Can You Freeze Garlic?
Many cultures have used garlic for many centuries and many different purposes – the most common being culinary.
Garlic is mainly known for its flavor and aroma.
You can use them for marinades, sauces, soups, stews, even eat it raw, and many more.
Aside from having different uses, there are also different ways to store garlic – Is freezing one of them? Sure is! And, we’ll talk about that in this article.
Like its uses, there are many ways you can freeze garlic. You can freeze raw whole unpeeled bulbs, individual cloves (peeled or unpeeled), chopped, or pureed.
You should avoid storing unpeeled, sliced, or pureed garlic inside plastic containers because they can absorb the garlic flavour, and it’s hard to remove them.
Freezing Pureed or Chopped Garlic
We’ll start with the finer types.
Freezing garlic chopped or pureed saves you so much time and effort because each time you need it, you won’t even have to prep nor thaw it. Just use them directly in your dish – that’s the safest and most convenient option.
- Peel the garlic cloves
- For the puree, use a blender or food processor. For chopped, you can use a knife or food processor.
- Portion the garlic by pouring them into a baking sheet or ice-cube tray in 1 teaspoon portions. You can also put them flat in a bag and portion them by lining the bag with the dull part of a knife or any straight tool. That way, you can break them into squares—1-inch squares, which will be equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.
- Cover them to avoid freezer burn and freeze them
- Once frozen, remove and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and put them back in your freezer.
You can also mix in some salt and oil to the puree to make them into a garlic paste. If you’re doing this, make sure to freeze it as soon as possible to decrease the risk of botulism (illness caused by a toxin)
Freezing Whole Unpeeled Bulbs and Individual Cloves (Peeled or Unpeeled)
There’s no reason you can’t freeze the entire heads of garlic; it’s just not the most efficient and space-saving. For this, you just have to clean any dirt from the garlic bulbs, put them in a container, and freeze it away.
Same if you prefer not to peel your clove of garlic. Just separate your head of garlic into cloves, put them in a container and freeze.
The only difference between freezing peeled garlic cloves and unpeeled garlic cloves is the container you can put them in (and the peeling part, of course).
As stated above, you shouldn’t store any unpeeled garlic in any shape or size in plastic containers because they can absorb the garlic flavour, and it’s hard to remove them – unless those containers will be your designated garlic-only containers.
Peeling garlic takes time – but not if you learn these hacks!
Hack #1: Soak them
Soak your unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling water for a minute. Cool them (careful not to burn your fingers), and you can basically slide the garlic skin right off!
Hack #2: Shake them
Put your unpeeled garlic cloves in a mason jar or any container with a lid, and shake as hard as you can. If done correctly, the peels should be separated from the cloves.
Hack #3: Crush them
Probably the most familiar trick. Simply put the unpeeled clove on your cutting board and use the flat side of your knife to crush the love with the heel of your palm. Choose this option if you’ll be pureeing or chopping your garlic finely anyway because this will make your garlic unrecognizable basically.
Also, be careful of the sharp knife and make sure the blade is away from you.
Does Freezing Affect the Taste of Garlic?
Garlic freezes well because it contains water. When frozen, the water inside the clove expands and pushes outwards.
This makes the garlic more spongy, and it loses its crunchy texture. But the delicious garlic flavor will remain strong, and they will cook faster!
You can use frozen garlic as you would fresh garlic.
How Long Can You Freeze Garlic?
Garlic should be stored in a freezer-safe airtight bag or container.
You can freeze them for up to six months. But aim to use all your garlic within 3-4 months to enjoy the best quality of garlic.
When freezing anything, make sure to label and date them properly so you know when you should use them by.
How to Thaw Garlic?
To thaw frozen garlic cloves, you have three options.
Option #1: Cold
Transfer them from your freezer to your fridge. Do this the night before or a few hours before you need the garlic.
Option #2: Warm
Leave your frozen garlic at room temperature. Do this a few hours before you need the garlic.
Option #3: Hot
Soak your frozen garlic in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes. This will thaw your garlic sooner than the other two options.
You don’t need to thaw frozen garlic puree or chopped garlic. They melt as they cook, so just throw them directly into your dish.
Do not defrost the garlic in oil paste mixture at room temperature (due to the botulism risk).
So why should you freeze garlic? Because it saves you time and effort in the long run – and why not!?
So don’t hold yourself back next time you see a garlic sale; grab as many as you can (that you think you can use in 6 months’ time) because some extra garlic in your food can never be bad.