Does Garlic Go Bad? (And Other Things You Need To Know About This)

By Rose | Condiments

Jul 13
Does Garlic Go Bad? (And Other Things You Need To Know About This)

Does garlic go bad? It is a lingering question that everyone in the kitchen pretends to know the answer. Fortunately, I did not put my pride on the line when I once baffled by this query. After all, I am not an expert gourmet who knows everything about ingredients and recipes. One day, I asked a fellow chef this question. And her answer amused me.

Does garlic go bad?

For some people, this particular confusion seems trivial. I would not even get mad if they would say "that it is just garlic". But for me, this particular ingredient is quite important. I consider this as the most necessary staple. Anyone can use it for various cuisines and recipes. Of course, the health benefits that this little guy can give are among the things you should certainly love.

These are the reasons why many people are trying to hoard this item on their pantries. But despite having a long shelf life, it is still undeniable that garlic would eventually spoil. Specifically, a clove of garlic can go bad on different factors. Let me discuss them for you.


How Long Before Garlic Goes Bad?

Food spoilage can vary in different factors. The first one that you should take note is the ingredient's packaging. Those pieces of garlic that are still on bulb form will last for a month. It could last even longer if you put them on a cool and unilluminated area of your kitchen.

How Long Before Garlic Goes Bad?

However, most of the garlic sold commercially are already peeled and separated. This particular process requires constant refrigeration to slow down the spoilage of the ingredient. When it comes to application, having a peeled garlic becomes a convenience on your part. There is no need for you to do the manual peeling and separation, which could consume a bit of your time.

If you have garlic that is already minced, you can expect that it will remain consumable for a year (as long as it is inside a refrigerator). But you always have to take note of the expiration date of the ingredient so that you can be on the safe side. To summarize, here is the expected lifespan of different types of garlic.

How Long Before Garlic Goes Bad?
  • Fresh Garlic (Whole) - 3 to 6 months (inside a refrigerator).
  • Fresh Garlic (Cloves) - 1 to 2 months (inside a refrigerator).
  • Chopped Garlic - 1 week (inside a refrigerator).
  • Minced Garlic - Up to a year (inside a refrigerator).

If you can notice, the quality of the garlic is dependent on how you store them. Of course, you should practice proper storage on any kitchen ingredients that you have if you want to preserve their freshness and edibleness.

How Do You Know If A Clove Of Garlic Is Rotten Already?

By just merely looking at the garlic, you can instantly figure out the current condition of the garlic. There are several physical indicators that would determine if garlic is close to rotting or not. For example, if you can spot some brown areas on the cloves, the garlic is close to spoiling already. Moreover, if the clove are becoming yellowish, then you should dispose of it already. If you persist on using them on your dishes, expect that they will induce an overwhelming taste.

How Do You Know If A Clove Of Garlic Is Rotten Already?

I usually inspect the freshness of my ingredients before I start cooking them. I just don't want to get caught off guard. After all, I have kids that have sensitive stomachs. I don't want them to eat bad food. Furthermore, I also practice proper cooking etiquette and hygiene. These two are essential for the betterment of my recipes.

Going back, you need to look at the clove's center. If you noticed that there are green roots that are slowly sprouting on it, then it is a sign that the garlic will about to get bad. You can still use the garlic, but you have to remove these roots. Otherwise, they will give your dish a bitter flavor.

Of course, we are all aware of the risks of eating any spoiled food. Therefore, you need to be responsible when you are preparing and cooking your ingredients. Your wellness is on the line here.

Proper Storage Of Garlic

There are ways to increase the lifespan of garlic. One of these is by storing the garlic into an open container. Take note: the container must not have any lid or cover. Air circulation is important for the preservation of garlic. Moreover, the storage should be dark, cold, and dry.

Proper Storage Of Garlic

On the flipside, I don't want to recommend the use of a refrigerator. The particular setting that a refrigerator has is conducive for sprouts to grow. Once you start removing them on the garlic, its lifespan will start to degrade already.

Another good way of storing garlic is by hanging them on a mesh basket or a paper bag. The tiny openings of these containers allow air to circulate in the garlic. On the other hand, plastic bags and other containers that don't have openings are susceptible to moisture build up. Aside from lowering the lifespan of the ingredient, the moisture could also cause molds.

Proper Storage Of Garlic

But once you peeled the garlic, the storage should be closed already. As much as possible, peeled and minced garlic should be stored in an airtight container. Their flesh is vulnerable to rotting especially if exposed to air.


Any ingredients will go bad eventually. Even a resilient item like garlic can't escape this process. Yes, garlic can rot and spoil. But there are ways that you can delay this natural process. I have mentioned them to you.

Therefore, I would be happy if you follow and practice them religiously. It is important that we preserve food in a manner that we won't generate too much waste. In this way, we can save precious money, too!

Did you learn from this article? If you have any questions about this, just feel free to ask me in the comment section below. I will try my best to respond as quickly as possible. Happy cooking!

Does Garlic Go Bad? (And Other Things You Need To Know About This)
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About the Author

There’s nothing in this world that excites me more other than cooking. From appetizers to desserts, since then, I’ve always been passionate on making foods.

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