It is simple enough to pick up a jar of garlic powder at the supermarket, but homemade garlic powder is fresh, flavorful, and surprisingly easy to make. Whether you grow your garlic or buy it at the market, this is a great way to preserve garlic and quickly add its distinct flavor to your favorite foods.
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 effort into peeling fresh garlic for marinara sauce, or need a quick garlic bread, you'll be thankful to have homemade garlic powder in your spice rack.
What You Need
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. You can use as few or as many bulbs of garlic as you like. Garlic powder stores well and is a nice gift for family and friends if you do find that you've made too much.
How to Make It
To make garlic powder, begin by cutting the peeled cloves into thin slices. Place them in a food dehydrator in a single layer. You can also use your oven; place the garlic on a cookie sheet and heat at 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 an old coffee grinder, spice grinder, food processor, or a pestle and mortar until it reaches your desired consistency.
How to Store It
Store your finished garlic powder in an air-tight container like a glass jar or empty spice container and place it in a cool, dry spot. If using an old spice jar, make sure to clean and dry well, including all of the pieces, especially the valuable shaker lid that controls the flow. Once the garlic powder is bottled, label it along with the date.
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 will 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, for the best flavor, make fresh batches of garlic powder about once a year.
Tips and Tricks
Although making homemade garlic powder is simple, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure you get great results.
First, make sure you are using the freshest garlic. 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. You can also grow your own garlic. It's a rather forgiving plant, and individual cloves can be replanted next year to produce a new bulb. Just be sure you know how to cure garlic properly for storage.
Preparing the garlic cloves is the most time-consuming part of making garlic powder. It is important to remove all of the skins from each clove, which takes a lot of effort if you are peeling with your fingers. There are simpler ways to do this, including first cutting off the tough ends that connect the cloves to the bulb. You can also use the side of a knife to press down gently on the clove, which will help release the papery skin.
And all of this contact will leave a garlic odor on your hands. There are several ways to remove the smell from your skin, including resting your hands on something that is stainless steel. Drying garlic will also leave an odor in the house; if you are using a dehydrator, consider placing it outside while in use.
Once you have homemade garlic powder, it is simple to make garlic salt as garlic powder is one of the two ingredients needed.