How Long Does Garlic Last and How Can You Know If It’s Bad?

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Along from onions, garlic is one of the most often used pantry products globally. Virtually all cuisines use this wonderful allium, and I try to have several bulbs on hand at all times.

Although having a well-stocked pantry is essential for cooking delicious meals at home, it’s easy to forget the miscellaneous goods, and we may find ourselves assessing the freshness of an older head of garlic. This raises the issue of how long garlic lasts. Therefore, how can we keep it fresher for a longer period of time?

How long does garlic last?

Whole heads of garlic will keep for up to six months when stored properly. Peeled garlic has a much smaller shelf life at about a week or so, again depending on storage conditions.

The longer you cook garlic, the shorter its shelf life becomes. A single unpeeled clove will keep for approximately three weeks in a cold, dark area, such as a cupboard or drawer. Properly peeled, a garlic clove will keep in the fridge for about a week. If you cut the garlic deeper, it has approximately a day before it begins to turn. You may increase the shelf life of chopped garlic by keeping it in oil, but this comes with its own set of risks.

Tips for storing your garlic.

  • Garlic bulbs should be stored in a dark, room-temperature area with sufficient air circulation, such as a cupboard or drawer. If you want to store your entire garlic in a bag or container to keep the garlic paper contained, consider using a paper bag or a container such as a garlic keeper. This allows for ventilation, which keeps the garlic dry and increases its shelf life.
  • Refrigerate pre-peeled garlic cloves in an airtight container.
  • To preserve chopped garlic cloves from oxidizing, put them in the fridge wrapped in vegetable or olive oil. Keep it refrigerated and utilize it within a day or two since it has an extremely limited shelf life.
  • If you want to peel your garlic bulb before storing it, use a sharp paring knife and avoid bruising or crushing the garlic clove.

Can I eat garlic if it’s starting to go bad?

The quick answer is sometimes, but the lengthy answer is a bit more difficult.

chop new. Overall, this will improve the flavor profile of your dishes since rotten garlic has a really strong odour that starts to taste somewhat bitter. If your garlic starts to develop a deeper color and have a stronger scent, you may still consume it; it simply won’t taste as good. Any cloves with black or rotten patches should be discarded. In general, if the garlic has begun to turn, discard the garlic cloves and peel.

As garlic goes bad, it may sometimes host the clostridium botulinum bacterium, which causes Botulism, a potentially deadly foodborne infection. Botulism prefers low-acid diets with little to no oxygen, as well as higher temperatures. Although intact garlic bulbs or peeled garlic cloves are not inherently dangerous, chopped garlic placed in oil provides an ideal setting for Botulism if handled wrong.

The easiest approach to prevent botulism in garlic is to keep it as a whole bulb, always cut it fresh for your recipes, and always store pre-chopped garlic in the fridge.

It’s worth noting that garlic, particularly entire bulbs, may grow if left in the cabinet for too long. A green garlic stem or green root will emerge at the top of the clove when this occurs. Whilst this is not a health risk, the green garlic stalk is frequently bitter and should be removed before cutting or slicing.

How to tell if garlic has gone bad.

1 . Sight

The color is white. As garlic goes bad, it develops brown patches and may become somewhat transparent, deepening in color to a pale brown or yellow. While it is not always a bad thing for entire garlic to sprout, the sprout will taste somewhat harsh. When using your bulb to cook with, try to remove as much of the green roots as possible. Garlic cloves should be firm and tan in color.

2 . Feel

Let to dry. You may use dried garlic, but the taste will be lessened if used in a dish. When you apply pressure to peeled garlic cloves, they should feel hard and fracture slightly. When the peeled cloves deteriorate, they will become sticky and spongey. Although fermented black garlic has soft, sensitive black cloves, fresh cloves should always be hard and sharp. If your garlic becomes squishy or spongey, it has gone rotten; discard it or compost it and peel some new cloves. Whole garlic may begin to dry after a few months of room temperature storage.

3 . Smell/Taste

Fresh garlic has a pungent odor, particularly after the cloves have been peeled and exposed to air. When it matures and starts to rot, the stench intensifies and takes on a harsh, almost ammonia-like aroma. The fragrance transfers over to the taste of the garlic, which is unpleasant. Considering how strong oxidized garlic can become, this is a quick method to determine whether your garlic has gone bad.

Help! My garlic is about to go bad, what should I do?

Do you have an abundance of garlic laying around that you don’t want to waste? Use these easy tips to help your garlic last longer.

  1. Remove and cut the remaining garlic cloves, then arrange the minced garlic in an equal layer on a prepared baking sheet and set in the freezer. After frozen, place it in an airtight container and keep it frozen until required. Pack the garlic onto an ice cube tray for easy-to-use, preportioned garlic blocks. This is a simple method to have pre-portioned garlic on hand for a variety of cuisines and recipes. Don’t want to cut a bunch of garlic? Check out these fantastic garlic presses that make garlic preparation a snap!
  2. Create an aioli. Cooking with garlic is a simple way to use up leftover garlic. Aioli is a terrific way to use up a bunch of leftover garlic cloves, and it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. A decent garlic aioli is a must-have in any kitchen, and it’s delicious on anything from roasted meats to grilled vegetables to french fries.
  3. If your whole fresh garlic bulb is sprouting, you may plant it and produce additional garlic. Green garlic is extremely tasty in spring meals, and if you put growing cloves in the soil, you may enjoy it all year!


How do I know if garlic is spoiled?

If garlic loses its distinctive spicy, pungent aroma or starts to smell sour, it’s time to throw it out. When it comes to the feel, make sure it’s identical to what you’re looking for at the store—firm, with no too dry or soft cloves.

What does garlic look like when it goes bad?

Spoiled garlic develops brown patches on the cloves and changes color from white to yellow or brown. Another feature is the formation of green roots in the clove’s heart. There are fresh sprouts that are developing. While not poisonous, these roots have a highly bitter flavor and should be removed before cooking.

Is it OK to use old garlic?

Cooking with garlic is a fantastic method to enrich meals, but if you use substandard garlic, it will be a waste of time and money. Check the quality and expiry dates of your garlic, store it carefully, and throw it away if in doubt!

When should you throw out garlic?

Of course, you may touch your garlic, but it also helps you determine whether it has gone bad. Toss the garlic if it is soft when squeezed. Garlic should be crisp and firm. Finally, look at the color once you peel it.

What does spoiled garlic smell like?

If your garlic begins to smell bad or sour, discard it. It’s also time to get rid of it if it doesn’t smell like anything. Fresh garlic should smell strong and somewhat spicy. If yours lacks this, it’s a warning that it’s too old to cook with.

How do you know if garlic has botulism?

According to Danto, you won’t be able to tell if the garlic has become toxic: “It won’t taste or look any different. It will not emit any odors or gases.” When it comes to pesto, Danto recommends keeping the mixture refrigerated and utilizing it within two days.

How long is unpeeled garlic good for?

Garlic Cloves: How Long Do They Last? Unpeeled garlic cloves will keep for around 3 weeks if left in their papery shells. To preserve the cloves from moisture, leave as much of their papery husks on as feasible.

Should you refrigerate garlic?

Refrigeration is your best chance, whether you’ve split and skinned the whole thing or just a few exposed cloves. Refrigerate it after sealing it in an airtight container or zip-top bag. While it may lose pungency after a few days, it will be safe to use for approximately a week.

What color is mold on garlic?

Bulb and clove symptoms may begin as soft areas that seem water-soaked. The clove may eventually degrade completely, being coated in masses of blue or blue-green fungal growth. Secondary invaders often follow the blue mold infection into garlic cloves and bulbs.

How do you store garlic for the longest life?

Just keep it in a cool (60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit), well-lit area with good air circulation. You don’t want to store your garlic in an airtight container because it will decay. Polypropylene bags are also ineffective because they retain moisture, causing garlic to decay quicker. Instead, use mesh bags or paper wraps.

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