What Are Garlic Keepers, and Do You Need One?

Keeping garlic and onions together in a wooden dish on my counter is a habit I’ve developed. But, like you, I’ve seen those adorable little containers intended expressly for storing garlic and wondered if they work and, thus, if I should buy one. Since this is Kitchn’s Garlic Week, I felt now was the perfect opportunity to investigate!

The Garlic Keeper: What Is It?

Garlic keepers are containers for storing garlic that have air holes to allow air to move in and out. It is hypothesized that increasing ventilation will prolong the shelf life of garlic by preventing it from rotting and molding in the presence of water. Below, I’ve listed two of the more popular ones (these also happen to be the ones I used in my testing),

Is a Garlic Keeper Effective?

I bought the two garlic keepers indicated above to see how well they worked. Garlic heads, of course. A little plastic container on my kitchen counter held two heads of garlic, which I tucked into each garlic keeper. Three of them went into my refrigerator’s crisper drawer; the other three went into a dark cabinet.

How to Properly Store Garlic

Garlic heads should be allowed to breathe. You’ll want to pick a material that’s porous, like terra cotta, if you’re using a closed container.

Keep the skins on if you can. Garlic will begin to dry out if the skins are removed, and this should be self-evident.

DOs and DON’Ts of Garlic Storage

Garlic should not be kept in a hermetically sealed container. Because of the excessive moisture, the garlic may mildew (as shown above). If you do, you’ll be confronted with a pungent garlic scent and a nauseating taste.

Garlic should not be kept in the refrigerator. While it won’t go bad, it will lose some of its pungency and become a little limp.

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