Can Garlic Go Bad?

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Garlic is an essential ingredient in many dishes and recipes.

It’s also a popular condiment used for flavoring foods at home or on the go.

But can garlic go bad?

Yes, garlic can go bad. But what exactly happens when garlic goes bad?

And how can you avoid garlic going bad in your fridge?

Can Garlic Go Bad

Can garlic go bad if its not stored properly?

When you buy a jar of garlic from the grocery store, chances are that it will be fresh and have a good shelf life.

However, this doesn’t mean that it won’t go bad.

Garlic can easily go bad if it isn’t stored correctly.

If you keep garlic in the refrigerator, it should stay fresh for up to three months.

But if you don’t use it within this time frame, it could start to spoil.

This is because garlic can grow mold and become rancid.

So, how do you know if your garlic has gone bad?

Here are some signs that garlic has gone bad:

  • It looks yellowish-brown or brown
  • It smells musty or rotten
  • The cloves inside look dry
  • The cloves stick together
  • There are cracks in the skin of the clove
  • It feels soft to touch

Of course, these aren’t the only signs that garlic has gone bad.

You may notice other signs too, such as a change in odor, taste, color, texture, or appearance.

How can you tell if garlic has gone bad?

You can test whether garlic has gone bad by placing a few cloves into a bowl of water.

If they float, then your garlic hasn’t gone bad.

If they sink, however, then it has.

To make sure your garlic isn’t floating, use a clean spoon to remove it from the water.

If there is any moisture left behind, then your garlic has probably gone bad.

Another way to check whether your garlic has gone bad is by tasting it.

If it tastes like old cheese or mold, then it has gone bad.

If it tastes as though it’s been freshly chopped, then it hasn’t.

How can you tell if garlic has gone bad?

The first sign of garlic going bad is sprouting.

When garlic starts to sprout, it’s past its prime.

It will start to lose its flavor, and its smell may get stronger.

You should throw out any garlic with signs of sprouting.

If you have some left over in your refrigerator, you can check if it’s still edible by peeling off a few cloves and trying them.

They should be firm and smooth without any soft spots.

Another way to test whether garlic has gone bad is to try to crush it.

If it crumbles easily, then it’s probably rotten.

Another sign of garlic going bad is mold growing on it.

If you see mold on your garlic, you should toss it out right away.

How to store garlic safely

When you buy garlic, it should look fresh and green.

Avoid buying garlic that looks black or brown because this means it’s old.

Old garlic has lost most of its nutrients and is no longer as tasty.

To keep garlic from going bad, store it in a cool, dark place.

You can keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but don’t put it directly under the cold air vent.

This causes the temperature inside the crisper drawer to rise, which could cause the garlic to spoil.

Instead, keep garlic in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer.

The plastic prevents moisture from entering the garlic, which keeps it fresher longer.

Keep your garlic away from other food items so they don’t absorb odors from the garlic.

Also, make sure there are no leaks around the lid, and that the container is tightly sealed.

Don’t leave bags of raw garlic open for long periods of time.

For example, you shouldn’t leave a whole head of garlic sitting in the same spot for more than two weeks.

Is it safe to eat garlic that has gone bad?

When garlic goes bad, it loses its pungency and becomes bland.

When garlic goes bad, it will start to rot and become moldy.

If you have any garlic left over from last week or month ago, you should discard it as soon as possible because it will continue to deteriorate.

If you want to know if you should throw away garlic that has gone bad, here are some signs to look out for:

  • The smell of rotten garlic may be strong but not unbearable.
  • You may notice greenish spots on the cloves.
  • Your garlic may feel soft or mushy.

As long as the garlic isn’t moldy, it’s still edible.

However, once the garlic starts to rot, it’s best to toss it out before it gets too far into the process.

Here’s more information about why you should never buy fresh garlic in bunches anymore.

What are the consequences of eating bad garlic?

If you have ever eaten garlic that had been sitting around for a while, you know that it can start to smell a bit musty.

This is because the volatile compounds in garlic begin to degrade as soon as they leave the cloves.

Not only will this make your food taste bad, but it may also cause health problems.

In fact, there are several health risks associated with eating bad garlic.

Here are some examples:

  • It can lead to stomach ulcers
  • It can cause heartburn
  • It can increase the risk of developing cancer
  • It can cause your blood pressure to spike

So if you want to enjoy good-tasting garlic without worrying about it going bad, then you should keep your garlic fresh.

The best way to do that is by buying it from a reputable store where you know the product was stored properly.

You don’t want to buy garlic that has already started to rot.

How long does garlic last before it goes bad?

Unlike other vegetables that will start to rot after a few days, garlic lasts longer than most fruits or vegetables.

There’s no set time limit on how long garlic will stay fresh.

However, once garlic starts to sprout, it’s past its prime.

Once garlic starts to sprout, it loses flavor quickly.

This means that if you have leftover garlic, it’s best to use it within two weeks.

In fact, the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends using up leftover garlic within three to four months.

The center also suggests storing garlic in the refrigerator instead of the pantry.

This allows the cloves to keep their freshness longer.

If you have extra garlic that needs to be stored longer, you can freeze it.

To do this, wash off the outer husk from each clove with cold water.

Then wrap each one individually in aluminum foil and place them in the freezer.

You can store them there for up to six months without any loss of quality.

The next time you need some garlic, just thaw out the frozen cloves and peel them as usual.

They should still taste good and retain their freshness.

Can bad garlic make you sick?

Yes, garlic can make people sick.

When garlic goes bad, it loses its potency and flavor.

This makes it difficult to use because it doesn’t taste as good as fresh garlic.

When garlic goes bad, it begins to turn from green to brownish-yellow.

The odor of rotten garlic becomes stronger than fresh garlic.

In addition, the texture changes.

The skin softens and becomes mushy while the cloves become loose and fall out of their skins.

In terms of health risks, garlic has been known to cause illness in humans.

Some studies have shown that eating too much garlic could be harmful to your body.

However, there is no scientific consensus regarding whether garlic causes cancer.

Most experts agree that more research needs to be done to determine if garlic causes cancer or not.

Here are some common symptoms that indicate garlic goes bad:

  • The smell of rotten garlic is strong and pungent. You may even notice this odor coming from the refrigerator.
  • Garlic turns yellow when you cut into it. The color will be darker on the outside than the inside.
  • You may find the garlic has lost its crunchiness.
  • Some garlic cloves start falling off the stem after they start to rot.
  • If you open the package and see mold growing on the surface of the garlic, discard them immediately.

If you purchased garlic that was already spoiled, you should throw it away.

There’s nothing you can do with it once it’s gone bad.

It’s best to just toss it out and get new garlic next time.

Can Garlic Go Bad? 1

What are some signs that garlic is going bad?

The most obvious sign that garlic has gone bad is if it starts to sprout.

When garlic sprouts, it loses its freshness and potency.

This is especially true with fresh green garlic.

If you have any garlic left over from a meal, you should take it out of the refrigerator immediately.

You don’t want to leave garlic sitting around for too long, as it will begin to grow mold spores.

Another sign that garlic has gone bad is if it smells sour or rotten.

The smell of garlic can be very strong, but once it begins to turn bad, it quickly becomes overpowering.

You may not notice these signs right away, so you might not think much about it.

However, this could cause problems later down the line.

For example, if you buy a bunch of garlic, then let it sit around for several days before using it all up, it will likely start to go bad.

Here are some other signs that garlic is going bad:

  • It starts to look dry and shriveled.
  • It becomes soft or mushy.
  • It begins to rot.
  • It turns black or brown.
  • It becomes slimy or sticky.

What causes garlic to go bad?

There are two main reasons why garlic can go bad: moisture and temperature.

Here’s how they work together to cause garlic to spoil:

Moisture: When garlic sits around for too long without being stored properly, it is exposed to excess moisture. This is because it is usually kept in plastic bags, which allows air to get trapped inside them. As a result, the garlic inside the bag will become wet and moldy.

Temperature: If garlic is stored at room temperature (which is typically between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit), it will stay moist due to its location in the fridge. Moisture will continue to build up inside the container until eventually it dries out and the garlic spoils.

In order to prevent garlic from turning bad, you should store it correctly.

First, make sure that the garlic is completely dry before storing it.

If you do not, it will start to go bad within a few hours.

Use a paper towel to blot off any excess moisture that remains on the garlic.

Next, keep the garlic in a sealed container.

Make sure that the lid is tightly closed to prevent moisture from building up inside.

Finally, put the garlic in the fridge as soon as possible after buying it.

Ideally, you should store it within 24 hours.

If you do not store it properly, the garlic will start to go bad within a few hours.

But there are ways to extend the shelf life of garlic.

How can you extend the shelf life of garlic?

There are several ways you can extend the shelf life of garlic.

Here are some tips to help keep your garlic fresh:

  • Keep your garlic dry. When you store your garlic in a glass jar, it will stay fresher longer because moisture will cause mold growth. Instead, use a paper towel to cover the top of the jar with a thin layer of water so that the garlic remains damp but not wet.
  • Store your garlic in the refrigerator. The colder temperatures stop the growth of bacteria and fungi that cause spoilage. Store your garlic in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, where it will be exposed to cold air and won’t touch other food items.
  • Remove the skin before storing. Some people peel their garlic before they put it in the fridge, but this isn’t necessary. You can remove the skin after you cut off the end of each clove and then chop up the rest of the garlic into smaller pieces.
  • Don’t refrigerate garlic if you plan to cook it soon. Refrigerating garlic will make it difficult to slice into small pieces, which is important for adding it to sauces or stews.
  • Never freeze garlic. Freezing garlic will destroy its enzymes and prevent it from keeping well in the fridge.

Is it worth it to buy garlic that is prepeeled?

Pre-peeled garlic is usually sold in bags with each clove individually wrapped in plastic.

This packaging protects the cloves from moisture, which can cause them to turn brown and moldy.

The individual wrapping also helps to keep the garlic fresh by preventing contact between the cloves and other ingredients in the bag.

The downside of this packaging method is that it makes it hard to see if any of the cloves are damaged or rotten.

Also, some of the cloves may have been peeled before they were packaged and could be bruised or broken.

If you don’t want to buy pre-peeled garlic, you should always inspect the bag carefully before buying it.

Look for any cracked cloves, discoloration, or smell.

Also, make sure the bag has not been opened or tampered with.

You can use a knife to peel the cloves yourself instead of using a garlic press, but the process will take longer and might damage the cloves.

How do you properly store garlic to prevent it from going bad?

You should keep your garlic stored in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid.

You can use different types of containers depending on the type of food you are storing.

For example, if you’re using garlic as a seasoning, then you can use a glass jar.

If you’re using it as a cooking ingredient, then you would want to use a plastic container with a screw top lid.

If you have a lot of garlic left over from a recipe, you can cut off the ends and put them in a plastic bag.

This will help to keep the garlic fresh until you need it again.
The best way to store garlic is to keep it away from moisture.

So, don’t let your garlic sit in water or near damp areas such as bathrooms or kitchens.

When storing garlic, make sure to keep it away from heat sources like ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, and refrigerators.

Heat can damage the allicin compounds in garlic and cause it to spoil faster.

When you take out garlic from storage, you should peel it first before chopping it up.

If you leave the skin on, this will cause the garlic to dry out.

The peel contains most of the nutrients so removing it will allow the garlic to stay fresher longer.

garlic butter steak bites

Garlic Butter Steak Bites Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty recipe that will impress your guests, then garlic butter steak bites are just what you need.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 1652 kcal


  • 2 large bowls
  • 1 oven
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 knife
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 spoon


  • 1/3 pound beef steaks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed
  • 1 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika smoked
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard dry
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated


  • Step 1: Preparing the Steak Bites
  • To begin, place your steaks in a large bowl and add the crushed red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.
  • Mix well to coat both sides of each steak evenly.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes before moving on to step 2.
  • In another large bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Stir until everything is combined, making sure the garlic is completely coated in the mixture.
  • Add the steaks to the marinade and flip them over to coat both sides with the mixture.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to turn the steaks halfway through so that they’re evenly coated.
  • Step 2: Cooking the Steak Bites
  • Once the steaks have finished marinating, it’s time to put them in the oven.
  • Set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the steaks for 12 to 15 minutes per side.
  • When done, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool down.
  • Step 3: Creating the Garlic Butter Sauce
  • While the steaks are cooling down, prepare the garlic butter sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once melted, add the garlic and stir constantly for one minute.
  • Next, add the rosemary, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Next, add the lemon juice and stir again until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the cayenne pepper, parsley, and chives and stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.
  • Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a bowl to cool down.
  • Step 4: Assembling the Steak Bites
  • After the steaks have cooled down, it’s time to assemble the garlic butter steak bites.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut each steak into four equal pieces.
  • Then, using a spoon, scoop out the center of each piece to create a cavity.
  • On a cutting board, spread the cooled garlic butter sauce across the bottom of a large cast iron skillet.
  • Make sure to cover the entire surface area of the skillet.
  • Place the steaks into the skillet and fill the cavities with the parsley, chives, and grated parmesan cheese.
  • Once the ingredients are placed, carefully pour the remaining sauce over the top and cook the garlic butter steak bites in the oven for five minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm.



Calories: 1652kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 26gFat: 172gSaturated Fat: 53gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 98gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 1700mgPotassium: 519mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 4569IUVitamin C: 55mgCalcium: 399mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Garlic Butter Steak Bites
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Latest posts by Grace Lambert (see all)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


How Long Does Guacamole Last?

How Long Is Leftover Pizza Good For?