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What is Garlic Powder?

Garlic Powder Spice


Garlic powder is a culinary spice that is created by drying and finely grinding fresh garlic bulbs into an off-white pungent powder that is also affectionately referred to as the “stinking rose”.

What does garlic powder taste like?

The powdered form of garlic is more intense by weight due to the concentration of flavors when drying. The flavors of fresh garlic and garlic powder are not identical due to the process of drying however they share the same key flavor profiles, garlic powder is instead more similar to the flavor of roasted garlic. The addition of a small amount of garlic powder seasoning can enrich a dish with savory characteristics. Garlic powder has an intense odor with a less aggressive and sweeter flavoring.

Garlic Powder Uses

Garlic powder is a popular ingredient in dry rubs and spice blends, as the powder form allows ingredients to absorb the seasoning, mix well with dry ingredients, and doesn’t affect the texture of the dish. Garlic powder does not contain as many nutritional benefits as fresh due to the processing of the product but for convenience, consistency, and shelf life many recipes benefit from the use of powder rather than fresh. 

A potential benefit of the powder form is also its ability to withstand high heats as it dissolves into recipes quickly releasing its flavor whereas fresh garlic burns easily. The full flavor of garlic is released when the powder is rehydrated at a moderate temperature then sauteed in fat. Uses for the powder include marinades for meat or fish, soups, gravies, dressings, stews, casseroles, pasta, rice, potatoes, curries, meat rubs, stuffing, or coatings for ingredients such as popcorn and nuts.

Garlic Powder Substitutes 

  • Fresh Garlic: one clove is approximately equal to ⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder. Fresh garlic may have a more intense flavor by weight but both products can be used in place of one another in most recipes.
  • Granulated Garlic: ground courser than powder the two ingredients can be used interchangeably. 

Compliments and Pairings 

Garlic powder is extremely versatile whether sprinkled into a simmering dish, coated into a crust, or mixed through a marinade. Complimentary ingredients include nuts, meat, game, potato, fish, leek, onion, cheese, chili, aubergine, mince, chickpea, thyme, tomato, courgette, pepper, rosemary, egg, avocado, and bread. 

Expiration and Storage: 

  • Powder: store dehydrated garlic powder in an airtight container away from moisture and direct sunlight and use within 2-3 years.

Where does garlic come from?

Garlic is a member of the onion family or Allium sativum genus. The name garlic is derived from ‘gar’ meaning spear and ‘lac’ meaning plant, this is a reference to the shape of the garlic leaves. The vegetable has become one of the most common seasonings worldwide, originally native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran. It’s now also very popular among traditional Mexican spices.

To make homemade garlic powder simply peel and finely slice fresh garlic. Then place the garlic into a dehydrator, low oven, or direct sunlight and leave until it is completely dry. When dry and crumbly place the garlic into a coffee grinder or food processor and blend till a fine powder.

Fun Facts

  • Garlic has historically been a favored traditional medicine and food flavoring with several thousand years of human consumption.  
  • Garlic has a reputation for warding off evil spirits, as garlic is a natural repellent for blood-sucking insects it was then believed that it could also keep away blood-sucking evil spirits such as vampires.
  • China is the leading world producer of garlic powder followed by India, South Korea, and Egypt.
  • More scientific information can be found on wikipedia.

Popular Recipes

  • Garlic mayonnaise
  • Garlic breadsticks
  • Meatballs
  • BBQ spice rub
  • Peri-peri potatoes
  • Meatloaf
  • Curried chickpea salad
  • Garlic fried chicken
  • Ratatouille
  • Garlic and thyme spiced ribs
  • Garlic focaccia 

Chef Max

Michelin trained professional chef with a passion for recipe writing and all things food. I have worked for over five years at top restaurants across the UK and have gained an ability to create any recipe you desire, from comfort food recipes to fine dining recipes. My experience in food writing includes a placement at Delicious Magazine which involved feature writing, recipe testing, article research, and content creation.

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