Diva Researching: Let’s Store Some Garlic…

Let’s Store Some Garlic

There’s a reason store-bought, jarred garlic is so popular: The convenience of having minced garlic on hand at all times is hard to beat.

But, there’s also a reason people still opt for fresh, homemade minced garlic; it’s much more potent than the preserved stuff you get at the supermarket. So what’s the solution? Pre-mince and store your own garlic at home! Here you’ll learn how to safely prep and store homemade minced garlic.

How to Mince Garlic

Start with whole garlic cloves, either fresh or pre-peeled. For fresh, unpeeled garlic, you’ll need to break off the cloves from the head and peel each one. To learn how, read our step-by-step guide to peeling garlic.

Once the garlic cloves are peeled, it’s time to mince. For large quantities of garlic, a food processor or a blender is going to be your best bet. Process/blend your garlic cloves to your desired consistency (this could be anywhere from a fine paste to a chunky, minced consistency). Note: For Method #2, you will need to process your garlic with oil (the ratio is two parts oil to one part garlic).

For small quantities of garlic, mince as you normally would using either a knife, a garlic press, or even a Microplane grater.

How to Store and Preserve Minced Garlic

Method #1: Preserving Garlic in Jars With Oil

Store-bought minced garlic is often packed in oil and jarred, and this same storage method also works for homemade garlic. The oil protects the garlic from air, helping to preserve its flavor and color.

However, the USDA warns that there is a botulism risk associated with storing garlic in oil at room temperature and even in the refrigerator over longer periods of time: “Research performed by the University of Georgia confirmed that mixtures of garlic in oil stored at room temperature are at risk for the development of botulism. Garlic in oil should be made fresh and stored in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower for no more than 7 days. It may be frozen for several months.” 

Store-bought, pre-minced garlic in oil is treated with preservatives to prevent the development of harmful bacteria. So, keeping track of how long your garlic has been in the refrigerator or freezer is imperative when using this method at home. 

Minced garlic

An airtight container, either plastic or glass 

Vegetable oil of your choice (we recommend olive or avocado)

Something to label the container with (masking tape and a marker will work)

Instructions:

Add your minced garlic to a clean, airtight container (wide mouth mason jars are an excellent freezer-safe option). 

Top off with oil (choose an oil with neutral flavor like olive oil or avocado oil), until the garlic is completely covered, leaving ½-inch of headspace. 

Seal and label the containers with the date. Refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze and use within about three months. 

Always use a clean, dry spoon to remove the garlic from the jar when you’re ready to use. This will prevent contamination and mold growth. 

Method #2: Freezing Garlic in Portions

This method is preferred if you want to store your garlic in individual portions to add to your recipes as you go.

Ingredients:

1 part whole, peeled garlic cloves 

2 parts oil (we recommend olive or avocado)

Food processor or blender 

Measuring teaspoon 

Baking sheet or ice cube tray 

Freezer-safe bag 

Marker (to label bag with the date) 

Instructions:

Add peeled garlic cloves and oil to a food processor or blender and pulse/blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. 

Scoop out one teaspoon at a time of the garlic and oil mixture and add to either a baking sheet or an ice cube tray. 

Flash freeze the garlic by placing the baking sheet or ice cube tray in the freezer for several hours, or until frozen solid. 

Transfer the garlic chunks to a freezer-safe storage bag, label with the date, and store for up to three months. 

When you’re ready to use your garlic, simply add it to your dishes straight from frozen. 

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