I often buy bags of peeled garlic cloves from the produce section; I love this grocery store shortcut! The only thing is, they go bad faster when peeled, and I can never use them fast enough. I often grate them on a rasp and freeze the pulp in ice trays, but another way is to slow-dry them in the oven and make my own garlic flakes or powder. This is economical and the powder is equal to if not more pungent than anything you’ll buy at the grocery store. Use it for rubs, in seasoning blends, or to punch up sauces or compound butters.
Turn your oven to its lowest setting, preferably between 165 and 175 degrees F. Set the oven racks in the top and middle of the oven.
Prepare the garlic. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the garlic between the baking sheets, gently spreading the slices around with your fingers into one layer. Do your best to not have any slices overlapping. Smell your fingers; isn’t that great? If you want to get rid of the garlic scent, just wash your hands and rub them on your stainless steel faucet or get a piece of aluminum foil and rub your hands on it while sudsing up.
Dry the garlic. Place the garlic in the oven. Leave the door to the oven cracked open about an inch — I use the handle of a wooden spoon or just leave it ajar. Dry the slices until they are completely dried and rigid and become a golden blond color. Check in at 30 minutes. If they look partially dry, it’s okay to move them around a bit, but continue to keep them in one layer. You will know they are done when you remove one and it doesn’t bend or feel rubbery, and you are able to crush it in the palm of your hand. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cool at room temperature on the baking sheets.
Grind or crush the garlic. Add the dried garlic to a mini chop or mortar and pestle and grind to the desired level of fineness. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Garlic powder keeps for 6 to 8 months. When it doesn’t smell like garlic, it’s done.
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