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Homemade Garlic Powder [Recipe]

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

I absolutely love garlic as an ingredient. I use tons of the stuff – pretty much every savoury dish I prepare contains at least one clove of garlic, probably more. Garlic seems to add so much to a dish – rich aroma, warmth, luxury, a touch of heat and a depth of flavour that seems to linger on the palate long after you’ve finished eating. For me, no other seasoning comes close to garlic.

There was a time using garlic was the preserve of French cooking and having garlic breath implied you had eaten someplace “posh” the night before. Garlic was expensive to buy and few knew how to use it. In my copy of “The Vegetable Expert”, published in 1985, Dr. D.G. Hessayon tells us that garlic “has an important role in Continental but not in British cookery – it really isn’t worth growing unless you are a fan.” However, he also tells us that the culinary uses of onions “are so varied and the basic ways of employing [them] so well know that there would be no point in trying to list them.”

Garlic Power Step-by-Step | www.myfoododyssey.com

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

Things have come a long way in the last twenty years and garlic is now almost as ubiquitous as onions. It is relatively inexpensive, although still a little overpriced in supermarkets. Here in Lithuania, everyone seems to grow garlic and it is very cheaply available in the farmers’ markets. I can buy a kilo of garlic (about 20 full heads) for just €2.30.

I am also trying to grow my own this year using cloves that sprouted over the winter. I have planted about 60 cloves, which I hope will be enough to supply my garlic needs over the coming winter plus enough to use for seed next year. With any luck, I’ll never need to buy garlic again.

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com
For all my love of garlic there are times when using fresh garlic just doesn’t suit, either because I’m in a hurry or because sliced or even finely chopped garlic won’t work in the dish. Using fresh garlic doesn’t work in burgers or meatballs – no matter now finely you chop the garlic it doesn’t seem to cook through. Raw garlic is very overpowering and not very pleasant. Equally unpleasant is burnt garlic, which has a very bitter taste. I find if I use raw garlic in burgers, little pieces of garlic around the edges crisp up or burn, ruining the delicious meaty flavour of the burger.

My solution is to use garlic powder in my mincemeat dishes. Used judiciously, it melts into the meat along with the other seasonings, adding that deep umami taste without being distinctively garlicky. As well as use in burgers and meatballs I also use garlic powder in Lithuanian koldunai, my fajita seasoning (recipe coming soon), my potato wedge seasoning, my aioli and multiple other dishes.

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

When I lived in Ireland I used to buy garlic powder at my local Asian market. It was quite inexpensive and tasted fine, but I always wondered what other ingredients it might contain and was slightly uncomfortable using garlic shipped half way round the world when we grew perfectly good garlic at home. A few months back I bought myself a dehydrator and one of the first things on my list to make was garlic powder. It was incredibly simple and worked out perfectly. I now have a plentiful supply of a product that I know contains nothing, but nothing, but garlic.

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

I appreciate that home dehydrating is a relatively new phenomenon and that few people will have a dehydrator at home. If, like me, you are trying to eliminate industrially processed foods from your diet that I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are cheap to buy and cheap to run, using very little electricity. As well as for garlic I have so far used mine for onion powder, sweet paprika, dried fruit such as pineapple, kiwi and apple, dried herbs such as rosemary and thyme, and dried citrus rinds for use in baking. I have many more uses in mind and will be experimenting over the coming months.

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

HOMEMADE GARLIC POWDER
I can’t really call this a recipe, but here are some guidelines for dehydrating garlic:

  1. To get the best value from your dehydrator, dehydrate in large batches. A four-tray dehydrator will take about 10 heads of garlic (approx 500 g) at a time.
  2. Slice the garlic as finely as possible. I use my food processor for this, ensuring that the slices are both thin and consistent. If you don’t have a food processor you can slice by hand. Try to ensure that the slices are as consistent as possible so that they dehydrate in the same amount of time.
  3. Spread the garlic in a single layer across the dehydrator trays. A small amount of overlap is ok as they will shrink as they dehydrate, but try not to have slices stacked on top of each other as this will interfere with the drying process.
  4. I use a temperature of 58 degrees Celsius, which is labelled as the “Fruit & Vegetables” setting on my dehydrator. The exact temperature is not important – anything from 50-60 degrees Celsius should work fine.
  5. Dehydrating takes quite a long time. This amount of garlic will take roughly 12-18 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home and how finely you sliced the garlic. I frequently do it over two days, turning the machine off at night and back on again the next morning.
  6. The garlic needs to be completely dry. It should snap cleanly and easily, with no rubbery “give” whatsoever. If the garlic is not completely dry it will clog your grinder and will not keep well.
  7. Once you are happy that your garlic is completely dry you need to grind it into powder. I use my coffee grinder for this, half-filling the grinder in batches. You can also grind using a pestle and mortar. Because the garlic is so dry it actually grinds very easily, so it doesn’t take much strength to do it by hand.
  8. (Tip: to clean your grinder after grinding the garlic, first wipe it as clean as possible with a dry paper towel, the grind a small handful of rice. The rice gathers up any residual garlic and helps eliminate the garlicky smell. Throw away the powdered rice and give one final wipe with a fresh piece of kitchen paper.)
  9. Transfer your garlic powder to a clean, completely dry jar. It will store for several months.
  10. 500 g of garlic (about 10 heads) yields approximately 1 jar (185 g) of garlic powder.
  11. 1 teaspoon of garlic powder is approximately equivalent to 3 medium cloves of garlic.

Note that onion powder can be prepared in exactly the same way. Because of their higher water content the yield from onions is lower than from garlic – it takes about 1 kilo of onions to produce 1 jar of onion powder. Like garlic powder, onion powder is incredibly useful as an ingredient and is a fantastic pantry staple.

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Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com

Homemade Garlic Powder Step-By-Step | www.myfoododyssey.com
Homemade Garlic Powder | www.myfoododyssey.com
21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Is there a way to dehydrate without a dehydrator?

    Liked by 1 person

    May 27, 2017
    • There’s a few ways you can do it, Cheryl. All start the same way – peeling the garlic and slicing as thin as you can. The thinner the slices the more quickly and evenly it will dry. One method is to string the slices together with a needle and thread, ideally leaving small gaps between pieces, and then hang the string between two points like a Christmas garland. The garlic should dry within a few days. Alternatively you can arrange the slices on kitchen towels, cover with another towel and leave in a warm place – even outside (as long as the cover doesn’t blow off!) Again, they should dry within a few days. Make sure the pieces snap when bent before you grind them or your powder will be damp and may stick together in clumps. Hope that helps! June.

      Like

      May 28, 2017
  2. I’d never even heard of a hyrator until I read your post, so I’m off hot-foot to see if I can see one before ordering from Amazon (I need to know where it will fit in my space-limited’ kitchen. Sounds as thought I’ll get a lot of use out of it, although I grow fresh herbs in abundance in my garden so don’t need to dry these (I plant them up for winter use indoors as well), but I love the sound of it. My nephew has just bought a smoker and is into smoking everything at the moment. Smoked salt is his most recent and I must admit, it did lend quite a different taste to the dishe he prepared.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 12, 2016
    • I do use mine quite a bit, Mari. I do big batches of onion and garlic a few times per year, wild mushrooms in August and September (we are lucky enough to find porcini mushrooms in our local forest), wild garlic (ramps) when I can find them, a large portion of our cherries to use in granola, carrot pieces and peas for soup mix if I have a glut, and so on. If you grow fruit or veg or have access to a good farmer’s market where you might get a glut of something at a particular time of year only, then they are really useful. I love the idea of smoking salt! I’ve heard of smoked salt before but for some reason never thought of trying it myself. Must give that a go!

      Like

      February 12, 2016
  3. Great post June, I’ve also wanted a dehydrator for an age. Which one did you buy? I just can’t make my mind up which one to get…..

    Liked by 1 person

    May 23, 2014
    • Hey Karen. I bought a supermarket own-brand one, but it looks incredibly like this one, to the point that I’d say they were made by the same company. For me, things to look for were the ability to add or remove trays, the inclusion of a solid plastic tray for drying liquids or purees and a top-down fan as food will fall down through the cracks. Mine is fairly sturdy with a simple temperature dial on the top and a little chart indicating the best temperature for various food types such as meat, vegetables, herbs, etc. I got mine on sale at half price – it was €30. I didn’t want to pay too much until I saw how much I used it but to be honest I wouldn’t change it – it does everything I need and is so simple to use. I suggest keeping an eye in Lidl or Aldi – if they do one, it’s likely to be fine for the money.
      Hope that helps!

      Like

      May 24, 2014
  4. I’ve been thinking of getting a dehydrator You’ve convinced me it would be a good buy. But my husband wouldn’t ever let me grind garlic in his coffee grinder! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    May 22, 2014
    • I wouldn;t let you put garlic in my coffee-grinder, either, because I’m a coffee lover too! Garlic and coffee should be kept well apart. Enjoy both and good eating and drinking.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 12, 2016
      • You’re absolutely right – the grinder (and your coffee!) would never be the same again. You would really need separate grinders – one for coffee and one for spices. 😉

        Like

        February 12, 2016
  5. How clever. I have to admit that I live near lots of Asian shops that sell it in enormous bags but I see what you mean about air miles…

    Liked by 1 person

    May 21, 2014
    • The big bags in the Asian shops are definitely tempting (and good value compared with supermarkets) but now that I have my dehydrator and a cheap (or free!) source of fresh garlic I’ll stick with the local stuff!

      Like

      May 21, 2014
  6. I love garlic, and garlic powder is such a handy thing to have around. I have never thought about making it myself, but I will have to try!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 21, 2014
  7. Thanks for the post! Very Interesting! I will look into buying a dehydrator!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 21, 2014
  8. I love garlic 🙂
    As an aside, are you also growing ginger? I bet that would work well in the dehydrator! Oooooh, ginger biscuits!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 21, 2014
    • I haven’t planted any ginger yet. Somehow I thought it wouldn’t grow here, but really haven’t a clue – must look into it. I use tons of gingers, too – both fresh and dried – so would love to have my own supply. And damn you for mentioning ginger biscuits – now that’s all I can think of!

      Like

      May 21, 2014
      • It grows really well in the UK, all you need to do is stick one of those rhizome things in the ground. I’m sure it’d do just fine in Lithuania.

        I’ll be waiting right here for my biscuits…

        Liked by 1 person

        May 21, 2014
  9. We use garlic powder as a natural wormer for the hens and pigs too! Just add a bit to their feed or water!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 21, 2014
    • I’d read something about garlic being good for chickens, Margaret, and was wondering how I’d get it into them – this sounds like a great idea. Thanks!

      Like

      May 21, 2014
      • Mix some in with their feed… we give them barley with some whey in it and the garlic powder. Or alternatively put it (and cider vinegar) in their water. How are the hens doing?

        Liked by 1 person

        May 25, 2014
      • I tried some garlic in the water and it seems to have gone down fine – they’re certainly drinking it! My girlies seem to be thriving – they’re getting bigger and bigger. What does the cider vinegar do?

        Like

        May 26, 2014

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