How to Store Ginger
Plus, how to tell if ginger has gone bad.
By Layla Khoury-Hanold for Food Network Kitchen
Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributor at Food Network.
Fresh ginger adds a spicy burst of flavor and aroma to a variety of sweet and savory dishes. With these tips, you’ll learn how to properly store ginger to maximize freshness and extend shelf life.
How to Store Fresh Ginger
Once you’ve bought fresh ginger root, don’t peel the ginger until you're ready to use it. You can store whole, unpeeled ginger loose at room temperature, or in an air-right container or resealable plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. If you have leftover peeled ginger, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator crisper drawer to prevent oxidization.
How to Preserve Fresh Ginger
You can also preserve peeled and cut ginger by storing it in submerged in a neutral alcohol (such as vodka) or by pickling it, as with this recipe for Pickled Ginger (pictured above). Preserved and pickled ginger will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
How Long Does Ginger Root Last?
You can extend the shelf life of ginger root depending on how you store it. Here’s how long ginger root lasts at room temperature, in the refrigerator and in the freezer.
- Room temperature: Unpeeled and uncut ginger root will last up to 3 weeks stored on the counter at room temperature.
- Refrigerator: When properly wrapped and stored in the crisper drawer, unpeeled ginger can last for up to 1 month in the fridge. Peeled ginger will last 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: Whole, unpeeled ginger root that is properly wrapped and stored will last 3 to 4 months in the freezer. You can also opt to make a fresh ginger paste (see more on that below), which lasts 3 to 4 months in the freezer.
How to Freeze Ginger
You can freeze fresh ginger whole, cut into pieces or in paste form.
- Whole Ginger: To extend its shelf life even longer, wrap unpeeled ginger tightly with plastic wrap and store in a freezer safe resealable plastic bag or airtight container. Be sure to label the bag or container with the contents and date. Stored this way, fresh ginger can last 3 to 4 months in the freezer. As a bonus, frozen ginger can be grated without thawing, and any unused ginger can be returned to the freezer.
- Cut Ginger: If the ginger root is very large, you can also cut it into smaller pieces, tightly wrap them in plastic and store pieces in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag or airtight container.
- Ginger Paste: If you want to make a paste, peel fresh ginger, cut into chunks and puree in a food processor. Freeze individual portions of the ginger puree in teaspoon-size increments in a small ice cube tray. Once the purée has frozen, transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag or airtight container and store in the freezer, up to 3 or 4 months. For more know-how, check out our primer How to Peel Ginger.
How to Tell If Ginger Is Bad
There are several sensory clues that indicate if ginger has gone bad.
- Smell: You’ll be able to tell ginger has gone bad if the ginger aroma isn’t as pungent or if it has an off smell.
- Appearance: Fresh ginger has smooth skin, so if the skin is wrinkled, it’s a sign that the ginger is past its prime and dehydrated. Other visual cues that indicate it’s time to toss the ginger include blemishes or mold on the exterior or cut ends, or a discolored interior (dark yellow, brown, gray cast) when sliced.
- Texture: Fresh ginger is firm, so if it’s soft or mushy to the touch, it’s a tell-tale sign that the ginger has gone bad.