Difference between Garlic Powder and Garlic Salt

Updated on May 31, 2017

Adding garlic to your food is a great way to enhance its flavor. However, choosing the right form of garlic can be confusing, especially when you see different options on the spice rack at the grocery store. There’s garlic powder, which is fairly common, but then there’s also garlic salt. What is the difference between the two?


Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is made by dehydrating and grinding whole garlic heads. First, garlic cloves are peeled and chopped, and then heated to approximately 320°F. Because of the high temperature, the moisture content is reduced to about 6.5%. After the dehydration process, the chopped garlic is ground to fine particles. Some manufacturers may add a negligible amount of sodium (approximately 1 mg per teaspoon).

Because it is made with real garlic, garlic powder adds a vibrant flavor and aroma to your food. It can be used for practically any dish that requires fresh or dried garlic, such as marinades, rubs, pizza, pasta, sauces, or dressing. It is also used as an ingredient in spice mixes and seasoned salt. Garlic powder is not, however, recommended for sautéing as its burns easily.

garlic salt

On the other hand, garlic salt is basically just a combination of garlic powder, salt, and an anti-caking agent (usually calcium silicate). It contains 320 mg of sodium per quarter of a teaspoon.

Many spice brands make garlic salt; however, it can be easily made at home by mixing 1 part garlic powder and 3 parts salt.

Garlic salt is can be used for marinades, casseroles, soups, stews, rubs, salsa, and dressing. It is practically an all-purpose seasoning that can be used in recipes that call for regular salt.

Garlic Powder vs Garlic Salt

What, then, is the difference between garlic powder and garlic salt?

The main difference between the two is that garlic powder is purely pulverized dehydrated garlic cloves, whereas garlic salt is a combination of garlic powder and salt.

Obviously, garlic salt has more sodium than garlic powder. Garlic powder may contain negligible amounts of salt depending on the brand, but a quarter of a teaspoon of garlic salt contains 320 mg of sodium.

Whether you should use garlic powder or garlic salt depends on your preference. Both add an amazing garlicky flavor and aroma to your food but keep in mind that garlic salt has a significantly higher level of sodium than garlic powder.

Comparison Chart

Garlic PowderGarlic Salt
Made by dehydrating (exposing garlic to 320°F) and grinding whole garlic clovesA combination of garlic powder, salt, and a humectant or anti-caking agent (usually calcium silicate)
May contain 1 mg of sodium per teaspoon (depending on the brand)Contains 320 mg of sodium per quarter of a teaspoon