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How Many Cloves Are In A Bulb? (Plus How To Prepare Garlic)

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 and from spaghetti bolognese to sirloin steak, garlic works with everything!

In this article, I’ll tackle some commonly asked questions about garlic – one of those being how many cloves are in a bulb.

The Basics Of Garlic How Many Cloves Are In A Bulb

The short answer is that a bulb of garlic will usually have 10-12 cloves in it. But it depends on the variety, which I will get into below.

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 adds amazing flavor to a variety of foods when cooked. Due to its overpowering taste and aroma, garlic can be used sparingly.

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 bulb’s interior 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 can 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 garlic bulb is to house the cloves and protect them. However, bulbs can also be planted in soil to produce bulbs in one’s own garden.

What Is A Garlic Clove?

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

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

As I mentioned in the previous section, the bulb of garlic is the herb in its entirety. A garlic clove is just one component of 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 inside a bulb, and they are all easily removable.

The Basics Of Garlic How Many Cloves AreIn ABulb

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

So, how many cloves are in a bulb of garlic? And does every bulb have the same number of cloves?

There are many different kinds of garlic worldwide, 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, as I mentioned at the start, 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.

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 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, while 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, while a smaller clove might be ⅜” to ½.”

The Average Weight Of A Single Clove Of Garlic

The Basics Of Garlic How ManyCloves AreIn ABulb

As I mentioned before, 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 To Prepare Garlic: Peeling Methods

The Basics Of Garlic HowManyClovesAreIn ABulb

Preparing garlic takes a little practice.

Below, I have listed 4 ways to peel and prepare 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 peel the skin away from the garlic simply. 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?

My 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 me, it works.

Some people 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, ensuring 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 has already begun to peel away. You can easily remove the rest using your hands.

Shaking Garlic In A Bowl

Next, I 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 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.

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

How To Prepare Garlic: Chopping

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 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 barely requires any cutting at all or even any peeling.

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

Loosely wrap the bulb in aluminum foil and place it in the oven for about half an 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 clove of garlic will ultimately depend on the size of the clove itself.

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?

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

The garlic’s lightweight properties make it easy to dissolve and swiftly 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 due to their similar appearances and very similar names, but they are actually very different products that should be used for different purposes.

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 an 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, I’ll share some information on measurements that you need to know when using garlic in your cooking.

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.

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 1 Teaspoon Of Minced Garlic?

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 ⅛ tablespoon of garlic powder.

Garlic powder has a much stronger flavor than raw garlic, so 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 makes up around ½ teaspoons, it would be safe to assume that four 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 determine how much garlic equals 1 lb.

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

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 and ratios when working with garlic.

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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