When discussing turmeric, people should imagine the root or powder used as a condiment or food coloring in gastronomy, but if you may read this blog before, you may know I will teach you how to store turmeric.
You can store turmeric root inside the refrigerator for two weeks, but if you need to preserve it longer, you can freeze it for six months or dehydrate it for a year at room temperature.
Just read on to know the correct way to preserve turmeric.
How to store turmeric in the fridge
Turmeric is a type of tuber widely used in several countries, especially India, where it is an essential component of gastronomy. One of the easiest ways to preserve it is to store it in the refrigerator as follows:
- Step 1: Wash the turmeric.
To wash turmeric, the ideal would be to rub it with a brush, although you can also use your fingers under the stream of tap water. But you can also wash it in a bowl with water and rub the root.
This way, you will eliminate all the dirt and germs on its skin.
- Step 2: Dry the turmeric with a paper towel.
Use absorbent paper or a clean kitchen towel to dry the turmeric, then leave it outdoors to finish drying.
- Step 3: Bag the turmeric.
Place the dried turmeric in a paper bag, so it can continue breathing, or wrap it with paper towels before putting it inside a standard plastic bag, without tying it very tightly.
- Step 4: Set the storage date of turmeric.
Write on the bag, with a marker, the date of storage of turmeric.
- Step 5: Store the turmeric in the fridge.
You can put the turmeric in the compartment or drawer of the vegetables, and thus, the turmeric can be refrigerated for two weeks.
How to freeze turmeric
Can turmeric be frozen? Of course, you can freeze turmeric. It is an excellent way to preserve it for a long time, especially if it is not fresh or you bought too much.
However, it will require chopping it, and for this, I recommend you wear gloves and an apron so that you do not stain your hands or your clothes since turmeric is a powerful natural dye, and the stains it leaves are tough to remove.
I also advise you to have lemon or chlorine to wash your kitchen tools as soon as you finish chopping the turmeric, or the stain will be hard to remove.
Now with all those considerations, proceed to do the following:
- Step 1: Wash the turmeric.
Rub it with a brush or your fingers to remove all the dirt and germs from your skin. Then proceed to chop the turmeric into thick slices.
You can remove all its skin if you like with a peeler, but it may be easier to peel it with a knife since, sometimes, the skin of turmeric is usually challenging to remove because of its knots, bumps, or hardness.
- Step 2: Wrap and bag the turmeric.
A trick that will help you protect turmeric from freeze burns is to wrap them with paper towels before putting them in an airtight bag to freeze.
- Step 3: Write down the storage date of turmeric.
Using a marker, put the turmeric storage date on the bag.
- Step 4: Store turmeric in the freezer.
You can freeze turmeric for six months. To defrost it, you can take it out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature for a while, but if you are in a hurry, you can use the microwave in batches of 20 seconds. However, you can cook the frozen turmeric directly.
You can only refreeze it once, and it will compromise its quality.
How to preserve grated turmeric
If you have grated or chopped too much turmeric, you could store it in the fridge in a glass container with an airtight lid. Just be sure to spread oil on the inner walls of the container to make it easier for you to clean later.
Do not store chopped or grated turmeric in plastic containers since, being a porous material, the stains caused by turmeric will be practically impossible to remove.
But if you don’t have a glass container on hand, you can put the grated or chopped turmeric in an airtight bag and then place it in an airtight plastic container.
Keeping the chopped or grated turmeric in the fridge will last about 3 or 5 days. But if you cover the chopped or grated turmeric with oil, it can last you about two weeks.
In addition, you can freeze the chopped turmeric, as I explained in the previous point, except that grated turmeric should not be wrapped.
In that case, you can place it inside an ice cube tray (which must have been previously oiled), freeze it for a couple of hours, and unmold and bag it.
Or place parchment paper on a tray, spread the grated turmeric evenly, take it to the freezer for a couple of hours, chop the frozen grated turmeric, and bag.
Grated turmeric can also remain in the freezer for six months.
How to dehydrate turmeric
By dehydrating turmeric, you can grind it into a powder, which will be easier to add to your meals. Remember to equip yourself with gloves and an apron so as not to stain yourself.
- Step 1: Wash and peel the turmeric.
Wash the turmeric with plenty of water and rub it with a brush or your fingers to remove all the dirt and germs it may have. Then remove the skin with a peeler or knife.
- Step 2: Cut the turmeric.
Cut the turmeric into thin slices so dehydration does not take so long.
- Step 3: Dehydrate turmeric.
Place the turmeric slices on a tray with parchment paper, side by side, without piling it up, then put it in the oven, which should be preheated to about 90 – 95°C (190 – 200°F), for two hours.
If you have a food dehydrator, arrange the turmeric slices inside the equipment without piling them up, adjust the temperature to about 40 – 50°C (105 – 120°F), and dehydrate for 3 or 4 hours.
You’ll know they’re ready when the slices break with a light tap. Then let them rest for a few minutes at room temperature.
- Step 4: Grind or blend the dried turmeric.
When the dried turmeric is cold, you can pour it into a blender or food processor and blend until a powder is left.
- Step 5: Transfer the turmeric powder to a glass jar.
Glass jars with airtight lids are ideal for storing turmeric powder, and if the glass is dark or any color, as long as it is not transparent, it would be much better.
Colorful glass deflects light better than transparent one, which will help keep turmeric powder for quite some time.
- Step 6: Place the storage date of the dried turmeric.
Write on a label, which you will then stick to the jar, the date of storage of turmeric.
- Step 7: Store the dehydrated turmeric.
Keep the jar with the dried turmeric in a completely dark place, away from heat and without moisture, so that the dried turmeric powder can be at room temperature for an entire year.
How to store industrial turmeric
It is much more common to find turmeric powder in supermarkets or food stores than turmeric as root. Turmeric powder can come in a plastic container or a sealed bag.
Containers with turmeric powder are easier to preserve, as they are specially designed to protect and serve turmeric in a straightforward way.
You must keep it in a dark, very dry, cool place so the turmeric powder will last you for 3 to 5 years.
If you purchased turmeric powder that comes in a sealed bag, you could store it inside an airtight container in a dry, cool, dark place until the expiration date.
Once you open the turmeric powder bag, you will have to pass it to a glass jar and store it like the rest, in other words, in a place where the light does not stick, that is free of moisture and fresh, from 3 to 5 years.
How to tell if turmeric got bad?
You will know that turmeric root got bad when it has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Mold: It has white or black spots or lint on it.
- Lousy smell: If it smells stale or rotten, it should be discarded.
- Soft and dense: when it turns in this way, it is because it is rotten and must be thrown away.
Concerning turmeric powder, if it is exposed to moisture, it can also develop mold, and being exposed to the sun’s rays for too long, will cause it to lose its ability to add color to meals.
Why does turmeric spoil?
The root of turmeric, being a natural component, is highly perishable, so its decomposition cycle will gradually lose properties until it rots completely.
Humidity and heat will turn turmeric into a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms, quickly shortening its shelf life if not stored correctly.
For this reason, you should not store it at room temperature unless it is dehydrated because the cold delays its decomposition for a long time.
How long does turmeric last?
|Turmeric roots in the fridge||2 weeks|
|Turmeric roots in the freezer||6 months|
|Chopped turmeric in the fridge||3 – 5 days|
|Chopped turmeric in oil in the fridge||2 weeks|
|Dehydrated turmeric at room temperature||1 year|
|Commercial turmeric powder at room temperature (sealed)||Until the expiration date|
|Commercial turmeric powder at room temperature (opened)||3 – 5 years|
What is the best way to preserve turmeric?
The best way to keep turmeric fresh is to store it in the fridge; this will maintain its freshness for a couple of weeks, enough time to use this root.
However, if you have more turmeric than you usually do in weeks, you can freeze it for several months. And if you thaw it in the fridge, you can refreeze it once. But as with other foods, the longer it spends frozen, it will lose quality.
Another viable alternative to preserve turmeric for a long time is to dehydrate it and thus prepare homemade turmeric powder, which you can keep well at room temperature.
Commercially available turmeric powder usually lasts longer than the homemade version thanks to its preservatives.
If you are interested in learning how to preserve some other condiment or tuber, on this website, you have a thorough list of food and product preservation topics, which is constantly updated.