How Long Does Garlic Last? – Its Shelf Life And Storing Techniques

How long garlic last
Written by Patricia Jones

I am pretty sure you are in a hurry to know about how long does garlic last! We have discussed the ways to make it last long read on.

Garlic is widely preferred as a flavoring ingredient for cooking different food items. It also has health benefits because of antioxidant properties that help in lowering the cholesterol levels.

Other than this, it also regulates blood pressure as well as blood sugar level. In fact, raw garlic has the property to cure lung infection. (Allicin is the sulfur-containing compound, found in garlic that has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties)

How Long Does Garlic Last When It Is Stored At Home?

Depending on the storing method, the whole bulb of garlic can be stored up to 6 – 7 months. If you want to store unpeeled cloves, it can be stored up to a minimum of 10 to 30 days. However if you want the most fresh flavor it’s best to use a garlic press for the purpose.

Suppose you want to store peeled cloves of garlic, this can last up to a maximum of 7 days. And, chopped cloves can be stored only for about 2 – 3 days.

How Do You Know When Garlic Is Bad?

Evidently, the majority of people deals with the struggles of storing that lead to smelly garlic within a few days of purchase.

Some people even wonder, “Why does my garlic turn brown in color?” A few individuals might also notice that whole bulb turns yellow from white.

These are the signs of garlic going bad what makes it inappropriate to eat. In such situation, it is recommended not to use bad garlic for preparing foods and throw it away. Or else, the addition of bad garlic simply alters the taste of the food.


If you have cooking experience, you might have noticed that some garlic turns green or bluish-green when stored. Have you ever questioned yourself, “Why did my garlic turn green?”

Let me explain you the fact in detail such that you won’t get wondered about this transformation from next time onwards-

You might have stored fresh cloves of garlic but the change in color has nothing to do with its storage methods. Needless to say; if it exposes to light and air, it won’t make any changes.

The chemistry behind this change is the reaction of sulfur compounds with amino acids in the presence of enzymes (present in garlic). This is only responsible for the change in color and pungent smell that comes out from garlic.

(in the presence of enzymes)

Sulfur Compounds + Amino Acids à Change In Color

This reaction forms multi-pyrrole molecules which are responsible for different pigments on the cloves of garlic. It leads to reflect the color of garlic into green and more.

Does Garlic Powder Go Bad?

Even though it doesn’t fall under the scope of this current article, still I have covered it since it related with the main topic.

The expiration date mentioned in a garlic powder pack is to show the duration of time for its best quality usage. After this, it won’t produce the similar effect of flavoring.

In general, dried spices and herbs won’t get spoilt. It only loses the potential of flavoring the food items over time.


It is recommended not to use products after the expiration date. There is a high chance of developing mold on garlic powder due to its frequent contact with air and light.

I hope you have understood the reasons why garlic go bad and how to predict the same. Now, let us explain you the ways how to store fresh garlic at home and make its use for last longer-

5 Simple Ways Of Storing Garlic

During the garlic season (planted in spring and harvested next summer), it is recommended to make the purchase at cheaper rates and store them. You can pick any of these methods for storing the whole bulb of garlic or cloves of garlic that suits your needs.

1.Store In A Kitchen

Storing garlic in the kitchen is one of the easiest and quickest ways. Using this method, the garlic’s shelf life is up to 7 – 10 days.

It is advised not to store garlic cloves instead store the whole bulb. Or else, it may reduce the shelf life. It is the best to keep fresh whole garlic in cool and dry place.

How To Store Garlic To Make It Last Long ?

Take out the purchased garlic in a paper sheet and remove the pulps which are peeling out. Place it inside a terracotta garlic keeper and close the lid.

Suppose you don’t have a garlic keeper, just leave it on the sheet of paper. (Storing in a terracotta garlic keeper can enhance the storage period)

2.Store In A Fridge

Storing in a fridge is a bit time-consuming. It is recommended to store unpeeled cloves of garlic for better results. Using this method, the shelf life is up to 2 – 3 weeks.

How To Store Garlic Cloves?

At first, you have to separate the cloves of garlic from the whole bulb. Store them in the drawer and keep it close until there is no requirement for garlic in cooking.


Never keep the garlic out for days once it is placed inside a fridge. Otherwise, you can notice sprouts coming out from it.

3.Store In A Freezer

Garlic can be stored in a freezer but this method has mixed reviews.

Some people find it unhealthy because garlic won’t remain as good as it is fresh. But for some people, it is the best method to keep garlic for up to 10 – 12 months.

How Can You Freeze Garlic?

There are several ways of freezing garlic and the best way is to make a puree of garlic.

Firstly, peel the cloves of garlic. Secondly, put chopping garlic cloves and water into a food processor or blender to mince it thoroughly.

Now, take out the puree and spread it on a silicone sheet before freezing. For preserving, you can cut cubes of frozen puree and seal it in an airtight container.

4.Store Dehydrated Garlic

For this, it is better to use a dehydrator. Storing dried cloves has a shelf life of 2 – 3 years.

How To Dehydrate Garlic?

Peel cloves of garlic and slice it using a food processor. Place the sliced garlic into the food dehydrator and maintain 100o – 130o temperature, keeping the door slightly open (if possible).

When it becomes crisp, store it in an airtight container at 65o F. Or, you can even seal them using the vacuum sealer before storage.

5.Store In A Flavored Oil

Want to preserve garlic in oil? This is the best way to store peeled garlic in a small jar for dressing purposes. Using this method, the shelf life of garlic will be up to 3 – 5 months.

How To Preserve Peeled Garlic In Oil?

For preserving peeled cloves of garlic, you have to dry it first.

Now, put them in flavored oil and topped with olive oil to keep it in good condition. This can be used for cooking as well as dressing purposes.

Or, consider preserving garlic in olive oil entirely for better results.


If you think of using fresh garlic in oil, then it is recommended to finish the entire preparation within 2 – 3 weeks.

Other Methods Of Garlic Storage

Apart from the above methods of storing garlic, you can roast them in oil and pickled in vinegar before storage. Certainly, it keeps them in a good condition for months.

1.How To Store Roasted Garlic?

For roasting whole garlic (it takes about 45 minutes), you can prefer olive oil or peanut oil.

When it is completed roasted, just remove the garlic from the oil and store it in a separate container. You can even use kitchen paper for soaking the oil of roasted garlic.

Now, use an airtight container or vacuum seal it for storage and keep it in the fridge. It is recommended to utilize the roasted oil within 2 – 3 days for cooking. And, store the roasted garlic not more than 2 – 3 weeks.

2.How To Pickle Garlic In Vinegar?

This is the easiest way to store garlic for a number of months without any troubles. Eventually, the garlic can be stored up to 3 – 5 months.

At first, peel the cloves of garlic. Season it with salt and vinegar before storing in the refrigerator. Keep it there for days; it automatically turns into a refrigerated pickle.

When you want to have its taste, either you can use for dressing purpose on salads or serve as nibbles. Surprisingly, it tastes great!

Bottom Line

Garlic is tremendously popular all over the world because of its flavoring needs and health benefits. If you too want to take advantage of its consumption, try any of the above-storing methods and enjoy your meals with its rich taste. Hope we have answered all your questions related to how long does garlic last. If you know of any other technique feel free to drop it in our comment section.

About the author

Patricia Jones

Patricia is a fine dining chef at Wake Forest, North Carolina. She is also a caring mom and a lovely sister. Her heart and passion lies in the art of cooking great dishes for her family and customers.

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