How to Store Ginger Root Properly

Four ways to keep ginger root fresh until you need it

Ginger root
  photograph by dorisj / Getty Images 

Ginger root is a great ingredient to have on hand, and when stored properly, it’ll keep for a really long time. When you buy ginger root, it may be sold refrigerated or at room temperature. Decide how long you’d like to store your ginger. Then follow these tips to keep it fresh.

Buy the Best Quality Ginger Root

Look for firm pieces of ginger root that have a smooth, unwrinkled outer peel. If you see wrinkles, it's already beginning to deteriorate. Be sure to check the ends for signs of mold. While you may be able to trim those away, it won't keep well and isn't worth your money. For the freshest ginger root, shop at an international market. They'll have a higher turn over than a grocery store, and usually better prices, as well.

Store Ginger In the Refrigerator for Three Weeks or Less

It's best to store it intact, with the peel still on. You can store cut ginger in the refrigerator, but it won't keep as long. To maximize the storage time, place your ginger in a freezer bag; press out most of the air, and place it in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator. If you're short on time or freezer bags, just place it in the refrigerator in the brown paper bag you brought it home in. It should keep for about a week this way.

Store Peeled Ginger in Spirits for Weeks

If you accidentally peeled more ginger than you need, you can preserve the extra piece by placing it in a small glass jar and adding enough vodka or sherry to completely cover it. It should keep for several weeks this way. Toss it out when the alcohol starts to look cloudy. That's an indication that mold or bacteria may be present.

Store Ginger in the Freezer for a Year Or More

To store ginger indefinitely, stick the root in the freezer with the peel on. Place it in a freezer bag or another freezer-safe container to protect it from freezer burn. Whenever you need fresh ginger for a recipe, simply pull the ginger out; grate what you need; and return the rest of the root to the freezer. There's no need to thaw it first. In fact, frozen ginger is actually a lot easier to peel.

Keep Ginger Planted in a Pot for a Perpetual Supply

For a never-ending supply of ginger, plant a ginger root in a small pot, and keep it on the window sill. It'll send up shoots and leaves just like any other houseplant. Whenever you need ginger for a recipe, simply lift the plant; cut off a piece of the root, and return it to its pot. It won't hurt the plant a bit. As long as you keep your plant watered, you'll never run out of ginger.