How to Preserve Garlic with Vinegar or Oil

Garlic provides a delicious flavour and is a healthy ingredient to add to any recipe. Often dried for preservation and stored in a cool location, garlic can be preserved in other ways, as well. Preserving fresh garlic in vinegar or oil preserves the garlic for several months and also changes the vinegar or oil into a tasty base for homemade dressing.

Break four garlic bulbs apart by prying them open, between cloves, with your fingertips. Make a small cut between garlic cloves, if needed, to break the bulb open. Separate all the garlic cloves in the bulb.

Trim the ends off each garlic clove. Peel the onion-like outer skin off the cloves so just the meat of the garlic is left. Use your paring knife or fingers to pull the skin off.

Purée the garlic cloves in a food processor. Check measurement lines on the food processor or use a measuring cup to make sure you have 1/2 cup puréed garlic. Pour 1 cup olive oil into the food processor and process until the too ingredients are blended.

Place the puréed garlic and olive oil in a freezer-safe storage container. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of the container.

Store garlic preserved in oil in the freezer for up to seven months. Remove the puréed garlic as needed, then place the container back into the freezer until all garlic is used. The garlic will remain soft enough, even in the freezer, to scoop it out as needed.

Separate the cloves in six bulbs of garlic. Peel garlic cloves with a paring knife and finely chop each clove.

Place the chopped garlic in a container with 1 3/4 cups red wine vinegar. Ensure the garlic is completely covered by the red wine vinegar.

Refrigerate the garlic between uses. The chopped garlic and garlic-infused vinegar can both be used as needed. Vinegar-preserved garlic will keep in the refrigerator for up to four months.


Substitute dry white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for the red wine vinegar if desired.


Never keep garlic preserved in oil at room temperature. This provides the perfect climate for botulism to develop. Discard preserved garlic if any signs of mould formation are present.

Things You'll Need

  • Paring knife
  • Food processor
  • Measuring cup
  • 10 bulbs garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Freezer storage container
  • 1 3/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • Plastic or glass container with lid
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.