How much garlic powder equals one clove? Many recipes need garlic to add the necessary aroma and flavor in the recipe. Garlic is a beautiful spice (also called an herb) that’s quite a versatile ingredient. Garlic is loaded with health benefits and has been used for thousands of years in some form or the other in a variety of cuisines across cultures, regions, and geographies. Its taste is so unique that it’s repelling when eaten alone but adds a ton of flavor to any savory recipe. Garlic is originally a vegetable and a member of the lily family. You can tell by the pods and the leafy greens that it is a close relative of the shallots, chives, leeks, and onions.
What’s a clove of garlic?
Garlic in its natural form grows underground and like an onion and forms a bulb. Each plant will grow only one bulb. The bulb has several smaller pods or cloves attached to it, which make up the bulb. Clove is an individual seed attached to the bulb. The clove is covered in a tight-fitting papery thin layer of garlic skin, which grows thicker as the garlic bulb ages. The thicker the skin, the older the clove, and the easier it is to usually peel it. A typical garlic bulb will have anywhere between 10-30 individual cloves. Usually, the cloves are all similar and equal in size. The cloves are layered just like the layers of an onion bulb. The innermost layers will have smaller-sized cloves compared to the ones on the outermost side. Also, the age of the garlic bulb will determine the size of the cloves.
Garlic clove size
The garlic cloves vary greatly in size and also vary from bulb to bulb. The garlic cloves can vary from small, medium, and extra-large in size. A small clove can under 1 inch in length, while the medium will be around 1.25 inches long. The extra-large ones will be around 1.5 inches in length. IF discussing the clove’s diameter, the clove is like a tear-shape so that we will measure the diameter at the widest place on the clove. A small clove will be around 3/8th of an inch. The large cloves will be around 3/4th of an inch across. While the medium size ones fall anywhere in between these two measurements. You can see, there’s no set standard measurement in place. There is a wide variation in the size. Therefore, the weight and volume of an individual clove.
A clove will usually equal about a teaspoon if chopped. So a small clove of garlic will equal and yield about ½ teaspoon, while a large one will yield about 1.5 teaspoons. However, if you mince it, the quantity appears even lesser, and a normal clove will yield slightly lesser than 1 teaspoon. To measure it in cup size, you will need to chop 12-14 normal garlic cloves to get 1/4th cup of garlic.
What is garlic powder?
This is a finely ground version of garlic that has almost zero moisture content and looks like a fine light brown colored powder. Garlic powder is made by processing raw garlic in a manner to remove all the moisture while still retaining the taste and flavor. The typical process is to somehow dry out the garlic over some time and then grind it to a powder of extremely fine texture and consistency. The drying process can be natural in a warm room over 7 – 10 days or in an automatic dehydrator for over 12 hours. Either that or an oven that can take around 90 minutes to turn minced garlic into its dry form. This powder can then be safely stored and can easily last a year to 2 years, depending on storage condition.
The flavor of the Garlic powder
We have to understand that the taste of different garlic powders cannot be the same. Even garlic powders made from two different batches at home at two different times will have slightly different tastes. The flavor of garlic will depend on the following factors:
- Processing: Every batch of garlic powder will be slightly different in taste and flavor depending on the type of garlic used and how they are processed.
- Storage: The way garlic powder is stored will affect the final taste and flavor. Garlic powder is supposed to be stored in a dark, cool, and dry place. The jar or container in which garlic is stored must also be airtight. Also, there must not be any moisture inside the jar, leading to the powder losing taste and flavor very early.
- Ageing: The older the garlic powder, the less powerful the taste will be. As any spice ages, it loses its aroma, flavor, and taste. The same holds true for garlic powder. So ensure you do not keep a very old batch and keep making new ones every 6-8 months for the best flavors.
Garlic powder has various uses in the kitchen and recipes. It was initially planned as a substitute for the fresh garlic and to be used when fresh garlic was not available. It can give a similar taste and flavor when replaced with fresh garlic. Also, it has several other innovative uses. It can be used as a seasoning that typically the fresh garlic can be used in recipes that need spices in their dehydrated powder form like minced meat. It also serves as a backup option when fresh garlic may not be available like winters and saves a lot of time cooking.
Garlic as a substitute for fresh garlic cloves
When using garlic in a powder form, the prime issue that has always bogged anyone trying to use it is for recipes in which information is typically given for minced or chopped garlic. Some recipes are a delicate concoction of spices and herbs. A slight variation can completely alter the taste. We also know from experience that garlic gives a strong, pungent smell and a strong flavor. You can imagine what will happen if you go wrong with the measurement. To help you with this, we have shared some information below, which will guide you through.
When using garlic powder as a substitute for fresh garlic cloves, the following information can be used as a correct measurement:
- 1 garlic clove = 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 garlic clove = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Single garlic clove = 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
- 1 garlic clove = 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- One Garlic clove = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
We have used a medium garlic clove for calculation. You can use the above information as a sort of “gold standard” when using garlic powder in your recipes. We gave so many variations of the formula so that you can compare powdered garlic and convert it to any form of fresh garlic.
Also, in recipes that utilize garlic salts (in place of garlic powder), the garlic volume has to be reduced and adjusted accordingly. Also, you will need to proportionally reduce the salt in the recipe. Therefore
1 medium-sized garlic clove = 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Garlic powder conversion calculation by weight
- If you consider 1 medium-sized clove of garlic, it will weigh in at around 5 grams. 2/3rd of this weight is just the water content in the garlic.
- When this garlic clove is processed to be dehydrated, it will lose the moisture and water content. The dry garlic weight that remains post dehydration will be 1/3rd of the original weight, which is now 1.66 grams.
- With dehydration and processing, some of the garlic’s original flavors are also lost, and the flavor diminishes. You will have to factor in this change when making the weight calculations for dry garlic. Therefore, you will need to use more garlic powder to compensate for the loss of flavor.
- You can assume that 2.5 grams of garlic would equal the flavor and pungency of a good-sized clove.
1 medium-sized garlic clove = 2.5 grams of garlic powder
This is a good measure to have handy when following recipes. The final adjustments will be as per your experiences when you prepare a few recipes and how they taste.
We have seen that it is not a straightforward calculation for equating a garlic clove to the amount of garlic powder. It can depend on a lot of factors like the size of the clove, the strength of the flavor, the age of the powder, etc. So you will have to use a generally accepted thumb rule for use in the kitchen. Also, being a strong spice, which can make or spoil the recipe, you will have to be judicious and cautious in its use. If you use it regularly, you would have figured out if our formula works for you or not. If not, you can certainly guess how much adjustment you would have to make in your calculations to get it right.
Since it’s not a scientific calculation, where numbers have to be 100% correct, a fair bit of assumption will go a long way. And if you use a little less spice than desired, you will avoid the risk of spoiling the dish. Garlic powder can always be sprinkled on the final preparation if needed. Hope this has been useful to you and will help you accurately use garlic powder in your kitchen.