How to Tell If Ginger Is Bad?

Learn how to spot this root getting spoiled and what can help to ginger it up

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Learn how to spot this root getting spoiled and what can help to ginger it up

Fresh ginger root is a well-known remedy for cold, as well as an effective way to warm yourself up on a cold winter day with a cup of ginger tea. Besides, it is widely used as a spice in its ground form. No wonder thus that the issue of keeping ginger alive and fresh is number one for all those who use it actively.

 Does ginger go bad? And how to preserve ginger to be sure it will last long? We know the answers to all these inquiries and even more.

How to Define That Ginger Is Bad

So how to tell if fresh ginger is bad? Fortunately, it is very simple: you just need to examine it and search for any signs of mold and bad rotting. Anything that reminds of discoloration, texture deterioration, or mold will mean the root is out of order.

The ginger root is rather durable itself and it can easily last for a pretty long time if we keep it under correct conditions. However, if we fail and anything goes wrong, it can degrade pretty fast.

To spot the symptoms of raw ginger rotting, we suggest you examine the stuff for any of the following:

  • softness
  • mold
  • mushy or wet texture
  • dark and/or wrinkled areas on the surface of the root
  • the loss of taste and aroma
  • the color of its flesh turned from bright yellow to dark yellow or even grey

Any of these signs indicate that the process of decay already began, and we can do nothing but discarding the root and go get another one in a store.

How to Store Ginger

How to Define That Ginger Is Bad
Photo by Hilary Hahn

The way we will be keeping this aromatic root hangs upon how fast we are going to make use of it. Most home chefs think that since ginger is being sold unchilled, it means we shall stock it out on the counter as well.

However, when it comes to storage, dealing with ginger has certain nuances. To learn how to store fresh ginger and how to keep ginger fresh, consider several handy suggestions:

  1. If the root is going to be used within the next couple of days after it was purchased, it is fine to leave it out unchilled. A day or two spent on the counter will not ruin it.
  2. Nevertheless, in case ginger will have to wait for its turn way longer, we strongly advise to preserve it either by refrigerating or even by freezing.
7 Ways to Store GINGER (or Turmeric)7 Ways to Store GINGER (or Turmeric)

But above all that, there is one trick that is considered to be the best way to store fresh ginger! If you do need this root to remain usable to its longest and keep all of its beneficial features, you want to submerge it into alcohol or acid of any kind.

The most commonly used beverages and liquids include vodka, sherry, rice acetum, distilled acetum, and basically any other clear spirits. Might seem a bit unusual and out of common, but believe us, this method will surely keep your ginger crisp way longer. When being soaked like that, it can safely stay refrigerated for months without even losing a tiny bit of its aroma!

To make use of it, simply rinse the root after extracting it from the liquid it was kept in, and pat dry it, otherwise, the alcoholic or vinegar scent will get into what you are cooking

Do you have to peel ginger to prepare it for storage? Actually, you don’t. If we peel it, the effect will be completely opposite and the root will, on the contrary, get dry faster.

What about powdered ginger storage, you may wonder? This spice is pretty durable since all the moisture was already removed from it. So unless you manage to make it wet, the ginger powder can easily remain usable for months. The only thing you must remember though is that such spices tend to lose their potency with time, and it has nothing to do with spoilage.

Can You Freeze Ginger?

Those who use ginger frequently often tend to preserve it in batches. Thus these folks often wonder how to store ginger root in the frosting camera if that’s possible at all.

Well, we have a piece of good news for you! It is possible to store fresh ginger frozen. Another positive thing is that it is super easy to do.

  • take a fresh ginger root
  • grate it (no need to peel or wash, but you can take the skin off if you want)
  • divide the mass into spoon-size portions, and freeze like that
Can You Freeze Ginger
Photo by Hilary Hahn

Using ice trays for this purpose would be ideal since they allow us to sort the stuff equally and can be used as freezing tanks as well.

Note, however, that after being defrosted, grated ginger will become soggy, so make sure it will be used either in smoothies or in the dishes that are supposed to be cooked through.

And yes, frozen ginger lasts quite a long time, nearly half a year for sure.

What Makes It So Healthy

Everyone probably heard that fresh ginger root is very useful and beneficial for our wellness. And it’s not just tales! This simple plant has indeed the miraculous qualities.

What Makes It So Healthy
Photo by Megumi Nachev
  1. It has strong medicinal properties and aids digestion, it helps to reduce nausea and also fights flu and the common cold.
  2. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  3. Ginger is said to help with weight loss and reducing the waist-hip ratio. To achieve such results, one must take 2 grams of ginger powder for approximately twelve weeks every day.
  4. Consuming ginger can contribute to fighting and preventing osteoarthritis.
  5. This root lowers blood sugar and protects our hearts from strokes.
  6. It’s good for brain activity and is even able to prevent the development of cancer!
  7. Finally, ginger root is a known infections fighter.

Consume it either raw or powdered, this root will anyway work. Besides, ginger does indeed makes foods tastier! So why not? Add it to stews and casseroles, mix its powder or some freshly made ginger paste into your sauces, soups, and even smoothies (but don’t get too inspired! Too much ginger will make the food taste like fire!). 

How Long Does Ginger Last?

How to make fresh ginger root last longerHow to make fresh ginger root last longer

How long does fresh ginger last? This is the question everyone probably asked at least once in their lives. We can only say that it hangs upon how well it is being kept. 

To store fresh ginger correctly, keep it away from direct light, warmth, and moisture. And preferably toss it into the fridge if not going to use within a day or two after buying it.

How long does ginger last in the fridge? The raw root will stay usable for thirty days, but if you soak it in alcohol or vinegar, this term will extend to several months.

To have a complete overview of ginger life span including ground ginger vs fresh root storing periods, check out the chart below.

Pantry Fridge Freezer
Raw root 1 week 1 month 3 months
Peeled chopped root - 1 week -
Paste - 1 month 3 months
Jarred chopped root 2-3 months only unopened 2-3 months -
Pickled - 2-3 months -
Powder 2-3 years - -
Crystallized 2-3 years - -

If you’re about to use fresh ginger root but you see it already started getting moldy, it is OK to cut off the damaged part and use the rest if it’s still fine. However, if the root is completely degraded, discard it since consuming moldy foods can be quite dangerous! 

Now that you know more about fresh ginger storage and its lifespan, we’re sure this healthy root will become a staple in your kitchen for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How to make ginger tea?

Simply grate or slice the washed root, and boil it for 10-15 minutes. You can also add lemon and honey to the tea to make it taste better.

⭐ How to mince ginger?

To mince it, peel the root, then slice it, and then finely chop it when keeping it together still sliced.

⭐ How to make ginger beer?

Traditional ginger beer is brewed by leaving the water, ginger, sugar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar, and ginger beer plant to ferment for several days.

⭐ How to grow ginger root?

Take a root you bought in a store, soak the rhizomes in water overnight, and plant 6 to 8 inches apart, 2-4 inches deep with the grow buds pointing upward.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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