Many recipes call for garlic powder or onion powder and these are seasonings that are great to have in the kitchen. However, few people realize just how surprisingly simple it is to make your own. This makes it simple to store onions and garlic if you grow them and just as easy if they are store-bought. You don’t even need a dehydrator or oven to do this. In fact, the flavor is better if you use neither.
In either case, shuck the bulb to remove the papery sheath.
Once the bulbs are shucked, slice them thinly. The thinner they are sliced, the faster this process will go. In the case of onions, the next step is to separate them into rings, which hastens the drying time.
Place the onions or garlic on a clean screen. I like to use a piece of screen that can be used for drying any of my herbs. The screen can be washed, dried, and rolled up for storage when it isn’t being used to air dry herbs or vegetables.
The onions or garlic should be in a single layer to allow for plenty of airflow. If you can, also put the screen on some sort of frame to allow the air to flow under as well as over the onions or garlic. As with most other herbs, the screen should also be out of direct sunlight while the drying is going on.
The drying time will vary, depending on the thickness of the onions or garlic, how hot and dry the temperatures are, and whether the screen is propped up so air can flow under it. If you aren’t able to prop the screen up, you may need to turn the onions/garlic over periodically so they can dry uniformly.
They are dry when they are brittle. At this point, simply use a mortar and pestle to grind the onions or garlic into a powder that is as fine as you want it. You can also use a blender, food processor, flour mill, or coffee grinder.
Store the powder in air-tight seasoning bottles, and as with other herbs and seasonings, put the bottles in a dark, dry place. Light destroys the flavor of herbs. A full bulb of garlic makes about two teaspoons of powder and a medium bulb of onions makes about a tablespoon.
Not only is this a simple and great way to make your own onion powder and garlic powder, you can even opt to make onion or garlic flakes rather than powder. You are in total control of how fine the onions and garlic ends up. This is especially fantastic if you grow a lot of either, or come across a really good sale on onions or garlic.
This onion powder and garlic powder is even extra flavorful because the onions and garlic aren’t dried using mechanical heat, like in an oven, microwave, or food dehydrator. Give it a try and see what you think.