Food poisoning: Expert gives advice on safe food storage
Garlic is an essential ingredient when it comes to a food shop. It is a super versatile food that goes great in lots of different dinner dishes, from cheesy garlic bread to chili con carne or even a stir fry.
It is always handy to have garlic in your kitchen, but it can also be a pain to make a meal only to discover your garlic has become mouldy, soft, and spoiled, even if you only bought it a few days ago.
Most people keep garlic in their fridge, but as an allium vegetable, this will simply cause garlic to rot much more quickly, as garlic does not do well in extreme temperatures
Luckily, a professional chef has explained four easy food storage methods for garlic which can keep it fresh no matter if it has been chopped, minced or just been bought from the store.
Cici Li is a Chinese cook and television presenter who has said garlic is a “quintessential” ingredient when it comes to cooking and explained that garlic can last up to a year if stored in the proper conditions.
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Store whole garlic bulbs in a cupboard
Garlic should never be exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, sunlight, or lots of moisture, otherwise, it will sprout and begin rotting.
Whole bulbs of garlic that have not been pulled apart into cloves are best stored in the kitchen pantry or cupboard.
In a video online, Cici explained: “You want to store the garlic in a dark, cool, low-mid humidity room temperature. The best temperature to store garlic is actually between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (16-18 Celcius).”
However, it should be noted that garlic should be placed in a container that has plenty of airflow which will keep it fresher for longer.
Cici said: “Provide the garlic with good air circulation so put garlic in anything with ventilation holes [such as] mash bags or paper bags. Just not a plastic bag.”
According to Cici, garlic bulbs stored this way will last up to six months.
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Store garlic cloves in the fridge
Storing whole garlic bulbs in the fridge can cause them to spoil much more quickly, however, garlic cloves which have been peeled can last for weeks if properly stored.
Cici explained: “Refrigerating a whole garlic bulb is a bad idea because it can actually cause the garlic to go bad. It also adds moisture to the garlic and therefore grows mould on it.
“However, once the garlic is peeled, it is best to store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to three weeks.”
Store sliced-up garlic in the freezer
Garlic can be prepared in many different ways, but if your garlic is in very small pieces, it will continue to last a long time if placed in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
Cici said: “You can also freeze peeled, smashed, chopped, sliced or minced garlic in a ziplock bag. Place the bag in your freezer, write a date on it, and it will last for up to one year. The texture of the garlic will change, as it will soften after it unfeezes.”
Garlic ice cube method
There is also a simple chef trick for storing garlic which will not only keep it fresh but help you save time in preparation when cooking a meal.
Cici said that “peeled, smashed, chopped, sliced, mined, however, you like”. Garlic can also be stored in an ice cube tray.
Simply scoop up your garlic into a tray and pour in some vegetable oil. Cici suggested using one teaspoon of garlic per cube, which should be around two cloves of garlic.
Cici said: “Pour vegetable oil in it to store it in the freezer. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to four months
“When you need to do some cooking like a stir fry, you can just put one ice cube of this garlic and oil mixture in your pan. It actually makes prepping for cooking a lot easier.”
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