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How to store ginger to keep it fresh for months

Two large pieces of ginger surrounded by small bowls of peeled ginger, sliced ginger, and grated ginger
Unpeeled ginger can be stored on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

Using the freshest ginger when cooking or baking ensures you get the most powerful and warm flavor that ginger brings to any dish. But once you use it, you may find yourself with quite a bit leftover. And as an ingredient that's less everyday than other root vegetables, there's often some confusion about how to store ginger properly.

"While there are a lot of people who use ginger, it's not the most widely used among regular dishes," says Jessica Hylton Leckie of Jessica in the Kitchen, a vegan food blog dedicated to simple and approachable recipes for home kitchens. "You use garlic every day, but you may not use ginger in every single dish. So I think when people come across it, especially if they've never seen it fresh before, they're just confused as to what to do next."

Fortunately, when the right methods are followed, ginger can be safely stored in a number of conditions that keep it fresh from a week to several months. You have a few options when it comes to ginger storage, and the one you choose should be based on how quickly you plan to use it again.

Leave it out

Whole, unpeeled ginger can be left in a cool, dark, and dry spot on the counter for up to a week. It doesn't need to be in a bag or container — in fact, if your counter tends to be warm or is often exposed to heat, Hylton Leckie says to avoid a bag. "You don't want it to sweat," she says since moisture can lead to mold or bacteria and encourage faster spoiling.

In the refrigerator

To store unpeeled ginger in the refrigerator, put the ginger in a completely dry resealable plastic bag, press out as much air as possible, and seal the bag. If your fridge has a crisper drawer, put the bagged ginger there; if not, a regular shelf will do. 

"This is actually how I prefer to store my ginger," Hylton Leckie says. "It will last about a month that way."

In the freezer

To store unpeeled ginger in the freezer, put the ginger in a completely dry, freezer-safe plastic bag, press out as much air as possible, and seal the bag. Stored this way, unpeeled ginger can last several months in the freezer, though flavor will start to diminish around the six-month mark.

When storing ginger in the freezer, Hylton Leckie prefers to "cut it into slightly smaller chunks — you can reach for a small chunk every time you need."

How to store grated ginger

A nub of ginger sitting on top of a grater with a pile of grated ginger in it
Grated ginger will last six months in the freezer.

Once ginger is peeled and grated, it becomes wetter from its own water content. This means it won't last on the counter and won't last as long as unpeeled ginger in the refrigerator, but fridge or freezer storage can still extend its freshness.

To store peeled, grated ginger in the refrigerator, pat the ginger dry with a clean paper towel. Then put the ginger in a resealable plastic bag, press out as much air as possible, and seal the bag. Store the bag in the crisper drawer if your fridge has one; otherwise, a regular shelf works, too. Peeled, grated ginger will last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks.

To store peeled and grated ginger in the freezer — which Hylton Leckie recommends over the fridge — start by flash-freezing the ginger in measured amounts. "You can put it in an ice cube tray," she says, "Measure out a teaspoon per ice cube, as an example … or separate on a parchment-lined baking sheet into teaspoon amounts." Leave the ice cube tray or baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour, or until the ginger is frozen. 

Then, transfer the pieces to a freezer-safe bag that's labeled with how much ginger is in each piece. "That way, if you're making a curry or a stew, you just pop [the ginger piece] in, and it will thaw immediately," says Hylton Leckie. Frozen with this method, peeled or grated ginger will last several months in the freezer.

Insider's takeaway

Ginger should only be left on the counter when it's whole and unpeeled. In a cool and dry spot, it'll last about a week before it starts to go bad. When refrigerated in a dry, sealable bag with the air squeezed out, unpeeled ginger will last a month; peeled or grated ginger, however, will only last two to three weeks.

To stretch ginger's freshness the longest, freezing is best: both unpeeled and peeled ginger will last up to six months in the freezer. Pre-measure grated ginger in an ice cube tray before freezing it to make following recipes even easier.

Read the original article on Insider


How to store ginger to keep it fresh for months
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