Garlic Powder Vs Minced Garlic: What is the Difference?

Garlic, a truly gorgeous food, and one of the most cooked items. It is so often included in dishes that are sautéed, baked, stir-fried, braised, minced, roasted, and added into marinades, spice rubs, soups, and so on. 

Garlic just adds a special something, another layer of flavor to every dish. It is a pantry staple, and if you find the process of peeling, slicing, grating, chopping, mincing, or even just handling fresh garlic, there are other options. 

Garlic Powder Vs Minced Garlic What is the difference

Two of these options are powdered garlic, and minced garlic. They are not always interchangeable with fresh garlic and are regularly their own ingredient, however, they both have unique and specific factors that make them great in a variety of cooking situations. 

So, let’s look at the differences between these two garlic types. 

Well, to start, minced garlic is fresher and gives more of a punchy flavor than garlic powder down. However, garlic powder does have an intense flavor from a small amount, and it is easier to use straight from the bottle, nor does it burn easily. 

Already engrossed? Time to learn more! 

Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic?

Garlic PowderMinced Garlic
How to cookBest used as a seasoning or condiment.
If added to tomato blends, restitute in the same amount of water to really get that garlic flavoring
The best dishes to include this in are where garlic is a minor flavoring ingredient such as; soups, stews, dips, and sauces. 
Minced garlic burns easily, so only subject it to low-medium heats. 
Infuse it with oil or fats for a more full flavor dispersal in the dish you include it in. 
Ideal garlic substitute for pasta dishes and tomato based viands. 
TasteConsistently flat throughout cooking.Less assertive.Sweet flavor.Concentrated yet mellow.Has a sort-of spicy bite.Punchy taste.Sharp.Full garlic-like flavor. 
ProsEasy to use from the container.Consistent flavor distribution throughout all stages of cooking. Usually it does not affect the texture of your dish.Mess-free.Flexible. Nutrients are preserved,Fresh garlic is a pantry staple.Different cooking and slicing methods can produce different intensity of flavors and so makes for a more creative ingredient Fresher and stronger flavors are introduced to the dish. 
ConsDoesn’t provide the punch you get from fresh garlic.Preservative laden, check ingredients to find the best processed powder.Will not give caramel-like undertones that you get from sautéed or roasted garlic.Not fresh garlic. Involves multiple steps to achieve what you want- many stages involved. Burns easily. Can leave a pungent smell on hands. Messy.Difficult to spread and may get clumped easily due to its sticky nature. 
Equivalent to 1 clove.⅛  teaspoon½ teaspoon.
Works as a substitute?It can substitute, so long as the equivalent amount is used for the recipe being used in. It can substitute, so long as the equivalent amount is used for the recipe it is being used for. 

All About Garlic Powder

Let’s start by telling you what garlic powder is. It is dehydrated garlic cloves which are finely ground into pulverized particles. 

Garlic powder is much like many other cooking powders, for example, powdered cinnamon is much the same as powdered garlic in how it is made. The food type is simply dried out and then ground down until it is very fine in its particles. 

How Does It Taste? 

Garlic powder has a distinctive taste, although it is sweeter in its taste, and it has a less assertive taste than fresh garlic does. It does not have that overpowering raw garlic aroma, either. If added to less salted dishes, it can bring out a bright flavor into the dish and turn a dull dish into something with a unique taste. 

It can often be likened to MSG, in that, whenever it is mixed into a dish, it has a subtle and mellow undertone that lends a flavor fullness, but it is not entirely discernible either. The taste it offers is consistently flat in a way that gives it an umami essence in a way. 

Cooking With Garlic Powder- How To? 

Want to know what you can add garlic powder to? 

Well, there are plenty of options, garlic powder actually makes for a fantastic flavoring in the following dishes; 

  • Stews.
  • Sauces.
  • Marinades.
  • Soups.
  • Dry spices rub.
  • Braises.
  • Seasoning Mixes.
  • Baking and Broiling where food may be subject to high heat and could burn easily, so fresh and minced garlic is not an ideal option. 

Garlic powder will blend in and spread or disperse perfectly in dishes that are water content-sensitive. So, this means that in dishes such as meatballs, and chicken cutlets, each powder granule will embrace the meat well, and it will not clump together or leave a sticky residue. 

Things to Remember About Garlic Powder

If you use garlic powder, there are a few things that you should note beforehand. 

One of these is that Tomato and the flavor of garlic powder make for a beautiful blend, everyone knows that, though. As tomato is acidic, when you mix in garlic powder to anything acidic, you need to reconstitute your desired amount of powder in the same amount of water and leave it to stand for around 2-5 minutes before you add it in. This will help to bring out the maximum garlic flavor of the powder. 

This leaves us asking if garlic salt is the same as garlic powder. Well, you can use garlic powder instead of garlic salt, however, this does not work the other way around. If you use garlic salt instead of garlic powder, then you might end up with too much salt in your dish. Garlic salt is actually three parts salt and one part garlic powder. 

All About Minced Garlic

So, what is minced garlic? Well, it is just finely chopped fresh garlic. It is not to be confused with chopped garlic, though, which is much coarser and larger than minced garlic. It also has more of a bite in comparison to the tiny bits of minced garlic you get. 

If you want more specification, minced garlic is around less than 1/16 inch in diameter, while chopped garlic is no more than around 1.8 of an inch. Mincing garlic by hand is a knife skill, so you should ensure you learn technique first, and remember practice makes perfect. 

How Does it Taste? 

So, what about its flavor? Minced garlic is just finely chopped fresh garlic. So, what are the flavor differences for each type of garlic clove when cut? 

  • Whole cloves- Mild.
  • Large Cloves- Mild.
  • Chopped- Medium.
  • Minced- Full.
  • Smashed- Intense. 

Minced garlic, in comparison to garlic powder, has not been dehydrated or pulverized, so it has that delicious and sought after strong, punchy, sharp, and almost spicy taste that fresh garlic is renowned for. 

It has a highly potent garlicky flavor. Note the two substances that are present in garlic; alliin, and alliinase. When these two substances interact through a chemical reaction, one that occurs when garlic cloves cells are broken down by cooking techniques such as cutting, crushing, slicing, mincing and so on, it allows for a maximum release of the compound allicin, which is the Sulfur compound known for the aroma and ‘bite’ that fresh garlic has. 

Cooking With Minced Garlic- How To? 

So, how do you cook with minced garlic? Well, the most important thing you should note when you cook with freshly minced garlic is not where you should use it, but that there are a myriad of ways, and so many different recipes in which you can cook with minced garlic. 

It is not the where, but, the how that is tricky when you seek the full flavor of garlic. 

Sautéing Garlic

When sautéing with garlic, use a pan or skillet with a heavy bottom for even heat. Heat oil or butter in low to medium heat before you include the garlic, and soft other ingredients that will take longer to cook before you add in your garlic, and stir constantly to prevent any burning. 

Roasting Garlic

When roasting your garlic, preheat the oven to around 325 to 350 Degrees F. Get a shallow pan and spread around the minced garlic and coat it with oil.

Then, cover the dish with a pan with foil and roast for ten minutes, any longer than this and the garlic will burn. You could also sprinkle salt over the minced garlic, however this is up to you. 

Frying Garlic

When frying garlic it is similar to sautéing, use a heavy bottomed pan or skillet, subject oil to heat first before it smokes and then add in the garlic.

Minced garlic will brown easily, so you should remove it when it is turning golden beige, as waiting for it to brown is too close to burning. 

Other Cooking Methods

Should you cook with herbs, mince the garlic cloves with the herbs so that the garlic sticks to the herbs instead of making the knife sticky and the flavor gets infused.

You should pre-soak your garlic in oil as well, before you add it to your preferred dish to infuse the flavor and disperse it properly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is garlic powder better than minced garlic? 

Minced garlic is fresher than garlic powder and has a stronger flavor, however, whether it is better is dependent on what you are using it for and your personal tastes. 

Can minced garlic substitute garlic powder?

Minced garlic can indeed substitute garlic powder, just ensure that you measure the amount correctly. Use one medium-sized clove for each 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Does garlic powder go bad?

If properly stored, garlic powder will stay at its best quality for around 3-4 years. It does not spoil but will eventually lose its potency. 

Jess Smith
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