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Best of the Hotline: Measuring Minced Garlic

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Some questions on the Hotline have staying power, and for good reason -- they cover the questions we ask ourselves time and time again. Join us as we revisit some of the most popular.

Today: You'll feel clove-r when you master this conversion.


Garlic Measurements

In the perfect kitchen, all cooking guesstimations are foolproof; in our real kichens, though, variation in ingredients, cooking conditions, and personal tastes make universal kitchen conversions nearly impossible. So, we experiment and survey our fellow cooking comrades in an attempt to nail down what works best.

Food52er Sean,Murray turned to the Hotline for a simple clove-to-teaspoon conversion for garlic. As it turns out, it's not that simple:


Using Fresh Garlic

  • In the Food52 test kitchen, we go by the guesstimation that a medium-sized clove equates to a half teaspoon once minced. ChefOno is a little more generous, and assumes one teaspoon.
  • Looking for the pungent flavor of fresh garlic with the convenience of the jarred kind? A Whole Foods staff member recommends peeling a handful of cloves and mincing them in a food processor. Store the minced garlic in an airtight container in the fridge, and you'll have fresh, prepped garlic on hand to use throughout the week.

Using Pre-Packaged Minced Garlic

  • The amount of packaged, minced garlic needed to make up for one clove depends on how finely minced the garlic is. Because each brand varies, conversion amounts are usually listed on the label or lid of the individual jar. If not, assume one-quarter to one teaspoon of minced garlic roughly equates to a whole clove. As this is a wide range, ATG117 recommends tasting as you go and adjusting accordingly.

As sheilag points out, the amount of garlic used in a recipe ultimately depends on taste. Garlic fans like Sara,Comerford and Bob Likes to Cook may throw in an extra clove, while those who prefer a more mellow dish may opt to only add a few pinches. So add gradually, taste often, and you'll be able to build flavor to your liking every time.

Do you have a go-to garlic conversion? Join in the conversation over on the Hotline, or tell us in the comments below!

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: your burning questions, measuring, estimation, garlic, best of, how-to