How to Make Your Own Garlic Powder

Stop spending money on an essential spice

Homemade garlic powder and fresh garlic
Oonhs/Flickr 

Homemade garlic powder is fresh, flavorful, and surprisingly easy to make. Whether you grow your own garlic or buy it at the market, this is a great way to preserve garlic and quickly add the flavor to your favorite foods.

Ingredients

The only thing you need to make garlic powder at home is garlic. Simply separate the bulbs into the individual cloves and remove all of the skins and you're ready to go.

You can do as few or as many bulbs of garlic as you'd like. Garlic powder stores well and is fun to share with family and friends if you do find that you made too much.

Preparation

To make garlic powder, begin by cutting the peeled cloves into thin slices. Place these in a food dehydrator in a single layer. You can also use your oven, placing the garlic on a cookie sheet and heating it to 150 F. The garlic is dry when you can crush it in your hand and it crumbles easily.

Once dry, allow the garlic to cool. Then grind it with a coffee grinder, spice grinder, food processor, or a mortar and pestle, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Store your finished garlic powder in an air-tight container and place it in a cool, dry spot. Be sure to shake the jar daily for the first week or so after you've made it. This will ensure that any remaining moisture is evenly distributed through the powder and prevent mold.

As long as it's dried properly, garlic powder can have a shelf-life of a few years, especially if you freeze or vacuum pack any excess. However, since it's so easy, you'll find it best to make it up at least once a year. This will ensure you add the maximum amount of flavor to your food.

Tips and Tricks

Garlic powder is nice to have on hand and you'll soon find that making it yourself saves money and time. When you don't want to put the effort into peeling fresh garlic for your marinara sauce or you want quick garlic bread, you'll be thankful to have it in your spice rack.

Here are a few tips to ensure you get great results:

  • Make garlic powder when garlic is in season. While garlic is available year-round, you'll get the freshest garlic at the best prices if you buy it in late summer or early autumn.
  • Learn how to grow your own garlic. A thriftier alternative to buying garlic is to grow your own. It's a rather forgiving plant and individual cloves can be replanted next year to produce a new bulb. Your green thumb may mean that you don't have to buy garlic again. Just be sure you know how to cure it properly for storage.
  • Make quick work of peeling garlic. Preparing the cloves is the most time-consuming part of making garlic powder. Be sure to remove all of the skins from each clove. This is a little easier if you cut off the tough ends that connect the cloves to the bulb.
  • Keep the garlic smell out of your house. If you don't want your house to smell like garlic, stick your dehydrator out on the porch.
  • Protect your appliances. Garlic is pungent and its smell can be difficult to remove from some appliances. This is especially true of a coffee grinder, which is one of the best appliances for the task at hand. While most of the other options can be cleaned thoroughly, you are taking a risk that your coffee will have a hint of garlic from now on. For this reason, it may be best to purchase a separate coffee grinder for spices. (Buy a Coffee/Spice Grinder on Amazon)
  • Recycle spice jars. Re-using old spice containers is one of the best ways to save money for all of your DIY herbs and spices, including garlic powder. Clean and dry empty spice jars, and be sure to keep all of the pieces, especially those valuable shaker lids that control the flow. When you bottle a new spice, label it with the spice name and date.
  • Make garlic salt. Garlic powder is one of the two ingredients needed to make garlic salt. It's even easier than making the powder and all you need now is salt.