Are Frozen Garlic Cubes A Worthy Time Saver?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

If you are wondering if frozen garlic cubes are a worthy timesaver, the short answer is yes — these icy cubes are the culinary silver bullet you've been looking for. Garlic is a standard aromatic that seems to pop up in more recipes than we can count. Having individual cloves peeled, chopped, minced, frozen, and ready to use can ease the stress of this otherwise time-consuming task when you are short on time. It also has the side benefit of reducing food waste and saving money.

This convenient ingredient is typically made by crushing, chopping, or pureeing garlic and then freezing it into pre-measured portions. When you need a clove or two for your garlic butter or garlic chicken lo mein, simply push out the appropriate amount of these garlic cubes into your cooking vessel of choice, and you are in business. The value of having this ingredient ready to use is pretty high, especially if you want to keep your hands from reeking of its pungent smell. 

Frozen garlic can be just as good as fresh and jarred garlic

When it comes to how you use frozen garlic cubes, there are no set rules. You can pop a few into a hot pan and watch them melt in real time for a sauté or let them thaw on the countertop for 10 to 15 minutes before using them. But if you wonder how these frozen cubes measure up against fresh garlic and the chopped pieces in a jar, you might be pleasantly surprised. Frozen garlic can work just as well as fresh. 

The one drawback of frozen garlic is that its texture can be compromised. It generally doesn't have the same crunch as the fresh version, but don't worry about the flavor — that savory, spicy bite will remain intact and impart those same qualities on whatever you are cooking. Frozen garlic also sets itself apart from those jars of minced and crushed garlic that usually taste similar to metallic or some sort of chemical that can be off-putting.

Buy at the grocery store or make DIY version

You can find frozen garlic cubes at almost any grocery store in the frozen food section, including Target or Trader Joe's, which sells the Dorot brand. These are typically packaged in squares of 20 and comprise 91% garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt. The shelf life of these frozen cubes is fairly long, with some that can last up to two years when stored properly in the freezer.

Of course, you can also do a DIY version of these cubes for greater control over the texture, consistency, and any additional ingredients you want to add. The easiest way to make your own is to purée your garlic in a blender or food processor with some olive oil and, once blended, dollop the mixture into an ice cube tray and let it sit for a couple of hours until fully frozen in the freezer. You can use the ratio of one tablespoon of oil to one head of garlic, but feel free to adjust the amounts to fit your preference. Once these are frozen, your homemade frozen garlic cubes should be good to last between four and six months in the freezer.