When it comes to storing food, not every food item can be simply chucked in the freezer and then used later on.
The thing is, different foods are negatively affected by different types of ‘pollutants’ and the tooth of time gets to various food groups in a wide variety of ways. For example, if you leave a fish out in the open, flies and other insects will lay their eggs on it, and then worms will start crawling all over it after a while.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are often affected negatively by mold rather than tiny bugs and different animals, (although you can find worms in fruits and veggies, too, of course) so the way you store your food will have an immediate effect on how long that food item can stay fresh and edible.
To be fair, simply chucking it all in a freezer does seem to be the most effective multi-tool sort of solution, but if you don’t want to unfreeze various foods to be able to use them in cooking immediately, you may want to look into other ways of preserving it.
In this article, we’re going to talk about garlic keepers, a special breed of small containers designed specifically for keeping garlic. These often come with vent holes so that air can come in and out freely and keep the garlic inside fresh. Since the worst thing that can happen to garlic is to be in a moist and bright environment, keeping your garlic in a dark and well-aired jar would probably be the best way to preserve this spice plant.
To help you learn more about these curious containers, we’ve organized a brief buyer’s guide and we have ventured to answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this category. Also, we’ve also put together a list of the five best products in this category, so you can see which one you like the best.
Here’s the lot.
Our Favorite Garlic Keeper
Best Garlic Keeper – A List of Products
1) Fox Run – Garlic Keeper
- Comes with a garlic-shaped handle for added aesthetic value
- Porous, non-glazed surface ensures excellent moisture-absorbing properties
- Ventilation holes for keeping the garlic dry and well-aired
- Made out of terra cotta
- Some users may not like the non-glazed surface
- Fairly small
Made out of terra cotta, this garlic keeper reminds one of the days long past. To make sure the visual effect is even more authentic, the folks at Fox Run decided not to glaze the surface of this garlic keeper, so, with this model, you get a garlic container with a build our ancestors would have been familiar with.
As we mentioned above, one of the most important features of a garlic keeper would be its ability to prevent moisture from getting in. This is why most garlic keeper manufacturers make sure that their garlic-keeping containers have ventilation holes so that the moisture cannot stick around on the bottom of these containers.
Part of the reason why this model works so well against moisture would be its porous surface, which absorbs it easily, and prevents it from getting to the garlic itself.
2) Mud Pie – Garlic Keepers
- Comes with a stylish cork lid
- Ceramic storage container
- Ventilation holes
- Embossed ‘GARLIC’ on the front of this container
- Fairly small
- Some users may not like the cork lid
If you’re on a lookout for a stylish garlic keeper that can not only preserve the freshness of your garlic but also enhance the décor of your kitchen, this small container from Mud Pie can be just the thing for you. Thanks to its simple design, the maintenance for this unit is a piece of cake, as washing this thing is as easy as washing a glass when it gets a bit dirty.
On the other hand, the cork lid is there to seal this garlic keeper from the top, so that light can’t get in and facilitate the growth of mold and other unwanted fungi. Also, this cork lid adds a special sort of stylistic touch as it contrasts with the remainder of the cream-colored body.
For purposes of ventilation, this unit has a couple of holes that are there to ensure that moisture doesn’t pile up.
3) Norpro – Deluxe Stoneware Garlic Keeper
- Can keep the house up to six garlic bulbs (the exact number depends on the size of the bulbs)
- Comes with a lid with a knob fashioned to look like a garlic bulb
- Does not absorb moisture or odors
- Non-porous stoneware
- Attractive design
- Ventilation holes
- Not oven-safe
- Some users reported problems with mold formation
Most garlic keepers emphasize style oversize, as garlic isn’t exactly the largest vegetable used in cooking. To be fair, one bulb of garlic can go a long way, especially if you don’t use it in cooking every day. That said if you do use garlic in your cooking fairly often, or you’re a professional cook and you have to prepare a certain amount of garlic-containing meals every day, then getting a larger container for your garlic would be a must.
As far as this model from Norpro is concerned, you can place in it multiple bulbs of garlic, so you won’t have to refill it all the time. To be precise, the folks at Norpro claim that you can place about 6 bulbs of garlic into this thing. (The number of bulbs also depends on the size of each individual bulb, of course.)
Design-wise, this thing is made from a non-porous material, so it won’t be able to absorb moisture or odors that well. This container comes with a lid to prevent the garlic from light exposure. As an interesting addition, the knob on the top of the lid is in the shape of a garlic bulb, too.
4) Norpro – 5-Inch Ceramic Garlic Keeper
- Holds 3 to 4 heads of garlic
- Made out of glazed ceramic
- Contains several ‘breathing’ holes
- Can be used to store shallots and ginger, in addition to garlic
- Attractive design with ornamental details
- Some folks may find this vessel to be too big for their needs
- Some users may not like the design of this thing
Featuring a simple design with some interesting painted-on details, this Norpro model represents an excellent solution for anyone looking for a medium-size garlic-keeping vessel. If you’re ‘working’ with medium-sized bulbs of garlic, you can place them three or four of these in this keeper, to be more precise. (Other than garlic, this thing can be used to store shallots as well as ginger.)
As far as the design of this vessel is concerned, it’s base color is white with slight greyish undertones. This basic base layer has then been enhanced with an addition of blue ornamental details evoking floral imagery. The material the folks at Norpro used to make this thing is glazed ceramic, for the record.
To make this keeper ‘breathe’ more easily and to prevent mold and other nasty elements from forming in this thing, the manufacturers added a couple of holes, so that air can circulate freely in and out of this vessel, thus drying its contents.
5) HIC Harold Import Co. – Garlic Clove Keeper White Vented Ceramic Storage
- Keeps garlic fresh for up to three weeks without refrigeration
- Can house two to three bulbs of garlic
- The pot comes with two handles (easier to carry + looks better than without handles)
- Comes with vent holes to ensure proper air-flow
- The word garlic is fashioned on the front of this vessel
- Some customers complained about a porous finish
- Can be difficult to wash
Sporting a simple design and a cheeky lid with a knob that looks like a small garlic bulb, this HIC kitchen preservation vessel can be both a useful and stylish addition to your kitchen arsenal of objects. With this thing on your side, you can rest assured that a garlic bulb can stay fresh in this object for up to three weeks with no refrigeration necessary at all.
Although this model is fairly small and can be easily carried around, the folks at HIC still made sure to build in some cheeky handles, so the entire vessel looks more like a mini pot than a jug or a cup. This adds to the aesthetic appeal of this garlic keeper but also makes it slightly easier to carry. (You do need to have fairly slim fingers to be able to fully grasp the handles, though, for the record.)
Garlic keepers represent one of the smallest types of kitchen vessels and they are typically made out of ceramics – mostly for its appearance and excellent anti-moisture properties.
Also, the manufacturers of these vessels choose ceramics and other ceramics-based materials because there’s no risk of leaching of potentially dangerous chemicals, which can then come in contact with the garlic as is the case with certain types of plastic for example. (This refers to the sorts that aren’t BPA-free, in particular.)
Perhaps the only variation in the build of these containers would be the surface of the ceramics, as it can be porous and non-porous. Porous surfaces maybe look more natural and have a special sort of aesthetic appeal to them, but they can be difficult to clean, especially if they come in contact with oil or other tough-to-remove substances. Non-porous ceramics, on the other hand, both look good and are a breeze to clean because nothing sticks to them.
One of the most important aspects of the build of a garlic keeper would certainly be the breathability of the vessel.
Since exposure to moisture is the worst enemy of garlic longevity, so to speak, keeping your garlic bulbs in a container that has ventilation holes means any moisture that piles up around the garlic can evaporate through the holes, keeping the garlic dry.
Typically, garlic keepers have the holes drilled either close to the bottom of the container, or at toward its top, but rarely on the lid. Also, the holes tend to be fairly large, or alternatively, smaller, but then there’s more of them.
As we already explained multiple times, keeping garlic fresh for weeks is a two-part equation.
The first part is ensuring there’s no moisture around it, which is taken care of by the ventilation holes. The second part is protecting the garlic bulbs from sunlight, and to make this possible, the manufacturers of garlic keepers obligatorily add a lid to the design of these containers.
These lids can be made out of ceramics, as the rest of the vessel, or out of some other material such as cork or wood.
Another thing about these lids is that they often come with a lid knob fashioned in the shape of a garlic bulb, for both aesthetic purposes and easier grip for lifting it.
As far as the design of garlic keepers is concerned, these vessels are typically a compact breed of kitchen containers that come with a lid, some holes, and usually some sort of stylistic addition for purely aesthetic reasons.
For example, ornamental decorations are seen fairly often, as floral imagery seems to be one of the most popular motifs.
On the other hand, various embossed decorations and printed words are often commonly found.
When it comes to the design of garlic keepers, the handles would probably be the least important part.
That said, some manufacturers decide to add them for aesthetic purposes, because they make the container look more like a jug or a vase than a cup. So, the entire vessel looks more ‘official’ and stylish with a couple of handles on.
Of course, these handles are typically not that useful because of their small size (unless you have extra slim fingers), but they add somewhat to the aesthetic value of the garlic keeper.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What is the best way to store garlic?
When it comes to storing food, freezing it seems to be a universally accepted way to prolong its ‘life’, so to speak.
That said, some foods can survive longer when dried or preserved in a different way. As far as garlic is concerned, one of the best ways to preserve it is to keep it in a garlic keeper. The reason for this is because garlic keepers are made in such a way that they keep both light and moisture, two of the biggest problems for garlic (due to mold formation) away from garlic.
2) Should you keep garlic in a refrigerator?
While the best solution for keeping garlic fresh even after a couple of weeks would be to use a garlic keeper, the second-best solution would probably be to keep it in a fridge.
The thing about garlic and fridges is, the cold can make the garlic bulbs soggy when you take them out. Another problem would be unpleasant smells that can spread to other foods if you keep the garlic in the fridge.
To avoid this, make sure to put the garlic in a plastic bag before placing it in a fridge. This way, the smells won’t get to other foods.
3) How do you make garlic last longer?
As we said above, the worst thing that can ‘happen’ to a garlic bulb would be to leave it exposed to direct sunlight and moisture.
The reason behind this is that garlic is highly susceptible to mold, which thrives in moist environments and which also grows fast when enough sunlight is present.
Therefore, to make garlic last longer, it is necessary to get rid of these two factors and keep the bulbs in a dry and dark place. This way, the can survive up to a couple of weeks and still be good to use in cooking.
4) How do you store fresh garlic and ginger?
Garlic, ginger, shallot, and similar vegetables can get ‘attacked’ by mold fairly easily if you don’t store them properly.
As we already explained, ensuring that these spice plants are away from direct sunlight and that there’s not much moisture around would be the best way to make them stay edible for a couple of weeks.
This is why garlic keepers can be a great solution for storing garlic, ginger, as well as shallot and other similar vegetables. These small containers don’t let light in and they also have ventilation holes, so that moisture doesn’t pile up, either.
5) Can you put raw garlic in olive oil?
No, you should never put raw garlic in olive oil.
The reason behind this is that raw garlic can sometimes contain botulinum spores, which can be potentially hazardous to your health. Because of this, garlic should either undergo some thermal treatment or otherwise be dried first.
All in all, keeping garlic fresh for as long as possible is important for ensuring you can use it in preparing your favorite meals. This is why getting a garlic keeper can be an excellent solution for the folks who like to use garlic in their cooking, especially for personal use or for smaller quantities of food.
Since garlic keepers are typically small, they may not be the best solution for professional cooks, but as far as their functionality is concerned for smaller quantities of garlic (two to six or seven bulbs), buying one of these containers can be a great idea. We hope this article helped you find the perfect garlic keeper model for your needs and we wish you a merry and hassle-free purchase, as well as much success preparing delicious garlic-infused dishes.