There is no end to the number of culinary adventures you can participate in by tweaking a bit here and there!
A major role in these experiments is played by the choice of seasoning you make. The right one can make a good dish great, while the wrong one can take all the magic away.
That is why you need to know the details of certain items that sound like the same thing, but act quite different from each other in reality!
Garlic itself is one of the best things you can add to any savory food to enhance its taste tenfold. So, of course, it comes in forms that are easier to use, such as garlic powder and garlic salt.
However, there seems to be a lot of confusion amongst home cooks regarding whether to use garlic powder or garlic salt, whether one is better than the other, or whether the two are even that different from each other.
Such is the pair of garlic powder and garlic salt. They both seem to be dry ground seasoning items made from garlic, right?
Yes, but actually they differ significantly in multiple aspects because of which they are not necessarily interchangeable. So let’s see how garlic powder vs garlic salt compare against each other in detail!
Is Garlic Powder The Same As Garlic Salt?
Although both of these pantry items come from the same source, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the same properties. Let’s begin by discussing what they really are!
What Is Garlic Powder?
Garlic powder is a seasoning that originates from dehydrated garlic cloves. Like many other flavorful garnishes, this one was also first prepared in Central Asia. It is most frequently found in Chinese and Indian cuisines. You can elevate the taste of a dish with this powder which will add some savory sweetness to it.
What Is Garlic Salt?
Garlic salt is one of the many variations of salt with a savory twist in it. This seasoning is prepared by mixing garlic powder and salt. You can combine them in a ratio of 1:3 by volume or 1:6 by weight. It brings an interesting flavor to any dish, especially the ones involving ground beef like hamburgers, lasagna and more.
Are They The Same?
Even though they seem similar and interchangeable, garlic powder and garlic salt are actually not the same.
The simplest reason behind it is that - you need garlic powder to make garlic salt and not the other way round. Garlic salt is basically the regular table salt with an additional faint garlic flavor.
What Is The Difference Between Garlic Salt And Garlic Powder?
Now that we know they are not the same, let’s dive into more detailed discussions about their differences. Including what kind of dishes is fit for which one
Essentially, garlic powder is dried garlic, which has been turned into a fine powder. Whereas garlic salt is three parts salt to one part garlic powder. It is basically garlic-flavored salt.
Let us look at some of the other differences between garlic powder and garlic salt in depth.
Garlic powder can easily be used instead of garlic if you have run out of the latter. That is why you will usually see it being used in dishes like salad dressings, soups, vegetables and smoked or grilled meat where a subtle garlic flavor is always welcome. Additionally, you can use it with roasted nuts or popcorn.
On the other hand, garlic salt is basically salt which means you can use it in any dish where the latter is required.
The most common use of it is in the preparation of seasoning for fries, raw vegetables and popcorn. You can also sprinkle some garlic salt on cooked foods.
Difference in Flavors or Taste
While garlic powder is powdered dry garlic, it has a much milder flavor and smell than actual garlic. If you are trying to substitute garlic cloves with garlic powder, then you might need to consider adding a bit more than a pinch to your food.
Keep tasting your dish while you are cooking it, though, so as to not overdo the garlic flavor. On the other hand, garlic salt is mostly just salt, with a slight flavor of garlic to it. It is only another variant of regular salt, to be used just as regular salt is used in food.
If you don’t have any garlic left for the current dish in progress, you can add some garlic powder to it for bringing a similar flavor.
However, this will not work at all if you decide to use garlic salt as the savior instead. The garlic salt will only add more saltiness which cannot positively change the final taste.
To make garlic powder, the cloves are first peeled, sliced and then heated at 300-320 Fahrenheit for being properly dried up.
After their moisture content reaches just 6.5% or closer, these dehydrated cloves are sliced and minced again. This results in the fine texture you see in such powder.
In contrast, garlic salt is usually made by combining common table salt and garlic powder. So preparation of the latter is much easier compared to garlic powder.
Interchangeability of Garlic Powder and Garlic Salt
While you can customize garlic powder by adding any form of salt to it (such as table salt, pink salt, soy sauce, etc.) and making it into garlic salt, you cannot do the same with garlic salt.
If you add more of the garlic salt to your food in order to intensify the garlic flavor, what you are mostly doing is just making your food saltier, maybe to the point of it becoming inedible.
Whereas, if you keep some garlic powder in your kitchen, you have control over how much salt you want to add to it in order to make it a garlic salt, as opposed to using store-bought garlic salt, which is only 20 percent garlic powder and 80 percent salt.
It is a well-known fact that salt contributes largely to heart diseases such as strokes, as well as to an increased level of blood pressure.
Consuming too much salt can also give way to stomach cancer and could make your bones lose calcium faster.
If you are only using garlic salt to get the flavor of garlic, you are much better off using garlic powder instead (with a tiny bit of salt added for taste) as garlic salt consists primarily of salt, with only a bit of garlic powder added for flavor.
Garlic powder by itself is, therefore, a much healthier form of consuming garlic than garlic salt.
The common origin of these two - garlic - is a well-known superstar of health benefits. It can protect you from heart diseases, while lowering the possibility of something as simple as the common cold to something as fatal as cancer!
However, garlic salt and garlic powder seem to differ a lot in this aspect.
Garlic powder seems to have better effects on health than garlic salt. While any salty seasoning does bring a more enjoyable flavor to many dishes, it can also lead to some health issues.
If taken in a high amount, your blood pressure can increase resulting in a higher possibility of heart diseases and strokes.
Besides, the presence of high sodium content can contribute to causing stomach cancer.
Your bones may suffer by losing calcium and be a victim of osteoporosis. Garlic powder comes with no such pitfalls which makes them the healthier option between the two.
Nutritional Value Comparison Of Garlic Powder And Garlic Salt
Garlic Powder - Amount per 1 tsp serving
Garlic Powder - Daily Value (2000 Cal)
Garlic Salt - Amount per 1 tsp serving
Garlic Salt - Daily Value (2000 Cal)
Range of Dishes That Garlic Powder and Garlic Salt Can Be Added to
Since garlic powder is basically just pure garlic cloves in powder form, it is an easy way to make your dishes have a garlic flavor.
Unlike garlic cloves, the garlic powder will dissolve completely into the food, only leaving behind its highly desirable taste and aroma. You can use it in things such as soups, salad dressing, or use it as a dry rub for meats that are to be grilled or smoked.
However, garlic salt is much less versatile than garlic powder, given its high proportions of salt. You can, of course, use it as a flavorful salt to season your vegetables while cooking, or sprinkle some on top of a cooked dish if it is lacking in flavor.
Can I Use Garlic Powder Instead Of Garlic Salt?
You can actually use garlic powder instead of garlic salt since the former is a crucial ingredient in making the latter!
As we mentioned before, garlic salt is made by combining garlic powder and regular salt in proper ratios. So you can just prepare your very own homemade garlic salt by utilizing garlic powder.
Alternatively, for those who want to take a more relaxed route, you can add those two ingredients separately while preparing the dish in need of garlic salt.
All you have to keep in mind is the amount of each so that they can deliver the required flavor or aroma later.
Garlic Powder vs. Garlic Salt: Which Is Better?
It is hard to say which is better objectively, garlic powder or garlic salt. However, we know that garlic powder is much healthier and much more versatile as a spice than garlic salt.
While it is not as flavorful on its own as garlic salt, it can be easily modified by adding a desired proportion of salt to the garlic powder.
And it is therefore apparent that garlic powder wins out against garlic salt in a high enough number of categories for it to be a much better alternative to garlic salt if you are looking to add a garlic flavor to your food.