How To Store Garlic So That It Lasts

If you take the time to store garlic properly, it could last up to an entire year.

fresh garlic bulbs

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Garlic is one of those grocery list staples that many home cooks use on a daily basis. Whether it's making a fresh pot of soup, tomato sauce, a weeknight dinner, or a veggie side dish, garlic is a kitchen essential for adding rich flavor and an array of health benefits to your family's meals. According to the Cleveland Clinic, garlic is a great immune booster, fights inflammation, and is an anti-bacterial, and is loaded with antioxidant power to keep your household healthy through back-to-school, flu season, and beyond.

It's important to know how to shop for fresh garlic in order to ensure the longest storage time possible and the best flavor profile for your favorite pasta recipe. Once you've picked up a few bulbs from your local grocer, farmer's market, or co-op, it's time to get storing so you'll never be out of this ever-important allium.

Optimal Garlic Storage Temperature

The prime temperature range for storing garlic is between 56°F and 58°F, according to Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. However, so long as you keep your garlic stored at a temperature no lower than 50°F and no higher than 66°F, you'll be in the ideal range for long-lasting garlic storage.

Storing garlic at lower temperatures can cause the allium to start sprouting, while higher temperatures can cause the garlic to dehydrate, both of which will cause the garlic to lose its flavor. Cornell CALS also recommends considering humidity levels when it comes to garlic storage and suggests finding a spot somewhere between 45 and 50 percent humidity.

Where To Store Garlic

You may be wondering where in the world you should store garlic, especially if you're enduring a sweltering summer in the South. While the fridge is ruled out for its low temperature and the kitchen counter may not be great for most Southern seasons, a basement, garage, unheated pantry, or similar space would be the best spots for storing garlic in your home.

How To Store Garlic

John Boy Farms suggests storing your garlic in mesh bags and hanging them in the cool, dark place of your choosing where there is good air circulation to prevent the development of mold, which will render the allium unsafe for consumption. Garlic is often sold in mesh bags, so you can keep it in the original container or grab a set of these hanging mesh storage bags for $9.99 on Amazon.

How Long To Store Garlic

The great thing about garlic is that, when stored properly, it can last for months, if not up to a year, depending on the variety. While John Boy Farms notes that the shelf life of garlic can depend on its size and how it was grown, hardneck varieties typically last between four and six months while softneck varieties can last from eight months to a year. Seek out small to medium bulbs if you're seeking longer storage capabilities.

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  1. Cleveland Clinic. 6 garlic benefits to boost your health.

  2. Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Secrets of storing garlic.

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