Jarred Minced Garlic versus Minced Fresh Garlic

How does jarred minced garlic compare with minced fresh garlic?

We pitted jarred minced garlic against fresh garlic in our Classic Caesar Salad, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Quick Tomato Sauce recipes. We used a company standard, substituting 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic for each fresh clove.

In every application, the jarred garlic provided minimal garlic flavor. Even in the mashed potatoes, which include 12 cloves (or 4 tablespoons) of garlic, tasters could barely taste garlic in the sample made with the jarred stuff. A few tasters did pick up on a sourness in the batches using the jarred garlic, most likely from added phosphoric acid. The jarred product had weaker flavor because the flavor compounds in garlic are released when the garlic is chopped, and the compounds lose potency over time.

THE BOTTOM LINE: We don't recommend using jarred minced garlic, as its flavor isn't nearly as potent and clean as that of fresh cloves. Here's how we prep fresh garlic.

1. Lop Off Stem End Use a sharp knife to cut off the tough, hard stem end of each unpeeled clove; discard the stem piece.

2. Crush Place the flat blade edge atop the clove and, using the heel of your hand, smack the blade to lightly crush the clove.

3. Peel and Chop Slip off and discard the papery skin, and then chop, slice, or mince as desired.

This is a members' feature.