One of the most versatile culinary herbs around is ginger. Its presence can make just about any beverage or dish taste phenomenal. Whether you are an occasional chef or a health-conscious person, you should know how to store ginger root properly.
Ginger root should be stored in a cool, dry place in the kitchen. It can be stored in the fridge where it will keep for up to a month. To keep ginger root fresh for up to six months, store it in the freezer. Different ginger products have different storage needs to keep them fresh for a long time.
Can ginger be stored at room temperature? Yes, it can be stored at room temperature. Can ginger be stored in the fridge? Yes, it can be stored in the refrigerator and freezer, too. Can I store ginger in a glass jar?
Yes, you can store ginger in a glass jar, provided that it is soaked in a liquid that can serve as some sort of natural preservative.
These storage-related questions (and so many others) will be answered more in-depth below.
Shopping for the Freshest Ginger Root
Before you store ginger root at home, you should first get your hands on ginger root. Don’t just place in your shopping cart any ginger root that you will come across at the supermarket — go for the freshest ginger root that you can find. This is especially true if you want the versatile culinary and medicinal herb to stay around for a long time.
Fortunately, looking for the right ginger root to buy is not that difficult a task. Even if you have never tried shopping for ginger root before, it is possible for you to bring home one that’s fresh.
There is no need for you to have the skills and experience of a seasoned chef to find the freshest ginger at your favorite supermarket’s produce section. All you need to have are your senses.
Are your senses of sight, smell and touch intact and reliable, too? Then follow these very simple steps on shopping for the freshest ginger:
- Check that it is firm and smooth. Attempt to nick the skin with your fingernail. Does it seem like it will easily scrape off? The skin of fresh ginger root is thin and thus trouble-free to remove.
- See to it that ginger root is smooth and free of wrinkles. It may be knobby alright, but it should not be shriveled. Look for signs of mold, especially on the ends. Just because there is mold doesn’t mean right away that ginger is bad. While you can trim moldy ends away, moldy ginger root will no longer keep well.
- Make sure that ginger root smells like, well, ginger. We all know how ginger smells — peppery, sharp, pungent, aromatic and warm. Sometimes, it has a mild lemon-like aroma.
- Go for the biggest ginger that you can find. When it comes to shopping for ginger root, the general rule of thumb is the bigger, the better. Bigger ginger roots tend to pack more flavor and aroma. What’s more, they are easier to peel. Needless to say, they can make your drinks or dishes easier to prepare and zestier, too.
Clearly, shopping for ginger root for the first time should not be a nerve-racking experience. By being observant and alert, you will be able to bring home the freshest ginger root at the supermarket.
What kind of ginger is sold in stores?
The kind of ginger sold in stores is referred to as Chinese ginger or common ginger. It is usually imported from China and India, and other countries in Southeast Asia to which it is native. Nearly all ginger in US stores is imported. However, a very small percentage is grown in Hawaii and Georgia.
Aside from root, ginger is also being sold in many forms. They include ginger paste, powder, flakes and slices. You can also get your hands on pickled ginger, ginger juice, ginger candy and ginger chews.
Especially if your goal for buying ginger is to enjoy the many health benefits of this culinary and medicinal herb, it’s generally a good idea to opt for fresh ginger root.
You may also choose it in any other form, provided that it doesn’t come with unnecessary ingredients, such as artificial preservatives, flavorings, and colorings.
How to tell if ginger is bad
Ginger root is bad if its unmistakable ginger smell is gone and replaced with a sharp, unpleasant smell. The presence of wrinkles and mold are other signs that it’s no longer in an excellent state. If ginger root is already soft or mushy, then it should not be purchased or used in the kitchen.
Other forms of ginger tend to exhibit other signs if it’s no longer fit for human consumption.
For instance, ginger powder should be thrown away if it’s clumpy, which is an indicator that it’s been exposed to the elements and lost its potency. The presence of mold is a clear sign that it should be placed in the garbage bin.
To check if a supermarket-bought ginger product is still good, check the label or packaging. If it’s past its expiration date or months beyond the best-by date, throw it away.
12 Different Ways to Store Ginger
Ginger can be stored in a variety of ways. It all depends on which form it comes in or when you are planning to utilize or consume it completely. No matter the case, it’s not that tricky to keep ginger fresh for a long time.
Here are the different ways to store ginger the right way…
Ginger Root Lasts Up To 1 Month in Fridge
To store fresh ginger root in the refrigerator, place it in a ziploc bag. Remove as much air as you possibly can, and then seal the plastic bag. Place it in the crisper drawer of your fridge — just like fruits and vegetables, fresh ginger root is safer there than elsewhere in the refrigerator.
It’s no secret that the shelf life of most perishable goods can be extended for several days or even a few months by placing them in the fridge. It works because of a couple of reasons:
- Refrigeration considerably slows down the growth and multiplication of germs.
- Refrigeration delays the rate of chemical changes in foods.
According to experts, the best place for storing ginger root is the refrigerator. If you do it properly, you can expect for it to last for up to a month. It’s a good idea to store ginger in the fridge with its skin still on.
You can also store peeled ginger root in the refrigerator, but it won’t stay fresh as long.
Don’t just toss ginger in the fridge.
As earlier mentioned, the right way to do this is by placing it in a Ziploc bag and squeezing out as much air as you possibly can before sealing the plastic bag. This is to minimize ginger root’s exposure to moisture-containing air, thus fending off the formation of mold.
If you own a vacuum sealer, feel free to use it. Whether vacuum sealed or not, place the ziploc bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator — it is designed to considerably slow down the rate at which fresh produce rot.
Each time you break off a piece from the ginger root, remember to do the steps mentioned above all over again.
Freezer Keeps Ginger Up to 6 Months
Storing fresh ginger root in the freezer is like storing fresh ginger root in the refrigerator. Beforehand, it has to be placed in a ziploc bag or any other freezer-safe container. This is a must to protect it from freezer burn. Ginger may be stored in the freezer whole or cut up into small pieces.
If stored in the freezer the right way, you can extend the shelf life of fresh ginger root to a whopping six months! It can keep longer than that, but you can expect for the quality to be no longer as good.
Especially if you live where it’s hot or humid, or your kitchen is sweltering as it’s a busy place, it is not a good idea to store fresh ginger root on the countertop. This is true most especially if you are not planning on using it anytime soon. If it’s not always that you use ginger, the best place to store it is in the freezer.
When it comes to using ginger root fresh from the freezer, thawing may or may not be required.
Does the recipe call for grated ginger? Then there is no need to thaw that frozen piece of ginger root — it can go straight from the freezer to the grater.
As a matter of fact, it is so much easier to grate frozen ginger than ginger at room temperature. By the way, you can simply grate off the skin of frozen ginger root to peel it.
But if the recipe requires you to use sliced ginger, then it’s a must that you allow the frozen piece of ginger root to thaw for a while. Besides, it’s not safe to slice ginger root when it’s rock-hard!
Cut Ginger In a Container Stays Fresh For 3 Weeks
Storing cut ginger on a countertop is not a good idea. As soon as it’s cut, it should be placed in a ziploc bag whose air is squeezed out before being sealed. Ginger root should then be placed in the refrigerator, particularly in the crisper drawer. Cut ginger can also be stored in the freezer.
If you store cut ginger in the refrigerator, it can keep for up to three weeks. It may still be usable a week or so after, but you cannot expect it to give you the kind of zing that fresh ginger root can bring.
Stash cut ginger in the freezer if you’re not going to use it anytime soon. There, it can keep for up to six months.
However, there is one thing that you have to keep in mind when it comes to storing cut ginger: the sooner that you place it in the refrigerator or freezer, the better.
Otherwise, exposure to the elements can make refrigerating or freezing ginger root less effective in extending its shelf life and keeping its potency intact.
Never store cut ginger in the refrigerator or freezer without placing it first in a ziploc bag or any other fridge- or freeze-safe container. Otherwise, it will quickly become dried out and wrinkly in the refrigerator. Or it will suffer from freezer burn in the freezer, which can leave ginger root practically useless.
Also, if possible, cut ginger root into bigger pieces rather than smaller pieces. This will allow it to keep better since the bulk of the flesh of each piece is less exposed to the elements.
How to store sliced ginger
Just like cut ginger, sliced ginger is best placed in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer to keep it fresh for three weeks. Keeping it in a Ziploc bag with the air squeezed out can help keep sliced ginger from winding up soggy and moldy. It’s also possible to store sliced ginger in the freezer.
Here’s a quick tip: When slicing ginger, it is a good idea to cut them in thick slices. This will help keep the slices from drying out faster than usual.
Peeled Ginger Has The Shortest Shelf Time
Peeled ginger should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. In the fridge, it can keep for up to a week. In the freezer, it can keep for up to six months. To extend the shelf life of peeled ginger, it should not be sliced into smaller pieces to limit the surface area exposed to the elements.
There is no denying that peeling ginger root when you don’t need it yet can save you time and energy when the moment comes that you have to whip up something that calls for the use of ginger.
Unfortunately, it can considerably shorten the time the well-loved culinary and medicinal herb spends on the planet.
That’s because the thing that protects it from the air and the rest of the environment — its skin — is already removed. Needless to say, peeling ginger speeds up the deterioration process.
The good news is that you can keep it from going bad quicker than usual by placing it in a ziploc bag and stashing it in the fridge or freezer. No matter what you do, avoid slicing peeled ginger into smaller pieces as much as possible.
Vodka Extends Peeled Ginger’s Shelf Life
Fresh ginger root can be stored in vodka if it’s peeled. This is an effective way to keep it around for a long time other than storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. The container with fresh ginger soaked in vodka should be placed in a cool, dry place. There is no need to store it in the fridge.
Vodka is 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). Because of this, the distilled alcoholic beverage has the properties of an all-natural preservative.
This is why it can help extend the shelf life of fresh ginger root that’s been peeled for three months or more. It works by inhibiting the formation of microorganisms that can cause the herb to rot.
Similarly, vodka protects it from the elements.
For best results, place vodka and ginger in a clean jar with a lid, and then store the container away from heat.
Worry not that you will get drunk when you use the vodka-soaked ginger for cooking. You won’t, and ginger will still taste just as good. By the way, aside from vodka, you may also store peeled ginger in sherry or brandy.
Sub Vodka With Vinegar and Lemon To Store Ginger
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which has disinfecting properties. This is why it can help preserve peeled ginger root. To extend the shelf life of ginger that’s been peeled, it should be placed in a glass jar with vinegar. After putting the lid on, the glass jar should be kept in a cool and dry area.
If you are staying away from alcohol at all costs, worry not because you may use vinegar instead of vodka, sherry or brandy for storing peeled ginger.
Some experts highly recommend using rice vinegar instead of other types of vinegar, such as white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.
But because pretty much all types of vinegar have the ability to stop the growth and multiplication of many microorganisms that can cause food products to spoil, any vinegar that you have will do.
Aside from vinegar, you may also count on lemon juice when it comes to storing peeled ginger root.
Grated Ginger Gets Bad In a Couple of Days
The best way to store grated ginger is by placing it in a Ziploc bag and keeping it in the freezer. Remember to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the Ziploc bag. When stored in the freezer, grated ginger can stay around for up to six months. It won’t last as long in the fridge.
Nothing can make ginger root go bad faster than grating it because more surface areas are exposed to the elements. And because every fragment is so tiny, it doesn’t take a lot of air and moisture to damage every bit.
This is why it is a much better idea to grate less ginger than grate more ginger. Just in case you haven’t grated enough, you can simply grate some more — nothing will go to waste.
But there is no need to panic if you have grated more ginger than you need. This is when the freezer can come to the rescue.
While you can store grated ginger in the refrigerator, it’s a better idea to store it in the freezer instead.
In the refrigerator, it will keep for probably a couple of days only. On the other hand, grated ginger stashed in the freezer can remain usable for up to six long months.
When the time comes that you need to use grated ginger, just take it out from the freezer and thaw, and then use it as the recipe says.
Earlier, we mentioned that you could store peeled ginger in vodka or vinegar. Refrain from storing grated ginger in the same manner as it will soak up vodka or vinegar, which it will surely lend to the dish you will prepare.
Store Minced Ginger The Same As Grated One
Since there is not much difference between minced ginger and grated ginger, minced ginger is best stored like grated ginger: placing it in the freezer. As always, it needs to be placed in a ziploc bag to prevent it from freezer burn, which can have a considerable impact on its appearance and taste.
According to seasoned chefs, the only thing that pretty much sets apart minced ginger and grated ginger is the kitchen tool used. Mincing ginger requires the use of a knife, and grating it requires the use of a grater.
It’s because of this why minced ginger can also be stored in the freezer like grated ginger to extend its shelf life.
Minced ginger may have smaller or bigger fragments, depending on your needs or cutting skills, than grated ginger. However, the fact remains that it is more susceptible to the damaging effects of the elements than whole ginger.
Keep Ginger Powder in Dry Place To Avoid Mold
Ginger powder is best stored in a cool and dry place. It can be kept in the container that it came in when purchased. Homemade ginger powder should be stored in an airtight container. To extend the shelf life considerably, place supermarket-bought or homemade ginger powder in the freezer.
Nothing can be more convenient than using ginger powder for a variety of purposes.
The product can help save a lot of time and energy since there is no washing, peeling, slicing and chopping necessary — unless you prefer making ginger powder from scratch rather than getting one that’s available at the supermarket.
But it’s for certain that you will enjoy the convenience it brings when making drinks, sauces, dressings and others.
Just about anything that comes in powder form can go bad when it comes into contact with water or moisture in the air.
Needless to say, you should keep the container tightly closed and place it where it’s cool and dry. Never leave ginger powder in direct sunlight or near appliances that give off heat, like the oven or stove.
If the container is unopened, ginger powder can last anywhere from two to three years. If the container is opened, it can last anywhere from three months to a year, depending on how you store it.
Here’s a smart tip: To keep ginger powder from absorbing moisture and ending up clumpy or moldy, place a silica gel packet in the container. The product is very good at absorbing moisture and making sure that things remain dry.
Experts agree that it is safe to place silica gel packets in food containers, provided that you do not open the packet.
You can also store ginger powder in its original container in the freezer if you live where it’s hot and humid.
Put Ginger Paste Into Baking Mold Before Freezing
Because ginger paste contains a lot of moisture, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator, where it can keep for up to five days. Leaving it on the countertop or in a cupboard, even if it’s cool and dry, is not a good idea. To make ginger paste last for several months, store it in the freezer.
Ginger paste can be bought from most supermarkets. You can also make it with your own two hands — all you need are some fresh ginger roots, the vegetable oil of your choice and a food processor.
No matter the case, one thing is true: it can be easy for ginger paste to go bad, especially if you fail to store it properly. It doesn’t come as a surprise since the product has moisture in it.
When it comes to properly storing ginger and many other food products, one of the main goals is to keep contact with moisture in the environment to a bare minimum.
When kept in the refrigerator, ginger paste can stay fresh for five days. Just make sure that the container it’s in is airtight. On the other hand, when kept in the freezer, ginger paste can stay around for up to six months.
The problem with storing ginger paste in the freezer is that it has to be thawed completely before you can use a small portion of it. Especially if you are in a rush, this can cause some inconvenience.
But worry not because there is something that you can do to eliminate long waiting times.
Here’s what you should do: transfer ginger paste to a silicone baking mold, and then stash the mold in a ziploc bag.
Each time you need some ginger paste, all you have to do is remove a piece of solidified ginger paste from the mold. For cooking purposes, there is no need to thaw it beforehand.
What a great time-saving solution!
Add Lemon To Ginger Juice To Keep It Fresh
Supermarket-bought ginger juice should be kept in the refrigerator once it is opened. Otherwise, it can be stored in a cool and dry place until its best-by date. Homemade ginger juice should be kept in the fridge. Both supermarket-bought and homemade ginger juice can be stored in the freezer, too.
Once opened, ginger juice that you got from the supermarket should be placed in the refrigerator, preferably in an airtight container. It should be consumed within three months to make sure that it’s still potent.
Homemade ginger juice should be stored in the same manner as supermarket-bought ginger root — transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge.
But try to consume it all within a week.
Some experts in making ginger juice from scratch suggest adding a little lemon juice before refrigerating it to keep its bright color intact.
Do you want ginger juice to last for six months or longer? Then store it in the freezer.
Earlier, it was suggested to transfer ginger paste to a silicone mold before freezing it. Well, you can do the same for ginger juice.
To save you from the need to wait for the container’s entire content to thaw before being able to consume a small portion of it, transfer ginger juice to an ice cube tray before freezing.
Just pop out the desired number of cubes each time you need some ginger juice for your beverage or dish.
Store Ginger In a Cool Place Before Planting
Fresh ginger root can be stored in a cool, dry place if it’s going to be planted within a few days. It can be stored in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer if it’s going to be planted within a couple of weeks. Avoid storing ginger root for planting in the freezer as it may die and no longer grow.
Can you plant ginger root from the grocery store? You certainly can! When shopping for ginger root for planting, look for the freshest one that you can find.
Also, it’s generally a good idea to plant the supermarket-bought ginger root as soon as you possibly can. What’s so nice about ginger is that you can plant it indoors. After all, ginger doesn’t like a lot of sun — it grows best in full or partial shade. So go ahead and have some potted ginger plants in your kitchen!
Ginger plants need their soil to be moist all the time. However, refrain from overwatering them.
While your ginger plants are growing, you can carefully pull one from the soil and break or slice off a small piece of its root, and then replant it.
Just make sure that you wash it carefully before peeling and slicing it. You can think of growing ginger plants in your kitchen or elsewhere as having a supply of fresh ginger root all year long.
The steps on how to store ginger root as well as other ginger-based products are quick and simple.
Because ginger is revered for its taste, aroma, and health benefits, storing it properly to keep its amazing properties intact is a must.
Follow the tips and tricks above, and you can enjoy ginger for a long time!
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