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. Other times because they 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 it and put into the freezer. You can wrap it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, put into a freezer bag, or a plastic container. You can remove individual cloves as you go. Please remember that this method of freezing garlic isn’t the best when it comes to preserving garlic’s flavor. If you are unsure if freezing whole bulbs will be okay for your needs, do it once and decide whether it works for your.
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 decide if freezing it is worth it.
If you’ve sliced the cloves or left them whole, you might want to easily scoop them from the freezer bag, one at a time. That’s where pre-freezing comes in handy. If you won’t pre-freeze the pieces will freeze into clumps and you won’t be able to easily scoop a few pieces as you go. Pre-freezing is easy. You need to put the vegetables on a tray (make sure the pieces don’t touch one another), 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 you have on hand. If you haven’t pre-frozen the veggies, consider dividing them into a few small packages and freezing them together in one larger bag.
Freezing Farlic in Oil
It’s said that freezing garlic in oil is the best to preserve its taste, but you should do that with care. First, please remember that garlic must not be stored in oil in room temperature. That results in botulism risk . 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. To freeze it in puree form you need to puree the garlic, 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic, and pack it in a container that is suitable for you. A food processor will come in handy to do that.
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. Ice cubes will allow you to scoop or or two cloves easily though.
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.