Tips on Preserving and Storing Roasted Garlic or Fresh Bulbs

Garlic is quite a tricky vegetable to store, whether it be a fresh garlic bulb or individual cloves of roasted garlic. Different from most other veggies, you can't just toss it in your fridge and forget about it. Although it's shelf life can actually be longer than most, this will not be the case at all if you don't know how to properly store your garlic. If you regularly roast garlic and sometimes have some leftovers, you will also want to continue reading to learn a few useful tricks towards storing your roasted garlic cloves or bulbs.

Storing Fresh Garlic

If you just bought a few cloves at the store and realized that you aren't quite sure what to do with them, you should first know that garlic is a vegetable that has to breath. You want to keep it out of direct light, but you also want to avoid placing it into any air-tight container or plastic bag. Your fridge will cause the garlic to soften and mold, so a dark cupboard or pantry is the best place for the garlic. Wrapping your bulbs lightly in a brown paper bag will probably be your best bet unless you want to purchase a special container designed for holding garlic.

Remember that the strongest defense that garlic has against aging is it's own protective layers of skin. Never peel, slice or otherwise expose garlic before it is going to be used, unless you want to scramble to find a use for it before it expires. Oxidization will ruin the taste and health benefits of garlic that has been smashed or powdered, so you will want to use any garlic in this form right away or as soon as possible.

Storing Roasted Garlic

If you are planning on making some roasted garlic in the oven or on the grill outside for a dinner gathering, it's pretty likely that you'll have some leftovers. The caramelized appearance of the roasted garlic cloves is sure to scare off a few people who don't know any better, so you should probably figure out how you are going to go about storing your roasted garlic in advance.

Roasting the entire bulb is your best bet for storing the roasted garlic for any amount of time, as the remaining layers of skin will keep it from drying up. Cover your roasted garlic in foil and refrigerate it to keep it moist and ready to eat for a couple of days. Squeezing out the cloves and placing them in a small jar immersed in olive oil will increase the shelf life of the flavor for quite a while, but be sure never to do this with raw garlic as it can cause botulism. Another popular method of preserving the roasted garlic flavor for an extended period of time is to mix it with butter and any other desired seasonings and place in the freezer. The delicious roasted garlic butter that you end up with will last for a very long time, and you can use it to add some flavor to just about any dish.

If you are particularly interested in having roasted garlic flavoring handy for daily meals, it might be a good idea for you to invest in some naturally roasted garlic juice or spray for a burst of flavor in seconds. These juices are designed to last much longer than any roasted garlic cloves you prepare yourself, and the flavor is pretty much identical.

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