I’ve asked this question many times as I stare at a new recipe and my jar of minced garlic and ponder if I can make it without running to the store. I do love using fresh garlic, but when I don’t have any sitting on the windowsill, that’s when I need to know: How much minced garlic equals a clove? How do I do this?
What is Garlic?
First, let’s talk about what we are actually dealing with here. Garlic, in its fresh-picked-from-the-garden form, is a vegetable that grows as a bulb. Each bulb is made up of anywhere between twelve and twenty individual cloves of garlic.
The bulbs of garlic grow underground, and above ground is a flowering plant. This flavorful, edible bulb is in the same family as onions, shallots, and leeks.
Garlic is used in many different forms as a seasoning and has been used in food for centuries. It has many health benefits.
What is a Clove?
A clove is one small, oval, spherical segment of the bulb and is the edible part of the plant with intense flavor. Each clove is covered in skin that must be removed.
The cloves of garlic coming from a single bulb will vary greatly in size, so the amount of minced garlic equal to one clove is not an exact measurement. That’s how I justify adding extra garlic to nearly everything we cook!
Types of Garlic
The forms of garlic used in cooking include whole garlic cloves, grated garlic cloves, sliced garlic cloves, fresh minced garlic, jarred minced garlic preserved in oil, dried minced garlic, garlic granules, crushed garlic, pureed garlic, and garlic powder.
Dried minced garlic and granulated garlic are very similar and can be used interchangeably.
Garlic also comes in different varieties. These include:
- Purple Stripe Garlic
- Rocambole Garlic
- Porcelain Garlic
- Artichoke garlic Cultivars
- Silverskin Garlic Cultivars
Within each of these types of garlic, you will find many different unique strains or cultivars.
The last two of these (artichoke and silverskin) are the ones you are most likely to find at your local grocery store in the produce section and are considered soft neck varieties.
While they have a milder flavor than the first three cultivar varieties, they are also easier to store, keep fresh, and cook with. These are the types used by chefs all over the world to add flavor to food.
How Much Minced Garlic Equals A Clove?
When you ask, “how much minced garlic equals a clove?” my first response is – what does the jar or bottle say?
Usually, a half teaspoon of jarred minced garlic is equal to one clove. About 1/4 teaspoon of dried minced or granulated garlic equals a clove.
Use dry ingredient measuring tools such as a teaspoon or tablespoon to measure both types of minced garlic.
If you are measuring fresh garlic by the clove, try to choose moderate to large-size cloves. Combine two smaller cloves to equal one regular clove in your recipe.
How to Mince
First, break off garlic cloves from the main bulb and remove the skin. You can do this easily by placing five to fifteen cloves of garlic in the microwave for twenty to thirty seconds.
Then pinch off the skin, and it comes right off.
Next, slice off the end of the garlic clove where the hard part joins the bulb. Slice the garlic clove.
Cut long thin strips from each slice, and finally, cut in the opposite direction to complete the process of mincing a garlic clove.
Clean your hands with toothpaste if you are having trouble getting rid of the garlic smell off your skin.
If you just don’t want to mess with this job, buy a garlic press. It will remove the skin and mince the garlic all in one quick step.
Your garlic will be a little mushier than it would be if you minced it yourself, but it you might prefer that over smelly hands and the concentrated effort of dicing something small.
How to Store
Fresh garlic should be kept in an open-air container with circulation. It should not be kept in the same basket as potatoes, as it will make your potatoes rot more quickly.
Always choose a firm, dry bulb without growth when buying fresh garlic. Once a garlic bulb starts growing a stem, it can still be used but gets more potent or hot in flavor each passing day and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Garlic that is too strong will burn and make your eyes tear up.
Jarred minced garlic should be refrigerated once the jar has been opened, and will keep for several months.
It will eventually become too bitter to be palatable, or the contents of the jar will become cloudy or develop mold. Either is a sign it should be discarded.
Dried garlic in all forms should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. Dried garlic should be replaced after six months for maximum flavor.
What can you make with minced garlic?
This amazing ingredient can be added to soup, sauté, salad dressing, marinades, dry rubs, sauces, veggies, casseroles, and more. Try one of these garlic-infused recipes to try out this ingredient.
- Air Fryer Carrots With Garlic Butter
- Garlic Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe
- Air Fryer Garlic Butter Naan
- Parmesan Garlic Roasted Green Beans Recipe
- Garlic Parmesan Crusted Salmon
Yes. While fresh garlic has unmatched flavor, you can almost always substitute jarred minced garlic for freshly minced garlic in a recipe.
If you love the flavor of garlic, you may want to add a little extra to make up for what the preserved form lacks.
Another thing to note is that the preservation process, oil, and age of jarred garlic can add a bitter edge to the flavor. Try to drain off the liquid before adding it to your dish, and don’t keep your jar for too long.
Yes, maybe. Dried minced garlic will need to be rehydrated for full effect. So as long as the recipe you are using garlic in contains enough liquid or fat to rehydrate the garlic as it cooks, this will work perfectly as a substitute for fresh garlic.
Again, it will not have as much flavor as a freshly minced garlic clove. Dried garlic is also more potent than freshly minced garlic and lacks the sweet notes.
No. Granulated garlic is slightly smaller than dried minced garlic, but the two are very similar and can be used interchangeably.
Technically yes. The very best garlic to use for infusing oils is fresh garlic cloves: whole, sliced, or minced. Jarred minced garlic is second best if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves.
In a pinch, you can use dried minced garlic in your olive oil, but it will need to soak long enough to become rehydrated and will not have the sweet edges of fresh garlic to take the flavor over the top.