Our Go-To Methods for Storing Fresh Ginger

Plus, how to choose a root in tip-top shape.

January  5, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

From tummy troubles to baked goods, fresh ginger has many uses in the kitchen. It’s packed with flavor, and a little bit goes a long way. If you’ve ever bought fresh ginger root, you know that you can spend 50 cents on a 2-inch piece of ginger that will last for weeks—but how do you store ginger to make sure that it stays as fresh as possible?

How to Store Fresh Ginger

Before you pick up any piece of ginger from the grocery store, choose one carefully. Look for a piece of ginger that is quite firm to the touch and has smooth skin; any soft spots or slightly wrinkly skin is a sign that it’s already past its peak.

There are a few ways to go about storing pieces of ginger, and fortunately, they’re all pretty easy! You can store unpeeled ginger at room temperature or in the refrigerator in an airtight zip-top bag or container and tuck it in the crisper drawer; if stored properly, fresh ginger can last for weeks. If you have already peeled the ginger, it must be stored in the fridge to prevent oxidation. Blot the peeled side of the ginger on a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before sticking it in the fridge.

For even longer-lasting fresh ginger, pop it in the freezer! The same method applies for storing ginger root in the freezer; just make sure to use a freezer-safe bag. But bonus: Like cheese, frozen ginger is actually easier to grate for recipes. Win-win!

How to Pickle Ginger

Another way to make use of fresh ginger is to pickle it! Molly Yeh shared her recipe with us, and it’s about as easy as pickling gets. All you need is a large knob of ginger, sugar, water, rice vinegar, and salt. Peel the skin of the ginger root with the back of a spoon or a Y-shaped vegetable peeler (my personal favorite kitchen tool!) and thinly slice it on a mandoline. Place in a sterilized jar. Now all you have to do is cook the pickling liquid! Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; as soon as it boils, pour the mixture into the jar over the sliced ginger. Let it cool slightly before covering, then refrigerate. Serve it as soon as 24 hours later or keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

What is your favorite way to use ginger? Let us know in the comments.
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NCynthia January 9, 2022
I also store fresh, peeled ginger in a mason jar. Just cover it in alcohol, then refrigerate. The ginger-infused alcohol can be used in drinks, too.
MMH January 7, 2022
I peel it with a serrated grapefruit spoon & then cut it in 3 inch pieces. I freeze it & it’s so easy to grate on a microplane.
Corj January 7, 2022
I cut unpeeled ginger into knobs and freeze. It lasts forever and I find it easier to use when frozen because it micro grates or finely chops well and keeps it's juice better.
Windischgirl January 8, 2022
Sorry! That was a mistaken flag from my fat thumb! I too freeze my ginger unpeeled and micro plane it directly into whatever I’m making.

My fav use of ginger lately is in Golden Milk: to a cup of milk (I prefer plant milk), add 2 tsp grated ginger, 1 Tbs grated or powdered turmeric, 4 peppercorns, a 3 inch piece of cinnamon, broken, and 1/2 teaspoon of oil (coconut or flavorless veg oil or ghee). Heat gently and let steep 10 minutes until it turns a lovely golden orange color. Sweeten to taste; I use 2 tsp maple syrup, but any liquid sweetener works. Strain and drink hot. Makes a great non-alcoholic nightcap, a tummy soother, and has done wonders for my joint pain! The fat is needed to help the body absorb the nutrients so don’t omit it; avoid boiling to preserve the nutrients as well.
judy January 9, 2022
This is what I do as well, and the son separates quite easily while grating.
Heather January 7, 2022
We go through a lot of ginger. My favorite prep is to blitz the peeled ginger in a food processor to a minced texture, freeze in a thin layer on a sheet tray and then transfer to a ziploc bag.
I was able to successfully freeze chopped scallion in a similar fashion and as long as I intend to cook them or garnish something hot (ie miso soup, hot pot, etc), they are very passable!
SharonWard1968 January 6, 2022
I peel, slice, and cover ginger with vodka and store it in a small mason jar in the fridge to preserve it
Joy January 6, 2022
I peel ginger, cut it into 1” pieces, put it in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and cover it with sherry. It will last forever and the ginger-flavored sherry can be used as well; especially in Asian dishes.
Cracker January 6, 2022
I do the same. That bit of gingered sherry added to a soup is great. I have added it also to a cup of warm chicken broth to “cure” a cold.
Erin January 7, 2022
We do the same! It's so easy and seems to keep forever. I've also used dry vermouth in a pinch, but it's not as tasty as the sherry.