Whether I need it to add to soup recipes or to make tea when I’m feeling under the weather, I use a lot of ginger during the cooler months. Even so, I often find myself reaching for my ginger only to find that it’s turned moldy in the fridge. After some research, I discovered that not only was I storing my ginger in the fridge all wrong, but there are a few simple hacks that will make it last longer.
Firstly, the most important thing to do is to be sure you’re choosing the freshest ginger when you’re at the grocery store. Fresh ginger will have a smooth skin, and it should feel firm and heavy. If the ginger skin is wrinkled or it feels soft to the touch, this could indicate that it’s old and already starting to rot. Be sure to also avoid any ginger that feels moist as well.
Once you bring it home, it’s time to store your ginger. Never leave your ginger out in room temperature, as it will go bad quickly. Instead, you can keep it in the fridge or the freezer.
How to Store Ginger in the Fridge
The best way to store ginger in the fridge is to keep it in a paper bag or wrap it in a paper towel. This will prevent moisture from causing mold to grow on it. If possible, keep it in a moisture-controlled produce drawer in the fridge. You can also put your ginger in a plastic freezer bag and store it in the fridge, though in my own experience, a paper bag works better. Ginger stored properly in the fridge can last for up to a month.
And according to the foodies over at The Spruce Eats, you can make peeled ginger last by submerging it in alcohol like vodka or sherry — so don’t fret if you accidentally cut too much when preparing a recipe! To do it, simply submerge the ginger in the alcohol in a small glass jar, cover, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to use, give the ginger a rinse. It should last several weeks this way, though you’ll want to throw it away once the liquid gets cloudy. This could indicate that mold or bacteria is growing!
How to Store Ginger in the Freezer
The next best way to store ginger is by keeping it in the freezer. Using the freezer method will keep your ginger fresh for much longer than in the fridge (I’ve kept some for up to three months!), so this hack is super handy.
You can keep your whole, unpeeled ginger in a plastic freezer bag (which protects from freezer burn) and simply place it in the freezer. Frozen ginger is actually a lot easier to peel and grate when you’re ready to use it, too! If you’re just peeling, grating, or chopping your ginger, there’s no need to thaw it before use. However, if your recipe calls for sliced ginger, be sure to thaw it first as slicing frozen ginger can be dangerous.
We hope this hack helps you keep your ginger longer so you can get the most of it all season long! (Click through to our sister publication to learn how fresh ginger shots boost immunity.)