garlic shelf life

Does Garlic Go Bad?

If you found old garlic in the pantry and you need it to prepare lunch, here are some ways to check if it is still suitable for consumption.

There is almost no salty dish that does not contain at least a small amount of garlic. These vegetables with an extremely strong taste provide a unique aroma, especially when preparing meat, but also for all other salty delicacies. Even delicious bread with the addition of garlic and olive oil will be a real treat for the palate. So we are used to garlic going into almost everything we cook or bake. 

What we all know for sure is that fresh garlic lasts an extremely long time. However, you may not know that this time can be from a few months to a year, depending on the conditions in which you store garlic. In our article, read all about the durability of this food and the correct ways of storage.

How Long Does Garlic Last?

When we talk about fresh garlic, durability will be related to storage conditions, but some guidelines exist. The golden tip is not to peel all the garlic cloves but only the ones you intend to use when cooking that day. The wrapper of each clove is the key to longevity.   

Intact garlic

For long-term storage, it is best to keep the whole head of garlic intact. Do not separate the lobes unless you intend to use them. Such an intact head will be safe in good conditions for at least six months. Sometimes it can last up to a year and maintain its quality.      

Peeled garlic

Peeled garlic will quickly begin to decay. If you have peeled the cloves, you should keep them in the fridge, and that way, they will be fine for the next week, maybe two. If you have additionally chopped garlic, you need to consume it within one day. An excellent trick to extend for an extra day or two is to put sliced garlic in olive oil, which will preserve the quality.

Can Garlic Go Bad?

Garlic can spoil just like any other vegetable. If you are not sure if garlic is completely correct, try to use it in heat-treated dishes. It is not good to eat rotten garlic raw because it can cause indigestion. Here are some signs of expiration.  

Sign 1: It has dark spots on it 

You can sometimes see dark spots on unpeeled garlic, but also when you take off the skin. Usually, dark stains are a sign of spoilage, and at the very least, you need to heat-treat such a product or throw it in the trash.

Sign 2: Mold is present  

If moldy threads have appeared on the garlic, it is a sure sign that you need to throw everything in the trash. Never eat such garlic raw.  

Sign 3: It became soft  

The correct garlic should be stiff and crisp. If you notice that the clove is soft when you grab it between your fingers, it means that it has expired.

What Is The Best Way To Store Garlic? 

The older generations knew very well how to store garlic in the pantry to keep it good and usable throughout the year. There are a few quality tips to follow, and you are free to fill the pantry with a month-long supply of garlic.

Tip 1: Choose darker and cooler spaces

Always choose darker places and cooler temperatures. This does not mean a refrigerator, but rather a more convenient pantry with a slightly lower room temperature.   

Tip 2: Keep it away from heat or moisture   

Be sure to avoid wet areas as this will favor the formation of mold. But also do not keep garlic in overheated places or near heat sources.  

Tip 3: Allow airflow

Stale air will also favor mold formation, and thus the garlic will spoil much sooner. The pantry should have a good airflow that will keep the food fresh.   


How can you tell if garlic is bad?

Rotten garlic will most likely be soft to the touch, or you will be able to see dark spots on it. Also, if you notice mold, know that the garlic is decaying.      

Is it okay to eat expired garlic?

Spoiled garlic may have a worse taste, but it can also cause you indigestion. So never eat suspicious garlic raw. Rather heat-treat it to be safer.  

Why my garlic is yellow

The correct fresh garlic should be white when you peel the skin off it. If the clove is yellow, it may be a sign of spoilage, so you should rather discard such a product.   

How long will garlic last in the fridge?

Peeled garlic should be perfectly fine in the refrigerator for about a week. Maybe a maximum of two weeks. If you have chopped it, the duration is shortened to a day or a maximum of two.

How long does garlic powder last?

Store-bought garlic powder will last up to 4 years unopened. Always check the expiration date and discard if they have mold and other spoilage signs.


Most of the dishes we prepare as well as special delicacies, involve garlic. This food has imposed itself in cooking with the intense aroma that it gives to every dish. 

If you buy a kilo or two of garlic, it is very likely that it will last for several months in your kitchen, so it is advisable to store it in the right conditions and thus ensure long-term quality.

Always keep garlic in a cool, dark place where there is sufficient air circulation. If you notice dark stains on garlic or changes in texture, it’s likely time to freshen up your supplies.

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