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How much Minced Garlic is in a Clove?

Garlic Clove image

Many recipes will call for "1/4 cup of minced garlic" or "3 cloves of garlic" but it is not always easy to figure out actually how many cloves are in a garlic bulb. In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many heads of garlic you need to buy.

To answer How many garlic cloves in a 1/4 cup we went to the store to check out the vegetable section. After surveying the produce we selected 1 medium head of garlic that weighed 2 ounces for our how many garlic bulbs in a cup testing samples.

The number of cloves in a head depends on the size and variety of the garlic. However as a starting point, the typical kind of garlic carried in your local grocery store usually contains 10 to 12 cloves.

When minced, 1 small clove of garlic yields about 1/2 teaspoon and 1 large clove about 1.5 teaspoons. One medium peeled garlic clove produced 1 rounded teaspoon chopped, however when finely minced, the quantity drops to slightly less than 1 teaspoon. So for a 1/4 cup measurement you need to dice about 12 to 13 medium size cloves.

For large quantity cooking, 1 pound of whole peeled garlic contains about 50 cloves which measures about 3 cups.

Next time your recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of diced garlic you'll feel confident knowing what you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many garlic cloves in a... measurements you need.

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Custom Conversions for Garlic Clove

One Garlic Clove Equals

  • There is 1/2 Teaspoon (2 mls) of Minced Garlic in a Garlic Clove
  • There is 1 Teaspoon (5 mls) of Chopped Garlic in a Garlic Clove
I need:

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You need 120 Garlic Cloves

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How Much is a Clove of Garlic

What you can get out of a clove of garlic can greatly depend on what you are trying to do. Mincing, dicing, and slicing all result in slightly different measurements. Here are a few of the common uses.

How Much Minced Garlic is a Clove

A few of the standard measurements for a medium-size garlic clove are:

  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic is 1 clove
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic in 2 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic equals 3 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic is 6 cloves
  • 1/4 cup of minced garlic in 12 cloves

How Many Teaspoons is a Clove of Garlic

You can also easily go the other way, by starting with the amount of cloves you have. A few to get you started are:

  • 1 clove of garlic is 1 tsp minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic is 2 teaspoons minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic is 1 tablespoon minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic is 2 tablespoons minced
  • 12 cloves of garlic is 1/4 cup when minced

How Many Cloves in a Head of Garlic

The number of cloves in a head depends on the size and variety of the garlic. Even within varieties the number and size of cloves can be different between 2 plants next to each other in the dame garden. However as a starting point, the typical kind of garlic carried in your local grocery store usually contains 10 to 12 cloves.

  • 1 head of garlic is 11 cloves

How Much Garlic Powder Equals a Clove

Often times convenience outweighs an extra trip to the grocery store, so using garlic powder as a substitute makes sense. However, cut up fresh garlic, even the kind that comes pre-minced in a jar, has a more intense scent and flavor than dry garlic powder.

  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder equal 1 clove

How Much Garlic Powder Equals Minced Garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder equals 1 teaspoon of minced fresh garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder is 1 tablespoon of minced fresh garlic.

What is Garlic

Garlic is a member of the lily family, and is a relative of onions, leeks, chives and shallots. The edible bulb or head is made up of numerous cloves each in a closely fitting papery skin. The garlic head grows beneath the ground and is also encased in a papery covering.

China produces the most garlic worldwide; California produces the most in the U.S. Chicago got its name from the American Indian word "chicagaoua" defined as wild garlic that grew in the area. According to the Guinness World Records in 1985 Robert Kirkpatrick of Eureka, CA grew the heaviest head of garlic that weighed 2 pounds 10 ounces (1190.69 grams).

The most commonly cultivated and eaten form of garlic is "allium sativum" with 2 sub-varieties called softneck garlic and hardneck garlic. The hardneck garlic tends to be more colorful and have fewer but larger cloves per bulb than the softnecks. Softnecks generally have about twice as many cloves per bulb as the hardnecks.

The Silverskin (a softneck variety) tends to be the longest storing garlic with Porcelain (a hardneck variety) the second-longest storing. The Asiatic garlic (hardneck variety) tends to be the shortest storing kind with Rocambole (another hardneck) coming next.

What Is a Head of Garlic

A head of garlic or a bulb of garlic is a lumpy ball about 2.5" in diameter and covered in a pale thin papery skin is what you purchase in the produce department at the grocery store or farmers’ market. This head of garlic is made up of many small individual segments commonly called cloves. Each clove is also covered in a thin, often times more colorful but still papery palish skin.

In general, each plant grows 1 bulb. More specifically, each softneck garlic plant produces 1 head of garlic underground with leaves showing above ground. In addition to the bulb, the hardneck variety produces a rigid stalk up in the air with an edible seedpod at the end of it called a scape or bulbil.

What Does a Clove of Garlic Look Like

A clove of garlic looks like an irregularly shaped, individually paper-skin wrapped wedge with a point on 1 end and a rough flat surface (the root end) on the other.

Depending on the variety of hardneck garlic, each clove has brownish skin with a touch of purple on it. Softneck cloves tend to have thinner rusty red to pale brown skins.

How Big Is a Clove of Garlic

Garlic cloves can range in size from small to extra-large. A small clove is about 1" to a smidgen longer where a large size is about 1.25” to 1.4” in length. When talking about the diameter of a clove, we are referring to the widest spot. A small clove can be on 3/8” to ½” and a large clove 5/8” to ¾” across. The biggest cloves can grow to almost 1” wide.

The garlic bulbs we buy in the grocery store, typically softneck varieties, each clove weighs between 4-8g. Specialty and gourmet garlic, typically hardnecks, can vary widely between bulbs but they average between 10-16g.

Garlic Clove Vs Bulb

A garlic clove is the individual segment that is wrapped in a paper-like skin inside garlic bulb. The garlic bulb or head is also sheathed in a pale papery skin.

About 10 to 12 cloves of garlic make up 1 bulb in an average grocery store size garlic head. Some varieties of hardneck garlic have as much as 30 or 40 cloves in 1 garlic bulb. However, these cloves would be a variety of sizes inside the 1 bulb.

You can easily grow a new bulb of garlic I you plant a garlic clove in the soil with the root end down and the pointy end up.

How to Cut Garlic Cloves

Minced Vs Diced Garlic

With garlic cloves the size between minced and diced is not much, but the impact can be much greater! A minced garlic clove is cut into very fine pieces less than 1/16” each where diced pieces will be around but slightly less than 1/8” each. Technically, both minced and diced are precise sizes with evenly cuts.

The importance of this seemingly small size difference is in the resulting large garlic flavor profile of your final dish. The smaller the pieces, the more surface is exposed, the more oils are released, the more intense the garlic flavor of your dish.

The other potential issue with larger diced pieces of garlic is a longer cook time. For example, the recipe author calls for sautéing minced garlic for 1 minute. If you cook dice-sized garlic pieces for 1 minute, they will not be fully cooked. Your end dish will end up with a raw pungent garlic taste instead of a sweeter, milder profile

How to Dice Garlic Cloves

After removing the skin, make 4 or 5 lengthwise cuts down the clove. Turn them on their side and make 4 or 5 cuts crosswise. Then using a 2-handed cutting motion, rock back and forth to finish cutting to the desired size.

How Do You Mince Garlic Cloves

After removing the skin, make very thin slices lengthwise cuts down the clove. Turn them on their side and repeat. Keeping the garlic where it is, make thin slices crosswise down the clove. Then using a 2-handed cutting motion, rock back and forth to finish cutting to the desired size.

In order to get the minced garlic even finer, sprinkle with coarse salt and crush with the side of the knife to turn it into a paste-like consistency. Some have even found good success by using a microplane grater on the cloves.

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How to Chop Garlic Cloves

Chopping garlic results in less precise pieces. In general, chop is more informal with more variation in the size and shapes of the pieces. Normally chopped garlic ends up in pieces that are 1/8” or more.

After removing the skin, make 4 or 5 lengthwise cuts down the clove. Turn them on their side and make 4 or 5 cuts crosswise. Then using a 2-handed cutting motion, rock back and forth to finish cutting to the desired size.

How to Slice Garlic Cloves

After removing the skin, place the garlic on your cutting board and very thinly slice the garlic clove cross-wise.

How to Peel Garlic

One quick way to peel a head of garlic is to set it on your cutting board with the pointed paper end up. Press down firmly with the palm of your hand, rolling it around a little. It may take 2 or 3 times to loosen up the cloves for easy removal.

There are many different methods for peeling garlic cloves. I normally trim off the root end of the clove then lay it on the cutting board. Place the side of your knife on top of the clove and gently crush the close to loosen the papery skin. The skin should fall away from the garlic clove.

Substitute for Garlic

Substitute for Garlic Cloves

You can’t beat the great taste of fresh garlic but substituting ½ teaspoon of pre-minced garlic from a store-bought jar is a close second. I also find that ½ teaspoon of dehydrated minced garlic is another excellent replacement for a fresh garlic clove. After using some, the remaining dehydrated garlic gives you the added benefit of a longer shelf-life than an opened jar of pre-minced garlic.

Not nearly as effective but perfect in a pinch, you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder for each garlic clove called for in the recipe. Be careful If you only have garlic salt. Of the ½ teaspoon required to replace 1 fresh clove, only 1/8 teaspoon is garlic and the rest is salt. Some recipe adjusting is usually needed to avoid making an overly salty dish.

Substitute Garlic Powder for Minced Garlic

When necessary, substituting garlic powder for minced garlic is always an option. If the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of minced fresh garlic, you can confidently replace it with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. You may prefer fresh garlic, but your final dish will still have a nice garlicky pop to it.

Is Garlic Bad for Dogs

Some guidelines say a small amount of garlic won’t hurt your pet, but exactly how much is too much? Different sources authoritatively give you different answers, but who is right?

However, it is widely known that if a pet ingests too much garlic, it can cause hemolytic anemia (the red blood cells are being destroyed faster than they can be made).

Since our pets can react totally different to foods and medications than us, we recommend you check with your vet for the most current medical information.

How to Store Garlic Clove

The way you store garlic will depend on how long you want to store it.

Short Term Garlic Storage

Keep garlic in a dry, cool location and away from light to prolong shelf life; pack garlic in something other than plastic to maintain reduced humidity levels, such as in a mesh or brown paper bag. Garlic will hold its flavor and quality for 4 to 6 months. This is a good item to store in the pantry or other cooler room.

An individual unpeeled clove will keep up to 10 days in the refrigerator.

Tightly wrap in plastic, a peeled clove will hold its flavor in the refrigerator for only 1 or 2 days.

Garlic Long Term Storage

An unopened head of garlic (meaning the papery skin still in place) can remain in the freezer for up to 12 months. When placed in a freezer bag, peeled, chopped garlic cloves can go fine in the freezer for 10 to 12 months.

Garlic from the garden: with the leaves still attached to the garlic bulb, allow them to dry in clumps in the full sun for a few days. When dried, trim off the leaves about 1" above the bulb. Put your dried garlic in paper bags and store in a cool, dark, dry area; these will last many months.

Does Garlic Go Bad

Fresh garlic can definitely go bad and the length of time you have to use it depends on the state of the garlic and the storage situation. If you're not sure, there are 2 easy ways to tell if garlic is still good to use. First is to simply look at the garlic. Its color should still be white with no dark spots on it. A yellowish appearance shows aging. Like Charmin, the second way is the squeeze test. The head and clove should be firm, not soft or pliable under pressure.



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