When trying to cook using garlic, you will stumble upon some recipes that call for 1/4 cups ff minced garlic or 2 cloves of garlic. But how exactly do you figure out how many cloves are in the garlic bulb? We did the hard work and experiments ourselves to make cooking and reading recipes a lot easier for you and figured out exactly how many heads of garlic you will actually have to buy.
Getting an answer to exactly how many garlic cloves are in a 1/2 cup was a little harder than we expected. We got into the car and drove to the store where we went right into the vegetable section. To start the testing process, we went for a head of garlic that had a weight of about 2 ounces.
Depending on the type and size of the garlic, the number of cloves you will find in the head will differ. Usually, you will find around 10 to 12 cloves inside the typical garlic that you can buy from your local grocery store.
One large clove will yield around 1.5 teaspoons, while 1 small clove of garlic will only yield about 1/2 teaspoons when minced. On the other hand, a medium peeled garlic clove will usually produce around 1 rounded teaspoon when chopped, but once you mince it, you will be left with just under 1 teaspoon. To have a general idea about what you will have to use in recipes, 1/4 of a cup will require about 12-13 medium-sized cloves to be diced.
If you’re cooking in larger quantities, you should know that for 1 pound of whole peeled garlic, you will have to get around 50 cloves, which means about 3 cups of garlic.
Below you will find a great conversion calculator to know exactly how many garlic cloves you will need in a certain recipe.
How Much is a Clove of Garlic
It will usually depend on what you are trying to do what you can get from a clove of garlic. You will get slightly different measurements by slicing, dicing, or mincing. Below you will find some of the most common uses.
How Much Minced Garlic Will You Get From a Clove?
A few of the standard measurements for a medium-size garlic clove are:
- 1/4 cup of minced garlic – 12 cloves
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic – 3 cloves
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic – 6 cloves
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic – 1 clove
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic – 2 cloves
How Many Cloves in a Head of Garlic
The size and type of garlic will be a very important factor in figuring out the number of cloves you will find in the head. There will be varieties even between the size and number of cloves found in two plants that are of the same type, grown inside the same garden. However, usually, you will find around 10 to 12 cloves inside a garlic head found at the local grocery store.
How Much Garlic Powder Comes from a Clove
It happens a lot for convenience to get the best of us. When this happens, we would usually avoid an extra trip to the grocery stores and will go for garlic powder when the recipe talks about using garlic cloves. However, you should remember that even pre-minced garlic in a jar will be a lot more flavorful than the dry powder, and fresh garlic will be the best.
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder will be the equivalent of 1 clove
How Much Garlic Powder Equals Minced Garlic
- 1 tablespoon of minced fresh garlic – 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder is
- 1 teaspoon of minced fresh garlic – 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
What is Garlic?
Garlic is a relative to shallots, chives, leeks, and onions, and is part of the lily family. The head, which is basically an edible bulb, is made of a bunch of cloves, each in its own closely fitting papery skin. The head of the garlic is also encased in its own papery covering and will grow beneath the ground.
Most of the garlic in the world is being produced in China. In the US, the state with the biggest production is California. As for the city of Chicago, it got its name from an American Indian word which means wild garlic – “chicagaoua”.
There is a Guinness World Record that was set in 1985 by Robert Kirkpatrick of Eureka, Ca, a man that was able to grow the heaviest garlic head. It weighed 2 pounds and 10 ounces or 1190.69 grams.
The most common form of garlic is “allium sativum,” with two subtypes called hardneck and softnecks. Hard necks tend to be more colorful and have fewer but larger cloves per bulb than their counterparts. In contrast, softnecks generally have about twice as many cloves on average compared to the harder varieties.
The Silverskin variety of garlic tends to be the longest storing kind with Porcelain being second and Asiatic hardneck varieties following. The Rocambole type is a short-term storage option for those who need their groceries on hand, but it’s not recommended if you plan on preserving large amounts because its bulbs quickly dry out over time.
What Is a Head of Garlic
A head of garlic is what people sometimes call a bulb. It is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and it has the shape of a lumpy ball. A pale thin papery skin always covers it and you will usually find it at any farmers’ market or produce department of most stores. You will find many individual segments that are small in size and called cloves inside each head of garlic. The cloves are also individually wrapped in a thin papery skin, but this skin is usually more colorful.
Each plant will usually grow just one bulb. In the case of hardneck types, in addition to the bulb, the plant will also create a rigid stalk straight in the air, that will feature an edible seedpod at the end. That seedpod is called a bulbil or a scape. On the other hand, the softneck garlic plant will only produce one head of garlic underground and will only have leaves above the ground.
What Should a Clove of Garlic Look Like?
The clove of garlic will have an individual paper skin that wraps all around it, with a rough flat surface on one end, which is the root, and a point on the other. Its shape will be irregular.
In terms of the colors, you should expect a softneck garlic variety to have a rusty red to pale brown skin on its cloves. As for the hardneck garlic, it usually has brownish skin with a slight touch of purple.
The Size of a Clove of Garlic
You will find garlic cloves in a bunch of different sizes, from very small to very big. For reference, we call a small clove one that is around 1″. The large-sized ones will be about 1.3” to 1.4” in length. As for diameter, a large clove will be around 5/8” to ¾” across, while a small clove can be 3/8” to ½”. To make it easier to understand, when we talk about the diameter of the clove, we are actually talking about the widest spot. There are a handful of cloves that might even grow to 1” wide.
When we buy garlic from the store, we usually get softneck bulbs, and each of them will weigh anywhere between 4 and 8 grams. The hard to get, gourmet or specialty garlic will usually be a variety of hardneck and will be anywhere from 10 to 16 grams in weight.
Garlic Bulb vs Clove
The garlic bulb is the whole head and is naturally sheathed in a papery pale. The clove is just the individual segment that is part of the bulb and is also wrapped in a papery skin, usually found inside of the bulb.
You might also like our article about the weight of ginger.
The usual garlic head you can find in grocery stores will have around 10 to 12 cloves inside of it. This isn’t always the case, as some types of hardneck garlic can have up to 40 cloves inside the same bulb. Even so, the cloves inside such a bulb would be of a bunch of different sizes.
Planting a new bulb of garlic is a pretty easy job. All you have to do is to plant a garlic clove with its root down and the pointy part up in rich soil.
How to Cut Garlic Cloves
When it comes to garlic cloves, although the size difference between diced and minced isn’t all that big, the impact will surely be noticeable. Diced garlic cloves will be cut in very fine parts that will be than 1/16” each, while minced pieces should be less than 1/8” each. Both diced and minced pieces will be of exact sizes and cut pretty evenly.
It might seem of small importance the difference in size between the two, but the strength of flavor will be pretty different in the final dish. This is because the bigger the pieces will be, the less surface will ultimately be exposed, which leads to fewer oils being released, which means the less intense flavor of the garlic in your dish.
The larger diced pieces will also take considerably longer to be cooked. This means that if a recipe will require sautéing minced garlic for 1 minute if you were to cook the dice-sized garlic for just one minute, they will turn out to be undercooked. This will make your dish get a raw garlic taste that is very pungent instead of the milder, sweeter one people usually like.
How to Mince Garlic Cloves
You will first have to remove the skin and then make very thin slices down the clove on its length. You will then repeat the motion after turning them on one of their sides. You will then continue by making thin, crosswise cuts down the clove while keeping it in the same position. To finish cutting the clove you will have to use a 2-handed cutting motion to rock back and forth.
You can get the minced garlic even thinner. To do this, you will have to sprinkle it with coarse salt and then crush it with one side of the knife. This will get it to have a paste-like consistency. Some people like to use a Microplane grater to get even better results.
How to Dice Garlic Cloves
You should first remove the skin and then make around 4 lengthwise cuts on the clove. You will then have to rock back and forth, using a 2-handed cutting motion, to finish the cutting and get just the right size.
How to Chop Garlic Cloves
If you go for the chopping of the garlic, you will end up with pieces of less precise sizes. The chopping won’t be used in renowned stores. It is a more informal way of preparing garlic, and it will usually lead to a variety of shapes and sizes of the final pieces. Chopped garlic pieces will usually turn out to be 1/8” or bigger.
You will first have to remove the skin and then make around 4 to 5 cuts lengthwise down the clove to chop the garlic. This will be followed by another 4 to 5 cuts crosswise after you turn them on their side. Just like when mincing or dicing the garlic, you will finish chopping by using a 2-handed cutting motion to rock back and forth.
How to Slice Garlic Cloves
You will first have to remove its skin and then put the garlic on a cutting board. This will be followed by cutting it cross-wise in very thin slices.
How to Peel Garlic
One very easy way to peel garlic is to place the head on the cutting board with the pointed paper pointing up. You will then push it down strongly with your palm while slightly rolling it around. It would be best if you did this at least a couple of times to make sure it loosens up the cloves and peels easier.
There isn’t just one way in which you can peel the garlic cloves. One of the easier ways is to trim off the end root of the clove and then place it on a cutting board. You will then have to put the side of the knife on top of the clove and crush the clove gently to loosen the papery skin. This should make the skin fall off of the garlic clove pretty easily.
Substitute for Garlic Cloves
As with most of the other vegetables, finding a substitute for fresh garlic will be tough. What usually works is to use half of a teaspoon of pre-minced garlic that you can find in store-sold jars. You can also go for half of a teaspoon of dehydrated minced garlic for every fresh garlic clove in the recipe. The advantage of the dehydrated garlic is that you can keep whatever is left after using it for a longer shelf-life than the one that comes pre-minced in a jar.
A combination that isn’t necessarily as effective but still works is to add 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder instead of each garlic clove required in the recipe. Keep in mind that things are relatively different if you only have garlic salt on your hands. Inside ½ teaspoon of garlic salt that is needed to replace the fresh clove, only 1/8 teaspoon will actually be garlic, with the rest being regular salt. This means that you would need to adjust the recipe to avoid making the dish too salty.
Substitute for Minced Garlic
You can always try to replace minced garlic with garlic powder if really necessary. You would usually have to replace every 1 teaspoon of freshly minced garlic with just 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Of course, fresh garlic is always better, but replacing it this way will still give it a nice, clean flavor.
Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?
Some experts consider that just a small amount of garlic will have no effect on your pet’s health, but how much is usually too much? You will find a variety of answers all around the web.
Even if different sources define too much garlic differently, they can all agree that too much garlic can cause your pet to suffer from hemolytic anemia. This is a condition that destroys the red cells faster than they are created.
As you already know, pets react completely differently than us to different food types and medications, so the best idea would be to just talk with your vet about the newest information regarding the maximum garlic intake for your dog.
How to Store Garlic Cloves
It will usually depend on how long you want to store it for.
Short Term Garlic Storage
Garlic should always be kept in a cool and dry place and away from any strong light for longer shelf life. To reduce humidity levels, you should also try to avoid packing the garlic plastic. You can pack it in a mesh or brown paper bag instead. Storing it properly will almost guarantee that it will keep its quality and flavor for the next 4 to 6 months. You can store it in the pantry or any other room that can keep a cooler temperature.
You can keep a single unpeeled clove in the refrigerator for a maximum of 10 days before it goes bad.
If you wrap it in plastic, the clove will only be able to hold the flavor for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
Garlic Long Term Storage
If you don’t open the head of the garlic and all of its papery skin is still in its place, you can keep it in the freezer for almost 12 months. You can also put it in a freezer bag after you peel and chop it, and the garlic cloves will be just fine for about 12 months as well.
As for the garlic you pick yourself from the garden, to dry it properly, you will have to leave the leaves attached to the bulb and let them dry in clumps right in the sun for a couple of days. Let them dry properly, and then trim all the leaves off at about 1″ above the bulb. Then, all you have to do is to put the dry garlic in a paper bag and keep it in a dry, dark, and cool area. This way you can be sure it will last for months.
Does Garlic Go Bad
Of course, fresh garlic will go bad at some point. How long it will stay fresh will ultimately depend on how you store it and its general freshness. There are ways in which to check if the garlic is still fresh if you’re not 100% sure. The most common way to test the freshness is by simply looking at the garlic piece. It should be white and have no dark spots on any of its sides. If it has a slightly yellow color, it means it has aged. Another easy way to test the garlic is to simply squeeze it. It shouldn’t be pliable under pressure or soft to the touch. The head and each individual clove should be firm.