Fresh ginger adds a sharp kick to a wide variety of recipes, but unfortunately, it has a relatively short shelf life which means a lot of ginger gets wasted.
You can freeze ginger in the freezer to preserve it, and it will remain in peak condition for up to 6 months. After 6 months in the freezer, the flavor can start to diminish.
Fresh Ginger Shelf Life
Fresh ginger adds a kick to a whole host of recipes, from stir frys to ginger teas and soups. It’s a vibrant cooking ingredient that also comes with numerous health benefits, but the fact that it has such a strong taste means that you typically only need a small amount in each recipe.
This can lead to a lot of wastage because much of the ginger root piece will spoil before you have the opportunity to use it. The shelf life of fresh ginger depends on how you store it, and there are ways to preserve it to make it last longer.
Fresh ginger which is kept whole and unpeeled will last for around a week when kept on the countertop at room temperature. If it’s a warm season and your kitchen temperatures reflect this, the ginger may spoil sooner than you would like.
Avoid keeping countertop ginger in a plastic bag as it will sweat in warm temperatures, which will in turn make the ginger go soft and potentially cause it to rot. Instead, leave it uncovered on a clean dish, or put it in a paper bag to deter pests.
Ginger can be kept for several weeks in the refrigerator, and the length of time it will last depends on its state. Whole, unpeeled ginger can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic container such as a ziploc bag with the air pressed out, and it will remain fresh for around a month.
Keeping it in the crisper compartment will help it to stay fresh, but if you don’t have one of these a regular refrigerator shelf will do. Alternatively, if you have started to use your ginger then it will no longer be whole or unpeeled. You can put this ginger in a sealed bag in the refrigerator, with a shelf life of around 2 to 3 weeks. You could also slice the ginger and then put it inside a resealable bag in the refrigerator so that you can grab the amount you need more easily when cooking. Once sliced, fresh ginger can remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
The freezer is the best place for ginger to be stored because it has a much longer shelf life when kept at lower temperatures. You can freeze ginger when it is whole and unpeeled, however, this won’t be very convenient to use in future recipes. Instead, sliced or fresh ginger can be kept in the freezer, and you can pull out just the amount you need when you’re cooking.
This will eliminate wastage and also means you also have fresh ginger available all year round. When kept in the freezer, ginger will retain its flavor and texture for around 6 months. It will still be safe to eat after 6 months in the freezer, but you may notice a loss of taste.
Can You Freeze Ginger?
Yes, fresh ginger can be frozen. Keeping ginger in the freezer is actually a great kitchen hack for making your ginger supply last much longer, reducing food waste, and ensuring you always have ginger available for recipes.
It’s best to spend a few minutes preparing ginger before you freeze it, so that it’s ready to use when you need it. Sliced ginger and grated ginger both work really well in the freezer.
How to Freezer Sliced Ginger
Slicing your ginger before you freeze means that you can just grab a few small slices when you need them, rather than having to contend with a whole frozen ginger root. If you use ginger to infuse tea, to flavor soups that will be blended, or to add a healthy kick to smoothies, then slicing it before freezing will be ideal.
If you add ginger to stir fries or foods which aren’t going to be blended, then grated ginger will be better. To freeze sliced ginger you simply need to slice your ginger and then pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
Add the slices to an airtight, freezer-safe container, such as a freezer bag, and label it. The bag can then be put in the freezer, and individual slices reached whenever you need them. Sliced ginger will remain at peak freshness in the freezer for around 6 months, though it will still be safe to eat after this.
How to Freeze Grated Ginger
Frozen grated ginger is great for adding to stews, casseroles, stir frys, smoothies, soups, and almost any recipe that calls for ginger. If you grate your ginger and portion it up before freezing it, you can add a grated chunk to your cooking straight from the freezer. To freeze grated ginger, first, you need to peel and grate your fresh ginger.
Next, it’s best to flash-freeze the ginger in small amounts so that it doesn’t freeze in one solid piece. You can do this by putting small dollops of grated ginger on a baking tray or portioning the ginger in a silicone ice cube tray. Freeze the ginger portions for around 2 hours, then add them all into a freezer bag to keep in the freezer long term. The flash-freezing process will prevent the ginger cubes from sticking together in the freezer bag.
Does Frozen Ginger Need to Thaw?
One of the best things about freezing ginger, besides the elimination of food waste and the extended shelf life, is the fact that it doesn’t need to be thawed.
Whenever you need to add fresh ginger to a recipe, you can take it straight from the freezer and add it to your stir fry, stock, tea, or soup. It does not need to be thawed or defrosted, making frozen ginger the ultimate in kitchen convenience.