I use garlic in a lot of my cooking. It adds flavor to dishes that would otherwise be bland.
But have you ever really given much thought to how long garlic lasts or how to tell if it has gone bad? Or did you just assume that as long as it wasn’t moldy, it was fine to use?
Garlic is a delicious and healthy addition to any dish, but only if it’s fresh. It is a tricky ingredient. It can last for weeks or even months in the pantry, or it can spoil in just a few days if it’s not stored properly.
No one wants to end up with a bad batch of garlic, but it’s hard to tell if it’s gone bad or not. Follow these tips on how to tell if garlic is bad, and you’ll never have to worry about eating spoiled garlic again.
🤔 How to tell if garlic has gone bad? If the cloves have started to sprout, if it has turned green, or the cloves are soft and mushy, or the skin is broken, then the garlic is probably past its prime. Another way to tell is by smell – if the garlic smells rank or off, then it’s time to toss it out.
Table of Contents
- How to Tell if Garlic Is Bad?
- How To Store Garlic
- How to Prevent Garlic from Going Bad
- Related Questions
How to Tell if Garlic Is Bad?
1. Look at It
The first way to tell if garlic has gone bad is by looking at it. If the garlic cloves are starting to sprout, that’s a bad sign.
Mold is a sure sign that garlic has gone bad and should not be used. If you see any mold growing on your garlic, discard it immediately. Additionally, wrinkled skin is another sign that garlic is on its way out.
2. Color of Garlic
If you are using fresh garlic, it should be white in color when peeled. If the garlic has started to brown, this is a sign that it is beginning to spoil.
Yellowing or browning garlic is often caused by bruising, but it can also be a sign that the garlic is starting to rot. If the garlic is discolored, it may not taste as fresh as it once did and should be used soon.
3. Texture of Garlic
When raw, garlic should be firm to the touch. If it is starting to soften, this is a sign that it is going bad. You may also notice that the garlic skin is starting to wrinkle.
If the garlic feels mushy or slimy, it has spoiled and should be discarded.
4. Smell of Garlic
Fresh garlic should have a mild, slightly sweet smell. If the garlic is starting to spoil, it will develop a strong, unpleasant odor.
If the garlic smells sour, fishy, or anything other than mild and slightly sweet, it has gone bad and should not be used.
5. Taste of Garlic
Of course, the best way to tell if garlic has gone bad is to taste it. Fresh garlic should have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If the garlic is starting to spoil, it will taste bitter and unpleasant.
Take a small piece and give it a try. If it tastes bitter or sour, it’s probably past its prime and should be thrown out.
If you notice any of these signs, your garlic has gone bad and should be discarded. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and throw out garlic that may be spoiled. It is better to waste a little garlic than to risk making yourself sick.
How To Store Garlic
Now that you know how to tell if garlic has gone bad, let’s talk about how to store it properly so it will last as long as possible.
The best way to store garlic is in a cool, dark, and dry place. A pantry or cupboard away from any sources of heat or light is ideal.
Intact bulbs of garlic can be stored this way for several months. If the garlic has been peeled or chopped, it will only last a few days to a week. After you’ve opened the bulb, use the cloves as soon as possible.
Garlic can also be stored in the fridge, but it will only last for a few weeks. They will deteriorate if kept in the refrigerator, and the extra moisture may cause them to mold.
If you plan on storing your garlic in the fridge, be sure to put it in an airtight container or bag to prevent it from drying out.
You can also store garlic in the freezer, but it will change the texture and may affect the flavor. If you do choose to freeze garlic, be sure to chop it up first and store it in a freezer-safe bag or container.
How to Prevent Garlic from Going Bad
Now that you know how to tell if garlic has gone bad and how to store it properly, here are a few tips on how to prevent it from going bad in the first place.
- Choose fresh garlic heads that are plump with firm cloves. Avoid garlic heads that are sprouting or have started to turn brown.
- Store unpeeled garlic cloves in a mesh bag in a cool, dry place.
- Don’t store garlic in the fridge; the humidity can cause it to mold.
- Use garlic within a week or two of purchasing it.
- If you’re not going to use all the garlic cloves from ahead, break off only what you need and store the rest in a cool, dry place.
- Roast whole garlic heads and store them in the fridge for up to two weeks. Roasted garlic can be used in a variety of dishes.
- Mince garlic and store it in a jar filled with olive oil. The garlic will keep for up to two months stored this way.
- Freeze minced garlic in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the garlic cubes to a freezer bag and store them for up to six months.
Finally, be sure to check your garlic regularly and discard any that shows signs of spoilage. By following these tips, you can enjoy fresh garlic for months.
What Is Purple Garlic?
Purple garlic is a variety of garlic that has a deep purple skin. It is also called “black garlic” or “forbidden garlic.” The cloves are small and have a mild, sweet flavor.
While purple garlic is not as common as the white or red varieties, it can be found in some specialty stores. It is also becoming more popular as a gourmet ingredient.
Purple garlic has many of the same health benefits as other types of garlic.
Does Garlic Paste Go Bad?
Garlic paste is a popular ingredient in many dishes. It is made by blending garlic cloves into a smooth paste.
Garlic paste can be store-bought or homemade. If you make your own, it will only last for a few days. However, store-bought garlic paste has a shelf life of several months.
Once opened, store-bought garlic paste should be refrigerated and used within a few weeks. Homemade garlic paste should be used immediately or frozen for later use.
When stored properly, both store-bought and homemade garlic paste will last for several months.
What Is Green Garlic?
Green garlic is a young garlic plant that has not yet fully developed. The cloves are small and have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
Green garlic can be found in the spring at farmers’ markets and some grocery stores. It is also becoming more popular as a gourmet ingredient.
How to Tell if Minced Garlic Is Bad?
Minced garlic is a popular ingredient in many dishes. It is made by chopping garlic cloves into small pieces. Minced garlic can be used fresh or it can be stored in a jar or container.
Minced garlic will last for:
- up to 2 weeks in the fridge
- up to 6 months in the freezer
- and up to 1 year if it is pickled in vinegar
If you are not sure if your minced garlic has gone bad, there are a few signs to look for.
- The minced garlic will have a brown or yellow color
- It will also have a strong, unpleasant odor
- If the minced garlic is moldy, it should be discarded
If you see any of these signs, it is best to throw out the minced garlic and get a new batch.
Garlic is a staple in many dishes, but if not stored properly, it can spoil and the quality of your dish may suffer. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell whether or not your garlic is still good-some more obvious than others.
By following the above tips, you can enjoy fresh garlic for months. I hope this article was helpful in teaching you how to tell if garlic has gone bad.