If you frequently use garlic to cook with, you can save time and money by freezing in bulk quantities for later use. Cloves can be frozen whole, but the best method to freeze garlic is by processing and freezing in olive oil.
Clean loose dirt from the garlic if it has been freshly harvested. Garlic heads already cleaned and ready for use can also be purchased in the produce section at the grocery store.
Remove the thin skin from the outside of the head of garlic. Pull one clove at a time from the garlic to work with.
Place the garlic clove on a clean cutting board. Place a metal spatula or other flat utensil with the flat side down on top of the garlic. Carefully smash down on the utensil, applying enough pressure to break the skin from the clove. Remove the entire skin and shell from around the clove and discard.
Place the freshly skinned garlic cloves into the food processor. You can use as many cloves as you want, but it is usually best to work with and freeze no more than two to three heads of garlic at a time.
Cover the garlic with olive oil using one portion of garlic to two portions of olive oil. Process this for several seconds until all of the garlic is thoroughly blended into the oil.
Scrape the garlic and oil into a freezer container. Label and date the container and place it into the freezer. This can be used as needed and will remain soft enough to portion out with a spoon when it is time to use for cooking.
Whole heads of garlic can also be frozen in sealed containers. Be prepared for the frozen garlic to lose some of its original flavor. Freezing the garlic in olive oil allows for better retention of flavor than other methods that do not include the oil. Garlic will keep in the freezer up to 12 months.
Never allow the garlic/oil mixture to sit out at room temperature. This combination can potentially grow the components that create botulism and is very harmful for human consumption and sometimes even fatal.