How Many Cloves In A Head of Garlic?


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.

Knowing how many cloves a head of garlic has become more essential when choosing the type of variety to plant or are trying out a new recipe. If you’d like to know how many cloves there are in different garlic varieties, this article is a must-read.

What Is The Difference Between A Garlic Clove And A Head?

Amongst foodies and garlic lovers, the terms cloves and garlic are thrown about many times. However, these terms can be confusing as not all people know the difference 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?

When you peel off the papery layer that covers a garlic bulb, you will find that it is made up of many individual lobes that are also covered in papery skin. Each of these lobes is called a garlic clove. You can break off individual cloves from the bulb for cooking, leaving the rest of the head intact for later 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 the type of garlic and can range from as few as four to as many as thirty or more. Note, however, that even if two garlic bulbs belong to the same variety, the number of cloves, or as the Chinese call them, pearls, will vary from one another.

Garlic is broadly classified into two categories: Hardneck and Softneck garlic varieties. The names hard and soft refer to the firmness of the stalks of each variety.

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: This 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. This is because 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.
Related Content:

Can You Freeze Garlic?
How To Get Garlic Smell off Hands
How to Store Fresh Garlic (Video)

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.

On the other hand, if you encounter a huge clove of garlic, you can choose to chop some of it off. That said, it is important to understand that using slightly more or less garlic in a recipe won’t make an enormous difference in its final flavor. Plus, at the end of the day, the amount of garlic you use in your recipes is a matter of personal taste.

How Much Garlic Is In A Clove?

Just like there is a range in the number of cloves per garlic bulb, there is also a variation in the size of each individual clove. some cloves are huge, whereas others are so small that they can be cooked whole without needing to chop or even 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.


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, keep in mind 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.

Related Content:

Can You Freeze Garlic?
How To Get Garlic Smell off Hands
How to Store Fresh Garlic (Video)








Leave a Comment