Garlic Salt vs. Garlic Powder: What’s the Difference?

by Charlie

A close relative of the onion, garlic (or Allium sativum)is heavily used for cooking and medicinal purposes. It is a basic ingredient in many recipes because of the flavorful taste and rich aroma it brings into your cooked dish.

Ongoing studies also suggest medicinal uses for garlic as an antibiotic and antioxidant. Reports indicate that garlic improves cholesterol and blood pressure levels, among other health benefits.

Garlic is indeed greatly popular for its many uses and benefits. And companies are coming up with more and more ways you can buy and use garlic. Besides the usually dried garlic bulbs you see in supermarkets, you can purchase garlic in oil caps or bottles, minced or crushed, and granulated or powdered form.

Garlic salt and garlic powder are both powdered forms of garlic. You’ve probably seen them on shelves or maybe have gotten a bottle or two yourself.

Now, what is the difference between garlic salt and garlic powder? The main difference between garlic salt and garlic powder lies in their garlic and salt content. Garlic salt contains both garlic and salt, while garlic powder contains pure garlic and zero salt. 

What are Other Differences Between Garlic Salt and Garlic Powder?

Naturally, garlic salt is saltier than garlic powder. In fact, we can say that garlic salt is more salt than garlic. Besides that, many of the garlic salt bottles you get in stores have added ingredients such as corn, starch, or calcium silicate. Garlic powder bottles basically contain pure garlic.

However, you may also get both garlic powder and garlic salt with added parsley or other herbs and ground vegetables or other spices.

Can You Substitute Garlic Salt for Garlic Powder?

Yes, you can definitely substitute garlic salt for garlic powder. You can easily and quickly make your own garlic salt at home at any time.

Garlic salt is essentially 3 parts salt and 1 part garlic powder. This 75%:25% ratio composes most commercially sold garlic salt products in store. Mix those measurements, and your garlic salt is ready for use.

And since you’re making your own garlic, you actually have the convenience of adjusting the measurements. Go for half and half if you want a balanced distribution of garlic and salt. Go for 3 parts garlic and 1 part garlic, instead, if you want more garlic and less salt in the outcome of your dish.

You may also use granulated garlic if that’s what you have on hand. Remember to double the measurement for this mix.

So let’s clarify your choices in this way:

  • If you have garlic powder and salt, follow a ratio of 1:3. That’s 1 part garlic powder and 3 parts salt.
  • If you have granulated garlic and salt, follow a ratio of 2:3. That’s 2 parts granulated garlic and 3 parts salt.

Lastly, if you only have garlic cloves, note that 1 clove is equal to 1/8 tsp of garlic powder. To make close to 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic salt for a dish, mix the following:

  • 1 finely minced garlic clove and ¾ tsp salt

When Should You Use Garlic Salt?

You can use garlic salt to season your food and dish the way you use plain salt, but with a bit of the added kick of garlic. Quickly liven up your bland sauce, chicken, or fish with a dash of garlic salt.

Why not accent your baked or mashed potatoes with some garlic salt? And if you have garlic salt with parsley, that would be a better and tastier option!

Use garlic salt anytime for searing your meat or steak. You may also finish your stir-fry veggies with it. It’s also hard to resist sprinkling some garlic salt on your plate of freshly cooked pasta.

It’s a simple and quick way to tweak the taste and infuse some garlicky aroma.

When Should You Use Garlic Powder?

You can use garlic powder any time. Use it for cooking food the same way you use regular garlic cloves. Also, use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic for meat rubs, because it infuses the garlic flavor and aroma into the meat faster than fresh garlic could.

Most cooks will readily say that garlic powder is heaven-sent. Because whenever you’re in a hurry, you can skip the task of peeling and chopping fresh garlic. Easily save time and effort by grabbing your garlic powder and using it for your cooking preparations instead. Just remember to note your measurement because 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to:

  • 1 garlic clove, or
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic, or
  • ½ tsp minced garlic

Which is Better – Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder?

The better choice will depend on your purpose. If garlic is a main ingredient in your recipe, then it is better to use garlic powder. However, if you have already added garlic to your dish or the recipe does not really call for garlic, you may use garlic salt instead.

Finally, it is better to use garlic salt to season very bland meat, soup, or stew. And it is better to use garlic powder to add more flavor and aroma to a sufficiently-salted dish.

Is Garlic Powder as Effective as Fresh Garlic?

Yes, garlic powder can well be as effective as fresh garlic. As long as the bottle says it’s 100% garlic, then your garlic powder is pure garlic.

To maintain the effectiveness or potency of your garlic powder, make sure to store it properly. Keep it away from moisture and heat. Put it away in your shelf cabinet, or pantry. Don’t place it near the stovetop or oven while cooking. If possible, don’t directly use the garlic powder shaker over your steaming pot or meat, so it doesn’t get exposed to the heat or steam.

Final Thoughts

  • Garlic powder has more garlic than garlic salt.
  • Garlic powder is usually pure garlic, but garlic salt is salt mixed with garlic and other ingredients.
  • Garlic salt is 3 parts salt and 1 part garlic. That’s a 75%:25% ratio.
  • Garlic powder is best for meat rubs.
  • Use garlic salt the way you use regular salt.
  • Use garlic powder the way you use regular garlic cloves or mince.

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