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For example, I just tried a recipe for Rosemary Potatoes last night that called for a tablespoon of minced garlic. I believe the recipe may have referred to it being freshly minced, but I have some dried minced garlic on hand (in a little shaker, like from the isle at Walmart, etc) and used that instead.

The next day, my kitchen still smells of garlic, and the potatoes taste like it.

If I don't have 'fresh' on hand, is there an approximate ratio I should have used?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

A standard ratio of dried seasoning to fresh is 1 part dried to 3 parts fresh.

For garlic specifically the ratios are slightly different:

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic      1/4 teaspoon dried garlic
1 clove garlic                  1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
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Thanks! I'll probably try this again soon, and adjust accordingly. –  anonymous coward Jan 6 '11 at 15:34
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There are considerations of texture and how long it takes to fully release the flavors as well. The guidelines given are good, but you also need to experiment and see where you can use dried when needed.

Fresh garlic, like other fresh ingredients, will release its flavor more quickly than the dried counterparts. They will also be 'brighter' and in many applications the difference is very noticeable.

If you used the full Tablespoon, yeah, you probably over-did it, but a lingering aroma of garlic is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is having the leftovers taste like garlic, they should!

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Thanks for the information and feedback! (And of course they tasted of garlic... but that's all I could taste... =) –  anonymous coward Jan 7 '11 at 18:07
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Fresh garlic and dried garlic aren't the same thing (culinarily).

The 3 to 1 ratio often works with dried strong smelling herbs - like thyme and rosemary.

Dried garlic is certainly convenient, but has a one dimensional quality to it. Fresh garlic is... Reactive.

It changes by the way you prepare it: minced tastes/smells different from sliced or mashed in a mortar & pestle

It changes by the way you cook it: roast, fry, steam, sauté, boil in milk, boil in water

It changes with time: used a la minute, an hour from now, in the fridge after a week, covered in oil after a month.

A lot of this has to do with oxidation, the interaction with cut garlic and oxygen.

Dried garlic has none of these nuances, they've all been stripped from the production process.

But it certainly is convenient.

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