Help! Can I Use Powdered Garlic Instead of Fresh

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Dear Home-Ec 101,
I don’t have fresh garlic. Could I use garlic powder? And if so, how much do you think? I have about 5 drumsticks.
Look at My Chicken Legs, LOOK AT THEM!
Heather says

I hope those drumsticks have been in the refrigerator.

Yes, you can absolutely use garlic powder in place of fresh garlic in most recipes. Will it taste exactly the same? No, but you get enough of the garlic characteristics that it’ll do.

In General

When substituting powdered garlic for fresh, you’ll want to use about 1/8th tsp of garlic powder for every clove of garlic. Since not every garlic clove is the same size, you don’t have to be super accurate in this substitution. Grabbing a tiny pinch will work just fine.

Remember that garlic flakes are not the same as garlic powder, the flakes are also dried garlic, but they haven’t been ground. Since the little garlic particles can’t be packed tightly together, you would use 1/2 tsp of garlic flakes for every clove.


This question came in on the Chicken with Garlic and Brown recipe and here fresh garlic is best, but you’ll definitely be fine with the substitution. As a general guide, 4 drumsticks would equal about 1 pound of chicken. You could quarter the recipe since it calls for 5lbs of chicken. If you like the sauce, just halve it.

Another thing to consider

The cook time for the recipe was written for individual pieces of chicken and you’re not converting it from a different cut of chicken (whole, leg quarters, etc) so you don’t need to worry about changing the length of cooking. Just take a peak at it a little early, but still please check the temperature of your drumsticks with a probe thermometer.

The Home Ec 101 Guide to Cooking and Using Chicken is a good place to start with questions like these.

And if you need more chicken dinner ideas, we’ve got those, too.

More Chicken Recipes

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