What is Garlic Powder?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Garlic powder is dried garlic that has been finely diced. It should not be confused with garlic salt, which is a combination of garlic powder and table salt. Shoppers can find this product in the spice section, and some cooks advocate using it in place of fresh garlic. Other cooks like the taste, but find that it is different than fresh garlic, not as sharp and somewhat sweeter. Cooks who are out of fresh garlic can substitute the powdered form, although the taste may be slightly different.

Garlic powder is dried garlic that has been finely minced.
Garlic powder is dried garlic that has been finely minced.

Shoppers may find additional ingredients in powdered garlic, especially in those manufactured by larger spice companies and those that are sold in generic form. Sometimes, companies add preservatives to keep the powder looking fresh, and buyers should examine these closely since it means the dried garlic may have been of inferior quality. People who are concerned about additives may want to look for organic products at local natural foods stores, and simply read the label on the back to find out what the powder contains. Some forms contain a humectant like calcium silicate to keep the powder from clumping.

Calcium silicate, which is often included in garlic powder to keep it from clumping.
Calcium silicate, which is often included in garlic powder to keep it from clumping.

Some people enjoy using garlic powder because of its garlicky taste. Those on a low sodium diet may benefit from this seasoning, and since it contains only a trace amount of natural sodium, it can be used liberally without adding extra salt. The powder doesn’t always blend well to create a smooth mix of ingredients, however, and cooks might try garlic juice instead to avoid tiny flakes of garlic in a dish.

Adding garlic powder to a pot of stew is an easy way to give the dish a rich, garlicky taste.
Adding garlic powder to a pot of stew is an easy way to give the dish a rich, garlicky taste.

In addition to finding garlic powder on its own, shoppers may find it in no-salt spice mixes or in grill seasonings. People who are trying to cut down on extra sodium should be sure to check that the mix contains powder and not garlic salt. The powder can be used with ground meats to make spicy hamburger patties, added it to scrambled eggs or omelets, sprinkled in chili, and used to top popcorn. Cooks may be surprised at the vigorous taste imparted by simple garlic, even without added salt.

Garlic powder can be used in omelets.
Garlic powder can be used in omelets.
Garlic powder is often combined with table salt to make garlic salt.
Garlic powder is often combined with table salt to make garlic salt.
Some cooks use garlic powder to add flavor to chili con carne.
Some cooks use garlic powder to add flavor to chili con carne.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


Dried garlic powder is in a lot of recipes that I use. It's in my chicken tortilla soup, my taco seasoning recipe, and my fajita steak.

Garlic powder is kind of strong, so the recipes call for less of it than the other seasonings. I only use 1/8 teaspoon of it in my fajita seasoning, but it makes all the difference.


@feasting – It's supposed to repel fleas and ticks. It can also help with preventing worm infestations.

I don't own a horse, but since garlic powder for horses is such a common thing, there must be something to it. I have heard that they still need to take their regular worm prevention while taking garlic powder, so it must not be strong enough to be a guarantee against worms.

I asked my vet about using garlic powder on my dog to prevent fleas and ticks, but she said that I shouldn't do this. Garlic contains something that can cause anemia in dogs and might even damage their liver.


Has anyone here ever heard of garlic powder for horses? I saw some at an online pet store, and I wondered what it was for. What does the garlic powder do for the horses?


I'm not a big fan of garlic powder. My mother used it on toasted bread once instead of adding minced garlic, and it made the bread taste awfully bitter.

I like minced garlic in a shaker. I don't have to deal with chopping the garlic myself, but the flavor is closer to that of fresh garlic.

When it comes to garlic powder vs. garlic salt, isn't garlic salt better for flavor and also health wise, since salt is a natural preserver?

@anon153216-- I completely agree with you. I think we are definitely taking chances when we buy garlic powder at the grocery store because like you said, they just don't list the ingredients.

This is why I've started making my own garlic powder at home. It's much easier than people realize. You just need to peel and thinly slice fresh garlic, dry it in the oven and then put it through a spice blender.

This is the best garlic powder you will find and you will also avoid all those unknown preservatives that manufacturers put in them.


Garlic clove powder may be a good substitute for salt for people who have to follow low-sodium diets. But if you're trying to get more garlic in your diet for the health benefits of garlic, garlic powder is not the best way.

Garlic is a very healthy food and it has too many benefits to mention all here. It is known to have antibacterial and antibiotic properties and also strengthens the immune system. But these benefits disappear when garlic is cooked or made into powder. It has to be eaten raw and fresh for the health benefits.


I buy bulk garlic powder from this spice store close to me. It is so much cheaper that way. You end up with enough to last you all year but you save a ton of money compared to buying one little jar after another.

Has anyone ever tried making their own garlic powder before? I have made my own dried herbs but never tried something like this. I grow garlic and always have more than I can use. If I could turn it into a powder I wouldn't have to waste so much.

I really like to use granulated garlic powder when I am cooking things on the stove because it is a quick and easy way to add garlic flavoring.

It can be such a hassle to dice up garlic. You have to struggle with peeling it and when you are done your hands reek of garlic. I prefer to skip the whole mess and just use garlic powder. By the time you eat it tastes the same, plus it is so fine that it incorporates into the dish really well.


@anon281471 one teaspoon of dry garlic powder is about 8 cloves of fresh garlic.


Does anyone know what, for example, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder would be equal to in fresh, pressed garlic?


I have yet to find a garlic powder that has an ingredient list on the label, and am afraid there may be added sodium. Does anyone know if there is a "standard of identity" for garlic powder i.e., a U.S. government mandated recipe? Or do we have to take it on faith that these are just dried ground garlic?


I use garlic cloves in most recipes, however, there are some recipes where garlic powder does a better job. I use garlic powder in pasta salads for example, since the powder blends better in the dressing, with less sharpness in the flavor.


hi..im doing some research on how to complete process of garlic powder product that involves dehydration including equipments used. describe the importance of dehydration and highlight issue and problem encountered in the production area of the food product. so can you help me explain those especially on how the process can be done. thnx

Post your comments
Forgot password?