How to preserve garlic in oil?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How to preserve garlic in oil?” and will discuss steps to preserve and store the garlic in oil.

How to preserve garlic in oil?

To preserve the garlic in oil, put the garlic cloves in a mason jar and completely cover the cloves with oil and clean the jar rim with a paper towel and properly cap it.

Garlic- and herb-infused dipping oils are increasing in popularity for culinary uses such as dipping breads, making salad dressings and flavoring pastas. Consumers who see these attractively displayed, commercially available products may wish to make them at home. However, when garlic or herbs are immersed in oil, the low-acid, anaerobic environment that is created is capable of supporting the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can produce a neurotoxin that can be life threatening (1).

Steps to store the garlic in oil

·         Garlic cloves may be stored in oil in this manner:

·         Garlic cloves should be placed in a quart-sized mason jar.

·         In a glass jar, slowly drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the garlic cloves.

·         The cloves should be fully covered in olive oil. Take care not to expose any of the cloves to the elements.

·         Covering all of the garlic is a must.

·         Use a clean paper towel or cloth to wipe the jar’s rim. The lid will seal properly if the rim of the container is clean.

Shelf-stable garlic or herbs in oil mixtures are prepared by adding microbial inhibitors or acidifying agents that prevent the growth of C. botulinum, as required by the Food and Drug Administration. Acidified foods must have a finished equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or below. Bottled lemon juice, vinegar (5% acidity) and citric acid are acidulants recommended for use (1).

Storing garlic in the Refrigerator

Close the mason jar with the seal and ring in place. Then, store the jar in the refrigerator. As required, remove the cloves from the jar and return the jar to the refrigerator.

The olive oil will harden, making the jar appear less appealing, but it is safer to keep it in the refrigerator. Plus, don’t forget to add some olive oil to your frying pan along with the garlic! When storing the cloves in the refrigerator, make sure they are properly covered.

When the cold storage is properly done, there is no need to acidify the oil. However, the FDA recommendations are that, even when stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer, garlic infused in oil should be added with 2 – 3% citric acid, as following (1):

Acidifying Garlic

  • 2/3 Cup Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Citric Acid
  • 2 cups Water

Garlic acidification is necessary to produce safe, garlic infused olive oil.

Directions for Preparing an Acid Solution Using Citric Acid:

  • Pour 2 cups of warm water into a mixing bowl. Add 1 level Tablespoon of granular citric acid to the water and stir gently, allowing all of the citric acid to dissolve into the water.
  • Crack and peel garlic.
  • Place 2/3 of a cup of garlic into the acid solution and stir gently. Cover and allow to sit for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, remove the garlic from the acid solution, drain in a colander, and rinse by pouring 1 cup of water over the drained garlic.
  • Gently pat dry. Place in airtight container with olive oil and store in the refrigerator

Is it possible to freeze garlic in oil?

Yes, garlic may be frozen to preserve the oil it has been blended with. Whole garlic cloves or minced or chopped garlic may be used.

By freezing, there are several ways to preserve garlic

Freezing garlic is simple; here are a few methods for doing it.

·         Putting Garlic in Oil and Freezing It

Food processors or blenders may be used to purée the garlic cloves and then freeze minced garlic. In tiny containers, this minced garlic may be stored in the freezer and retrieved as required.

Garlic and olive oil should be used in a 1:1 ratio. Garlic should be stored in an airtight container, such as a tiny jar or a Ziploc bag, and the date should be put on the bag. Your pureed garlic inside the freezer container has to be protected by the olive oil, thus this packaging must be water-proof.

·         Ice Cube Trays with Garlic and Oil in Them

I love this method of freezing garlic since it’s so simple: Simply cut the clove and fill ice cube trays with it, allowing space for the olive oil.

Store in the freezer with olive oil on top of each portion. Ziploc bags may be used to store them once they’ve been frozen. Just a few cubes of frozen garlic in oil may be added to your supper preparations using this method.

A fast and easy technique to preserve garlic for later use: mince it in a food processor. Our food processor is one of the most useful kitchen appliances in our arsenal. We use it often in the kitchen.

·         Freezing Minced Garlic

Once the garlic cloves have been peeled, just place them in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place the garlic in an airtight container that is resistant to moisture after it reaches the texture you like. Garlic may be stored in this container for up to six months in the freezer.

·         Preserving Garlic Pods

Garlic cloves may also be frozen for later use. Just peel your garlic cloves and wrap them in an airtight container before putting them in your freezer for future use. Garlic cloves and bulbs may be frozen without the use of any kind of oil.

In the freezer, how long can you keep garlic?

Freezing would accomplish the target temperature of ≤ 3°C (37.4°F) as a sole cold temperature hurdle or barrier to C. botulinum risk in garlic. The frozen mixture of vegetable or herb in oil would not support pathogen growth and would have a shelf life dictated by changes in quality. In the case of freezing garlic in oil, acidification is not necessary. However, the addition of citric acid will extend the shelf life of frozen garlic in oil to an undetermined time (2). Citric acid (CA) is widely used as a synergist with a mechanism attributed to a chelating metal and therefore helps by preventing the oxidation of olive oil, which can decrease the shelf life of the infused garlic (3).

Six months is the maximum amount of time that garlic may be stored in the freezer. If you don’t have a lot of places in your freezer to store garlic bulbs, freezing it is a terrific way to keep them fresh for a longer period.

Is allicin destroyed by freezing garlic?

Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. The allicin level of garlic decreases as it is stored, but the allicin content is still high when it is fresh from the garden.

More specifically, the garlic contains alliin, which is converted to allicin, which is a stable, non-volatile cysteine sulphoxide is primarily synthesized in the leaves and translocated to the bulb where it is concentrated in vesicles within the cytoplasm of mesophyll cells in the cloves. Allicin is produced from the enzymatic action of alliinase on the cysteine sulphoxide alliin. Allicin is a bioactive and very reactive molecule which, depending on the reaction conditions, rapidly yields further volatile organosulphur compounds. For example, if kept at 20 ◦C for 20 h, allicin mainly yields diallyl disulphide (DADS, 66 %), diallyl sulphide (DAS, 14 %), diallyl trisulfide (9 %) whereas short term heat treatment results in 2-vinyl-4H-1, 3-dithiin and 3-vinyl-4H-1,3-dithiin, and ajoene is formed in larger proportions during maceration at room temperature (4).

The allicin in garlic will be better preserved if it is frozen rather than refrigerated. Allicin in fresh garlic degrades in two and a half days on average. Allicin is at its peak when fresh garlic is let to rest for at least 15 minutes, according to most experts. You may preserve the greatest allicin characteristics of your garlic by freezing it within 15 minutes after harvest.

Botulism and garlic in oil

There is a lot of chatter about food safety, so let’s get into it! Garlic may cause Botulism if it is stored incorrectly. Garlic cloves may be stored in olive oil to increase their shelf life, but it’s crucial to consume the garlic as soon as possible. Make sure that your garlic is constantly immersed in the oil while you are using it to prevent it from developing harmful things. To ensure the safe storage and consumption of infused garlic in oil, it is necessary to acidify the infusion or freeze it (1).

Other FAQs about Garlic that you may be interested in.

Can you eat wild garlic bulbs?

Can you eat wild garlic?

Can you eat the green part of garlic?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How to preserve garlic in oil?” and discussed steps to preserve and store the garlic in oil.


  1. Abo, Barbara, et al. Acidification of garlic and herbs for consumer preparation of infused oils. Food Protec Trend, 2014, 34, 247-257.
  2. Nummer, B. A., et al. Current food safety issues of home-prepared vegetables and herbs stored in oil. Food Protec Trend, 2011, 31, 336-342.
  3. Alavi, N., and M. T. Golmakani. Improving oxidative stability of olive oil: Incorporation of Spirulina and evaluation of its synergism with citric acid. Gras y aceite, 2017, 68, e178-e178.
  4. Ludlow, Richard A., et al. Storage time and temperature affects volatile organic compound profile, alliinase activity and postharvest quality of garlic. Posth Biol Technol, 2021, 177, 111533.