How To Tell If Garlic Is Bad – Storage and Shelf Life Information

How To Tell If Garlic Is Bad

Garlic is the vegetable which is used profusely for cooking and for enhancing the taste of the food. Apart from enhancing the taste and flavor of the food, it also offers an array of health benefits. Garlic is mostly used in smaller quantities.

There are many people who just keep wondering how to tell if garlic is bad, how long the garlic can be stored and for long it remains fresh. The shelf life of the garlic is dependent on the way you store it. If you want, you may extend the life of garlic and prevent it from going bad.


In order to determine if the garlic is bad or not, you need to learn about the shelf life of the garlic.

You already know that the shelf life of garlic is dependent on the way it is stored. Garlic bulb, if unbroken, will stay like that for one year time. But, if the garlic cloves are taken out, the cloves will not last more than 1 month.

On the other hand, if you further peel the cloves, the shelf life will get reduced. If you chop the garlic, it will last only for 2-3 days. So, if you think that the entire bulb will not be used, just take out a few cloves and not entirely. You can freeze the bulb to make it last for 2-3 years.

See below table for more details about how long garlic lasts:​

Garlic Expiration Date​



Fresh (Whole) Garlic lasts for

3-6 Months

_ _

Fresh Garlic Cloves last for

1-2 Months

Cell 2 / 3

Fresh Chopped Garlic lasts for

_ _

1 Week

Prepared Jar of Chopped Garlic lasts for

_ _

2-3 Months

How To Tell If Garlic is Bad

How To Tell If Garlic is Bad

So, you are wondering how to tell if garlic is bad. The looks of the garlic may be analyzed to judge its condition. You may check out for the following signs to determine if the garlic is bad:

  • Your garlic starts turning brown all of a sudden 
  • The garlic cloves turn yellow and loses its whiteness 
  • The entire garlic bulb turns mushy 
  • The appearance and the smell of the garlic get changed.

If you find that the garlic smells strange and even the color has changed, it is bad and needs to be discarded. But, do not think that the garlic is bad if it sprouts.

Although the flavor of garlic diminishes with each sprouting, you may still use it. Just cut off the shoots and sprouts and use it. Even the taste of the garlic may alter after a period of time. It may get sharper much to the dislike of few. However, the use of garlic which has turned pretty bad relies on personal choices.

Freezing of garlic and preparing garlic butter are the only ways to extend the lifespan.​

Storage Tips For Garlic​

Storage Tips For Garlic​

If you store the garlic as a whole and in the bulb form, you may store in the temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in a dry place. Garlic must never be exposed to direct rays of the sun. In fact, it is best to store the garlic in the pantry. Whole garlic bulbs if stored in the pantry will stay fresh for a long time.

Refrain from storing it in a warmer place since that will reduce its shelf life. However, you cannot even place garlic inside the refrigerator as it begins to sprout. But, if the garlic sprouts, your task would be to cut off the shoots.

Once you break the whole garlic, the individual cloves may be kept in the room temperature. But, the shelf life of the garlic cloves is pretty shorter. If you chopped the garlic, do not forget to place it inside the refrigerator. Follow the tips below to extend the life of garlic:​

  • To make sure that the garlic remains fresh for an extended period of time, you may freeze it. Garlic may be frozen in various fashions.
  • You may also prepare garlic butter, freeze it and thus preserve the garlic for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid breaking the bulb and taking out individual cloves.

See below video for more details about How To freeze Garlic To Reuse In Your Cooking from The freezer:​

Brown Spots On Garlic

Brown Spots On Garlic

If the garlic acquires unsightly brown shade, it shows that the garlic is bad. Secondly, the green roots coming out from the center of the garlic clove shows that the vegetable has spoiled. Since the green roots carry a bitter taste, you must not consume it.

Brown spots show that the vegetable is turning bad. Garlic cloves, having a tanned yellow color, are also bad. Unrefrigerated garlic turns bad easily. You need to check out for the probable signs of garlic turning bad every now and then.

Fresh garlic may last for 6-8 months if stored properly. Although garlic is a wonderful staple that you may store in the pantry, it is crucial to keep checking it for the signs of getting bad. Closely related to leeks, shallots and onions, the symptoms of its turning bad are almost similar to that of onions.

The popular cooking ingredient has a delicious taste and a strong smell. To make sure the garlic prepares delicious food and smells strong, you need to store it as per the guidelines.

Delicious Garlic Recipes

Here I want to share with you some great recipes with garlic:

Recipe 1 : Garlic Chicken

Garlic Chicken​​

Garlic Salmon

They are delicious and easy recipes for you to follow. Make your family surprise with your garlic recipe with a pan .


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