Onions and garlic are probably the most used and indispensable ingredients in any kitchen. Typically, because onions and garlic are used in everyday cooking, we tend to buy them in large quantities. If you want to know more about how to store garlic and onions continue by reading this article!
How To Store Garlic And Onions
In most homes, onion and garlic are stored in plastic bins.
This method works perfectly well if you use them up in a few days; however, if you don’t and they remain in the storage bins for a long time, they will go soft, start sprouting, turn moldy or rotten. This may lead you to wonder what is the best way to store onions and garlic. So, read on to know more.
Ways To Store Onions
Usually, onions that are bought from the store have papery skin because they are cured after they are harvested. The process of curing removes the extra moisture, which helps them to last longer.
So, it is best to store the onions in a cool, dry, dark and well-ventilated room like a cellar, pantry, garage or basement to prevent them from absorbing excess moisture, which will cause them to sprout or rot.
It is best to store onions at around 40°F-50°F (4°C-10°C). Storing onions in an open basket, wire basket, mesh bag, netted bag or a brown paper bag with holes ensures proper ventilation and prevents the onions from rotting or molding. Don’t leave the onions in a plastic bag because they will get spoiled because of poor ventilation.
Keeping the onions in a dark area reduces the changes in the temperature, as well as humidity and will help the onions last longer. You must take care not to store the onions in the refrigerator because when exposed to cold and humid conditions, they absorb moisture easily and can become mushy and rot.
You can however store peeled, diced or sliced onions in the refrigerator. Once you peel an onion, you should store it in an airtight container(you can use a vacuum sealer for this) in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) to prevent any bacterial contamination. This way, you can store peeled onions in the fridge for 10-14 days.
Cut, diced or sliced onions can be stored safely in resealable bags or a tightly wrapped plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. You can store cut, diced or sliced onions in the freezer for a period of up to 3-6 months.
If you want to store cooked onions, simply put them into a resealable bag or an airtight container within a couple of hours of cooking them and store them in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Pickling onions can help you store them for a longer period. The process of pickling involves storing the onions in a solution of vinegar, salt, sugar and spices and allows you to store them for up to 6 months or longer in the refrigerator.
Ways To Store Garlic
The best way to store fresh garlic is to keep the entire bulb as a whole because once you break the bulb, then the lifespan of the garlic starts decreasing. A broken head of garlic usually lasts for around 10 days. The best way to store fresh garlic is in a mesh bag or wire basket at room temperature (at around 60°F-65°F (154°C-18°C)), in a dark and dry place.
You can also store the garlic in your fridge; however, when you take out the garlic from the refrigerator, it will start sprouting after 3-4 days and may start tasting bitter. So, if you’re storing garlic in the fridge, then make sure that it remains there until you want to use it.
You can put chopped or peeled garlic in an airtight container and store it in the fridge, where it will last for a couple of weeks. You can also store peeled, minced garlic in the freezer for up to 1 month.
You can also store garlic in other ways such as:
- Pickling: Peel the garlic and store it in a pickling liquid made with vinegar, salt and sugar. While pickling garlic may be a time-consuming process; however, it helps to increase its shelf-life up to many months. However, pickling may subdue the flavor of the garlic.
- Roasting: Roasted garlic allows you to store it in the freezer for a very long time. You can roast the garlic in the oven by placing the garlic bulbs on a greased baking dish and baking them for around 45 minutes at 350°F (175°C).
Once roasted, cut the tips of the garlic cloves and squeeze out the soft garlic into an airtight container. You can store the roasted garlic in the fridge for around 1 week and in the freezer indefinitely.
- Dehydrating: You can also dehydrate garlic and store it. For this, peel the garlic cloves and cut them into very thin slices. Dehydrate the slices in a food dehydrator or place them on a baking sheet and dehydrate them in the oven for around 30 minutes at 115°F (45°C).
When the garlic turns crispy, put them in an airtight container and store it at room temperature for many months. You can also add the dehydrated slices of garlic to olive oil to make a garlic-flavored oil, which you can store in the refrigerator for around 3-4 weeks.
Never add fresh, raw garlic to oil as this may become a breeding ground for the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which causes botulism.
So, as you can see, onions and garlic are best stored at room temperature when used immediately. However, there are various other methods of storing both these highly indispensable ingredients and you can choose the best method to store them depending on your usage.