Garlic is a necessary ingredient to pick up at the grocery store because it has so many uses in dishes. In my opinion, I find it just as necessary as salt and pepper. Whether you're using fresh garlic cloves, garlic powder, garlic salt, or jarred minced garlic, the flavor is sure to give any dish that savory flavor it needs.
One problem with fresh garlic cloves is that garlic smell tends to linger on your hands. Sure there are a few home remedies home cooks swear by to get rid of the odor, but there is one ingredient you can find at the grocery store that is convenient and will still give you that garlic flavor -- jarred minced garlic.
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So, what is the real difference between fresh cloves of garlic and jarred minced garlic? Well, the first one is pretty obvious: jarred minced garlic is already peeled and minced for you. Fresh garlic takes a little bit more effort- you have to peel the individual cloves, whip out your cutting board and chef's knife and chop the number of cloves you need for your dish. Luckily, there are a few kitchen tools that home cooks love to make this process easier if you prefer fresh garlic. A garlic press or microplane are lifesavers for minced garlic in a flash. You can even use a mini food processor.
In terms of flavor, fresh garlic has that true, vibrant garlic flavor with a bit of heat when it's raw, while jarred minced garlic tends to be milder in flavor. If you're substituting jarred garlic in a recipe, use about ½ teaspoon for every fresh garlic clove. However, if you're like me, you can always get away with using more garlic than suggested!
If you still aren't convinced with the whole idea of using jarred garlic, there's one thing for sure. You cannot beat the convenience. Found in small jars in the produce section, minced garlic is inexpensive and ready to use in cooking. If you don't like to chop a couple of cloves yourself or simply don't have the time, reach for the jar of minced garlic. It's a great ingredient to use in marinades, stir fry, sauces, or for spicing up some frozen veggies.
Minced garlic in jars also lasts longer than fresh garlic, which is great for folks who don't often use garlic in their cooking. So, if you're tired of throwing away fresh cloves, jarred minced garlic might be a good option for you. Whatever form of garlic you prefer, there's no doubt you'll get that garlic flavor infused into your dish.