This post was most recently updated on May 4th, 2020
Garlic is a superfood that if not only super tasty, but also amazingly good for you. If you have a bountiful harvest of garlic this season, or you manage to find a lot on special, make some in to garlic powder to use in dishes.
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Making garlic powder isn’t difficult, and you can make it without a dehydrator if you don’t own one.
You can use garlic that is starting to go soft, and even cloves that are just starting to sprout to make your own garlic powder at home.
Reasons to Use Garlic Powder
You may wonder what is so good about garlic powder, why not just use fresh garlic?
1. Garlic powder lasts longer
Garlic powder is shelf stable for several years, and while fresh garlic does store well in a cool dark place, usually by about 6-9 months even then it will start to sprout.
2. Garlic powder is quick
For people in a rush, grabbing some garlic powder off the shelf is much faster than peeling and crushing cloves.
3. Perfect to make seasoning with
If you are making marinades, your own spice mixes or wanting to make your own garlic salt, then garlic powder is exactly what you need.
How to make Garlic Powder at Home
1. Select your garlic
You can use garlic cloves that are starting to soften or slightly sprout, but the most pungent garlic powder is made with fresh cloves.
Remove any garlic cloves that are rotten or moldy.
2. Peel and chop
Separate the garlic bulbs in to cloves and peel them all. This is long and tedious, but you only have to do it once. Put your favorite show on the telly and sit down to do it.
Slice your garlic thinly, the thinner you slice it, the faster it will dry. It is most important that the slices are even however, as the thicker ones will dry more slowly.
You can dry your garlic in a dehydrator following its directions. I usually do it at 40C for 8-10 hours. You want the garlic to be hard and crispy, not rubbery.
You can dehydrate your garlic in the oven, set it to its lowest setting usually 150-200F/70-100C and place the garlic in a single layer on parchment lined trays.
Cook for 8-10 hours or until done. If you have a fan option on your oven, use that too, it will dry it out faster.
The most efficient way of doing this is in a Nutribullet, but a standard food processor, coffee or spice grinder, or even a mortar and pestle will work too.
Pass your newly made garlic powder through a sieve before storing it. The larger pieces you can either re-crush or add to soups or stews.
Storing Homemade Garlic Powder
Store your homemade garlic powder in a sealed jar. If you have spare silicone sachets that soak up moisture, pop one in there too. Adding a tablespoon of uncooked rice in a small mesh bag has the same effect.
Garlic powder made this way should store for several years before the potency will start to decline.
Troubleshooting Making Garlic Powder at Home
Help my garlic made a thick paste not a powder!
Make sure your garlic is totally dry before crushing/blitzing. All is not lost. Spread your paste out on some parchment in the oven or dehydrator and dry it some more. Another 2-4 hours should be enough.
Then return the powder the the nutribullet and try again.
Also, make sure the dried garlic is totally cool before you try and blend it. The heat of the warm garlic can cause condensation to happen in the food processor making the powder clump.
My garlic is still rubbery!
Keep drying it, you need it to snap when you bend it. Garlic can take up to 14 hours to be properly dry.
I don’t want my whole house to stink!
Well, it is only garlic, and only for a short time. But, yes, your house will smell like garlic for a few days. If you are using a dehydrator, move it to a room with a window, and leave the window open a little while you are drying the garlic.
Help, my garlic looks cooked!
Ideally you will be using a dehydrator that cannot get hot enough to cook the garlic. If you are using the oven, and it cannot reduce it’s temperature any further, you might need to look for a different way of dehydrating your garlic.
You can still use your garlic that looks cooked as long as it is crispy and dry. If it is burnt you will want to throw it to the chickens as it will taste very bitter.
Tips for Making Garlic Powder at Home
Buy garlic in season, this is usually late summer or early autumn/fall. When there is a lot around it is cheaper to buy.
If you have a spare spot in the garden, learn how to grow your own garlic.
The fastest way of peeling garlic is removing the little hard bit at the end that attached the skin to the clove and then slightly crushing the clove. The skin should then peel right off.
To make even faster work of this process, you can grab one of these gadgets, you can even chop them without peeling them!