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Freezing Garlic

Category Vegetables
Freezing garlic can be accomplished as cloves, a whole head, or minced, but it can lose some of it's texture and flavor during freezing. This is a guide about freezing garlic.


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6 found this helpful
July 7, 2006

Selecting High-Quality Garlic:

Garlic can be frozen either as cloves or as a whole head, but it will lose some of it's texture and its potent flavor during freezing. Check to see if your garlic is ready for harvest when half the leaves turn brown and the other half remains green (usually the stems have fallen over). Fresh garlic will feel firm and should not contain wet spots, mold or have green shoots around the head.

Preparing for Freezing:

Trim the stems and peel and separate cloves. Leave cloves unpeeled if freezing the entire head.

Best Freezing Method(s):

Garlic can be frozen in a number of ways.

  • Dry Pack: Peel and chop cloves or leave them whole. Pack them into suitable containers, seal, label and freeze. Grate or break off pieces to use as needed.

  • Tray Pack: Peel and chop cloves or leave them whole. Lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Transfer frozen garlic to suitable container, seal, label and freeze.

  • Garlic Oil: This method preserves the flavor of the garlic the best. However, it needs to be used immediately when removed from freezer. It should not be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature where it can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum. To prepare, peel cloves. Make a puree with oil in a food processor (1 part garlic to 2 parts oil). Pack in suitable containers, seal, label and store in freezer. Puree will stay soft enough to scoop out as needed for sautéing. You can also leave cloves whole and pour oil over them instead of creating a puree.

  • Freeze Whole Heads: Leave head unpeeled. Pack in suitable containers, seal, label and freeze. Peel off cloves as needed.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing garlic includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Maximum Storage Time:

10 to 12 months at 0ºF.


Garlic can be transferred from freezer to dishes without being thawed.

Refrigerating Garlic:

Refrigerating garlic tends to lessen the flavor and dry out the cloves.
Comment Was this helpful? 6
May 23, 20080 found this helpful

I grow lots of garlic so storing it has been an issue. I use to store it whole unpeeled in gallon bags and take out what I needed. Needless to say that took up a lot of room. Now I peel, clean and puree with olive oil at a ratio of 1/3 cup oil to 1 cup garlic. I store this mixture in strait sided mason jars in the freezer. It is fairly easy to just take out a jar and scrape out the amount of garlic you need for your recipe. I put up 5 quart jars last year.

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1 found this helpful
October 8, 2010

I love cooking with garlic, but do not like peeling it. So my answer is to buy it in the bag already peeled. I keep the bag in my freezer and when I need garlic, I remove a clove from the bag. Using a box grater or hand held grater (I use a microplane, it works great for garlic), I grate the garlic right into my pot or bowl. Remember though that the clove of garlic is small and will grate quickly even though it is frozen. Grated fingers are not pleasant.


By Virginiag from Porterville, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 1
October 13, 20100 found this helpful

I finally tried putting just my palm on the clove to crush it and it was much easier to peel. Whatever works for you is great. :)

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
December 20, 2016

If a jar of minced garlic, in juice, accidentally gets frozen, is it still good? Anybody know?

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December 20, 20161 found this helpful

I freeze my garlic all the time. If it is in juice it may soften when it thaws out but it is still good.

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December 21, 20161 found this helpful

The garlic should be fine even though it may have softened a bit due to the freezing.

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December 21, 20161 found this helpful

No reason why it shouldn't be OK. As everyone has said, it will be a little softer, but probably also tangier as freezing exaggerates spicy flavours. So less may need to be used, but try it first to see.

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December 21, 20161 found this helpful

I am glad the jar did not burst!

Garlic is so good for you that it would be a shame to not use it but i do think it will have a stronger flavor so I would use sparingly until you check it out.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

I freeze everything of any fresh vegetable including chopped onions, celery and garlic. So my answer would be yes, it would be perfectly fine!

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

It will be great in soups and casseroles

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March 19, 2009

Can anyone tell me how to store garlic cloves? Can you freeze them whole or do you cut them up? Do you wrap them up in freezer paper or aluminum foil? I have about 15 whole cloves and I don't want them to go bad. Thank you for any help.

Debra from Nahunta, GA

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March 22, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

If I have an abundance of garlic cloves I'll chop them up (this goes fast in a food processor) and place in a log shape on a piece of Saran Wrap then I roll it up and put in a freezer bag. Then I can just break off a piece of the log for the amount I need for a recipe and it's wonderfully fresh and so easy!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 19, 20090 found this helpful

I'd suggest putting the cut (or whole) garlic cloves in something a bit more odor proof than a zipper bag before freezing. Maybe something like a pimento jar. Not too many folks appreciate vanilla-garlic ice cream :-)

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May 8, 20090 found this helpful

When I want to store garlic, I peel the cloves and put them in a jar add some oil and put the lid on and keep them in refrigerator. Keeps for a very long time and you can also use the oil for stir fries or whatever.

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August 23, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks for the great idea. It was just what I was looking for (about freezing garlic).


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September 18, 20161 found this helpful

My Mom always put the peeled garlic cloves in a jar and cover with oil. I use olive oil and refrigerate and it lasts forever !!!!

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March 19, 20091 found this helpful

I buy garlic in bulk since it is cheaper, but can't always finish using it before it goes bad. So now, I buy in bulk, and I clean the skin off and chop each clove in half. Then I freeze it in a zip lock bag. When I need to use the garlic, I just take a couple of cloves from the freezer. It saves time and I have garlic at my finger tips.


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