Does Ginger Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

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Ginger, fresh or powdered, is essential in our kitchen. They add depth and dimensions to any dish. As ginger comes in a wide range of forms, it can get confusing how to store them. 

Does ginger even go bad? Well of course it does. Just like any other fresh vegetables, ginger eventually rots and spoils. But you can do certain things to extend its shelf life. 

In this article, we are going to find out how long ginger lasts and how you can prevent it from spoiling too fast. We will also talk about different preservation methods for ginger. If you are interested then keep on reading! 

How Long Does Ginger Last?

How Long Does Ginger Last

Ginger is a very interesting ingredient because it has a different shelf life in different forms. You can actually store ginger in a variety of ways. From peeled, chopped, grated, minced, paste, powdered and whole, ginger can last from 1 week to 6 months. 

Here’s our simple guide to know how long ginger lasts:

Unpeeled Fresh GingerNon-refrigerated1 Week
Unpeeled Fresh GingerRefrigerated 3 Weeks
Chopped Ginger RootNon-refrigerated1 Week
Chopped Ginger RootRefrigerated 2 Weeks
Ginger PasteRefrigerated 1 Month 
Ginger PasteFrozen6 Months
Grated GingerRefrigerated 1 Week 
Ground Ginger Non-refrigerated 1-2 Years

Keep in mind that the bigger the ginger pieces are, the longer they will last in the refrigerators. If you are planning to keep your fresh ginger in the fridge, keep them unpeeled and whole. They retain the flavor better this way. 

Can You Eat Bad Ginger?

We don’t know why you’d want to eat bad ginger but we advise you not to. Mildly ginger can cause a lot of issues especially stomach aches and heartburn. If you see mold growing on one part of the ginger, you can simply chop that part off and eat the rest of it. 

When you cut off the moldy section away, make sure to check if the rest looks fresh and good. If you have doubts, just don’t eat them. 

Rotten ginger contains toxic allied safrole which can cause many health concerns. So it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

How to Tell if Ginger Has Gone Bad

It is quite easy to tell when the ginger has gone bad. Ginger has a very distinctive smell to it. When it spoils, that fragrance goes away.

Here are some of the key ways to tell if the ginger is inedible or not:

  • Notice the color and look of your ginger. Ginger, both peeled and paste looks yellow. If it starts to look dull and brown, this means it’s rotten.
  • For unpeeled raw ginger, check the firmness. Ginger is quite firm to touch. If it feels soft and mushy, it’s time to throw it out.
  • The smell of ginger is spicy and distinctive. When it loses its luster, the smell is almost like any other rotten vegetables.
  • Sometimes you might find your unpeeled ginger to have wrinkly, dry skin. This does not mean it’s gone bad. It just means it has lost a lot of moisture. You can still use it. 

How to Store Ginger 

does ginger go bad

How long your ginger will last totally depends on how you are storing it. How you store your ginger also depends on the environment you live in. 

If you live in a hot, humid climate, your storage technique will be vastly different from someone who lives in a cold environment.

Here are some tips to extend the shelf life of your ginger:

  • Always buy unpeeled raw ginger. You can store it in many different ways. If you don’t like the hassle then simply buy ground ginger. 
  • Use a napkin to blot away any excess moisture from the ginger roots. Then put them in a Ziploc bag to store in the refrigerator.
  • It’s better to not keep ginger at room temperature unless you live in a very cold environment.  High temperatures can actually make them rot faster.
  • If you want to store your ginger for longer, you can make a paste out of them and store it in the freezer.
  • If you use chopped ginger almost every day, chop a lot of them and store them in an airtight container for a glass jar. Then place it in the refrigerator. This keeps them fresh and handy to use in any dish. 

How to Freeze Fresh Ginger

When it comes to storing your ginger, the refrigerator is your best friend. Ginger loves a cold environment. So keeping it in the refrigerator is a no-brainer.

But can you freeze ginger? Yes, you can, and here’s how to do it:

  1. Use a blender to blend your ginger into a fine, smooth paste.
  2. Put that ginger paste into an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
  3. You can add other spices as well. We like to freeze ginger and garlic together in a container for a wide range of recipes. They go very well together.
  4. If you don’t have a lot of space in the freezer, store your ginger paste in a Ziploc bag. Make sure to squeeze out all the air before sealing it.
  5. You can freeze your ginger paste in an ice cube tray to store it in smaller portions. This way you don’t have to thaw the entire container for a single teaspoon. 

Freezing fresh ginger is an excellent idea as it can last up to 6 months! 

How to Preserve Fresh Ginger Roots

Fresh Ginger Roots

If you love the taste of fresh ginger on everything, there are a few ways to preserve them for longer. Today we are going to mention the three most popular ways to preserve fresh ginger roots at home.

Ginger Syrup:

Ginger syrup is our favorite, especially for tea and cocktails. All you have to do is boil a tablespoon of grated ginger into a cup of sugar water.

 We like to add 1:1 cup water and sugar but you can adjust it based on your taste. Steep this combo for half an hour and store it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. If you keep it in the freezer, it can last a few months. 

Ginger Wine/ Vinegar:

Even though we are mentioning wine, you can go with vinegar as well. We use wine because it can be added to cocktails. This is a very old-style way to preserve ginger. 

To do this, simply slice your ginger roots and place them in a  glass jar or bottle. Then cover it with your favorite alcoholic beverage. You have to make sure that there are no air bubbles inside.

You can stir to remove it or let it sit for a few minutes. Then close the lid and store it in a dark, cool space. This can last up to 3 weeks. 

Ginger and Salt:

This one is quite self-explanatory. Add salt to your peeled, grated ginger and make a paste. The salt helps to preserve it for longer. It can be stored in the freezer and the refrigerator. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

01. How Long Does Fresh Ginger Last?

Raw ginger can last up to 1 month if you store it in the refrigerator. But if you keep it on the countertop, it will go bad within a week. 

02. Does Ground Ginger Go Bad?

Ground ginger has a long shelf life which makes it very convenient to keep in the pantry. Powdered ginger has a shelf of 2-3 years if you keep it in an airtight container. Ground ginger doesn’t necessarily go bad but it does lose its intensity and flavor after a few years. 

03. How Long Does Ginger Root Last?

Ginger root and fresh ginger are the same things. They can last up to a month or two if you store them in the fridge.

If you make a paste out of the ginger root, it can be kept in the freezer for 2-3 months. But at room temperature, the ginger root will start to rot within a week. 

04. What Happens if You Eat Bad Ginger?

Ginger is one of those spices that should never be eaten after its past date. Spoiled ginger can cause many different health issues. 

Rotten ginger root has a storing toxin named safrole. This toxin is so powerful that a small portion can cause serious liver cell damage. 

Discard the ginger if you are not sure whether it is spoiled or not. Cut any moldy parts out to be extra cautious. 

05. Does Ginger Need to Be Refrigerated?

Fresh ginger should always be refrigerated. You should store your whole, unpeeled ginger roots in a Ziploc bag. Push out the air before putting the bag in the refrigerator.

If the ginger is cut or diced, blot it dry before storing it in the fridge. This prevents the ginger from spoiling due to high moisture.  

06. Can You Eat Ginger Skin?

We always peel ginger sin instinctively. This is not because you can not eat ginger skin. Actually, ginger skin is rich in nutrients and it’s good for our gut.

But the skin is tougher and has a rough texture. Due to this, most people peel their ginger to get a better mouthfeel. 

If your ginger roots are quite young, there is no need to peel them. As the roots get older, the skin gets thicker. 

07. Is Ginger Bad for You?

Ginger is not only a cooking ingredient but also a herbal medicine for various issues. But if you consume too much ginger directly, it can cause heartburn, diarrhea, burping, and bloating.

That’s why it’s not a good idea to eat raw ginger. Cooked ginger is actually good for our gut health. 

08. What is a Thumb of Ginger?

A thumb of ginger is a basic measurement for cooking. It usually means a 5-6 centimeter-long piece. If you find any recipe that asks for a thumb of ginger, add 2 inches or less to the dish. The smaller the ginger pieces, the better the flavor. 

Epilogue

While ginger feels like a very complex space to store at home, it’s so worth the effort. Ginger is one of those ingredients that instantly alleviates any dish. 

If you don’t want to go through a lot of hassle, simply buy ground ginger. Ground ginger can last up to 2 years in a dry airtight container. It’s the easiest and most convenient way.

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