When I started writing this, I thought, “surely fresh garlic and dried garlic are basically the same thing, right?”
Well, as it turns out, they’re lightyears apart. Let’s start with dried garlic.
What is Dried Garlic?
Dried garlic, or garlic powder, usually comes in some sort of shaker that you can find in the spice section in any grocery store. For many people cooking with dried garlic, it’s super convenient. However, if a recipe is asking for fresh garlic, know that the ratio should be three-to-one. So three parts fresh garlic to one part dried garlic. It’s also helpful to soak dried garlic in water for about a minute prior to cooking it to increase the nutritional profile.
It’s also great for dry rubs and sauces — foods where the aroma isn’t the key, but you still want garlic—and you want it evenly dispersed.
Then What About Jarred Garlic?
Jarred garlic is a whole different beast entirely. When substituting jarred garlic for fresh garlic in any recipe, use ½ teaspoon for every clove of garlic that the recipe calls for. Though, if it were up to me from personal experience, I would use even more. Plus, your jarred garlic will never sprout since it’s well-preserved and is also great in a pinch. Not only that but if you want the best of both worlds between both fresh garlic and garlic powder, jarred garlic will get you there.
How Does That Compare to Fresh Garlic?
Fresh garlic releases flavor much faster than dried garlic and is much more aromatic. Even more so than jarred garlic. Additionally, once heated in a pan or in the oven, fresh garlic will often have a green or blue color as it’s cooked as the natural enzymes break down the garlic.
Plus, as we’ve mentioned when talking about raw vs. cooked garlic, garlic has a chemical reaction that occurs as it’s cut. So, when chopped, it releases a chemical called allicin, which is great for your heart, boosts your immune system, and is great for killing bacteria and germs.
Imagine then that the more you chop garlic, the more allicin is released. So for those of you crushing or pressing garlic into your meals, you’re getting the most out of that oily, heart-healthy allicin. Good for you!