How long are garlic cloves good for?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long are garlic cloves good for” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of garlic cloves. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to spot spoiled garlic cloves.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long are garlic cloves good for?

Unpeeled garlic cloves last for about 3-4 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. 

Thus garlic cloves with the skin still intact can be kept in a well-ventilated, cool, and dry corner of your pantry. You should never store a clove of garlic in a humid environment, as humidity messes with the quality and flavor of garlic. Moreover, it can also result in the spreading of organic growth or mold on the clove of garlic.  

On the other hand, when it comes to peeled garlic cloves, they last for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. garlic cloves will not only lose their moisture over time but can also become the favorite spot for many bacteria and other microbes to grow upon.

You should discard the garlic cloves that have been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the peeled garlic cloves being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard garlic cloves that are left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peeled garlic cloves last for about a week if they are properly stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Thus, peeled diced garlic cloves should be stored in air-tight bags or containers in the refrigerator to keep them from inducing smell in other foods.

Once you have peeled the skin of the garlic, its rate of deterioration will significantly increase than that of unpeeled garlic. Refrigeration decreases the rate of degradation of garlic owing to its cold temperature. Therefore, you should always store your peeled garlic cloves at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your peeled garlic cloves at a lower temperature to preserve their freshness for a long time.

Last but not least, peeled garlic cloves, if kept in an air-tight plastic freezer bag, can last for up to 12 months in the freezer. 

Thus keeping the garlic cloves in the freezer will increase their shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the garlic cloves.

Now, you can either thaw your frozen garlic cloves by leaving them in the fridge or if you are in a hurry, you can thaw them by immersing the plastic zipper bag having frozen garlic cloves in a bowl of cold water.

You can also add the frozen garlic cloves directly to the pan without thawing them first (in case you are going to use it in a recipe).

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of garlic cloves.

You can read how to make garlic pickle here.

Different ways to spot spoiled garlic cloves

There are a couple of indicators that point out spoiled garlic cloves. You should consider the appearance, texture, and color of the garlic cloves to reach a  final verdict on whether or not they have gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or dark spots on your garlic cloves then it means that your garlic cloves have gone bad and the best thing you can do in this scenario is to get rid of them.

It is worth mentioning that you should refrain from smelling garlic cloves that have molds on them as molds can produce mycotoxins that if they enter your body even via inhalation can disrupt your gut microflora thereby weakening your immune system.

In case you notice brown specks on your garlic clove, it is better to discard them.

Moreover, if you see some green sprouts on the surface of your garlic it indicates that the garlic has started to lose its flavor and it won’t taste the same if you consume such garlic. 

Texture 

If you feel something slimy, squishy, or gooey while touching the garlic cloves then it means that your garlic cloves have gone bad and it is better to discard them. 

Color

The healthy and fresh clove of garlic is white with a hint of yellow so a different color specifically having a brownish tinge or a more yellowish touch to it points towards the fact that the garlic clove has gone bad.

If microbes somehow found their way to your garlic cloves and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard them.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long are garlic cloves good for” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of garlic cloves. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to spot spoiled garlic cloves.

Citations

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-tell-if-garlic-is-bad-109952#:~:text=Single%20cloves%20will%20last%20about,be%20kept%20for%20a%20day.
https://www.bonappetit.com/story/how-long-does-garlic-last
https://www.streetsmartkitchen.com/how-long-does-garlic-last/

http://www.eatbydate.com/vegetables/fresh-vegetables/how-long-does-garlic-last-shelf-life/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.