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Mar 27, 2009 03:21 PM

how to store peeled garlic cloves

This might sound a little silly, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to store peeled garlic cloves so that they don't smell up the fridge. I buy them in a container from WF, put the container into 2 freezer bags, wrap that with a plastic bag, and still, the fridge stinks. I know it's the garlic because every time I take it out, the fridge smells normal. Today, I put the cloves into a mason jar, fridge still smelled. Put the mason jar into a freezer bag, same problem.

I've just started using peeled garlic cloves and I love the taste in soups, sauces, and anything else that calls for garlic. I used to use garlic powder or crushed garlic (had the same problem with crushed, but putting the jar into a freezer bag did the trick) but I'm loving these cloves and would like to keep buying them - if I can come up with a way to store them in the fridge sans odor.

Any ideas are most welcomed. Thanks for your help!

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  1. I know this isn't what you asked, but you can buy the fresh garlic and peel them yourself. It *really* doesn't take more than a couple seconds to peel one: just slice off the top and bottom and peel away the papery cover. Even faster is to smash the side of a knive on it; the peel just pulls away.

    1. Whats the chance that the smell is coming from the outside of the containers?

      1. I'm not sure what to tell you about ridding yourself of the smell, but I can honestly say I've never had that problem and I use WF pre-peeled garlic all the time. Maybe try storing the garlic in the same bag as a box of baking soda? That or just get used to the smell? I mean, if it came to using whole fresh cloves with a fridge odor or using pre-crushed garlic out of a jar - I gotta say I'd just get used to smelling garlic.

        Also, it could just be the variety of garlic they are using - I know that some types of garlic are way more pungent than others that are prevalent during other seasons....

        1. Store the garlic cloves on a jar of good olive oil....they will stay moist, and you will always have a wonderfully flavored oil to cook with...they keep for a long time this way...try it, you will love it!!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: nyfoodjoe

            You are in danger of giving yourself botulism.

            The bacteria spores that cause botulism – Clostridium botulinum – are widespread in nature, but they seldom cause problems, because they are not able to grow if they are exposed to oxygen. If the spores do not grow, then they cannot produce the toxins that cause illness.

            However, when garlic containing the bacteria is covered with oil, there is no oxygen present. This means that conditions are ripe for the spores to grow and produce toxins.

            Garlic stored in oil should be used in less than a week.


            1. re: KTinNYC

              What about the garlic infused oils I see as gift ideas around holiday time? Should I avoid these? I imagine that companies that sell garlic infused oils must be doing something to keep them safe? Preservatives, maybe? Just curious.


              1. re: addicted2cake

                From the link I provided above, "Commercially produced garlic-in-oil products have been linked to two outbreaks of botulism: one in Vancouver in 1985, and the other in New York in 1989.

                In both outbreaks, people became seriously ill after eating something made with non-preserved garlic-in-oil that had not been stored at the proper temperature. Since then, the commercial manufacturers of garlic-in-oil have adopted better preservation techniques to keep their products free of the toxins that cause botulism.

                Check the label on commercially prepared garlic-in-oil products for sale. If salt or acids are in the list of ingredients, then the product has been preserved and you do not need to worry about food poisoning, as long as you follow directions for storing the product."

          2. That strong smell is a sign that they are past their prime and should be reserved for things like marinades or be discarded.

            Here's the deal: the only time it's worth getting tubs of pre-peeled garlic is when (1) they are very fresh (their color should be pale off white, and they should be dull, not shiny), *and* (2) when you have a recipe where you will use lots of them.

            Otherwise, they are one of those bad-deals-that-look-like-a-good-deal. You are otherwise better getting a head of garlic.

            Some things are too good to be true. Pre-peeled garlic is, sadly, usually one of those things.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karl S

              I buy peeled garlic to keep the mess in the kitchen down. Those papery coverings have a wanderlust and they do not go down the disposal well. Keeping them fresh is a problem but in the cold part of the vege bin they look good for two weeks.