Running out of items called for in a recipe is annoying, to say the least. Luckily, there are often viable substitutes. However, is using garlic powder in place of minced garlic, something that should be done? In my 40 plus years of cooking, I’ve had to get creative with just about every ingredient under the sun, so I can give you a solid answer.
Garlic powder can be used instead of minced garlic. However, you will need to adjust the amount used. 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is roughly equal to 1/2 teaspoon of jarred minced garlic (one clove). Keep in mind that powdered garlic is milder than minced, so the flavor may be altered somewhat.
Before you rush off and get to cooking, you may want to read on to learn more about how using garlic powder might affect your dish.
Will Using Garlic Powder Instead of Minced Garlic Affect the Taste?
The form that garlic takes in a dish is dictated mainly by the amount and quality of flavor and texture the recipe calls for. It’s also often dictated by the priority and skill of the cook. The use of fresh garlic is ideal for maximum flavor and health benefits.
Pre-minced garlic, garlic powder, and garlic salt sacrifice some of fresh garlic’s health benefits for convenience. When purchasing fresh whole clove garlic, gently squeeze the bulb when selecting. If the cloves are too dry, or too soft, pick another. Don’t choose bulbs with visible green shoots, and don’t pick a bulb that feels hollow or dehydrated. Local, fresh garlic is most likely to be found from mid-summer through fall.
Is Garlic Powder Strong Than Minced Garlic?
The taste, texture, and boldness of garlic will vary based on the state it is in.
- Garlic paste will provide the most potent flavor.
- Basically, the finer the chop for fresh garlic, the more flavor the garlic will provide. Whole clove garlic is sometimes roasted and eaten on its own. Added to a dish, it will provide a more subtle flavor.
- Garlic powder will be milder than fresh garlic.
- Garlic salt will be milder than powder due to its dilution with salt.
- Minced garlic (fresh or jarred) will have a more intense flavor than both garlic powder and garlic salt.
Garlic vs. Minced Garlic Equivalent
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is roughly equal to 1/2 teaspoon of jarred minced garlic (one clove). If using garlic salt, you can use 1/2 of a teaspoon of garlic salt for every clove of garlic the recipe calls for. Garlic salt is simply garlic powder with salt added; if you use garlic salt, you likely will want to adjust the amount of salt you add to the dish you are making.
More About Garlic
Garlic is one of the most popular seasonings in existence and is used in a wide variety of cuisines. So popular is this bulb that there are festivals devoted solely to the numerous varieties and uses of garlic.
It can also be used in various forms. Whether sliced, chopped or minced, powdered, raw, roasted, or mixed with salt, garlic finds a way to add to any dish its added to. And despite its reputation for making for not-so-pleasant breath later, and even being exuded from pores after eating, it remains a go-to flavoring for cooks across the globe.
Pro Tip: While one form can often be substituted for another, doing so requires some adjustments in amount, and often changes the character and flavor of a dish. Therefore, recipes using garlic specify the amount and form of the garlic to be included.
Is Garlic a Spice?
Garlic is a bulb, like the onion. It is typically found whole and minced in the produce section of the grocery store. Garlic powder and garlic salt will be found where the spices are located.
Varieties of Garlic
From its humble beginnings thousands of years ago in central Asia, it spread to the Middle East and Europe, Asia, and eventually worldwide. In fact, as of 2018, the world production of garlic topped 28 million tons.
China currently produces about 80% of the world’s garlic, but one of the great things about garlic is that it’s easy to grow at home in most climates. It is scientifically known as Allium sativum and divided into two main subspecies; hardneck, or ophioscorodon, and softneck, or sativum. The division is based on the stiffness of the stalk that is seen from above ground.
There are two major varieties of garlic:
- Hardneck Garlic
- Softneck Garlic
Hardneck garlic is the older type, developed initially from wild garlic, and typically produces fewer but larger cloves. It has a stiff stalk, with little miniature cloves called bulbils attached to them. They grow well in northern climates. When growing hardneck garlic, the stalks should be removed on sunny days, conserving the energy used so that more cloves are produced. The stalks can be used in cooking; the flavor will be similar to, but milder than, garlic cloves.
Softneck garlic evolved from hardneck garlic. This type is often referred to as “braiding” garlic, as their more pliable stalks are often braided together to form chains of garlic bulbs.
Softneck garlic, in general, doesn’t produce bulbils. They produce about double the number of cloves as hardneck garlic, but the cloves are smaller. They are suitable to a variety of climates and mature faster than their hardneck brethren. Softneck garlic’s rapid growth, lack of “flower” stalks to remove, and adaptability leads to its status as the type most frequently seen in the grocery store.
From within these two main types have sprung up numerous varieties or “cultivars,” with names like Creole Red and Asian Tempest in the hardneck subspecies, and California Early and Red Toch in the softneck group. A garlic festival is a great place to find out about the different garlic varieties, as they often have raw garlic and garlic products for tasting.
Garlic and Good Health
Garlic isn’t just a tasty additive to your menu; it has long been touted for its medicinal properties. Among its benefits are improving heart health, boosting the immune system, detoxifying heavy metals, and possibly reducing bone loss associated with aging! Garlic has even been suggested to enhance athletic performance. Although benefits can be obtained from powdered garlic in food or tablet form, the fresher the garlic is, the more benefit is likely to be found.
As you know, garlic powder is simply dehydrated garlic ground very finely. It is meant to be substituted liberally in place of the other more fresh forms of garlic. So, by all means, feel free to dash it in there and get on with making that wonderful dish for your family and friends. In fact, whether whole, minced, powdered, crushed, or paste, grab that garlic, and enjoy in good health!
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