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The Basics Of Garlic: How Many Cloves Are In A Bulb?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Garlic is one of those foods that works with almost every single savory meal, adding a delicious twang to the recipe every time.

From garlic mushrooms to garlic bread, to spaghetti bolognese to sirloin steak, garlic works with everything!

The Basics Of Garlic How Many Cloves Are In A Bulb

In this article, we will be looking at all things’ garlic, including how many cloves can be found inside a single bulb.

So, let’s get into it.

The Basics Of Garlic

A bulbous blossoming plant in the Allium family, garlic is related to shallots, onions, chives, and leeks. It is a very popular food item all across the world.

This delicious herb can be used in cooking as a flavoring for a variety of foods, adding amazing flavor. Due to its overpowering taste and aroma, garlic can be used sparingly to flavor food.

In addition to being a tasty addition to food, garlic is also considered to be a superfood.

This herb can help one stay healthy by increasing their immune system, enhancing cardiovascular wellness, reducing inflammation, and promoting skin clarity.

What Is A Garlic Bulb?

The Basics Of Garlic How Many Cloves Are In ABulb

Since garlic is a bulbous herb, it develops with tightly packed individual segments inside.

The interior of the bulb is shielded by a substance that resembles paper, and the plant’s edible portions – the cloves – are wrapped inside.

The garlic bulbs develop in soil and have the ability to produce lengthy stems and shoots.

They have a spherical core with cloves encircling it; the cloves may be separated from the bulb, and the stem can be thrown away.

The true function of a bulb of garlic is to house the cloves and keep them protected. They can, however, also be planted in soil in order to produce your some bulbs in your own garden.

The best way to describe a garlic bulb is as an orange.

The papery sheet covering it up is like the orange peel, and the cloves inside are the orange segments (and are removed from the bulb in a similar way).

What Is A Garlic Clove?

Some people find it difficult to distinguish between a bulb of garlic and a clove of garlic, with some people even believing that they are one and the same.

This is not true; a clove of garlic is a part of a garlic bulb, but they are not the same thing.

As we mentioned in the previous section, the bulb of garlic is the herb in its entirety. A garlic clove is just one of the components that makes up a bulb of garlic.

A clove of garlic is the edible part of the garlic bulb that is removed and prepared for food dishes.

There are several cloves to be found inside a bulb, and they are all easily removable.

The Difference Between A Bulb Of Garlic And A Clove

The Basics Of Garlic How Many Cloves AreIn ABulb

While a clove of garlic is a component of a bulb of garlic, the two things are not one and the same. The bulb is the garlic in its entirety, while the cloves are the smaller, edible sections of the bulb.

When most people think of garlic, they envision the bulb in its entirety. However, when we cook a meal, we do not use the entire garlic bulb.

Instead, we peel the papery skin from the bulb, and remove the cloves from the inside.

We then prepare the cloves by chopping them up, smashing them, mincing them, etc., before adding them to the recipe.

The Average Size Of A Single Clove Of Garlic

Garlic bulbs come in a wide range of sizes.

This means that, just as it can be difficult to give a definitive answer for what size a single clove of garlic is, it can also be difficult to give a definitive answer for how heavy it is.

The average size of a garlic bulb is around 2″ in diameter, but you can find bulbs that are slightly larger or slightly smaller.

As a result of the different sizes of garlic bulbs, the size of cloves can also differ.

The average garlic clove will measure slightly taller than 1″. A large clove is often between 1.25″ and 1.4″ long, whilst a little clove will typically measure under 1″.

When describing a clove’s diameter, we mean that it refers to its largest portion. A larger clove might be ⅝” to ¾” across, whilst a smaller clove might be on ⅜” to ½”.

The Average Weight Of A Single Clove Of Garlic

The Basics Of Garlic How ManyCloves AreIn ABulb

As we previously discussed, not all cloves are created equal, and some are significantly bigger than others.

As a result, each clove will weigh differently. Even cloves from the same bulb will vary in weight and size.

Having said that, a typical garlic clove from a store-bought bulb will probably weigh between 4 and 7g.

Depending on the kind and size of the bulb, the weight of the cloves in higher quality garlic ranges from 4 to 45g.

The weight of a regular garlic clove will range from 4 to 16g overall.

How Many Cloves Can Be Found In A Bulb Of Garlic?

Now, we get to the question that you were waiting to be answered. Exactly how many cloves are kept inside one singular bulb of garlic?

Does the number of cloves remain the same within every single bulb?

There are many different kinds of garlic around the world, and each kind will have a different number of cloves inside.

A bulb of garlic may have between 5 and 20 cloves inside, based on its size and variety.

However, the average bulb of garlic – the kind that you’d find at your local grocery store – will likely have between 10 and 12 cloves inside.

Larger bulbs will have more cloves, while smaller bulbs will have less.

How To Prepare Garlic

The Basics Of Garlic HowManyClovesAreIn ABulb

While garlic cloves are fairly small pieces of food, there are actually so many ways to prepare them to add to a recipe.

The method that you use may affect the consistency and the flavor of the garlic, however, so it is influential that you know which one to use.

Additionally, it is very important that you remove the paper-like skin from the cloves before you begin to prepare them.

This can be a difficult task if you have never removed garlic cloves from the bulb before.

Below, we have listed 4 ways to remove the skin from the garlic cloves, along with 4 ways to prepare garlic while cooking.

Peeling Garlic By Hand

This is the most obvious way to remove the papery skin from a garlic clove, but it is also the most difficult.

Peeling garlic is not only time-consuming, but it can also create a whole lot of mess in your kitchen.

The best way to peel garlic is to use a sharp knife to chop off both ends of the clove.

From there, it should be a lot easier to simply peel the skin away from the garlic. If you don’t do this, you will have to pick away at the skin for a long time.

The worst part about peeling garlic by hand is that garlic is a very pungent herb, and it will linger on your skin for a little while, even if you wash your hands immediately after.

Be prepared for your fingers to smell like garlic for the foreseeable future.

Smashing Garlic

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

Our favorite way to remove garlic cloves from their skin is to smash them with something hard. This may sound like a strange thing to do, but trust us; it works.

Some people prefer to use something particularly heavy, like a chopping board, to smash their garlic.

However, in reality, you can do it using the kitchen knife that is already, likely, in your hand.

Press the knife flat on top of the garlic, making sure that the sharp side is facing away from your palm.

If the sharp side is facing towards you, there is a possibility that you could slice your hand open.

Put some pressure on the knife, pushing down until you feel the garlic crush underneath.

Once you remove the knife, you’ll notice that some skin will have already begun to peel away. You will easily be able to remove the rest using your hands.

Shaking Garlic In A Bowl

Next, we have another unusual method that may actually surprise you. This involves using two bowls, and a handful of garlic cloves with their skin still on.

All you need to do is put the handful of garlic cloves into one of the bowls, and then use the other bowl to cover up the top.

Then, shake the bowls, moving the cloves around on the inside. Make sure that none of the cloves fall out of the bowls.

Once you stop shaking the bowls after a little while, take a look inside, and you’ll notice that most of the skins have removed themselves.

You can use your hands to remove the remaining pieces of skin.

Heating Garlic In A Microwave

The final method for removing the skin from garlic cloves is to heat them up in the microwave. Again, this may sound strange, but it really does work!

Start by cutting off the root ends of each garlic clove, and then place them all in a microwave-safe container or bowl.

Then, all you have to do is blast them in the microwave for between 15 and 20 seconds.

Once the timer has gone off, remove the bowl from the microwave, and allow the garlic cloves to cool down.

Once they’re no longer hot, pick up each clove, and squeeze them out of their skin. The papery substance should slide right off of each garlic clove with little effort.

Mincing Garlic

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

Once you have peeled your garlic cloves, you can begin preparing them. One of the most common ways to prepare garlic is to mince it.

The best way to mince garlic is to use the smashing method using a knife, to make sure it has already been mashed up.

Once peeled and trimmed, use the knife to cut the garlic up into tiny pieces. Keep chopping until the garlic is fully minced.

Chopping Garlic

Another way to prepare garlic is to simply chop it up. This method is fairly simple, and very similar to mincing garlic.

This method is better for those who require coarsely chopped garlic, rather than finer pieces.

Simply chop the garlic up normally, but don’t chop it too finely; allow it to remain in larger chunks.

Slicing Garlic

Sliced garlic is a method that should be used in sauces or stir-fries, or even on pizza.

This is probably the easiest way to prepare garlic while cutting it up with a knife, as it requires the least amount of effort.

All you need to do is, using a sharp knife, slice the garlic into thin pieces. That’s it!

Roasting Garlic

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

Finally, you can roast garlic in the oven to create a mushier texture that can be added to sauces, mashed potatoes, or as a base for sandwiches or pizza.

This method doesn’t require barely any cutting at all, or even any peeling.

All you need to do is slice the ends of the garlic bulb off, and then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt.

Loosely wrap the bulb in some aluminum foil, and place it in the oven for around half hour at 400˚F.

Once the garlic has cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Then, all you have to do is squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb using your hands. It should be easy to do.

How Much Minced Garlic Can Be Made With A Single Clove?

The amount of minced garlic that can be made using a single garlic clove will, ultimately, depend on the size of the clove itself.

As we have discussed previously, garlic cloves can come in many sizes, with some being a lot larger than others.

As a rule, the average garlic clove will equal to around ½ a teaspoon when minced. This can, again, vary depending on the size of the clove that you are using.

What Is Garlic Powder?

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

If you have ever used garlic powder, or seen it in your local grocery store, you may be wondering what it is. It looks similar to salt, but it tastes like garlic.

Garlic powder is finely ground-up, dehydrated garlic cloves. The garlic has been dried and powdered to create a consistency similar to flour.

The garlic’s lightweight properties makes it easy to swiftly dissolve and integrate into a dish.

Garlic powder differs from other forms of garlic products, in that its flavor is more concentrated and intense due to the smaller particle size.

It is easier to add to recipes, but less will need to be used, as too much garlic powder will create an overpowering flavor.

The Difference Between Garlic Powder And Garlic Salt

Garlic powder and garlic salt may get mixed up every so often, due to their similar appearances and very similar names, but they are actually very different products that should be used for different purposes.

As we mentioned in the previous section, garlic powder is powdered dehydrated garlic cloves.

Garlic salt, on the other hand, is garlic powder that has been combined with table salt to create a garlic-flavored salt.

If you only want to add some garlicky flavors to your recipe, you would be better off using garlic powder.

If you’d like to add a little twist to your fries, or to any already prepared dish, however, you could add a sprinkle of garlic salt for extra flavor.

Measurement Equivalents Of Garlic

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

In this next section, we will be taking a look at some more measurements that you will need to know when using garlic in your cooking. These measurements will make your culinary life so much easier.

How Many Cloves Of Garlic Make Up A Teaspoon?

When measuring garlic for a recipe, it is handy to know how many cloves of garlic make up one teaspoon once it has been minced.

This way, you will always know how much garlic you need to prepare beforehand.

As a rule, a single clove of garlic will make up around half a teaspoon once it has been minced.

However, this will all depend on the size of the clove that you will be mincing, as larger cloves will result in more garlic.

How Much Garlic Powder Equals To 1 Teaspoon Of Minced Garlic?

The ratio of garlic powder to freshly minced garlic must be understood in order to know how to replace fresh minced garlic with garlic powder.

As a general rule, use ⅛ tablespoon of garlic powder for every ½ tablespoon of fresh garlic that has been minced.

Therefore, 1 garlic clove would equal to ⅛ tablespoon of garlic powder.

Garlic powder has a much stronger flavor than raw garlic, as we mentioned earlier. The amount of garlic in your recipe would therefore increase by 8 cloves if you used a full teaspoon of garlic powder.

What Is 1 oz Of Garlic In Teaspoons?

On average, an entire bulb of garlic will weigh roughly 3 oz. This means that ⅓ of a bulb of garlic, or 3 to 4 garlic cloves, would likely weigh 1 oz.

If one clove of garlic will make up around ½ teaspoon, it would be safe to assume that 4 garlic cloves would make up 2 teaspoons.

Therefore, 1 oz of minced garlic cloves would equal to around 3 teaspoons.

How Much Is 1 lb Of Garlic In Heads And Cloves?

First and foremost, it is important to remember that 1 lb is the equivalent of 16 oz. Once you know this measurement ratio, you can begin to work out how much garlic equals to 1 lb.

At an average, it would take between 25 and 40 cloves of garlic to make up 1 lb, which would equal to 3 to 4 bulbs of garlic in total.

How To Grow Garlic At Home

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

If you’ve got a green thumb, and you’re thinking about growing some garlic in your own garden, it couldn’t be easier to do. All you’ll need is some sunlight, water, soil, and some garlic bulbs.

All you need to do is plant the garlic cloves in some soil – without peeling them – and space them 6 to 8 of inches apart from each other, 2 inches into the ground.

Then, all you need to do is water them every so often, and let them grow!

Those who live in colder climates will need to grow garlic during the summer and fall to ensure that the bulbs receive enough sunlight to grow.

On the other hand, those who live in warmer areas of the world will be able to grow garlic all year round.

How To Harvest Homegrown Garlic

If you plant your garlic in the fall, you will be able to harvest them during the following spring, or at the start of summer.

When removing the bulbs from the soil, be very careful not to damage them as you bring them to the surface.

How Do I Store Garlic?

The Basics of Garlic How Many Cloves are in a Bulb (2)

Next, you may be wondering the safest way to store garlic.

With some vegetables and herbs being safe to store in a cupboard, while others require to be kept in a refrigerator, it can be difficult to know what is best with certain foods.

Continue reading to find out how you should store your garlic.

Storing A Bulb Of Garlic

If you have a bulb of garlic that hasn’t been peeled, and is still fully intact, it will be perfectly fine to store it in your kitchen pantry or cupboard.

The key to storing garlic bulbs is to keep them at a cool temperature, but not a cold temperature.

You don’t want them to get too hot, either. Therefore, a kitchen pantry or cupboard should be perfect for storing fresh bulbs.

Storing Peeled Garlic

When it comes to storing garlic that has already been peeled, you will have to store it a little more carefully. Once the skin has been removed, the garlic will begin to decay at a faster rate.

The best thing to do is place the peeled cloves into an airtight container, or some plastic ziplock bags, and seal them up. Then, you can store them in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Peeled garlic will not be safe to eat if you leave it at room temperature for more than 24 hours, so be sure to store it right away.

Can I Freeze Garlic?

The Basics of Garlic: How Many Cloves are in a Bulb?

If you’d rather store your garlic bulbs or cloves for a longer period of time, you can always store them in your freezer.

This is safe to do whether you want to store an entire unpeeled bulb of garlic, or several peeled garlic cloves.

Again, you will want to place them in some ziplock bags or airtight containers, and then you can store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

You can even freeze leftover minced, chopped, or sliced garlic if you’d like to keep it fresh for a later date.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Garlic?

When stored safely and properly, and left unpeeled, a bulb of garlic will last up to 6 months before it starts to go bad. When peeled, however, you will only have a week to consume the cloves, providing that you have refrigerated them.

If your garlic appears to be moldy, soggy, or starts to smell bad, you should throw it away immediately, and do not try to consume it.

Final Thoughts

If you are a garlic lover, be sure to keep this page saved, so you can come back at a later date. This guide can help you with measurements, ratios, and can even help you grow your own bulbs of garlic in your own backyard.

We hope you found this guide helpful.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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