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The flavor of homemade garlic powder is unbeatable—it truly tastes like garlic that has just been picked from the garden (and nothing like that prepackaged stuff). But it’s ready to be used all year long! See how to dry garlic to make your own garlic powder!
A lot of commercial garlic powder is pretty bad in terms of quality; it doesn’t even smell or taste like garlic and can have an unpleasant aftertaste. Some producers don’t even bother removing the skin plus there isn’t FDA regulation around commodity spices so it’s difficult to know what’s truly inside the bottle. Unless you buy local garlic, many of the garlic bulbs sold in stores have gone past their peak (rubbery or soft) and have lost much of their medicinal value.
Truly fresh garlic is pungent, white, hard, and full of a juicy liquid. One way to maintain not only garlic’s flavor but also its healing powers is to dry it and make it into garlic powder! There are so many ways to use garlic powder, from shaking the seasoning into salad dressings and soups, onto potatoes, and even over popcorn.
Dried garlic powder has a different purpose than raw garlic; it’s mellower and milder to enhance flavor versus the sharp taste of garlic in a main dish. Ideally, you could grow your own garlic, as it’s easy to plant your own bulbs in the fall. Otherwise, we do recommend buying local garlic bulbs for the freshest flavor if you can.
For those who wish to garden, garlic bulbs are popped into the soil in the fall and harvested in the summer once the leaves turn yellow-brown. See how to prepare your soil in our Garlic Growing Guide.
At harvest, I generally pick about eight garlics at a time, bundle them tightly together, and tie them with string. I then hang the bundles for two to four weeks in a shady, airy place to begin to dry.
Whether you grow your own or buy your garlic cloves, the first step to making the powder is to separate all of the cloves. This can be a messy job so do it all at once!
After separating the cloves, I cut the tops and the bottoms of the cloves and try to tear a strip or two of the skin.
Placing these cloves in a dehydrator tray, they are put at a low temperature (below 115°F/46°C) overnight. This will help to loosen the peels and aid the next process.
Day number two consists of peeling all of the cloves then slicing them up in a food processor.
Back into the dehydrator they go for six or seven days. Again, keep the temperature below 115°F/46°C as this will help the garlic to maintain its healing properties.
Once the chips have cooled, they can be put in a tight jar until you have time to complete the process.
When you are ready to make the powder, put the chips in a blender (not too many at a time) and hit the “chop” button. Wait about a minute after processing before opening the blender as there will be lots of powder floating at first. I then put the powder through a strainer so that the ultimate product is fine. The larger chips just go back into the blender.
Place into jars and seal. The flavor is unbeatable—it truly tastes like garlic that has just been picked from the garden. But now it is ready to be used all year long!