This quite possibly the best spice to have in your spice cabinet. I cannot get enough of it! And because it’s so easy to make, I keep it (and raw garlic powder) on hand at all times. All you need is an oven for roasting, a food dehydrator for drying the garlic, and a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. If you use garlic powder in cooking, give this a try–it will take your food flavor to a whole new level.
Throw whole garlic bulbs onto a large sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and roast in a 400 degree F oven for about an hour and a half.
Squeeze the roasted garlic onto a food dehydrator tray. I used the plastic insert to make it easier to remove the garlic after drying. You can put it directly on the slats, though some pieces might fall through to the bottom. If you don’t have a plastic liner (or enough of them) line your trays with plastic wrap or waxed paper. See that lovely golden hue on the roasted garlic? While you are putting it into the dehydrator, be sure to take some and smash it onto a piece of bread with a little bit of butter. Y’know, a reward for all your hard work.
Dry the garlic at 135 degrees F for several days, or until the garlic is crunchy and no longer soft or spongy to the touch. If it isn’t completely dry, it won’t grind into a powder and it has the potential to spoil while in storage in your cabinet. I left the dehydrator running day and night, and it took about 3-4 days to get completely dry. If you live in a humid climate, it might take longer to dry. The garlic will be a nice amber color when it is dry.
If you want, grind it all at once and store in an airtight jar. It will keep for a few months, if you can make it last that long (I use this stuff by the bucketfuls). I don’t have a spice grinder (Yet. I ordered one last weekend!) so sometimes I use a mini food processor to break the whole pieces down, then do the fine detail grinding with a mortar and pestle. This can be labor intensive, so if you like, store the whole pieces of garlic in an airtight jar until you want to cook with it, then pull out what you need and grind it then. You can see that I still have some fairly large chunks of garlic in the bowl, but it doesn’t matter if you are adding it to a liquid (like soup) or a sauce, as it will just dissolve anyway. If you plan to use it as a seasoning on something like garlic bread, you might want to grind it a little finer. Make it your way. It’s yummy anyway you grind it.