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Garlic is a staple ingredient of many dishes. But, can you freeze it? Yes, you can! Freezing garlic is super easy. In fact, it can often be a much better option than leaving it whole in the cupboard.
There are very few people in the world who don’t like garlic. It is one of the most delicious things you can use to flavor your food. There are barely any savory dishes that can’t be improved with garlic.
Dried garlic is very popular as it cuts out a huge amount of time spent peeling and chopping garlic. Plus, it won’t leave the stink under your fingernails and on your chopping board. The smell of garlic is delicious. But there is a limit as to how often you want to be smelling it.
Despite the extra effort, fresh garlic is far more delicious and aromatic than dried powdered garlic. So, to give you the easy way of using fresh garlic in every meal, here’s our guide to freezing garlic.
How to Freeze Garlic
Collect your utensils.
The best way to store frozen garlic is in an ice cube tray. (But try to use one that you don’t normally use for actual ice, else you might end up with garlicky drinks later on…).
You will also need a chopping board, a knife, a garlic mincer (although this is optional), and, of course, a bulb of garlic.
Peel the garlic.
If you use a lot of garlic, you might as well freeze the whole bulb. But, you shouldn’t just chuck the whole bulb in the freezer.
Sure, this will freeze the garlic. But it will also make it unusable (which defeats the purpose).
Separate all of the cloves away from the bulb and discard the stalk. Then, top and tail each clove and peel them.
Mince the garlic.
The way you mince the garlic is entirely up to you. If you have a garlic mincer, then this will be a quicker option. But, depending on the sharpness and power of your garlic mincer, they can be a little wasteful.
Garlic cloves have an additional skin around the cloves that can be eaten. When a clove is pushed through a handheld garlic mincer, this skin often gets left behind.
Another option is to chop it by hand. To do this, cut the cloves in half lengthwise. Then, with the cut edge facing down, press the flat of your knife against the top and press down. This will get the best flavor from the clove.
Now chop it into small pieces. This will take a little longer, so the choice of method is entirely up to you.
Divide into portions.
Divide the garlic into portions that you would use for one dish. If you put too much in one cube, then you will end up with too much garlic. This is because the best way to use this garlic is when it’s still frozen.
So, it’s a good idea to only freeze the smallest portion size you will use. You can always add more cubes to a dish. But chopping up a cube of frozen garlic will be pretty difficult!
Now it’s time to freeze the garlic. Just like when you freeze water in an ice cube tray, make sure to place the tray at the bottom of the freezer drawer.
Minced garlic won’t spill in the quite the same way as water will. But it can still topple over and some might spill out before it freezes completely. So it’s best to be careful.
How to Defrost Garlic
Whether or not you defrost the garlic cubes is entirely your choice. We recommend that you leave them frozen and just toss a cube or two into the frying pan or roasting tin as needed.
When any food is frozen, it takes on water which crystalizes. Then, when it is defrosted, the food absorbs the water and it becomes soggy. This will happen to the garlic cubes.
But, when you cook them straight from frozen, the heat will cause the excess water to evaporate. This dries out the garlic and stops it from becoming soggy. It also helps it retain its flavor. The excess water can water down the flavor.
But, if you really want to defrost the garlic, then the best thing to do is to leave it out on the worktop. Pop out a few cubes and place them on a dining plate lined with paper towels.
The paper towels will go some way toward absorbing the excess water (but they won’t be able to get everything).
You can also defrost the garlic in the microwave oven if yours has a defrost setting. But, this will also cause the garlic to become overly wet and soggy. This won’t be a good addition to any meal.
Factors to Consider Before Freezing Garlic
The main factor to consider before freezing garlic is that no food is the same once it has been frozen. Freezing food will cause it to become overly wet. This will make it soggy and unpleasant when it is defrosted.
The main reason for freezing food is to stop it from going bad. Garlic can last a pretty long time. But even if you have a newly-bought fresh bulb of garlic, we still recommend that you freeze it.
Freezing garlic will cut out so much time from your cooking. You can even freeze it with some butter and herbs or spices. Ideally, you would freeze several ice cube trays with a range of different flavors.
Although this might not be practical depending on the size of your freezer, it’s still a good idea.
Whether you use garlic all the time or very rarely, freezing it is a good idea. If you rarely use garlic, then buying a whole bulb can seem wasteful, especially if it will go bad before you use it all.
Freezing the garlic will save it for future use. If you use garlic a lot, then freezing garlic cubes will save you a lot of time.