How Long is Garlic Good For? With Best Storage Tips

Have you ever being in a situation when preparing a meal, you discover the garlic you are hoping to use has gone bad? Or in one where you are done cooking your food, but realize there is a weird taste caused by the garlic? Did that come as a complete shock given that you had just recently bought them?

Then, without a doubt, the thought of how long is garlic good for must have crossed your mind. You are now wondering what to do to avoid the same situation from reoccurring, aren’t you? Well, I know it can be embarrassing, especially if you were planning to have guests. That’s why in this article, we’ll go through and emphasize how to spot bad garlic and best storage tips to prolong its lifespan.

How Long is Garlic’s Average Lifespan?

Before knowing how to spot garlic that has gone bad, establishing its typical timeline is equally important. You can’t prevent it from going bad if you’re unable to know after how long is garlic good for, can you? More importantly, this will also depend on the type of garlic in question.

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For starters, it is known that fresh garlic lasts anywhere around three to six months from the time of harvest. Garlic cloves, on the other hand, have a lesser lifespan of one to two months. However, if you are a fanatic of fresh chopped garlic, it has a much-reduced lifespan of one week. Therefore, personally, I would prefer to purchase fresh garlic that lasts longer (3 to 6 months) to avoid unnecessary trips to the farmers’ market. How about you?

Increasing Garlic’s Lifespan Exponentially

From the above metrics of how long is garlic good for, it isn’t the case most of the times. These timeframes are only possible if certain standards are met. What are these standards? Well, for instance, you can’t store garlic in a very humid region and expect that they don’t go bad, do you? Hence, regardless of the type of garlic, for its lifespan to improve exponentially, here are environmental standards you should meet:

  • Sufficient air circulation (mesh bags preferable hanging downwards)
  • Temperature of about 15 Degrees
  • Moderate humidity area

Spotting Bad Garlic

I know you are looking forward to having answers to your undying question, ” how can I tell if my garlic has gone bad?” With these answers, you’ll be able to spot it from a distance and avoid using it, and eventually, avoid ruining your food’s taste and flavor.

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Well, you’re on the right track as it is the knowledge that you are assured to acquire here. To begin with, there are tell-tell signs that you shouldn’t afford to miss to spot bad garlic. Here are the most common ones:

  • Brown spots on the cloves
  • Yellow coloring replacing the standard white color
  • Mushy in appearance
  • Altered sharp smell
  • Green sprouts

Moreover, besides the visible indication that your garlic has gone bad, there is another way to establishing the same. You can identify this by pinching it. If it gives way, it is bad or rotten, and you should stay away from it.

Best Storage Tips Without Comprising your Garlic’s Flavor

Did you know how you store your fresh vegetables determines their long-term flavor and taste? And that this isn’t any different with garlic storage? Interestingly, how long garlic is good for strictly depends on how you have stored it.

And since you’re looking for best storage tips for garlic to last the longest, and avoid running out when there isn’t any good garlic (low season) at the farmers’ market, I will take you through the tips. These tips are well known to retain the initial taste and flavor no matter how long you store the garlic.

1. Dehydrating Fresh Garlic Cloves

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Since you are looking to retain all the flavor, aroma, and taste, there isn’t a better way to do this other than just drying a fresh clove. The removal of moisture will make it easier, and it’s a straightforward procedure. You should thinly slice your peeled cloves and pour the slices into a food dehydrator. Allow them to stay in the dehydrator until they are crisp, and then store in an air-tight container. These dried garlic slices can remain as flavorful as a fresh garlic for close to a year, provided they’re a tightly sealed

2. Roasted Garlic

Have you ever heard of roasted garlic? Or storing anything through roasting for that matter? Well, today is your lucky day, as you will learn how to go about it. To prolong your garlic’s lifespan without losing its flavor, roasting, as mentioned above, can be the viable way. To do this, use some olive oil on a skillet and add some unpeeled bulbs.

Bake these bulbs at heat of about 350 degrees to soften the bulbs. Now, using your hands, cut off the tips and squeeze cautiously for the soft inner bulbs to pop out. You should then store these soft, tasty garlic flesh in the freezer for as long as you want.

3. Pickling

Pickling as well can save you the hassle and worry that your garlic is quickly going bad. Even though most people don’t use this method, I like to use it as I’m assured get the desired outcome. This approach preserves all the flavor and taste no matter how long the garlic is stored. You can use it if you want to store for close to four months.

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Interested to learn how to do it? Great! The first thing to do is peel all the garlic from the white papery cover, then clean them thoroughly. After that, you should dry them to avoid rotting due to the moisture. Now, put aside a jar filled with olive oil, vinegar, or fruit wine. Add some salt to this mixture, and toss the dry, peeled bulbs in the pot. Refrigerate this jar for as long as you want.


Acquiring exact answers on how long is garlic good for feels great, doesn’t it? And more importantly, the best way to store garlic while preserving all the taste and flavor for the longest period has become imperative.

Hence, if you go ahead and try these tips mentioned above, you’ll never cook with garlic that went bad without your knowledge.Again, if you have any more questions about these tips or anything we left out concerning garlic, feel free to educate your fellow readers in the comment section below.

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