Can you freeze peeled garlic?
In his brief guide we will answer the query, “can you freeze peeled garlic?” We will discuss the proper ways to freeze peeled garlic. We will get to know the benefits and drawbacks of freezing garlic along with how to safely thaw them.
Can you freeze peeled garlic?
Yes, you can freeze peeled garlic. Freezing the garlic increases its shelf life for up to 7 to 12 months (1). When garlic is kept at room temperature it starts sprouting due to the heat and temperature and it can also get mould (2). Garlic is consumed in every household on a daily basis.
Garlic also loses its moisture when you store it in your kitchen. The heat causes the garlic to lose its moisture (2).
What are the proper ways to freeze peeled garlic?
Garlic can be frozen in many forms. You can freeze garlic paste, garlic cloves, and even whole garlic bulbs.
You can also freeze garlic cloves in any cooking oil. This will preserve your garlic and it will also incorporate its flavour into the oil. This oil will be good for cooking or in salads.
You can follow certain tips and tricks to freezing garlic (3,4).
- First of all, remove all the dirt from your garlic with a brush or cloth. Do not soak it.
- If you are freezing peeled garlic cloves then peel the garlic and wash it properly.
- After washing the cloves, spread them on a baking sheet and let them freeze for 3 hours.
- Once they are hardened, let them out and transfer them to an airtight jar or box.
- You can also make a paste of garlic and divide them into portion sizes. For this take a tablespoon full and put it in the ice cube tray repeat this process until the plate fills. This way you know the exact quantity of your garlic paste and you can easily use it in the recipes.
- Once they are hardened you can put them in the zip lock bags and do not forget to mention the date.
- Do not forget to remove all the air from the bag this will prevent the freeze burn.
- If you want them for gravies and soups then you do not need to thaw your garlic they will go well.
- If you want to freeze your garlic in oil then add your chopped garlic in any kind of cooking oil and divide it into portion sizes. You can store this oil in the freezer and it will not go bad for months.
What are the benefits of freezing garlic?
The benefits of freezing garlic are (1,3,4):
- If your garlic is getting spoiled and it usually spoils when kept at room temperature for a long time, then freezing is the best option and by doing this you are reducing food waste.
- The most important benefit for any busy mother is you can save your meal preparation time by chopping and freezing your garlic already.
- Garlic does not go bad when you freeze them in the freezer for 1 year but the condition is you have to maintain the temperature.
- Freezing your garlic reduces the risk of bacterial and mould growth on garlic which are the major reasons for spoilage.
- Garlic also dries away and they are not good to use after this when you store it at room temperature, so freezing does not allow it to dry.
- Mould production can cause the off smell and alters the taste of garlic. It is one of the major reasons for garlic spoilage. Freezing can increase the shelf life of garlic for upto 7-12 months.
What are the drawbacks of freezing peeled garlic?
The drawbacks of freezing garlic are (5,6,7):
- When thawed, frozen garlic’s texture might alter, becoming softer and more liquid.
- When using garlic in recipes, this changing texture may have an impact on the flavor and mouthfeel of the ingredient.
- Additionally, freezing might reduce the intensity of garlic’s flavor and scent since it can break down some of the volatile chemicals that give it its potent odor like allicin which play a role in the diet as antioxidants.
- Finally, incorrect handling or packing might result in freezer burn, which would lower the frozen garlic’s quality.
How to safely thaw frozen peeled garlic?
There are some indicated ways to properly defrost frozen peeled garlic. First, move the necessary quantity of frozen garlic cloves to the refrigerator, where they should gently thaw over the course of several hours or overnight. The flavor and integrity of the garlic are preserved thanks to this slow defrosting (8).
The sealed garlic cloves can also be thawed in a basin of cold water by submerging them there for 30 minutes at a time and changing the water. This process assures safe thawing while being quicker than refrigeration (8).
In order to reduce the chance of bacterial development, avoid thawing frozen garlic at room temperature especially for more than 2 hours and to avoid any potential spoiling, it is best to use the garlic right away or put it in the refrigerator for a short time after it has thawed (8).
In his brief guide we answered the query, “can you freeze peeled garlic?” We discussed the proper ways to freeze peeled garlic. We got to know the benefits and drawbacks of freezing garlic along with how to safely thaw them.
1. Kim, S.Y. et al. Changes in quality characteristics of sliced garlic with different freezing conditions during storage. Environmental Science, 2017.
2. Khater, E., et al. Shel Life and Quality of Garlic as Influenced by Storage Conditions. 2022.
3. James, C., et al. The freezing and supercooling of garlic (Allium sativum L.). Int J Refrigeration, 2009, 32, 253-260.
4. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.
5. Prati, P., et al. Evaluation of allicin stability in processed garlic of different cultivars. Food Sci Technol [Internet]. 2014, 34(3):623–8.
6. Zhang, B., et al. Effect of blanching and freezing on the physical properties, bioactive compounds, and microstructure of garlic (Allium sativum L.). J Food Sci, 2021, 86, 31-39.
7. Okada, Y., et al. Kinetics and mechanistic studies of allicin as an antioxidant. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 2006, 4(22), 4113-4117.
8. The Big Thaw – Safe Defrosting Methods. USDA, 2013.