When cooking, we need accurate measurements to ensure that we have the precise amount, leading to the right taste.
Errors can lead to dishes lacking in “kick” or becoming too strong for our tongues and taste.
Whatever the case, proper measurement is a must; this is why chefs and other culinary artists spend years learning their craft. Part of that is learning to apply the right or exact amounts of ingredients.
Almost all dishes need garlic, and you will always see measurements concerning it, either mentioning cloves, half of it, one-fourth of it, or sometimes, half teaspoon or a teaspoon.
But having 4 cloves of garlic to tsp, what does it mean?
A garlic head is simply that one whole piece of fresh garlic, much like the size or as big as an onion bulb.
Depending on where you buy it, you have either a pack of garlic heads in a plastic bag or several garlic heads attached to a stem.
Garlic cloves are the pieces of garlic you find in a garlic head, and the number of garlic cloves in it will depend on the size of the garlic head.
On average, you can have 10 to 14 garlic cloves, but a large garlic bulb may contain up to 20 garlic cloves, maybe more.
Garlic cloves can be large or small; depending on the garlic clove, you can have much-minced garlic using a few cloves or have a few minced garlic even when using many cloves.
That is why we use tablespoons or teaspoons when measuring garlic, and not the number of cloves itself.
Related Reading: Want to know about the health benefits of garlic?
Depending on the type of processed garlic, it can yield different measurements concerning teaspoons.
What makes things pretty challenging is that clove may yield different measurements depending on whether it is chopped, minced, powdered, etc.
Chopped garlic is when you cut it into tiny little pieces using a knife, which is what you do when cooking regular dishes for lunch or dinner. Chopped garlic, compared to minced or powdered, is still large pieces of garlic.
On the other hand, minced garlic clove is chopped into even tinier ones, very minuscule, and the ones you buy in a grocery store. They are finely chopped, and the garlic juice mixes with the cloves.
The result is a pastel-like appearance and texture. A clove of jarred minced garlic or bottled minced garlic is in a shallow container with a large mouth and used for various purposes.
They can be ingredients in unique dishes or garnish to soup and other delicacies.
We must remember, though, that it is still different from a garlic paste; garlic paste is usually crushed to give that paste-like texture and appearance, whereas minced garlic is chopped finely.
Powdered garlic is usually processed by machines or made industrially, and they are put in small bottles and used for specialized cooking. Like minced garlic, you use it for unique dishes, use for garnishing, or to make dishes or soup more appetizing.
Things will not be that complicated if we pick a fresh clove from a garlic bulb, count them, mince them, and then put them as we cook.
Measuring that way is easy and will save us all the trouble of measuring cloves per teaspoon; you need only to put them to know how many.
How many cloves, exactly, are in a teaspoon? Things can get tricky if we buy that ready-made processed garlic in the market.
Since they are minced already, we can never know how many cloves are in a teaspoon; it could be too much or too few.
And since cooking is not an exact science, having a precise amount of ingredients is the closest thing to it. For garlic cloves, we need to know the exact measurement of cloves in a teaspoon, if only to know how much we must use.
The best thing is to use some garlic conversion that will show the number of cloves in a teaspoon, depending on whether chopped, minced, or powdered.
Garlic clove is equal to
- One teaspoon of whole garlic
- One teaspoon of crushed garlic
- One teaspoon of chopped garlic
- Half a teaspoon of minced garlic
- Half a teaspoon of garlic paste
- Half a teaspoon of garlic salt
- Half a teaspoon of garlic juice
- Half a teaspoon of garlic flakes
- A quarter teaspoon of granulated garlic
- An eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder.
Having this as the conversion, how much teaspoon would be four cloves of garlic?
Four cloves of garlic would amount to
- Four teaspoons of garlic whole
- Four teaspoons of crushed garlic
- Four teaspoons of chopped garlic
- Two teaspoons of minced garlic
- Two teaspoons of garlic paste
- Two teaspoons of garlic salt
- Two teaspoons of garlic juice
- Two teaspoons of garlic flakes
- A teaspoon of granulated garlic
- Half a teaspoon of garlic powder
Looking at the conversion, you can see why it is essential to pay attention to the instructions concerning ingredients and the exact amount. Four cloves of minced garlic are equivalent to two teaspoons of minced garlic, not four teaspoons.
This is one of the elementary mistakes you can have about garlic ingredients and cooking involving garlic. Many assume that cloves-teaspoon measurements are the same for all processed garlic; it is not.
But why is this the case? The processing has something to do with it. When you chop raw garlic, you do not get everything; the garlic loses some of its potency.
But when it comes to processed garlic, it is a very potent one, nothing, as much as possible, goes to waste.
Why is Accuracy Vital?
For those well-versed in cooking, even a cursory glance at the conversion table would tell what could go wrong if there is a mistake following instructions.
Cooking may not be an exact science, but that is precisely why you need to be sure of the measurement of ingredients and know how much you need to put into your dish.
Especially with garlic, an ingredient that can give much “kick” to any food. If you want the right measure, you need to be precise in measuring the amounts for what you are cooking.
It can spell the difference between having a salacious dish and a ruined lunch or dinner. But with this conversion, you need not worry about it.
In measuring four cloves to a teaspoon, what is important here is that a clove in a teaspoon does not mean the same for every processed garlic.
Chopped, minced, pasted, powdered, roasted garlic, etc.: they differ when measured by teaspoon.
It is essential to know the exact conversion when dealing with instructions “one clove of minced garlic.”