From time to time, it happens: You have gotten part of the way through cooking a recipe before realizing that a pantry staple is completely out, and there is no time to make a grocery store run. If you find that you are out of garlic, both fresh and prepared minced garlic, then garlic powder can easily stand in for the real thing.
Knowing how much garlic substitute to use is simply a matter of finding the garlic-to-garlic-powder ratio. With this tip and a few other recommendations and substitute options, being put on the spot in the kitchen with regard to flavoring a dish with garlic should never be an issue again.
Garlic-to-Garlic-Powder Ratio and Conversions
Garlic powder is much more potent than cloves of garlic, so the garlic-to-garlic-powder ratio is quite low. For garlic cloves to powder, use an eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder substituted for each garlic clove for which the recipe calls.
Garlic Powder Substitutes
If you find that you are out of garlic powder in addition to fresh garlic cloves, there are other garlic powder substitutes. For each clove of garlic, use half a teaspoon of jarred minced garlic.
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To convert minced garlic to powdered garlic, half a teaspoon of jarred minced garlic is the equivalent of an eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder as well because both measurements equal one clove of garlic. This means that 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to powdered garlic would equal three-fourths of a teaspoon of garlic powder.
Garlic flakes and garlic salt should equal half a teaspoon to replace a clove of garlic or an eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder. If using garlic salt, however, remember to add less regular salt to prevent oversalting the dish. Finally, a quarter teaspoon of granulated garlic can be used in place of a garlic clove or an eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder as well.
Tips for Cooking With Garlic Substitutes
Many recipes call for garlic to be sautéed in oil before adding the rest of the ingredients because the garlic flavors the oil and creates a depth of flavor in the dish. Prepared and jarred minced garlic is really the best substitute in this case because it is easy to cook in the oil like a normal clove of garlic. Other substitutes like garlic flakes, garlic powder or granulated garlic will burn very quickly in oil.
For this reason, these substitutes should be added with other base ingredients like carrots, celery and onions if making a soup to coat them while flavoring the dish without burning. Alternatively, the garlic substitutes can be added to the oil and cooked for 30 seconds to a minute, but the oil will need to be stirred constantly to keep the garlic flakes or powder from clumping or burning on the bottom of the pan.
One easy way to keep garlic on hand other than storing minced garlic in the fridge is to buy a container of peeled garlic cloves. This is a bulk item, but it will store well in the fridge and will not go bad, especially if you cook with garlic often. If your fresh garlic on the countertop has sprouted, it is also safe to use in cooking.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.