Storing minced garlic/ginger

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jamesg2

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So...I just got a small handy food processor for Christmas & now I'm mincing away! I'd like to mince a bunch of garlic & ginger and store it for later use so I can always have it on hand. How should I store it and how long will it last?

Thanks,
James
 

buckytom

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i'm not sure how long they will last, but they should be stored covered in oil, like evoo, in an airtight, non-reactive container like a glass jar, in the fridge.
i'm not a fan of pre-chopped garlic, i think it loses something over time. but ginger is strong, so pre-chopping is probably ok.
 

marmalady

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Pleeeeease - don't store them in oil for more than 2-3 days; the risks of botulism are too great. You can store them covered with white wine or vermouth, and they'll keep for a couple of weeks.
 

jennyema

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Dont use oil as a storage medium for fresh garlic or ginger. You can grow botulism, like marmalady says. Botulism is slowed by cold but not killed (not even by freezing). And it's a nasty, nasty thing.

Only keep garlic/ginger/peppers/herbs in oil for a week or so in the fridge. Then throw away.

You need to store them in something acid. You can acidify oil or water but you ned to look up the right amount of acid to use.

You can freeze them.

Ginger keeps really well in a jar of sherry. And you can use the ginger-infused sherry, too.

It may be best to chop as needed rather than pre-chop and store.
 

Lifter

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An interesting point...

I buy chopped or pureed garlic at the grocery store...looking at the jar, its in soybean oil with ciric acid and a stabiliser...while I agree with Bucky in that it is nowhere near as "sharp" as fresh chopped garlic, it cooks out well...and this requires it be kept in the fridge after opening...this was probably "cooked" to one extent or another before being sealed, is this what is saving our buying public from botulism?

Why can't you do this yourself?

Have met others, and myself have peeled garlic and stored in olive oil (the storage time was roughly a month, either used it up, or the garlic got too soft)....mind, I was cooking the stuff, and "fondly believe" that heating like this would have killed off a lot of things that might not have been too good, had they been consumed "raw"...

Could Marmalady and Jennyma, and others, carry on with this thread, and point out what the dividing line between "safe" and "unsafe" might be?

With Thanks!

(And this might expand the "education pool" here, and save some people a very tough time, so it would be well worth the effort of anyone that's got quantified data to share)

Lifter
 

marmalady

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Good points, Lifter -

First, yes, the preminced garlic you buy has been probably heat processed (just as we would do for home canning), so it's safe to use. The same would go for the 'gourmet' infused oils that have garlic/herbs/veg in them on the grocery shelf.

As for those of us (me included, I confess!) who have stored garlic and other items in oil, and haven't come down with botulism, I can only say that storing in this fashion makes the 'conditions' right for the development of botulism. Not that every clove of garlic has the botulism spore in it that's just waiting for improper storage to bloom!

I relate it to the 'raw egg' controversy; not every egg contains salmonella; when eating raw egss, you are increasing the 'risk' of developing it, but just because you had a raw egg in your salad dressing doesn't mean you're going to come down with it.

Same with colds, flu, etc - the germs and viruses are there all the time - only when conditions are right do we come down with it.

But - adhering to the information given out by food scientists, we are decreasing greatly the -chances - of developing food poisoning.

Hope that made some kind of sense!
 

jennyema

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Lifter,

You said that the pre-chopped garlic contains citric acid. That's the reason it's safe. It's been properly acidified. Commercially prepared garlic in oil is considered safe but home-prepared and the kinds you buy at craft fairs, etc. are suspect.


What you did with garlic in oil is unsafe but you were lucky. As marmalady points out, it's a roll of the dice like with raw eggs and such. Difference being that salmonella will make you sick but probably won't kill you. Botulism will kill or severely disable you and it's a really terrible way to go. That's why terrorists use it.

The only way to safely infuse or store fresh ingredients in oil for longer than a week or so is to either properly acidify it or boil the stuff for a length of time determined by your altitude. Boiling the oil is pretty impractical to do at home, but you can add acid. like vinegar or citric acid. BUT you need to do your reasearch and make sure you use a quantity of acid that is sufficient to inhibit the growth of the toxins. If you don't do it properly you could still allow botulism.
 

jkath

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WOW you guys! I feel like I should receive college credit for reading this discussion. I really have learned a lot - thanks!

jamesg2: Since a new chopper really is a fun toy, check out my salsa recipe I just posted under the sauces & marinades forum.
 

htc

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Can you just chop up the garlic and store as is? Wouldn't botulism not be an issue then? Just curious. I see lots of people do this with their garlic. I think you loose some of the flavor, but it sure seems convienent.
 

jennyema

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htc said:
Can you just chop up the garlic and store as is? Wouldn't botulism not be an issue then? Just curious. I see lots of people do this with their garlic. I think you loose some of the flavor, but it sure seems convienent.

Yes. The oil is the culprit. It creates an anaerobic (airless) environment that is perfect for botulism.

If you chop and store in fridge, it'll dry out. If you freeze it it'll last a bit longer
 

kitchenelf

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I store my sliced, peeled ginger in dry sherry - will keep for months and months unrefrigerated.

Chopped garlic should just be used as needed.
 

htc

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jennyema, then why is it ok to eat sun dried tomato packed in oil? Wouldn't the same thing happen? Or is it just the interaction with garlic?
 

kitchenelf

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it's the interaction with the garlic - There's lots of info out there - go to google and type in

garlic, botulism
 

buckytom

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even with all of the warnings and info, i know several people that store chopped garlic in oil in the fridge (without preservatives) for a few weeks at a time, and suffered no ill effects.
 

marmalady

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Bucky, you're right - but it is a 'roll of the dice', just as only 1 in - I think - 30,000 eggs has salmonella bacteria; but I sure don't want to be that one!
 

jennyema

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Any commercially prepared fresh product in oil will probably* have been acidified or prepared by boiling or pressure to eliminate the risk of botulism.

The higher the acid content in a fresh product stored in oil, the lower the risk of botulism. Tomatoes are naturally acidic, whereas garlic and peppers and basil, for example, are not. That's why you see most of the attention drawn to garlic. Also, botulism spores come from soil, so things grown in the ground (eg, garlic) are more likely sources.

Bucky -- there are lots of people who do this, sure. But they are taking a big chance. The fact is that they are risking botulism poisoning by doing it. Like M has said, it's a roll of the dice and chances are they won't get sick, but since Botulism is so incredibly hideous and so super easy to avoid ... IMO: why take the chance?



* There have been cases of botulism with improperly prepared commercial products -- Vichyssoise comes to mind -- but they are very rare. Almost all incidents of botulism poisoning come from home prep or restaurants.
 

Lifter

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This thread is cause for some very serious thought...and I'd like to thank Jennyma for bringing this up for our information and edification...the things you don't know, that can kill ya, too!

Would love to see more of this!

Lifter
 

buckytom

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yes, thanks jennyema, and everyone for their contributions. i never pre-chop and store garlic anyway. i mean, it's not very hard to pluck a coupla cloves, smash, skin and chop them. probably would take me the same or less time than trying to find a jar in the fridge.
 
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