Fresh onions and garlic are fixtures of our recipes, but Allison Forese of Philadelphia wondered if there is a place in the Milk Street pantry for onion powder and granulated garlic.
These spice cabinet staples have different flavors from their fresh counterparts, and we like a fine powder, onion powder and granulated garlic tend to taste sweeter, toasted and mild. They work best when fresh onions would add too much moisture or when fresh garlic would burn, as in a high-heat roast.
We tried them side-by-side tossed with broccoli that was then roasted at 500°F, and found we preferred the powders, which better coated and seasoned the broccoli.
Similarly, they were favored for roasted potatoes, on which fresh onion and garlic burned. Other uses include recipes in which you want the flavor of garlic or onion but not the texture, or when minced or chopped pieces won’t adhere, as in searing meat
We love granulated garlic and onion powder in spice blends and rubs, such as in our South African-inspired mother-in-law spice blend. When using them in sauces or dressings that won’t be cooked, be sure to give them 10 minutes or so to hydrate.