If your recipe calls for fresh garlic cloves but all you have on hand is garlic powder, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder for each garlic clove.
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder equals one clove of garlic.
Our calculator (below) will help convert additional amounts which is helpful if you are cooking a large recipe that calls for more than just a few cloves of garlic, especially if you are cooking for a crowd. It will also give you an idea of how many bottles of garlic powder you will need.
So, if you are cooking in quantities for a large group (chili, spaghetti, BBQ sauce, etc), skip down to the calculator. For smaller quantities, just refer to the chart below.
How much garlic powder equals 2 cloves of garlic?
Using the same equation, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder equals 2 cloves of garlic.
Applying the same formula results in the following conversion ratios of garlic cloves to garlic powder:
The Math Behind Converting Cloves To Powder
The general rule of thumb is to use 1/3 dry weight when substituting a fresh ingredient. Because garlic powder releases a much more intense, concentrated flavor (which could overpower a dish) in its dry state than other dried herbs, the substitution amount is reduced to 1/4 dry weight.
The average weight of a clove of garlic is between 4-6 grams; split the difference and we get 5 grams. Five grams equals approximately 1 teaspoon. Divided by one-quarter, we get 1/4 teaspoon.
Comparing Fresh Garlic Cloves To Garlic Powder
There are several things to keep in mind when substituting fresh garlic cloves with garlic powder.
Fresh Garlic Cloves
- Fresh garlic cloves add a subtle, slightly sweet and aromatic flavor to dishes.
- Fresh garlic cloves add texture to dishes.
- Sauteing fresh garlic cloves adds sweetness due to caramelization.
- Garlic powder has a more intense flavor that disperses more quickly into dishes.
- Garlic powder lacks the sweetness that caramelized, sauteed garlic cloves impart.
- Garlic powder can become bitter and quickly burn if sauteed.
Some Tips When Substituting Garlic Cloves With Garlic Powder
If the original recipe called for sauteing garlic cloves in oil or butter with another ingredient (usually minced onions or a protein), don’t add the garlic powder until you have finished sauteing and have removed the pan off heat.
To mimic the sweetness that caramelized fresh cloves impart, add a pinch of sugar when sauteing other ingredients.
Less is best. Because garlic powder quickly disperses its flavor into dishes, you can always add more later in the cooking process if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor.
How Long Does Garlic Powder Last
Garlic powder retains its flavor for roughly 3-4 years when stored in a cool, dry location. As it ages, garlic powder will lose some of its potency and will become darker in color. Test taste the powder if you aren’t sure of its freshness.