Even though garlic stays fine for quite a long time before it sprouts or goes bad, sometimes you might really want to freeze it to preserve it for longer. If you’d like to know how to freeze garlic, this article is for you.
Table of Contents
How to freeze garlic
Freezing garlic cloves/slices
Start with removing all the cloves from the garlic head and peel each one. If chopped or crushed garlic is what you will need, then chop or crush it right away. This way garlic will be ready to be used right after getting it from the freezer.
If you would like to be able to easily scoop a few slices of garlic or a few garlic cloves (depending on how you’ve prepared it), pre-freezing garlic is recommended. It’s easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. Take a cookie sheet and transfer garlic cloves/slices onto it. Make sure each one is place individually (not touching another one), so they won’t glue to each other in the freezer. Then transfer the tray into the freezer and keep it there until garlic is frozen. Take the cookie sheet from the freezer – cloves/slices are ready to be stored for the long-term.
Wrap the cloves in plastic wrap and then transfer into a freezer bag. If you’ve decided to omit pre-freezing, I suggest dividing garlic into few small groups, wrapping each group with plastic/freezer wrap and then transferring all wrapped groups into a freezer bag. Before sealing the bag make sure you squeezed out all the air from it. Date and label the bag and transfer it into the freezer.
Image used under Creative Commons from David Pursehouse
Freezing garlic in olive oil
Many people recommend freezing garlic in olive oil because it’s the best way to preserve its taste and freshness, so it’s definitely worth testing out. How knows, maybe it will become your favorite method of freezing garlic. This method works well for whole cloves, chopped or even garlic puree.
So first, prepare this veggie (remove all the cloves, peel them and slice/puree if desired). Now and ice-cube tray will become pretty handy. Transfer prepared garlic into those little cubes and cover it with olive oil (if you’ve pureed garlic, make sure it’s 2 measures of olive oil per one measure of garlic). Now put the tray into the freezer until the cubes are formed. Take it out of the freezer and you can transfer those ice-cubes into a freezer bag and into the freezer then. This way you will be able to easily get just a small amount of garlic.
Of course instead of freezing in ice-cube trays you can simple transfer the garlic into a larger container, cover it with olive oil and put the container into the freezer. That will, however, take a lot of space in the freezer (in most cases) and thawing just a small amount of garlic won’t be that easy.
One thing to note when freezing garlic in olive oil – you shouldn’t keep garlic in oil in room temperature – it’s a botulism risk. So, after adding oil, transfer the garlic right into the freezer.
Freezing whole garlic heads
This way of freezing garlic is mentioned last because quite a few people aren’t satisfied with its results. Nevertheless, it might work out just fine for you. It’s an extremely straight-forward method. You just take a garlic head, wrap it with plastic/freezer wrap and transfer into a freezer bag. When needed, you can take the garlic head out of the bag, scoop a clove or two and put it right into the freezer. Give this method a try, but if you won’t be satisfied with the outcome, experiment with the other two described methods of freezing garlic.
Of course freezing garlic isn’t that popular like freezing other kinds of veggies, fruits, etc. In many cases you might choose to simply chop garlic cloves, grind and dry them. This way they garlic will stay fine for quite a long time, without freezing.