How Long Does Garlic Last?

How long does garlic last? The shelf life of garlic, like most other fresh vegetables has no sell by date, use by date, or best before date so you have to go with purchase date. Because of their relatively low cost, long shelf life,concentrated flavor and various health benefits garlic is an easy addition to most foods.

So, how long does garlic last? When properly stored, the shelf life of garlic is approximately...

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Garlic Expiration Date

Counter Fridge
Fresh (Whole) Garlic lasts for 3-6 Months --
Fresh Garlic Cloves last for 1-2 Months --
Fresh Chopped Garlic lasts for -- 1 Week
Prepared Jar of Chopped Garlic lasts for -- 2-3 Months

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. Harvest time is June and July, so that's when it's freshest.

How to tell if Garlic is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Although not a perfect test, looking at the cloves is the best way to tell if your garlic has gone bad. Some common traits of garlic going bad are brown spots on the cloves and the color of the cloves changing from white to a yellowish-tan. Product at this stage will taste hotter. Another thing you may notice with garlic about to go bad are green roots in the center of the clove, those are new sprouts. The new sprouts will taste bitter and should be removed from the center of the cloves leaving a milder flavor behind. See below for how to plant garlic to save these cloves.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Garlic to extend its shelf life?

In deciding how to store garlic to extend its shelf life, the best option is to store the garlic whole in an open container at a cool room temperature. Store garlic in a dark and dry place with plenty of air circulation. The refrigerator is not recommended since that environment encourages the garlic to sprout. Once you begin removing cloves from the garlic, its shelf life decreases quickly.

Some good choices in determining how to store garlic is using a hanging wire mesh basket (optimal choice), a mesh bag, a paper bag or a paper type egg carton. Avoid plastic bags, the refrigerator, or any closed containers that can't breathe (allow air through) when storing garlic. Closed containers can produce a moisture build-up and cause the bulbs to deteriorate faster or even produce mold.

Once garlic is removed from its skin and prepared, it's a different story - peeled cloves should be stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. The best choice to extend the shelf life of chopped garlic is to add a little olive oil and store it in a sealed jar in the freezer.

Although, freezing garlic is not recommended since freezing changes the texture and thus the flavor.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Garlic:

  • Clay pots (with holes in the bottom) turned upside down over the bulbs make a really nice house.
  • If you see green sprouts inside your cloves, they are prime for planting! It's easy, if you know how to plant garlic.
  • How to plant garlic:

    You can plant cloves with green sprouts inside and enjoy them well beyond their normal shelf life. Garlic is easy to grow: just stick the clove in the ground (just under the surface) and cover it with dirt. Then water well and often and that green sprout will soon be sticking straight out of the ground. Note- larger cloves are better for planting and plant them about 4" apart.

    How to use extra before your Garlic goes bad?

  • Make tasty bread. Melt some butter then add chopped garlic and let it sit for awhile. Spread it on your Italian bread and put it in the oven briefly with whatever you're baking.
  • Plant your cloves - see above on how to plant garlic
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    How long is Garlic good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does garlic last? That depends. How long do bakery products last? In general, it lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Garlic lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Garlic.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Garlic shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

    Our Favorite Food Storage Set!

    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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