How to Preserve Peeled Garlic Cloves


Have you ever purchased one of those large containers of peeled garlic from any Buy-In-Bulk-Warehouse to save yourself time and money?  BUT THEN, after you got home you learned the garlic has an expiration date and you only have 3 weeks to eat 3 pounds of garlic!  YIKES.

Well, that happened to one of my dear friends.  She called me up and said, "help me eat this garlic!"  She sent over a large yogurt tub full of peeled garlic.  Now, as much as we love garlic in my home, even that's too much garlic for us to consume in time.  I had to find another way to make the best out of this.

I've already tried the garlic in oil trick, while it is delicious, it too has a short shelf life.  I needed a long term solution.  After a little Google research, I tried and liked two successful methods to preserving peeled garlic cloves.

The First and Simplest Method
Spread the garlic cloves onto a baking sheet and freeze them for about 20 minutes.  Transfer them to a good air-tight freezer container and keep stored in the freezer.  They will keep 8- to 12-months in the freezer.  Use them in soups, salsas, etc. just as you normally use them.  They don't take long to thaw out, if you need to chop them.

The Second Method is Making Your Own Garlic Powder
Fresh garlic powder is just Wonderful! It's amazing just how much more aromatic and flavorful it is compared to the store-bought powder.  All it takes is a one-cup food processor, a little foil, food dehydrator and a spice grinder (an old coffee grinder.)

Start by filling the one-cup food processor with garlic cloves, pulse until the cloves are evenly minced.  One cup minced garlic will fill one dehydrator tray.

Line the dehydrator tray with foil then evenly spread the minced garlic out.


Cover and dry out for about 4 to 6 hours.  Vents on lid should be half open.  Your house is going to smell like an Italian restaurant during this time.  You may as well have Italian for dinner just to satisfy your cravings.  Check on the garlic by the fourth hour; it could be completely dry by then.  Garlic will have a light golden toasted look and be completely dry.


Some of the garlic sticks to the foil. Carefully scrape it into a wide mouth bowl before grinding into a powder.  Using an old coffee grinder, pulse the dried garlic until it is a semi-fine powder.  Store in an air-tight jar away from heat and light.  Powder will keep for several months.


  • You are amazing, what a great post! I tried making garlic salt once and OMG it was so salty I threw it all out. ACK. Holy cow, just the memory makes my face pucker up LOL

  • Jill

    Aw shucks Amanda, thanks. I just dried lemon zest and was thinking of making lemon pepper. I haven’t figured out the ratio, yet. I want use it for grilling shrimp & chicken boobs.

    I wonder how garlic powder & smoked salt would work out?

  • Jill, I will certainly try freezing clothes of garlic. I can get peeled garlic from the Asian market on the cheap.

    PS…fab ricotta cheese.

  • Good morning Peter!

    Have you ever tried dipping garlic bulbs in hot water then peeling the cloves? I keep wondering if that technique makes the task easier. I have farmer-friend that has planted organic garlic and it will be ready early Summer. I want to be well informed come harvest time.

  • Anonymous

    I love garlic cloves! They have this nice aromatic smell that makes me hungry! Thanks for sharing this! I can now have my garlic without having to peel them everyday.

    • Let me just say, I AM LOVING! the convenience of reaching into the freezer to grab a handful of peeled garlic and throwin’ them into the pot. I find myself using more garlic in my cooking just because I can. What a time saver!

  • is the garlic you buy like this have anything special done to it or could I just as easily peel my own and freeze like this too?

    • Good morning Karyn!

      Nothing special at all. You can certainly peel your own bulbs and do the same.
      (I like your socks ;D)

  • Peter

    Jill, I just wanted to express my gratitude for all of the wonderful information you have compiled on this website. Home made dinner rolls… Seriously, Words can not describe my excitement. My mother will be so surprised!

    I wanted to share this little video I found on another website which demonstrates a method to unpeel garlic cloves in just a few seconds. I’ve tried it, and it really works. I hope you find it useful.
    Garlic peeled in 10 seconds

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • What a GREAT KITCHEN TIP/TRICK from Saveur! THANK YOU, PETER! I am definitely going to use that method the next time I have garlic to peel.

  • Betty

    Question: if garlic has been hanging for a while in a dry place and the cloves turn purple but are not moldy, can I still preserve them in the freezer?

    • Good question. I searched around Google for an answer to your question. I found many folks have watched their garlic turn blue during cooking, but in the end the flavor was normal. I’ve seem purple-streaked garlic in foodie markets, maybe it’s part of it’s genetics. If it were me, and there’s no appearance of mold or rot, I’d cook it up.

  • Jayne Robertson

    hi .. i brought 4 whole garlic an peeled em all an process em into mince an store in jar … but after a few daYS in jar in fridge the whole garlic gone all green . !! can u tell me where i gone wrong ….

    • Jenn

      Hi… chopped garlic…. use any container u like but I like glass jars n then cover with oil. Make sure oil level is over top of garlic after its had a chance to filter thru and be absorbed by garlic a bit. With oil level at the top over garlic leave a little room so it can expand because it can n usually will…. as the garlic releases its natural gasses. Put in fridge… lasts for months… n is already oiled so u can use less when cooking. 🙂 But still oil ur pan a bit to avoid sticking. Enjoy easy garlic access at all times! We have done it for years w costco sized bags of garlic.

  • Brian Copeland

    My wife and I found if you take the peeled cloves out of the bag and put them in a plastic container like our trader Joe fig container they last a lot longer in the fridge. A lot longer!

    • Good to know! THANK YOU for sharing the handy tip, Brian!

  • Mary Eaton

    If I use store bought dried garlic chips to preserve
    In oil can I store it not refrigerated?

  • Ed

    Mince garlic, put into ice cube trays, place in freezer, take out one or two cubes as needed