or a spoon. Peel each clove. Now it’s time to chop, grate or crush each one of them. You can decide to leave them whole if you want to. It’s up to you – consider how you’ll use the garlic. At this point you might decide to dry the (preferably sliced) garlic. You can even grind dried garlic – you’ll get garlic powder. Dried or powdered garlic will last longer than fresh garlic, so you need to consider whether freezing it is really worth it.
If you’ve sliced the cloves or left them whole, you might want to be able to easily scoop them from the freezer bag, one at a time. If you won’t pre-freeze the garlic pieces they’ll most likely freeze into clumps and you won’t be able to easily scoop a few pieces as you go. Pre-freezing is easy – you just need to put the vegetables on a tray (make sure the pieces don’t touch each other), and put the tray into the freezer. Keep it there until garlic slices are frozen. Please remember that this procedure is optional.
Now it’s time to put the chopped, crushed or grated garlic into the freezer for the long term. Choose a packaging suitable for your needs. You can wrap the chopped garlic with plastic foil, put it into a freezer bag or a plastic container. Choose wrapping that’s suitable for you. If you haven’t pre-frozen the vegetables, consider transferring them into a few small packages and freezing them together in one larger bag.
Freezing garlic in oil
It’s said that freezing garlic in oil is the best to preserve its taste, but you should do that carefully. Firstly, please bear in mind that garlic must not be stored in oil in room temperature because eating it can cause botulism. Because of that, you should use garlic frozen in oil immediately after taking it from the freezer.
Freezing garlic in oil is quite easy: you can choose to freeze it as a puree or in whole cloves. In order to freeze the seasoning as a puree you simply need to puree (you can do that easily using a food processor) the garlic, 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic, and pack it in a container that is suitable for you. You can also choose to pour the mixture into ice cube trays. If you choose to freeze whole cloves, the easiest way to do that is to put the peeled cloves into ice cube trays and pour oil over them. Of course you don’t have to use ice cube trays, you might just put the cloves into a container and add oil.
As you can see, you can freeze garlic and there are a few methods how you can do it. You can freeze it for up to 12 months while preserving good quality.