What’s The Difference Between Garlic Salt and Garlic Powder?

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Where would we be without garlic? According to TV and books, presumably we would be in a world without Count Dracula and his Vampire cronies!

All jokes aside, garlic is an excellent addition to any dish. It adds flavor, it adds aroma – it is an essential part of many delectable dishes.

Of course, garlic also comes in a range of different forms. It’s a bit of a shapeshifter like that. You can get it in different shapes and sizes, and we have altered it to fit our needs for certain dishes.

Two of the most common versions of garlic are garlic salt and garlic powder – you probably have a container of each of these in your kitchen right now, don’t you? 

You may be wondering if it’s actually necessary to have both of them in your kitchen, and if there’s a real difference between the two. This is what we’re here to answer today! Read on to find out about the key differences between garlic salt and garlic powder.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Before we get into the differences between garlic salt and garlic powder, it’s actually worth noting that there are a number of big benefits to consuming garlic.

The very first thing worth mentioning is that you are unlikely to get quite the same results from garlic salt or powder as you would from fresh garlic. You will likely find that the aroma, health benefits and freshness are not going to be on the same level as what you would get if you were using fresh garlic.

With that being said, garlic can be very useful in its powdered form. With this, you can just sprinkle some of the garlic powder over your dish, instead of manually going to the effort of chopping up a clove of garlic. It’s ideal if you’re on a time crunch.

Now, with that out of the way, you’ll be pleased to know that garlic has been used for its health benefits for centuries. It’s well known for its medicinal purposes.

It’s been used from all sorts of things, such as treating the common cold to helping with heart disease symptoms. More research is required into the health benefits of garlic, but there are some things that we already know thanks to our extensive use of the substance through the years. 

Cold and Flu

If you’re struggling with a nasty case of the sniffles and are feeling a little under the weather, it may be time to add a little bit of garlic to your meal! In fact, it’s been established that supplements of garlic can boost your immune system function.

Thus, eating garlic may reduce your risk of getting more colds. You can reap this particular benefit from consuming garlic in any form too, so you don’t need to eat a whole raw garlic clove in order to reduce your chances of getting a cold. 

Antibiotic Properties

Another interesting thing about garlic is that it can essentially act like an antibiotic or an anti inflammatory. This is because garlic contains a compound known as diallyl sulfide, which is very effective as an antibiotic.

It can fight against something known as Campylobacter bacteria, which can often cause infections in the intestines. Throughout time garlic has actually been used to treat a wide range of different infections.

Can Help with Cholesterol and Heart Diseases

There is a lot of information out there to suggest that garlic is actually able to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body by a whopping 10-15%. LDL is a bad kind of cholesterol, so keeping it low is pretty important.

As such, cholesterol can also be a huge risk factor for getting heart disease, which suggests that eating garlic could actually help with reducing your risks of getting heart disease. Pretty neat, huh?

May Prevent and Treat Cancer

Garlic may also be an effective treatment and preventative measure for cancer. Some studies have suggested that you may have a lower risk of getting lung cancer if you eat garlic at least twice a week.

In addition to this, some of the compounds that exist in garlic are known to destroy some times of brain cancer. More research is needed in this area, but in essence, eating garlic can be very beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer.

What’s the Difference Between Garlic Salt and Garlic Powder? 

So here’s the answer you’ve been looking for in finding this article: what’s the difference between garlic powder and garlic salt? 

The key difference between the two lies in the ingredients that are used to make garlic salt. The only thing that goes into garlic powder is the garlic, since it’s just pulverized and put into a container.

On occasion, there are some garlic powders that are more affordable that have a couple of additives in there – you will need to check the ingredients list if you want pure garlic powder.

Garlic salt, on the other hand, is made out of an anti caking agent, salt and dried garlic, so it’s not organic. There are also slightly more calories in garlic powder than in garlic salt, but there’s significantly more sodium in garlic salt.

Garlic salt and garlic powder can taste a tiny bit different too, though this difference is rather mineral. You will taste a little bit more salt in garlic salt, which is a given.

You won’t have this with garlic powder, which means that it may taste a little bit more mild. For a little extra flavor in your dishes, garlic salt can be a great option. 

As a whole though, there aren’t a lot of differences between the two, aside from the sodium content and the minor difference in calories. It is worth noting though that the salt content can be a little problematic in garlic salt.

This is because salt is sometimes linked to issues with health and certain diseases. Eating too much salt may even put you at higher risk of heart disease.

It can also increase your blood pressure, and some data even suggests that salt can make your bones lose calcium faster. People that have diets high in sodium also have a much higher risk of getting stomach cancer. 

If the goal of eating garlic is to improve your health, you should try to use garlic powder rather than garlic salt since it is much better for your health.

Can You Use Garlic Powder Instead of Garlic Salt and Vice Versa 

While garlic salt can certainly taste nice, there are situations where it should be substituted for something else, since salt can be bad for your health. Instead, you can use garlic powder. 

Thankfully, garlic powder is a fantastic alternative option to garlic. It’s a great choice when you don’t want garlic to take up the entire dish, and you just want a little sprinkle of it on your food.

Garlic powder can even be used for creating things like dry rubs, and these can be put onto things that you can grill or smoke.

You won’t get quite as much versatility with garlic salt because of, well, the salt! You can use it as a finishing product though – for instance, you can use it to add flavor to things such as raw vegetables or fries once they have finished cooking.

It’s best that it’s used sparingly. If you want to use garlic salt instead of garlic powder, it’s important that you use it in small amounts. 

What you may not know is that garlic salt only has around a quarter of garlic in its contents. For this reason, if you want an authentic garlic taste you’re probably better off using garlic powder so that you don’t overload the dish with salt.

You should look for an authentic garlic powder, and then add some extra salt using something else such as a sauce or a bouillon cube. 

How Can I Make Garlic Salt and Powder? 

You may be surprised to know that you don’t actually have to buy garlic powder and salt from the store. Instead, you can make it at home!

Garlic Powder

There’s nothing quite like tasting a dish that’s made with homemade seasoning! For this reason, making your own garlic powder can be really rewarding. It’s also rather simple too.

To start with, get yourself a little bit of garlic and peel the amount of cloves that you need. Once they are peeled, cut them into little pieces.

Then, turn the oven on to around 150 degrees Fahrenheit and put the chopped garlic inside of the oven on a try. Allow them to dry for a little while, and then let them cool outside of the oven for a little bit.

If you can crush the garlic pieces relatively easily, the garlic is ready for the next step. If this is not possible then the garlic will probably need a little bit of extra time in the oven.

The garlic pieces will eventually cool down, at which point you will need to grind them down. They should then become like a powder consistency. You can grind them up using something like a spice or a coffee grinder, or even use pestle and mortar, though this will take you a little longer to do.

Once this has been done, get an airtight jar and put the garlic powder inside. Make sure that you seal it tight and put it in a dry area – it shouldn’t be in the sun. Don’t keep it out for more than a week if possible, and regularly shake it before use.

If you want the garlic powder to taste even better, you should certainly make sure that you make it during the Fall months. The best garlic is grown during the Autumn, so you can expect it to taste even better during these months.

There’s nothing stopping you from making garlic powder at any other point in the year – this is just something to keep in mind.

Garlic Salt

It’s also possible to make your own garlic salt, too! If you don’t want to make your own garlic salt you can get some fantastic options in stores or online, but otherwise here’s what you need to know about how to make garlic salt.

The very first thing that you need to do is mix together the salt and the garlic. You are going to need to have one part garlic powder – we discussed how to make this above – and three parts salt. It’s better to use sea salt or fine kosher if you can.

Then, once you have done this you should put the combination that you have made into a jar that has been sealed up tight. Put it somewhere that’s cool and dry until you wish to use it again.

It’s also beneficial to put a label on it, especially if you also have garlic powder. You don’t want to mix up the garlic powder for something else, after all. 

Frequently Asked Questions

So that’s most of the things that you need to know about the differences between garlic powder and garlic salt.

Now, many of you may have a few extra burning questions, so let’s clear those up! 

Should I make my own garlic salt and powder at home?

These days, it isn’t really necessary to make your own food and seasoning at all. With the click of a button, you can just get things delivered right to your door – you don’t even have to lift a finger.

This is the perfect solution for people that are incredibly busy and perhaps don’t have the time for making fresh, homemade ingredients.

With that being said, the answer to this question ultimately depends on what you desire.

Would you rather buy something to get that instant gratification and spare yourself the time you would need to take to prepare your own ingredients, or would you prefer to be satisfied with the feeling that you made all of your food yourself? 

There are a lot of benefits to creating garlic powder and salt yourself. For starters, you get to feel that pride in yourself from knowing that you created something yourself.

You can show off your delicious garlic creation to all of your friends and family, like a school child trying to show off their latest finger painting they made in school.

Soon enough everyone will be asking you for your recipe. There’s no feeling quite like it. Not only that, but when you make it yourself, you can add your own little things to make the flavor more to your liking.

When you make garlic salt and powder yourself you can also save a lot of money throughout time. You just need to buy containers and garlic cloves, rather than spending a fortune on pre-made versions. As we all know, saving money is pretty delicious! 

Is it better to eat garlic salt than regular salt?

Salt can add a lot of great flavor to a dish, but the problem is that it isn’t always good for you, especially when eaten in abundance. In this case, you may be wondering whether it’s a little better to eat garlic salt than normal salt, since there’s less salt in it. 

The problem with using a lot of salt is that you can massively go over your recommended daily sodium intake by adding it to your dishes. If you use garlic salt, you’re massively decreasing the amount of salt that you’re consuming overall.

In addition to this, your dishes will have a little bit of extra flavor with the garlic, which is always a positive thing. Essentially, it is better for your health because you are mixing the different seasoning, and as such you are consuming less salt.

Will I have the same health benefits from eating garlic powder as I would from eating fresh garlic? 

Now this is the million dollar question. After all, we’ve stated that garlic comes with a wide range of health benefits, so it’s only natural to wonder whether you will get those same benefits from eating garlic powder.

Here’s the kicker. Unfortunately, when you turn something into a powder or when you dry out a food, it’s always going to have slightly less nutritional value than the original product. This is unfortunately just a fact of life and there’s not much that you can do to change it.

As such, you will probably not be surprised to learn that the situation is the same when it comes to garlic and the powder. You will have a lot fewer calories from garlic powder, but this comes at a price. You won’t get the same amount of vitamins and nutrients from garlic powder. 

With that in mind though, garlic powder is often significantly more convenient than fresh garlic is, so it’s worth using it for that reason alone. You’ll still get great nutritional value, just not to the same degree as you would get with fresh garlic.

There’s nothing stopping you from using normal garlic either. It’s just a good choice in terms of convenience, rather than chopping up a few cloves of garlic every time for flavor. 

Can you substitute garlic powder with garlic salt?

Garlic powder can be substituted for garlic salt!

Garlic salt is made from a ratio of garlic powder and salt – 1:3 more specifically. Garlic powder is more similar to garlic flavoring, whilst garlic salt is much saltier.

It is therefore possible to substitute garlic powder with garlic salt, you just have to create your own powder and salt mixture to mimic the same taste. This is a handy tip for recipes that require garlic salt when you don’t have any in your pantry.

The best way to make garlic salt with garlic powder is to mix sea salt or kosher salt with the powder at a ratio of 3:1 respectively. It is not recommended to use table salt as it doesn’t offer as much flavor.

Then, seal the mixture in an airtight container in a dry place such as a cupboard or pantry. Humidity will cause the salt and powder to lump together, which you don’t want. You can then use this mixture as you would use regular garlic salt.

Which is better garlic salt or garlic powder?

There isn’t an objective answer to whether garlic salt or garlic powder is better. Garlic powder is powdered dry garlic with a fairly mild flavor that is used in lots of Central Asian cuisines. Garlic salt is a mixture of garlic powder and salt to make a salty seasoning used in hamburgers and other red meat dishes.

As both are so different and are used for different purposes, it’s hard to say which is better. However, if we consider health, garlic powder is the healthier option. Garlic powder doesn’t contain nearly as much salt as garlic salt, which is ultimately much healthier.

Also, as garlic salt is made from garlic powder but not the other way around, garlic powder is generally the most versatile seasoning. Mixed with salt at a ratio of 1:3 respectively, and you’ve got your own garlic salt. Garlic salt isn’t interchangeable with garlic powder, however.

What can I use to substitute garlic salt?

Garlic salt is made from garlic powder and salt, which is the most accurate substitute. Mix garlic powder with kosher or sea salt at a ratio of 1:3 respectively, and you’ve got instant garlic salt.

Minced garlic mixed with salt is a good substitute for garlic salt, as this offers more garlic flavoring. Half a teaspoon of garlic salt amounts to ½ a teaspoon of minced garlic and ¼ a teaspoon of salt.

Onion powder is a healthier option than garlic salt due to its lower sodium content. It’s as versatile as garlic salt and goes well in stews, casseroles, sauces, and more.

Garlic oil and salt can be a creative option for some recipes, however, the salt crystals won’t dissolve. Garlic oil can be made by soaking crushed garlic cloves in hot oil for several hours.

Similarly, garlic juice and salt is another substitute. Garlic juice isn’t very common but can be bought from some stores or used from the juice from minced cloves. For every teaspoon of garlic salt, substitute two teaspoons of garlic juice with ¼ teaspoon of salt.

What’s the difference between garlic salt and garlic granules?

There are two differences between garlic salt and garlic granules: texture and taste.

Garlic salt is a mixture of garlic powder and sea/kosher salt, giving it a powdery and fine texture that is light and fluffy.

Garlic granules have a coarser texture that is similar to cornmeal. The taste is similar to regular garlic powder as both are made from ground and dried garlic. Garlic granules mix best with sauces and other spices, whereas garlic salt is used as a seasoning on red meat like hamburgers.

How do you make garlic salt from scratch?

The easiest way to make garlic salt from scratch is to combine garlic powder with sea or kosher salt. This is actually how garlic salt is made, so it’s the best substitute – plus it means you can control the salt content if you want a healthier version.

Simply mix garlic powder and sea or kosher salt at a ratio of 1:3 respectively. It’s not recommended to use table salt, as the flavor won’t match the flavor of real garlic salt. Seal this in an airtight container and keep it in a dry place.

Alternatively, you can use minced garlic granules with salt if you want more of a garlic flavor. Process this mixture (¼ cup of cloves and one cup of kosher/sea salt) until it resembles a sand texture, then bake it in the oven at 180F for an hour spread on a baking tray. Once dry, put it back in the processor until the mixture is like cornmeal, and you’ve got garlic salt!

Is powdered garlic as good as fresh garlic?

As with most processed foods, garlic powder doesn’t offer the same nutritional or flavor benefits as fresh garlic. However, as garlic powder lasts longer and is often cheaper than fresh garlic, it’s a good option.

The main difference between both is the flavor. If you’re one to use fresh garlic in your cooking because of the flavor benefits, you’re less likely to be impressed by garlic powder. Garlic powder is suitable for Central Asian cuisines like Chinese or Thai foods as they aren’t heavy in garlic.

Whilst it comes down to personal preference and the recipe, fresh garlic is the better option than powdered garlic.


In summary, there are very few differences between garlic salt and garlic powder other than the increase in sodium with garlic salt.

Both are great options for a variety of dishes, and can be used in different situations. Having both in your spice rack is a good choice for when you’re cooking!

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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