I started googling phrases like ” can you freeze garlic ” when I noticed my onions were developing mold. This article is a summary of my findings.
One day I checked some garlic bulbs I had in storage and it turned out that there was a bunch of black dots on the outer layer of the bulbs. Here’s what I saw:
omething was clearly wrong. Knowing that garlic cloves don’t last that long, I decided it was time to try freezing.
As it turns out, freezing garlic isn’t uncommon, and in most cases it only takes a few minutes to get ready. If you want to know how I did it, read on.
Can You Freeze Garlic?
Okay, so you’re interested in freezing this flavor for one reason or another. But before you do that, you want to know if it actually makes sense.
If you can either freeze the flavor or throw it away because it will go bad, then freezing is the obvious choice.
But what if you want to know, for example, if you can take advantage of a garlic sale at a grocery store and freeze any excess? In this case, the answer is: You probably can.
I say “probably” because freshly chopped or chopped garlic gives your dishes the best flavor.
That said, if you want to bake your best garlic bread to impress your friends or family, go with fresh bread. But if you’re ok with slightly less flavorful garlic, then freezing is an option.
Frozen and thawed whole cloves will be slightly watery and not as firm as fresh ones. It won’t make a difference for most dishes, but if it does for you, stick with fresh garlic.
How to freeze garlic
There are three popular ways to freeze garlic, and each has its pros and cons. After reading the descriptions of all three options, you should be able to decide which one is best for your needs.
If you’re still not sure, go for the first option, as it doesn’t require much hands-on time and you can use the thawed garlic however you like.
The lazy way: Freeze whole garlic bulbs or garlic cloves
This is my favorite route because I can do whatever I want with the garlic once it’s thawed. That means chopping, crushing, crushing with a mortar and pestle or with a garlic press.
In my opinion, it’s the best way to freeze garlic cloves (I prefer freezing garlic cloves), but you can also freeze whole garlic cloves the same way. Here’s how to do it ( UCANR, UOM ):
- Preparation. Clean the pear of any dirt (if it is completely frozen) or remove all the cloves from the head (if the cloves are frozen). If you do the latter, you can peel the cloves or leave them unpeeled. It’s up to you. I peel them so I don’t have to worry about them when cooking the dish.
- Pack. Place the onions or cloves in a freezer container or bag and seal tightly. Add a label with names and date if you like.
- Freeze. Place the prepared garlic in the freezer.
Please remember that if you are using whole onions, you must remove the cloves while the onion is still frozen. This could be a bit problematic and take longer than you would like. I’m just saying.
That’s why I freeze peeled cloves so they’re ready to use once thawed, and it only takes a few seconds to scoop a pair.
Even if you freeze a bunch of cloves together, you can still easily pull away one or two if needed.
Freeze chopped garlic
Freezing the garlic in chopped or crushed form makes it very convenient to use. You simply break off the amount you need and add it directly to the dish you are about to cook.
The only downside is that you have to chop all the garlic beforehand. But hey, eventually you have to hack it, so you might as well do it right now.
Here is the step by step:
- Shred or chop the cloves. Remove, peel and chop all the cloves from the onion. Keep in mind that you’ll be adding this garlic directly to the dish, so make sure it’s prepared the way you need it.
- Pack. Place the chopped garlic in a freezer bag. Make sure you spread it out in a thin layer instead of leaving it as one big chunk. This way you can cancel as much as you like. Remove the air from the bag, seal and label if you wish.
- Freeze. Throw the bag or bags in the freezer.
That’s it. Whenever you need some minced garlic, take the bag out of the freezer, break off the amount you need and put the rest back in.
Freezing mashed garlic with oil
I put mashed garlic with oil as the last option because I don’t quite like it. But a lot of people swear by it, so I also added garlic puree for completeness.
This method requires the best preparation and you need to take some precautions to stay away from botulism poisoning. But if you choose to work with it, you’ll end up with garlic in oil to use in sautéing, which is nice.
If that’s what you want, you need to do the following ( UCANR, UOM ):
- Preparation. Peel the cloves and puree them in vegetable oil in a blender or food processor. The general recommendation is to use two parts oil to one part garlic, but feel free to experiment with this ratio.
- Pack up (right away!). Pour the mixture into a freezer container and seal.
- No movement (immediately!). And the container goes into the freezer.
Please remember that it is important to pack and freeze the mashed garlic with oil immediately. It is crucial not to leave the puree at room temperature. This way you avoid producing the bacterium Clostridium botulinum ( UCANR ) and stay safe.
The same goes for thawing — you should let the puree thaw in the fridge or transfer it to a skillet from frozen. Leaving it on the counter to thaw is not a safe option.
You don’t have to worry about portioning the puree for easy thawing. According to the University of California ( UCANR), the puree stays soft enough to scrape out needed portions.
Read Also: Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?
How to thaw garlic
Okay, so you have your frozen garlic ready to thaw (mine is below).
There are several possibilities for this. Choose the one that best suits your circumstances.
- In the refrigerator. This option works well no matter what freezing method you chose. The only downside is that it will take you about an hour or two for the flavor to thaw.
- On the counter. This works best with frozen onions or whole cloves. You take out as many cloves as you need and slice them (a little tricky because they’re frozen solid) so they thaw faster. After 10 to 20 minutes, the slices should be soft enough to refine further: mince, crush, or use a garlic press. Keep in mind that this is not an option for mashed garlic with oil.
- Throw it in frozen. If you’ve frozen your minced or mashed garlic, you can often add it straight to the dish you’re cooking without worrying about thawing it first.
Remember, it’s best to use the thawed garlic as soon as possible. That means you should only thaw enough for the next dish (I do) or at most for the next few days.
Thawed garlic cloves are quite soft and may be difficult to process with a garlic press. The pulp slips through any cracks it can find.
How to use frozen and thawed garlic
You can use frozen and thawed garlic just like fresh garlic. There aren’t any specific recipes that work well with thawed garlic, so feel free to use it as usual.
I most often use thawed garlic in recipes that involve searing meat and vegetables or sauces for pasta.