Garlic is a great flavorful addition to a recipe and to a meal and it comes in many forms: fresh garlic, jarred minced garlic, dried (dehydrated) minced garlic, and garlic powder. All the forms are a version of garlic, but it is important to know how much of each should be used when substituting.
Have you ever read a recipe that calls for 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and wondered how many cloves that actually is? Or maybe you have a jar of minced garlic, but a recipe calls for 1 clove of garlic, but you have no way of gauging how much that would actually be. Or maybe you have a bulb of garlic with varying sizes of cloves and you wonder whether to use a small, medium, or large clove when a recipe calls for 1 clove. And can you substitute dried garlic or garlic powder for fresh garlic?
Your questions are about to be answered in detail in this article.
Firstly, What is actually considered as Minced Garlic? Vs The Various Sizes in Cloves
Let’s back up a little bit. Just so we are on the same page, when a recipe refers to minced garlic, it is talking about garlic that has been cut into very small evenly sized, square-shaped pieces. If you’ve ever bought or seen minced garlic in the jar from the grocery store, that is the size we are talking about here. You get the same result if you chop a fresh clove of garlic.
Whether you are a seasoned cook or someone who has just started cooking, you will likely come across garlic as an ingredient to many recipes. So many recipes call for garlic. In most cases, fresh garlic is always going to be the best flavor and give you the freshest taste. But sometimes you find yourself in a pinch while making a vegetable soup or a stir fry or meatballs and need garlic. But alas, garlic is not always on hand! This article will also discuss what to do and what you can use in place of fresh garlic if you find yourself without a clove to spare.
Let’s get back to the measurement discussion..
Garlic comes in many sizes. It can range from a bulb (also known as a head) with very small cloves to a medium bulb (head) with varying sizes of cloves or a gigantic bulb (head), often called elephant garlic, because of the large size. One clove of elephant garlic could potentially be the same as 4 or 5 medium cloves.
Needless to say, it can be difficult to determine what a recipe means when it says 1 clove of garlic or 1 teaspoon of garlic. Let’s start with the size of the bulb (head). A small bulb (head) of garlic is about 5 inches (or less) around. A medium bulb (head) is between 5 and 8 inches around. A large bulb (head) is 8 inches or above. In terms of cloves, a small clove is about 1 inch (or less) in length. A medium clove is about 1¼ inches in length and a large clove is 1½ (or more) inches in length. Some cloves can be very flat and some can be a lot heftier. But when a recipe calls for a clove of garlic, it is typically referring to a medium clove with a medium amount of volume to it.
Whenever a recipe calls for a clove of garlic, it is typically referring to a medium clove with a medium amount of volume to it.
Minced Garlic to Cloves Conversion
Let me be straight forward. In terms of amount… one small flat clove of garlic produces about ¼ teaspoon minced garlic. One small more filled-in clove of garlic produces about ½ teaspoon minced garlic. One medium clove garlic makes about 1 teaspoon minced garlic (give or take ¼ teaspoon). One large clove garlic makes about 1½ teaspoons minced garlic (or more if it is really large).
So, How much minced garlic is 1 clove? (Jarred vs Dried)
If you are starting with the jarred pre-minced garlic, 1 teaspoon is about 1 medium clove garlic. On the other hand, if it is the case of dried (dehydrated) minced garlic (This looks like little flakes of garlic and is found in the spice section of the grocery store) 1 clove equals to only ½ teaspoon dried minced garlic.
How much minced garlic is 2 cloves?
If a recipe calls for 2 cloves garlic, that would equal 2 teaspoons jarred pre-minced garlic. Similarly, if it is the case of dried minced garlic, then use 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic, whenever a recipe calls for 2 cloves.
How much minced garlic is 3 cloves?
If a recipe calls for 3 cloves garlic, that would equal 3 teaspoons (which is 1 tablespoon) jarred minced garlic. On the other note, it would be right to use 1½ teaspoons dried minced garlic, for 3 cloves mentioned in the recipe.
How much minced garlic is 4 cloves?
If a recipe calls for 4 cloves garlic, that would equal 4 teaspoons jarred minced garlic and 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic.
Garlic Powder-Minced Garlic-Cloves Conversion
If you only have garlic powder, use ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder when a recipe calls for 1 clove minced garlic. If a recipe calls for 2 cloves minced garlic, use ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. If a recipe calls for 3 cloves garlic, use ¼ teaspoon (plus a little more) garlic powder. If a recipe calls for 4 cloves minced garlic, use ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
So put together, 1 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder.
Fresh Garlic vs Jarred Minced Garlic vs Dehydrated Minced Garlic vs Garlic Powder: Which one is better?
Remember, Garlic is one of those ingredients that can really make a recipe just that more delicious. As per many studies, fresh garlic is typically preferred over the jarred minced garlic or the dehydrated minced garlic or the garlic powder.
There is one instance though, that garlic powder is better than fresh: when making roasted vegetables. If you are roasting broccoli or cauliflower, for example, a light dusting of garlic powder can add a great savory flavor to the roasted vegetables. If you added fresh garlic to the broccoli or cauliflower and roasted it for 20 to 30 minutes, the garlic will get so charred that it will taste bitter. So either use garlic powder or roast the broccoli or cauliflower and when it is done, toss it with fresh garlic right before serving.
Conclusion: How much minced garlic is a clove?
So to recap, the general rule of thumb is that 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic equals 1 clove of garlic, ½ teaspoon dried (dehydrated) minced garlic equals 1 clove of garlic, and ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder equals 1 clove of garlic.
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