Garlic is probably one of the most loved ingredients in my house and making it last is a priority! How you store it will determine how long it will last and most importantly the quality.
If you keep a whole head of garlic unpeeled it will last close to six months. (That is if you store it properly, but more on that later.) A single, unpeeled clove will last about three weeks. But once you take the skin off, garlic starts to degrade more quickly. Individual peeled cloves will last up to a week in the fridge, and chopped garlic will last no more than a day unless stored covered in olive oil, in which case it will last two, maybe three days.
Where to store garlic: Your countertop is best!
Light and moisture are garlic’s worst enemies, as they both cause mold to grow, so keep it out of your refrigerator. Garlic should ideally be kept in an open basket with room for air circulation at room temperature or in a container of sorts that allows airflow/circulation. Don’t remove the papery outsides until just before use, as it protects the garlic.
What about those green shoots? Just take them out when you’re cutting up the garlic because they don’t always taste so great. If the garlic is soft, when you squeeze it, toss it. Garlic should be firm and crisp and always closer to white than yellow.
A few quick tips: To easily remove the papery outside, place the garlic clove on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife, place the flat part of the blade against the highest part of the individual garlic clove when it’s lying flat. With the palm of your hand, give it a good quick whack or apply a small amount of pressure until you feel or hear the garlic break through its papery skin. The papery outside will now easily fall away!
Do you need minced garlic? You have two choices, a garlic press, (one of my favorite kitchen tools as it’s quick and easy) or continue with your knife. Using a two‐handed chopping motion, run the knife over garlic repeatedly to mince it. Mincing garlic to a smooth paste is a good idea in many recipes (such as sauces or dressings).