How-To & Diy

How to Measure Minced Garlic—Helpful Tips + Heated Opinions

January 19, 2017

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.

minced garlic

Food52er Sean,Murray turned to the Food52 Hotline for a simple clove-to-teaspoon conversion for garlic. As it turns out, it's not that simple:

Shop the Story

Using Fresh Garlic (recommended by us, and lots of opinionated Food52ers!)

  • 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.

Garlic Measurements

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 sprinkle. 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!

Photo by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • ErinM724
  • cee
  • Noreen Fish
    Noreen Fish
  • Barney Simon
    Barney Simon
  • BubbaQ
Student, aimless wanderer of grocery store aisles, almond butter's number one fan.


ErinM724 August 5, 2017
If a recipe calls for 1 clove, generally that means at least 3-4 for me.
cee February 4, 2017
This was extremely helpful!
Noreen F. January 20, 2017
I can't remember the last time I actually measured minced garlic!
Barney S. January 19, 2017
you tell them becky. no prepack!! and what recipe are they making that requires such precision?
BubbaQ July 21, 2014
I agree with Becky
Becky July 21, 2014
For the love of all that is holy, please do not use pre-packaged minced garlic. Ever. It is an abomination.