What's The Best Way To Store Ginger? 4 Expert-Approved Methods To Try
Fresh ginger is one of those wildly versatile ingredients every kitchen needs. Ginger is zesty, warm, sweet, and woodsy, all at once—a complex flavor profile that pairs well with a number of ingredients and brings a boatload of health benefits, too.
But a little fresh ginger can go a long way, and then you're left with an oozing lump of gnarled root. Before you panic and toss it, read on for the best way to store fresh ginger.
First, get the good stuff.
Start with the freshest ginger root you can find. "Look for ginger with shiny, smooth, and tight skin without wrinkles or too many loose fibers," says chef Samuel McCandless of Arcana in Boulder, Colorado. "For basic preparation, that's as discerning as you need to be."
The right size will vary based on your recipe, but something a little bigger can be easier to manage. "I prefer bigger pieces because I find them much easier to handle when I'm peeling, chopping, or slicing," says Belqui Ortiz-Millili, founder of the cooking blog Belqui's Twist and a SideChef Premium Culinary partner. "If you're anything like me—clumsy—that larger piece absolutely helps!"
How long does ginger last?
"Fresh ginger has a pretty decent shelf life under refrigeration," says McCandless. If you're storing it properly, it can last between three and four weeks. Just check it periodically to make sure it's staying firm, with no signs of mold.
The best ways to store fresh ginger:
Leave unpeeled ginger on the counter, then refrigerate.
If you're using only small amounts at a time, don't peel the whole root. "I recommend only buying in small quantities and peeling what you need at a time," says McCandless.
The uncut, unpeeled root can be left out at room temperature if you're planning on using some ginger within a day or two. Any longer than that, and it'll keep best in the fridge.
Keep peeled ginger in a sealed container.
After you've cut or peeled a knob of ginger, you have a few options for stashing the rest of the root.
The easiest option is to blot the cut end, wrap it in a damp towel, and place in a sealed container or reusable bag. Another option? "I like to vacuum seal mine for optimum freshness," says Ortiz-Millili.
If you've peeled too much, she has a hack for that too—stick it in a jar of vodka or even sherry to keep it fresh. "Just make sure it's completely submerged and it will last a few weeks in the fridge."
Freeze your ginger.
Yes, freezing your ginger is possible (just like avocados!)—and it's a really convenient way to have fresh ginger on hand. But follow Ortiz-Millili's tip: "I grate it and place it in a small plastic container in thin layers—2 tablespoons or so—with pieces of parchment paper in between and freeze it," she says. "I place it in the refrigerator the night before I need it, and the next day it's ready to mix in with my other ingredients."
If you got a little ambitious and bought more ginger than you can reasonably use, good news. Both McCandless and Ortiz-Millili shared their favorite recipes for how to pickle ginger. You can also use your leftover ginger to steep a soothing tea.
Classic Quick & Easy Recipe for Pickled Ginger, courtesy of Belqui Ortiz-Millili
- 7 oz. fresh ginger
- ¾ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- Peel ginger and rinse. Slice ginger as thin as possible using a mandoline.
- In a medium saucepan, add water about halfway and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, drop the ginger in the water for about 30 seconds, remove with a strainer, and place into your jar. Enjoy those 30 seconds, because it smells so good!
- In a small saucepan, add the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir to make sure the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into the jar with the ginger, cover, and allow to cool.
- Pickled ginger will stay fresh for about three months.
Pickled Ginger, courtesy of Samuel McCandless
- 50 grams peeled and finely sliced against the grain of the fibrous ginger
- 75 grams rice vinegar
- 75 grams filtered water
- 3 grams salt
- 15 grams sugar
- Place the ginger in a heatproof container.
- Bring the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to just a boil, making sure to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Pour over the ginger and store sealed in refrigeration. It's ready in about a day and stores for a long time in the fridge.
Keep fresh ginger fresh by peeling only what you need. Store it in the fridge in a sealed bag or container, or try grating and freezing it. And if you end up with more than you need, you can always pickle it.
As for the most beneficial way to consumer ginger, fresh is generally your best bet—but since the pickled variety is a fermented food, it may offer some probiotic benefits. However you decide to store and use your ginger, know you're getting some pretty great digestion, immunity-supporting, and general health benefits.
Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007 and has covered everything from parenting and pregnancy to residential and industrial real estate, cannabis, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, landscaping, home decor, and more. Her work has appeared in Healthline, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee Crumbs. When she’s not stuck to her laptop, Jessica loves hanging out with her husband and four active kids, drinking really great lattes, and lifting weights. See what she’s up to at her website.