This Simple Trick Will Save You a Ton of Time on Mincing Garlic

No, it doesn't involve buying the pre-minced stuff at the grocery store.

The Spruce Eats / Sara Haas Minced Chopped Garlic

This Simple Trick Will Save You a Ton of Time on Mincing Garlic

From my days in culinary school to when I was a personal chef and caterer, I’ve plowed my way through plenty of garlic cloves. Not much has changed now that I work primarily as a recipe developer in my home kitchen. I know that garlic is an important flavor component and I’m constantly peeling and mincing it to add to recipes. That’s why when I saw this TikTok trend for storing minced garlic, I had to test it out.

In the TikTok video, the video creator uses their food processor to mince a bunch of garlic at the same time, but honestly, I prefer mincing my garlic by hand. I like being in control of how big the pieces are and to be honest, I like the monotony of it. Some people meditate, I mince garlic. I understand though, that not everyone feels this way about mincing garlic, so while I will always recommend the hands-on technique, it’s okay to use the food processor method.

After mincing a head or two (or three! or 10!) of garlic, transfer it to a resealable plastic bag. Remove all of the air and seal it. Press the garlic in an even layer then use a large chef’s knife or pastry cutter to make lines to create tiny squares. Make indentations, not cuts, being careful to not press too hard and cut through the bag. Transfer the bag to a small baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. 

Once the minced garlic is fully frozen, remove it from the freezer. Break off a square and use it for cooking. That’s right you can take it right from frozen and add it to everything from soups and stews to sauces and sautées. The garlic should last for up to 6 months in the freezer.

The Spruce Eats / Sara Haas

Using this method for mincing and freezing garlic makes it easy to break off what you need, when you need it. It’s perfect for those times when you forgot to buy garlic or you don’t have the time to mince a clove or two of fresh garlic. It’s a smart time-saver for any busy cook.

Note: It’s going to take some time to peel all of those cloves of garlic, so if you think this process will only take a few minutes, it won’t. Unless, of course, you enlist the help of some family members or friends. Otherwise, just take your time and enjoy the prep.

The Spruce Eats / Sara Haas

1. Use Quart or Gallon-Size Bags: If you’re mincing one or two heads of garlic, you’ll only need a small quart-size resealable bag for freezing. Anything more than that and you’ll need to move to a larger, gallon-size bag to fit it all.

2. Don’t Skip the Baking Sheet: The flat, firm surface helps the garlic freeze in a flat layer, making it easier to break apart the pieces.

3. Try an Ice Cube Tray: Not interested in using a plastic bag? You can achieve the same results by using a silicone ice cube tray. Fill the cavities with the garlic, then cover and freeze. Pop out the garlic when you need it.

4. Freezing Does Change the Texture: You can use frozen garlic in any place you’d normally use fresh garlic. Know however, that freezing it will change its texture a bit, so as long as that doesn’t matter for your recipe, go ahead and use it.

5. Your Garlic Square May Not Be Uniform in Size: The size depends on how thick your layer of minced garlic is and how big you make your indentations. Because of this, you may want to thaw and measure before adding to your recipe. Or do like I do, and eyeball it.

This Simple Trick Will Save You a Ton of Time on Mincing Garlic

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