Fact #1: Garlic is my favorite seasoning. I use it almost everyday.
Fact #2: I'm a lazy cook and most of the time, unwrapping a clove of garlic and mincing it seems like too much work. Plus, then your hands smell like garlic all day!
Because of this, most of the time I end up substituting fresh garlic cloves for one of the many available forms of garlic out there. I usually just grab whichever one I find first, but I was thinking the other day, "What is the difference between garlic powder and granulated garlic?" The result was a deep dive into an online rabbit hole all about garlic. Which is kinda weird, but left me feeling better than the last time I fell down a bachelor nation rabbit hole. Here's what I found out....
Health Benefits of Garlic
Not only does garlic taste amazing, it also has an array of health benefits like:
- high nutrient density
- helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- full of antioxidants
- has been used since ancient times to treat diseases, like the common cold.
You can read even more at "11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic"
Many people looking for the health benefits of garlic aren't just using it recipes, they are taking garlic powder supplements. If you are interested in doing this, I'd encourage reading "Garlic: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Dosing" from WebMD and talking with your doctor.
Fresh Garlic Substitutes
What's the difference and when do I use each one?
- Garlic Powder is made with fresh garlic that has been dried and then ground up into a smooth powder. Because it's so fine and easy to blend in, it's great for recipes requiring a smooth, even garlic flavor. However, Garlic Power brings a lot more intense garlic flavor than any other form of garlic, so you'll want to use a smaller amount of it in your cooking. It's great in soups, sauces, spice rubs, marinades, really anything.
⅛ teaspoon Garlic Powder = 1 clove fresh garlic
- Just like it sounds, Garlic Salt is roughly three parts salt to one part garlic powder. Garlic and Salt are both common ways to add flavor to a recipe, so combining the two really gives you an opportunity to ramp up the taste of a recipe. It can usually be found in stores, but you can easily create the same results by simply adding both salt and garlic to your recipe. Garlic salt can be used in the same ways garlic powder can be, just remember that it adds extra salt to a recipe as well.
½ teaspoon Garlic Salt = 1 clove fresh garlic (and ¼ teaspoon salt)
- Minced Garlic is fresh garlic that has been finely chopped and then dehydrated. It has a mellower flavor than fresh garlic. It re-hydrates quickly when you add it into recipes. Due to the larger size of garlic pieces, minced garlic really gives a pop of garlic here and there in your recipe. Minced garlic is great for sauteing with veggies, or putting in soup or sauces. Not as effective in spice rubs.
¼ teaspoon Minced Garlic = 1 clove fresh garlic
- Granulated Garlic is also made from ground up dehydrated garlic. It is not as finely ground as Garlic Powder, however, so the flavor isn't as intense. It does produce an even garlic flavor to a recipe. Granulated Garlic can be used the same as garlic powder, just remember to use more as it is less flavorful.
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic = 1 clove fresh garlic
A Substitution Consideration
All of the forms of garlic we've discussed have been dehydrated, which means the water has been removed from the garlic. Because of this, it will cook a lot faster than fresh garlic, especially in powder form because it is so tiny.
So, if a recipe says to saute fresh garlic for 1 minute, plan on sauteing minced garlic for only 30 seconds, granulated garlic for only 10 seconds, and don't bother trying with garlic powder. It burns very easily, just add it in when you add other seasoning to your recipe.
Now, for the question I know is on all of your minds.....
Which one tastes best on Garlic Bread?
We put the 4 types of garlic to the test to decide which one made the best garlic bread. A loaf of french bread was cut into 4 equal parts, and covered with butter. Each section got a sprinkling of a different type of garlic, and the loaves were broiled till golden. 6 different people tasted each type of garlic bread and then shared their thoughts.
Taste Test Results
- Garlic Powder was the winner! Everyone agreed it had the most flavor.
- Granulated Garlic was a close second for everyone.
- Everyone agreed that Minced Garlic didn't give the bread much of a garlic flavor.
- Everyone HATED the Garlic Salt bread.
So, next time you're making garlic bread, reach for the garlic powder or granulated garlic.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about the different types of fresh garlic substitutions. Let me know in the comments what your favorite recipe is that has garlic in it!