What's the difference between garlic powder, granulated garlic, dehydrated minced garlic, and garlic salt? Are any of these ever an acceptable substitute for fresh garlic?
What the difference between garlic powder, granulated garlic, dehydrated minced garlic, and garlic salt? Are any of these ever an acceptable substitute for fresh garlic?
Garlic powder and granulated garlic are both made from garlic cloves that are dehydrated and then ground (garlic powder has a negligibly finer texture); dehydrated minced garlic is minced while fresh and then dehydrated and packaged; and garlic salt is typically three parts salt to one part garlic powder.
For our testing we compared each product with fresh minced garlic in a Caesar salad (with garlic in both the dressing and the croutons) and garlic bread. We were surprised that the differences were minimal in the Caesar dressing, where the assertive flavor of the anchovies, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce masked any processed garlic flavor. On the other hand, the results were glaringly different for the crouton and garlic bread tests. Without any other flavors to hide behind, the "sweet and strong" flavor of the fresh garlic stood out among the other "muted," "artificial" contenders. Tasters gave the garlic salt exceptionally low scores, objecting to its "chemical," "super-salty" taste.
When garlic is a predominant flavor in a recipe, nothing comes close to fresh. That said, in recipes where garlic is a background flavor, in a pinch you can use any dried garlic product except garlic salt. We like garlic powder best because of its "natural," "sweet" flavor. Substitute 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of fresh garlic.