Garlic: How to Buy, Use and Store This Flavorful Bulb

There are several options on the grocers shelf for garlic; fresh heads or minced, flaked and powdered in jars. Which type of garlic is the best one to buy, and how do I use and store it after I get it home? Here are the answers for how to buy, use and store garlic.

How To Buy Fresh Garlic Bulbs

When buying fresh garlic bulbs, choose firm, unbroken heads with dry skins. Avoid heads that are shriveled looking, soft or have started to sprout.

A bulb of fresh garlic is often the best choice when purchasing, especially if garlic is used often in your kitchen. If garlic is rarely used, a small container of garlic flakes, powdered garlic or garlic salt would be a better investment and will last for months when stored in a cool, dark location.

Using Fresh Garlic

Separate only as many cloves as garlic as needed from the head. Remove the papery outer layer from the separated cloves. To peel garlic cloves, place cloves on cutting board then position the flat side of wide knife blade on top and hit with heel of your palm. The peel will easily pull off garlic clove after being smashed.

Chop, Slice, Crush or Mince

Follow recipe instructions for how to prepare the garlic, bearing in mind that the finer garlic is chopped, the stronger it’s flavor.

A garlic press speeds up the prep process for crushing and mincing garlic, plus the garlic cloves do not have to be peeled prior to pressing them.

How To Store Fresh Garlic

Do not place fresh garlic heads in the refrigerator. Store unpeeled garlic heads in a cool, dark location until needed. After removing some cloves from a head of garlic, store the remaining head in a cool, dark place. Fresh garlic will last for several week when stored properly. Discard if garlic turns soft or begins to sprout.

Garlic Residue Cleanup

After chopping garlic, clean and deodorize the cutting board with a paste of baking soda and water. Don’t forget to clean the cutting board handle too. The garlicy smell can be removed from hands by rubbing hands on a stainless steel surface (kitchen sink, large spoon) after washing with soap and water.

Garlic Math

*One head of garlic contains between 10-15 cloves.
*One garlic clove = 1 teaspoon chopped or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder = 1 clove
*¼ teaspoon granulated garlic = 1 clove
*½ teaspoon garlic flakes = 1 clove