Garlic is a bulbous vegetable that is usually planted in the early fall and harvested in late summer. It is a flavorful, pungent herb that is a staple in many dishes. From Italian to Indian cuisine, garlic is used to add flavor and a zing to a variety of recipes. 

While the taste of it is desirable for many, the smell can be overpowering, which is why it is often added in small quantities, especially garlic in Italian cuisine where it’s more of a subtle flavoring than a main ingredient.

If you’ve ever wondered how long garlic will last in your pantry, check out this post for everything you need to know about garlic storage and shelf-life!

How Long Does a Fresh Whole Bulb of Garlic Last?

Garlic is a great way to flavor food, and it has some health benefits too. But how long does it last?

A whole bulb of garlic will last for about two to three months if it is stored in a cool, dry place.. The cloves can be used as needed during that time. If the garlic is chopped or crushed, it will only last for about one week. You can also extend the shelf life of garlic by freezing it.

Fresh garlic is available year-round in most grocery stores. The bulb should be firm, and the cloves should be covered in a thin, papery skin. Dried garlic is available in most grocery stores, and is usually ground into a powder. Powdered garlic can also be found in the spice section of most grocery stores.

How Long Will Processed Garlic Last?

Processed garlic is a type of garlic that has been treated in some way to preserve it. This can be done by pickling, freezing, drying, or canning. It is available in most supermarkets and stores, and can last for a very long time if stored properly, although its flavor will diminish over time.

How long processed garlic lasts depends on the type of processing it undergoes. For example, pickled garlic will last for around six months if refrigerated, while frozen garlic can last for up to a year. Dried garlic can last for around six months if stored in a cool, dark place, while canned garlic can last for several years.

The shelf life of processed garlic will depend on a number of factors, including the packaging, storage conditions, and type of processed garlic. In general, however, processed garlic will last between 3 and 6 months when stored in a cool, dry place.

Signs that fresh garlic has gone bad

Signs That Fresh Garlic Has Gone Bad

Garlic is a very versatile and healthy food. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and has many health benefits. If stored in a cool, dry place, fresh garlic can last for up to three months. 

After three months, the garlic will start to sprout and it will have a bitter taste. If you notice that your garlic has a sweet taste, it has gone bad and should not be eaten.

The best way to tell if garlic is bad is to smell it. If the garlic smells like onions or damp earth, it has gone bad. If the garlic is sprouting, it has also gone bad. Fresh garlic will have a light, pleasant smell.

One of the most obvious signs that garlic has gone bad is when it starts to sprout. If you see green shoots coming out of the cloves, then the garlic is no longer edible. Another sign is if the cloves have turned brown or black. If this is the case, then the garlic is most likely rotten and should be thrown away. In sum, throw it out if:

  • If the garlic has a slimy texture
  • If the garlic is sprouting
  • If the garlic has a foul odor
  • If the garlic is dry or shriveled

Proper Storage of Fresh Garlic

These tips will maximize the quality and shelf life of your fresh garlic.

Store in a dry and dark place. Light and moisture can cause the growth of mold in garlic.

Store your garlic at room temperature. At high temperatures, the quality and shelf life of your garlic will decline rapidly. 

Use containers that allow good air circulation. Store your garlic in a wire-mesh basket, a paper bag, or a specialized garlic keeper with holes.

Freezing can alter the texture and flavor of garlic but can give it a much longer shelf life. Spread your peeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet and freeze them for 20 minutes. After that, transfer the garlic cloves to an airtight container or freezer bag and keep frozen.

The following tips would maximize the shelf life of your peeled garlic:

Store minced and chopped garlic in an airtight container or jar and cover with olive oil. Keep in the refrigerator.

You can also keep chopped and minced garlic frozen if you don’t want to use oil. Keep chopped and minced garlic in an airtight container or wrap up tightly with freezer plastic wrap.

In Conclusion

The unique flavor of garlic can be used to add depth to many different types of foods. Garlic is also known for its health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin C and B6; it has antioxidant properties, and is also a powerful antibiotic. Garlic has even been used to ward off vampires!

Of course, fresh garlic doesn’t last forever and must be discarded when it shows signs of going bad. Fortunately, it is a cheap and readily available vegetable that can be found in almost every supermarket around the world. 

So grab some garlic today to add both flavor and nutrition to your daily meals. Salute!

Rick Zullo

Former doctor, current science teacher, and life-long food lover, Rick's passion for Mediterranean cuisine was ignited while living as an expat in Rome, Italy. 


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