Monday, February 9, 2009

Homemade Garlic Powder

If you're anything like me (and be thankful you're not very much like me), I like creating things instead of buying things. As a certified gumbah, I absolutely love garlic. I don't even care about it's heart-healthy components. I just love garlic......the flavor, the aroma, the pungency. So, I decided I could make my own garlic powder. Usually, I would have smoked these first, but as this was my first run with garlic, I decided to save myself the time and bisquettes for my Bradley Smoker and just run with plain old garlic powder.

The first thing I did was to remove the papery skin of 12 heads of garlic. This was by far the most time consuming aspect (from a manual labor point of view) of the project. But, in life, you must take the time to stop and smell the garlic! Here are the individual cloves ready for the dehydrator:

Now, I'm not sure what nationality your ancestors are from, but where I'm from, that right there is a thing of beauty. Sweet Halitosis, this is the mecca as far as I'm concerned.

Once you've got the garlic naked, simply place in your dehydrator. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the oven. Simply set the oven at 150F and let it go. Just a word of caution here: the garlic will take a long time to dehydrate to the point where you can grind it up. So, if you can't take having the oven tied up for a couple of days, get yourself a dehydrator. You can get some rather inexpensive ones that'll do a great job for this. Additionally, if you share your house with a signicant other, make sure you have their blessing. The aroma will be quite strong throughout the house. This was a battle I knew I would not win (this goes back to my jalapeno and habanero "incident"), so I dehydrated the garlic in the garage. When I post my smoked jalapeno and habanero powder experiment, you'll understand a little better!

It took about 51 hours in the dehydrator for the garlic to get dry enough to be ground into powder. You'll notice what appears to be an outer shell and a "pith" inside. All of this will be ground into powder.

I usually let the garlic rest overnight in the refer before I take to grinding it. I feel like it allows any of the moisture left in it to escape. However, do not cover the garlic as that will keep in any moisture that might still be around and allow the garlic to reabsorb the moisture.

When it's time to grind the garlic, I use a Cuisanart burr grinder. I've stolen the one my wife used for coffee and convinced her that grinding her own coffee was both time-consuming and more expensive than purchasing it pre-ground. Now, if you're better half is into saving money, this is an easy argument to win. If they're not, you may have to buy one that can be used exclusively for spices.

Prior to hitting the garlic with the burr grinder, I like to give it a quick once-over with the old pestle and mortar. This isn't absolutely necessary but I find my burr grinder works better with smaller pieces rather than the whole clove. Plus, sometimes, it's therapeutic to crush the snot out of something.

So, now you've hit your garlic and are ready to throw it in your grinder. Just throw the pieces in you grinder and grind away. I like to set my grinder at its largest setting so that the powder comes out as close to granulated garlic as I can get it. The size that you choose when grinding is really best left to what you plan on using your garlic for when cooking or spicing up a dish.

I'm planning on using this garlic for some pork and beef rub, so I want the size of the garlic when ground up to match the other spices I'll be using for the dry rub.

This is how it should look when done grinding. The lumps you see are just powder stuck together and break apart like dry mustard or any other type of powder. I do like to strain it to keep the garlic uniform and then add silicon dioxide (2% to weight of powder) to keep it from sticking together and then put into a spice jar. The 12 heads of garlic yielded approximately 8 oz of garlic powder. In future posts, I'll be doing smoked garlic salt, smoked hot garlic powder and a smoked garlic lemon pepper spice. Stay tuned!

That's it for my first blog. Give this a try and you'll like it. It'll give you the feeling that you can do more and when your garlic powder is better than store bought, you'll never go back.


  1. Your garlic powder looks wonderful! Nice blog too! :)

  2. M,

    Awesome blog! Reminds me I have a bunch garlic to use up. Are you going to help me with the excuse to buy a dehydrator? I won't be able to get away with doing this in the oven......