How to make your own garlic powder at home

We often think of garlic powder as just something you use if you're out of the fresh kind. There are times, however, where garlic powder is actually what you want — no, really! It is actually okay to use it without drawing down the wrath of the foodie police. Even Bon Appetit says garlic powder's good stuff, and they suggest using it in dry rubs, as a popcorn topping, or in creamy salad dressings where you really don't want chunky little bits of raw garlic providing an unexpected surprise.

So yes, garlic powder does have its uses, and it's also a good nonperishable item to keep with your emergency supplies. Even in the event of a zombie apocalypse, do you really want to be stuck eating flavorless food? One more reason why you might want to convert fresh garlic into the powdered variety is if you happen to have a surplus of it and don't think you can eat quite enough spaghetti and garlic bread to use up all your garlic before it starts to go bad.

The DIY garlic powder process

The Spruce Eats says you start by separating each bulb of garlic into individual cloves, then peel those cloves. While this process can be a little time consuming if you have a lot of garlic, you can speed things up by cutting off the little tough bit at the end where the clove connected to the bud, and then gently pressing the flat side of a knife against the clove. Once you squish it a bit, the skin should slip off easily. After all the garlic is peeled, slice each clove as thinly as possible before drying it.

If you have a food dehydrator, now's the time you can put it to good use to dry out those garlic chips. If this is one appliance you've never found much need for, don't worry, since an oven should still work just fine. Spread the garlic in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then put it in a 150F degree oven until it's dried (no need to preheat). Once the garlic can be easily crumbled, it's done.

Finishing up your homemade garlic powder

Remove the garlic chips from the oven or dehydrator and let them cool. Grind them using a spice grinder, an old coffee grinder (one you don't plan to reuse for its original purpose), a food processor, or a mortar and pestle. If you want garlic powder, grind it as fine as you can. If you're feeling lazy, you can just settle for granulated garlic, as both have their uses.

Store your garlic powder (or granulated garlic) in an air-tight container, and shake it up every day for the first week after you make it. This will make sure that any remaining moisture is evenly distributed and will help to prevent mold. Homemade garlic powder, if properly made, should last a few years, although if you want max flavor it's best to plan to consume it within a year.

Oh, and if your hands are stinky after prepping all that garlic? Make a pot of coffee. No, not to perk you up, but because coffee grounds make a great hand deodorizer.