How and when to use garlic powder, a reliable seasoning that deserves respect

Garlic powder is critical in my cooking. The dried allium in some form — garlic powder, granulated garlic and garlic salt — has been part of my palate because I become a toddler taking part in my mother’s recipes. Behind salt and pepper, it’s far the most used seasoning in my pantry even nowadays. It’s a steady after I want to put together veggies for roasting, season the meat and flour for skillet-fried chook or red meat chops, or provide pantry recipes an extra increase of flavor while not having to drag out a knife and slicing board to use fresh garlic cloves.

garlic powder

While garlic powder sits excessive on a pedestal in my kitchen — beloved, respected, irreplaceable — some view it with disgrace or even contempt, baffled why everybody would pick to use this processed product over the sparkling alternative.

“Our prejudice has everything to do with this century’s obsession with all matters ‘artisanal’ and ‘herbal’ — two vaguely described terms which are widely used to represent a food’s well worth,” cookbook creator Leah Koenig wrote of the further maligned onion powder.

To remedy any confusion: Garlic powder is herbal. The process to make it’s so simple that you can even do it at home: peel clean cloves, slice them thinly, dry them out, then grind them all the way down to anything consistency you need, and voilà! You’ve made garlic powder. The component list for the canister to your cabinet should handiest comprise six letters: g-a-r-l-i-c. Anything more and it’s now not something you need to be spending your cash on when you have the choice.


But it’s exactly that desire that highlights some of the stigma surrounding the seasoning — no longer everyone has it, which warrants a better look at the demographics of people who don’t. “Garlic powder got a bad popularity because it became seen as being associated with the type of cooking that quality-eating cooks didn’t have lots of recognize for,” stated Ethan Frisch, co-founding father of unmarried-foundation spice business enterprise Burlap & Barrel. “There have been racial overtones to that form of perception of the factor.”

Or more explicitly, it’s the connection to Black foodways. “We are garlic fiends inside the Black network,” culinary historian Michael W. Twitty stated in a verbal exchange with the Los Angeles Times at the issue. “ … We learned a way to use it due to the fact garlic powder is comparatively cheap and stays round longer.” The equal may be said for humans with constrained food get entry to from all ethnicities who’ve made it a pantry staple.


While my occasions in existence have eliminated my need to depend completely at the dried allium, my want remains, because garlic powder adds complexity and umami to whatever it touches, and in certain instances is better than clean.

“Unlike the dominating taste of sparkling garlic, powder is extra the glue at the back of the glitter, adding a subtle fullness of taste that can be greater hard to hit upon than with clean, however nevertheless makes the meal flavor better,” Ari LeVaux wrote in the Austin American Statesman. I keep in mind them one of a kind elements, every with their personal uses and flavor profiles, and the selection among them often comes right down to heat, texture and timing. (But in case you must replacement one for the other, among 1/8 and 1/four teaspoon garlic powder has the equivalent efficiency of 1 garlic clove.)

When to use garlic powder. When heat is worried, you want to keep in mind the probability of sparkling garlic burning in the course of the cooking method. So whilst grilling a steak or frying bird, while you can use clean cloves in a marinade, it’s a good deal easier to apply powder. Otherwise, you want to be meticulous approximately wiping the marinade off the food or else you threat an unwanted bitterness from burned garlic. (Garlic powder can nevertheless burn, but it is less probably to do so than sparkling.) Raw garlic additionally should now not be used in sous vide cooking due to the fact there’s a hazard of botulism.

The texture of garlic powder makes it best for spice rubs and dredges. Minced sparkling garlic would make it lumpy, thank you in part to the moisture, but the dry powder is a lot extra without difficulty dispersed. So every time I make a spice combo for barbecue or a batch of seasoned flour beforehand of dredging and frying fowl, I grasp the canister from my cupboard to add garlic taste.

Another important issue to don’t forget is when you want to add garlic flavor and how long after it’ll be ate up. When making pasta sauce, minced garlic is added toward the start of the procedure to construct flavors. Let’s say your pot has already been simmering away for an hour or extra, the consistency is simply right and after giving it a flavor making a decision you need extra garlic taste. Adding fresh garlic at this degree might be a misstep because the time it might take to mellow the pungency of the uncooked garlic would imply having to perform a little maneuvering to get the texture of the sauce to stay the same. Instead, a few sprinkles of dried garlic will accomplish the trick in nearly no time. And in instances in which the garlic is kept raw, like salad dressings or dips, the taste intensity grows over time. So what sooner or later is probably perfectly balanced could effortlessly grow to be overpowering the next.

Garlic powder vs. Granulated garlic. The difference between garlic powder and granulated garlic lies in the size of the granules, and which you pick to apply mostly comes down to private choice. “I like to apply powder in whatever in which you don’t actually need the garlic to be visible, and you want the taste to be absolutely infused into something you’re cooking,” Frisch stated. That consists of such things as soups, stews, salad dressings and mac and cheese. However, powder has a shorter shelf existence than granulated garlic, which also can maintain as much as longer cooking times. “I may use granulated garlic in stir-fry or a rub for meat that I’m going to grill in which I need the garlic to keep as much as the cooking method a touch bit longer, or I need a little little bit of extra distinctive garlic flavor.”

Remember to hydrate. One very last tip to preserve in mind is that you need to hydrate garlic powder to release its complete flavor capacity. Per Cook’s Illustrated, “It’s vital to first ‘wake up’ the dormant taste-generating enzyme in garlic powder via hydrating it — and to avoid heating the powder before doing so seeing that with a view to damage the enzyme.”

For all individuals who already use the seasoning, take into account this my rallying cry to achieve this with satisfaction — and unfold the gospel to others. For the naysayers, I’m not advocating that you give up the usage of sparkling garlic for your cooking, but I urge you to offer its dried form a try and enjoy for your self all that it could do beyond being sprinkled on a slice at your favourite pizza joint. And if you’re no longer inclined to take that step just but, I desire I’ve persuaded you to as a minimum erase any disgrace you would possibly forged on its advocates and supply garlic powder the honour it merits.

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