Also known as the stinking rose, garlic is slowly becoming a staple in our kitchen. This versatile vegetable, which is also closely related to leeks and onions, offers plenty of strong flavors for just about any cuisine out there.
Other than its pungent flavor, garlic is quite famous for its numerous health benefits. But have you ever stopped to count how many garlic cloves a garlic head contains? For most people, this is never an issue until you decide to plant your own garlic.
To choose a garlic variety for planting or a new recipe to try, it’s important to know the number of cloves per garlic head. This article shares information on the clove count for various garlic types.
What is the Difference Between a Garlic Clove and a Head?
Garlic lovers and food enthusiasts often use the terms “cloves” and “garlic” interchangeably. Some individuals may find it difficult to differentiate between the two.
This often leads to people putting too much garlic in their recipe, often resulting in a disaster. To avoid such incidences, here is the difference between the two:
What is a Head of Garlic?
Usually, the garlic you buy in supermarkets is usually sold in heads. A head of garlic refers to the whole bulb of garlic you buy at the grocery store in its intact form. These heads are bulb-like and are covered in whiteish papery skin.
What is a Clove of Garlic?
Garlic bulbs are comprised of multiple cloves that are covered in papery skin. To prepare garlic cloves for cooking, simply remove the outer layer of skin and separate the desired number of cloves from the bulb. The remaining cloves can be stored for future use.
How Many Cloves Are in a Head of Garlic?
Although you tend to see one or two varieties of garlic in the market, hundreds of strains exist. In fact, there are over 600 different varieties of garlic. These varieties all have different strengths and nuances but are all wonderfully pungent.
The number of cloves in a garlic bulb depends on its type and can range from four to over thirty. Keep in mind that even if two garlic bulbs are the same type, they may still have a different number of cloves. There are two groups of garlic: Hardneck and Softneck, named after the toughness of their stalks. In Chinese, cloves are also referred to as pearls.
Hardneck Garlic Varieties.
Hardneck garlic yields bulbs that contain six to eight uniform cloves that grow around the hard center shaft. There are three main types of hardneck garlic varieties:
- Rocambole is a hardneck garlic variety with an extremely rich garlic flavor. It yields medium-sized garlic heads that produce 4 to 12 cloves each,
- Porcelain: Each garlic head yields approximately 4 big cloves with an extremely rich garlicky flavor.
- Purple Striped: This is one of the best garlic to use in baking. As its name suggests, this garlic’s cloves have distinctive purple streaks on their skin. Each garlic head yields bla cloves.
Softneck Garlic Varieties
These are the most common garlic varieties found in supermarkets. Softneck garlic varieties tend to have more cloves of garlic per head. The cloves grow in clusters with anywhere between 12 to 24 per garlic head. Softneck garlic comes in two main varieties. Artichokes and Silverskin.
- Artichokes: Artichoke is popular gourmet garlic that yields 12 to 20 cloves per bulb. Due to its large -size, very few recipes apart from roasted garlic call for you to use the entire head of garlic at one go.
- Silverskin: This long-storing softneck garlic variety yields 15 to 20 cloves per bulb.
Why It is Necessary to Know How Many Cloves a Bulb Contains
If you plan on planting garlic, you want to know how the production is going to be. Hence, you must find out how many cloves your varieties of choice will give you. For instance, if you plant a variety such as California Late, you should expect 10 to 15 cloves per head.
Similarly, how many cloves a head of garlic contains is important when your recipe calls for using a whole garlic head. This is important because garlic has a powerful and pungent aroma. So, to keep your dish’s flavor intact and avoid putting too much garlic in your dish, it is essential you know the number of cloves in a head of garlic.
What is the Size of a Single Clove?
Garlic cloves can range in size from small to extra large. You will also notice that even cloves that come from the same bulb vary in size, with some being larger or smaller than others. In such a case, if your recipe calls for 4 cloves and you pull off a small clove of garlic, you can always combine it with another tiny one to equal one regular size one.
If you come across a very large garlic clove, you can cut off a portion of it. However, keep in mind that using a slightly larger or smaller amount of garlic in a recipe won’t significantly affect its overall flavor. Ultimately, the amount of garlic you use is up to your personal preference.
How Much Garlic is in a Clove?
The size of garlic cloves can vary, similar to how the number of cloves in a garlic bulb can vary. Some cloves can be large, while others may be so small that they can be used whole without chopping or mincing.
That aside, single garlic clove is a powerhouse of vitamins and other essential nutrients. One clove of garlic consists of a good amount of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium and Manganese. In addition, it comes with a very smaller number of calories which further make it healthier to consume.
How to Peel a Garlic Clove
The most common way to peel garlic is to cut the root end off. Place the peeled clove on a chopping board. With the flat side of a knife, apply pressure on the clove until you feel the paper-like skin break. Then, pluck the skin off the clove. For a detailed guide on how to peel garlic, check out our how to peel garlic article here.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, it is hard to define exactly how many cloves are in a head of garlic. This is majorly because every head of garlic is different, even in identical varieties of garlic. But as a general consensus, the typical kind of garlic you will find in your local grocery store usually contains 10 to 12 cloves per head. This refers to a normal-sized head of garlic. For larger or smaller bulbs, they can yield more or less respectively.
Industry Terms Items to Learn
To store garlic properly, it is crucial to use airtight containers. Garlic has a strong scent and taste, hence an airtight container will prevent the aroma from escaping, keeping other foods from being impacted by it.
To prevent garlic from spoiling, make sure the storage container is cool, dry, and dark. Check the container’s seals regularly to ensure they are airtight. Storing garlic in an airtight container will help maintain its flavor and extend its shelf life.
Olive oil is an essential ingredient when it comes to using garlic. Not only does it help flavor the garlic, but it also helps keep it from burning and prevents sticking. By adding a tablespoon of olive oil to your garlic dish, you can make sure that each clove stays evenly cooked and doesn’t stick to the pan or burn on the edges.
Smaller cloves of garlic can have a great impact on the overall flavor of a dish. They tend to be more pungent and flavorful than larger cloves, so they can add an extra kick without being overpowering. In addition, smaller cloves are easier to mince or chop finely, making them ideal for dishes that require a more delicate flavor profile.
The term ‘average head’ typically refers to the size of a regular garlic bulb. On average, each garlic head holds 10 to 12 cloves, but this can vary depending on the type and variety of garlic. Cloves also come in different sizes, ranging from small to extra large. The larger cloves are usually the most pungent and flavorful, while the smaller cloves tend to have a milder flavor.
When shopping for garlic, it is important to look for heads that are firm and dry with no signs of mold or discoloration. Larger heads usually yield more cloves so keep an eye out for those if you need a lot of garlic in one go.
How Much Minced Garlic is Equivalent to a Clove?
Minced fresh garlic is garlic that has been finely cut into tiny pieces. Minced garlic gives recipes a stronger garlic taste and aroma. a clove of garlic is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. In other words, 2 cloves of garlic are equivalent to 2 teaspoons of minced garlic.
How Many Teaspoons of Garlic Powder Are in a Clove?
Garlic powder provides a great alternative to fresh garlic cloves or for those who do not want to deal with peeling, dicing, or chopping fresh garlic. When using garlic powder in your recipes, remember that 1 garlic clove is equivalent to about 1/8 tsp of garlic powder.
What is the Difference Between Minced Garlic and Chopped Garlic?
Garlic gives out most of its flavor, depending on what you do to it. Crushing it releases most of its garlicky effect, chopping it slightly less and leaving it all produces the least amount of garlic flavor. Hence, chopped garlic gives a milder flavor, whereas minced garlic gives a fuller, more robust garlic flavor when put in a dish.
How Much Garlic Salt Equals a Clove?
One clove of garlic is equivalent to 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic salt.
How Much Does a Garlic Clove Weigh?
The weight of a clove depends on the type of garlic you buy. That said, the average weight of a single clove is between 10 to 15 grams.
Is a Head of Garlic One Clove?
Just to clarify, one head of garlic doesn’t equal one clove. A head of garlic has around 10 to 12 cloves. When purchasing garlic, choose firm and dry heads without any mold or discoloration. If you need plenty of garlic, go for bigger heads because they often have more cloves.
How Many Cloves in a Head of Hardneck Garlic?
The head of a hardneck garlic can have anywhere from four to twelve cloves, depending on the size and variety. For better flavor, it’s recommended to buy heads with larger cloves, which tend to be more potent and flavorful than smaller ones.