Is It Dangerous To Store Minced Garlic In Oil?

One of the most common staples in pantries around the world is garlic. Not only is it widely available and cheap, but the rich, nutty taste and aromatic punch of this veggie can elevate dishes and condiments of all kinds, from savory garlic butter chicken thighs to aioli.

With that said, though, if you buy your garlic in bulk, there's a good chance that you won't be able to use up your supply of fresh garlic. Unpeeled, they can last for up to six months on the counter. But after they're peeled, garlic can expire very quickly (around a week). Fortunately, there are ways to help you preserve peeled garlic for much longer, one of which is storing minced garlic in oil.

Many people have chimed in (correctly) that storing raw, peeled garlic in oil is dangerous since it increases the chance of potentially fatal botulism. That's why, for this trick to work, you'll have to mince and then poach the garlic in oil. By poaching it, you'll subject the bacteria to high heat, killing them off. Afterward, you can pour the oil-drenched garlic into a jar for safekeeping. It should be good for around a month when put into the fridge — a significant improvement over the one-week shelf life before.

How to preserve minced garlic in oil

Take out a saucepan and fill it with oil. Any kind of cooking oil will do, although we recommend using cheap vegetable oil for this. For every head of garlic, add around ½ cup of oil. If you've got cloves instead, think ½ cup of oil for roughly every 10 cloves.

Place the saucepan onto the stove and turn on the heat until the oil is just simmering. You can use a thermometer to ensure that the oil is stable at around 200 degrees F. While it's cooking, pay attention to the oil and see if it's bubbling. If it does, dial back the heat a smidge to avoid burning. Keep the garlic on the heat and simmer for around one hour.

Once that's finished, pour the oily garlic out into a glass jar, then put it into the refrigerator. As we mentioned earlier, the oil-preserved garlic will be good for up to a month. When you need to use it for cooking, just pour it out and incorporate it into your dish right away — the garlic's already cooked.