Can You Freeze Garlic? Your Questions Answered

Garlic is a staple in so many recipes in our opinion. It’s not surprising to us at all that many recipes begin with asking you to saute garlic and onions when you consider how delicious it tastes.

As much as we think there can never be too much garlic (we are the kind of people that read 1 clove of garlic as 4 cloves of garlic!), there are times where you may have overestimated how much you will need for a recipe, resulting in having a ton of garlic cloves with no use for them.

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The worry is that these cloves may turn bad before you get to use them. 

This can leave you wondering whether you need to toss them in the trash or whether you can preserve them somehow for another day.

Can you freeze garlic?

Whether it's a garlic clove, chopped garlic, garlic scape, or minced garlic, garlic can be frozen. So now you can make a garlic paste with olive oil to make garlic bread anytime. Just take care in how you store garlic.

The most obvious method for keeping food in the freezer. And lucky for you, we are here to tell you that garlic can be frozen!

Peeled garlic is the best type of garlic to freeze, and in this article, we are going to be exploring exactly how to freeze peeled garlic for the best results.

Freezing Peeled Garlic

We are happy to affirm that it is a resounding yes when it comes to freezing peeled garlic. Garlic cloves that have been peeled can be frozen in airtight bags or containers for up to 6 months and still taste as good as they did when they were fresh!

However, before you go ahead and just throw all of your garlic cloves into the freezer willy nilly, we have some tips and tricks to share with you that will help you to get the best out of your garlic cloves, whatever dish you are making. Keep on reading to find out more.

Does freezing affect the taste of garlic?

The freezing of peeled garlic cloves does not affect the taste of it. It will remain as tasty and recognizable as it did on the day you froze it.

However, we want to be transparent and tell you that whilst the taste will remain the same, the texture is likely to be altered.

Fresh garlic when it is chopped or diced from clove is relatively crisp. However, when you freeze garlic it develops a softer texture. It will not be as firm as fresh garlic.

If you plan to cook your garlic then this softness will make no difference whatsoever as cooking would have softened it anyway.

That being said, if you were planning to use it raw in a salad or other dish you will certainly notice this texture change.

Preparing Your Garlic for Freezing

As annoying as it is, the first step in freezing your garlic is to peel it. This can be tedious and time consuming if you have a lot of garlic to peel.

To do this place your whole garlic bulb onto a work surface and push down on it to separate each of the cloves.

You can then get to work with peeling. You can do this manually if you wish, using clean hands and nails to gently pierce the cloves and peel. However, we have an even better method!

All you need is a jar big enough to hold all of your garlic cloves, preferably with a lid. A mason jar or old sauce jar will work well.

Place your cloves inside, put the lid on tight, and shake! No really! In a few minutes, the garlic cloves will have started to peel all by themselves and it will just take you a couple of minutes to look through the cloves and peel off any stubborn pieces.

Discard all of the peelings. If you want you can cut the end of the cloves off, also known as the root end. This is optional, but if you usually remove them you should do it at this point. They are now ready for freezing!

Storing Them in the Freezer

One of the most important aspects of freezing garlic cloves to keep in mind is the fact that garlic smells very pungent.

If you freeze your peeled garlic cloves incorrectly then there is a possibility that the smell will leach onto all of your other frozen foods. Take it from us - frozen garlic-flavored chocolate chip ice cream is not good!

With this in mind, your peeled garlic cloves must be adequately stored so the scent cannot escape. This will also make them less susceptible to freezer burn.

For this reason, we recommend that at the very least, you place your garlic cloves into an airtight freezer-safe bag with a ziplock. Push out all of the excess air from the airtight zip lock freezer bag and label it with the contents and date you have frozen them.

For extra protection, you can then place that freezer-safe ziplock bag into an airtight container, such as a piece of Tupperware. This will ensure your garlic is doubly protected.

Another method for freezing that yields excellent results is freezing them in a glass mason jar. Ensure the mason jar has enough room for the cloves to expand in the freezer, but that there is not too much excess space.

You also need to ensure that the jar is safe for the freezer and clean before freezing it. To ensure your mason jar is safe, ensure you only use straight sided mason jars and fill them to the freeze line. If you are not careful, your glass jar can crack as a result of the freezer causing the contents to expand.

Using all of these methods, your frozen peeled garlic cloves will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months. They can be kept safely for a whole year, but after 6 months their texture will be very different and the taste may get milder. Use them as soon as possible to get the most out of them.

Using Your Frozen Garlic Cloves

As your cloves are already peeled, you can simply take them out of the freezer and throw them into any dish you want.

If you are cooking the cloves in a recipe such as a sauce, soup, or stew you can throw the whole clove in without defrosting.

If you need to cut it up you can leave the cloves at room temperature for a little while. It will not take them more than an hour to defrost.

If you are in a hurry you can run them under room temperature water to get them softer for cutting. Using this method you can also pop them into a garlic press to mince them.


There you have it! Our easy peasy guide to freezing peeled garlic! Thanks for reading! 

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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