Normally I try to use fresh garlic for everything and anything. However, sometimes I run into situations where I need to use the dehydrated stuff. Like when I get all mix-master like and start whipping up the famous Garlic Geeks rib rub. Certain sauces also benefit from the combination of fresh garlic as well as the powdered variety.
I don’t know about you, but I am thoroughly underwhelmed by the dehydrated garlic products that line the local grocery store shelves – especially the garlic powder. The flavor lacks any serious punch and I find myself having to use a ton of it to get anywhere near the taste I desire. Although when I think about it, I suppose that makes sense. Nearly all dehydrated products I looked at are a product of China. China produces two thirds of the world’s garlic output. So the garlic has to be harvested, dehydrated, milled, packaged, exported to the destination country, and finally enter the distribution channels. Usually there are also anti-caking agents and coloring added to the product. Taking all this into consideration, it is no wonder there is no flavor pop in these products.
Solution to the dull tasting garlic powder: Make my own fresh garlic powder in small batches.
And it couldn’t be easier. All you need is fresh garlic (preferably heirloom verities from your local market), a method to dehydrate the garlic, and a method to turn the dried garlic into granules or powder. I had my garlic ready to go. For the dehydration method, I borrowed a food dehydrator*. For the milling of the dehydrated garlic, I have a Krups spice/coffee mill that I utilize only for spices.
*Note – if you do not have a food dehydrator, you may also use your oven to perform the garlic dehydration. Set your oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step1: Peel your garlic cloves and slice them for easier drying.
Step 2: Place the sliced garlic in your food dehydrator (or oven). The food dehydrator I used was old school and took about a day and a half to get the garlic to the proper state. I have already ordered a newer Nesco food dehydrator with a fan to help speed up this process.
Step3: Once the garlic has dried into “garlic chips”, use your spice mill to grind the dried garlic to the consistency you desire.
The picture below shows the difference between the fresh powder and store bought powder. The powder on the left is the one I just made and the one on the right is the one store bought (produced from China). Visually you can see the difference but the taste is the real difference. The fresh garlic powder definitely had more of a bite. Overall I am very happy with my garlic powder experiment and will definitely be making my own from now on. I would love to hear about anyone else making their own garlic powder awesomeness!