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Can I chop up a bunch of garlic, then freeze it? Or is it better to chop it as I need it.

I was thinking of ways to save a little time for dinner. I already chop up a few onions at the beginning of the week and place them in a Tupperware container in the fridge. They usually stay pretty fresh. I use a lot of garlic so I was wondering if I can do something similar. I read somewhere that garlic loses its punch pretty quickly, but was not sure if I froze it, that it would solve the problem.

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  1. Please, PLEASE chop garlic as you need it!! It does make a HUGE difference. Chopped garlic in the fridge not only gets funky pretty soon, but frozen just deletes most of the flavor. And the pre-chopped stuff in oil at the grocery store?? Don't waste your money (or your health - since chopped garlic in oil has been recalled SO many times due to botulism & other nasties).

    1. I've frozen some in the past when I knew I wouldn't be using it for a while. I froze them whole, but peeled cloves in a bag. When a recipe calls for it you can let it slightly defrost (happens quickly) and it smashes to a pulp very easily with the side of your knife or you can grate it on a microplane when it's straight from the freezer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: junglekitte

        I think you can get away with freezing whole garlic cloves in a baggie, but use a metal-lidded glass jar if you are going to chop or slice it. The smell will permeate plastic and whatever else is in your freezer unless it is in glass. I freeze sliced/chopped onion (bag okay for this) as a food-prep timesaver, but it saves cooking time too. Even if I put it into the hot pan/pot straights from the freezer, because cell walls have ruptured, the onions cook faster than fresh-cut.

        I am not a garlic purist - raw is too strong for me, and frankly, I prefer jarred, or garlic powder. But I think Trader Joe's crushed garlic paste, in a tall 8oz jar, is far superior to the small squat jars in supermarkets. The only contents are garlic and citricacid.

      2. The few minutes it takes to prepare sliced, minced or chopped garlic...would negate any thought of preparing the same and freezing for later use. Stick with the fresh.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          Amen!!! Thank you!! There truly are some things that were never meant to be prepped ahead & stored, & garlic is one of them.

          1. re: Breezychow

            Hey... if you live alone, travel a lot, and/or just don't use much garlic it's a shame to see it sprout sometimes! But yes, garlic is always better fresh. :)

        2. Perhaps the purists will not approve (lay into me, guys, I can take it), but you can at least save a step or two by whacking the head of garlic, separating the cloves, and putting them in a jar in the frig. I do that and haven't noticed a huge difference in flavor. Get a hand grater for your garlic and that'll save time mincing the garlic; I've had mine for 20 years.

          1. I haven't tried to freeze fresh garlic, but I have roasted heads of garlic while roasting other stuff and then taking out the garlic "meat" and freezing that. Makes it very easy to come up with that wonderful roasted garlic flavor.

            1. it seriously takes 30 seconds to chop up a couple of cloves of garlic... doesn't sound much like a time saver??

              1. I chop and saute garlic and onion ahead, actually. I usually separate the solids from the oil and keep two little plastic containers in the fridge or freezer. You might lose some texture in the freezer, but if it's going in soup or something it won't matter. I haven't noticed a difference in taste. I prefer mine very slowly sweated, so that's why I do it ahead. It also means the oil is still good for cooking with. Another bonus is you don't get nasty raw garlic/onion smell in your containers.