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Thu Sep 22, 2022, 09:51 PM

Rehydrating garlic powder?

I've got several batches of garlic powder that have absorbed moisture and hardend into blocks/chunks.

What is the best way to rehydrate this? Oil? Water? Hot oil? Hot water?

I'm sure some here have run into this issue, right?

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rehydrating garlic powder? (Original post)
intrepidity Sep 22 OP
Ptah Sep 22 #1
intrepidity Sep 22 #2
Warpy Sep 23 #5
intrepidity Sep 23 #13
Warpy Sep 23 #22
intrepidity Sep 23 #24
Warpy Sep 23 #26
Phoenix61 Sep 22 #3
intrepidity Sep 23 #12
Old Crank Sep 22 #4
Ptah Sep 23 #7
intrepidity Sep 23 #15
live love laugh Sep 23 #6
intrepidity Sep 23 #16
nilram Sep 23 #8
intrepidity Sep 23 #11
Kali Sep 23 #9
intrepidity Sep 23 #10
Kali Sep 23 #17
intrepidity Sep 23 #19
intrepidity Sep 23 #20
Kali Sep 23 #21
intrepidity Sep 23 #23
nilram Sep 23 #27
hippywife Sep 23 #14
intrepidity Sep 23 #18
Trailrider1951 Sep 23 #25

Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2022, 09:56 PM

1. I'd try a coffee grinder.

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Response to Ptah (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 22, 2022, 09:58 PM

2. Good call, actually.

But still hoping others will weigh in on other methods.

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Response to Ptah (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 12:34 AM

5. Same, or a mortar and pestle or custard cup and end of a knife, or blender

Breaking it up when it gets damp is likely the problem, it tends to settle into a miniature hockey puck in wet climates. Breaking it up and back into a powder is what needs to be done. Just drying it in a slow oven won't work, although it will smell like a slice of heaven. You'll just get a somewhat lighter and toasted hockey puck.

I don't have that problem here in the desert. I did have it back in Mass.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:49 PM

13. Yeah, it is definitely a moisture issue here under the redwood canopy

I don't so much mind that it clumped (even with dessicants in the jar)--just wanted to know the best solvent to get it into a homogeneous slurry quickly and easily, with the least equipment involved. See my post below for more.

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #13)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:23 PM

22. I'm afraid you're reduced to chipping it out of the jar

and using elbow grease to pulverize it so it's measurable. Putting it into a plastic freezer bag and whacking it with a rolling pin might work. Or go outside and find a rock.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:29 PM

24. Why does nothing dissolve it?

Jeez, I'm about to break out the lye and muriatic acid to figure this out! (but, not to consume afterwards, just to learn). Any best guess?

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #24)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 04:09 PM

26. Anything that dissolves it will take a lot of time

diromg which the garlic will turn into something that smells so bad you'll throw the jar out.

It's not going to take that much work, honestly. Just do it.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2022, 10:11 PM

3. Microwave it for a few seconds and it will unclump. nt

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:45 PM

12. Tried that. It went from rock hard to somewhat more pliable

but still in a mass, and just about to burn. It may have worked if I did it on low over time, but I was in a rush.

But it made the kitchen smell great!

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2022, 11:57 PM

4. The only issue with using a coffee grinder

Is that you may end up with a garlic flavor in your coffee for a while. The same with usingbit to grind other spices.

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Response to Old Crank (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 01:27 AM

7. Coffee flavored garlic is good stuff.

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Response to Old Crank (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:54 PM

15. Hah, my issue was my coffee grinder was still harboring the remnants of a prior experiment

and I didn't want to take the time to clean it thoroughly.

It's even possible that it was a prior garlic-powder-clump adventure, now that I'm thinking of it....

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 01:06 AM

6. Onion powder clumped and I used the grinder

and washed out as much as possible leaving a slight onion smell. I donít think itíll harm the coffee.

Most importantly is I put the newly ground powder back in the shaker bottle and then into the freezer.

I read that the reason for clumping is often storing susceptible spices near heat or moisture producing sources like a steamy stove and moisture is absorbed by some spices.

I found that even after grinding the powder clumped again but it has been fine since being in the freezer.

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Response to live love laugh (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:55 PM

16. I will try that with some new batches, thanks.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 01:39 AM

8. Maybe a food dryer or very, very low oven.

Like 120-140 degrees for a couple hours. Or store with some saltine crackers for a while? (If that works, you owe me some garlicky saltines!)

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Response to nilram (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:40 PM

11. I think I'll try that for the remaining chunks

It will make the place smell heavenly!

I needed it asap for a recipe last night, so no time to do this then

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 01:46 PM

9. you don't want to rehydrate it, that is what has caused your problem

if it is hard as a rock, grinder or mortar and pestle. if it is just hard but slightly moist you could try grating it on the fine side of a cheese grater or if you have fancy tools, a microplane. or just use a knife and chunk it into approximate measurement pieces for cooking.

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Response to Kali (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:37 PM

10. So, I needed to use it for seasoning taco meat

So rehydrating was the goal-except nothing would dissolve the clump! I tried oil, water, and even alcohol. Frankly, the vodka seemed to work best, although I still had to soak it for awhile and use some elbow grease, and the microwave.

This was one of those big spice bottles, so it was a big chunk. It took quite the effort to even cut a piece off with kitchen shears.

And, I had thrown several (food grade) dessicant packs into the bottle hoping to prevent this, to no avail.

Basically I was wondering which solvent would work best. Logically, it should have been water.

I did not try a grater or microplane. I think I had done so in the past and got my fingers too closely involved to want to try again, if you catch my drift.

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:00 PM

17. ah, that explains your question better

really, water didn't work? I would think water would work fine after a few minutes...did you use hot water? or even boil it for a few in the microwave or something.

I hear you on the finger close to the grater problem.

well, even though I am someone that has a HUGE problem throwing out food of any kind, maybe you should just buy in small quantities and plan to toss when/if it gets hard.

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Response to Kali (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:08 PM

19. Yep, tried heat plus time plus mechanical plus 3 solvents (separately)

Eventually, it worked, but after too much effort. Was hoping someone knew a magical solution I hadn't thought of. Plus, it came up after I had already begun prepping and discovered I didn't have a simple taco seasoning packet that I thought I had--so it was suddenly an issue.

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Response to Kali (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:14 PM

20. Oh, and on the 'buy smaller batches' topic...

In fact, I did have some small ($1) packs that were still powder, but I needed to save those for the avocados I have that just finally ripened and were destined for toast yum.

I use too much garlic powder to throw any away, if I can figure out how to use it.

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #20)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:19 PM

21. so I decided to google the problem and most of the suggestions

have already been mentioned in this thread, but on softening the clump there was the suggestion to put it in the microwave with a small container of water (sort of like how you can steam clean the microwave) to really raise the humidity. then try scraping with a spoon or break into chunks with a tool of some sort to at least get it out of the jar.

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Response to Kali (Reply #21)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:25 PM

23. Hmm, will try that, thanks.

I had tried microwaving, but no water, and it approached burning. I imagine with water, that may not happen?

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 05:02 PM

27. Oh, microplanes! I bought some gloves from

the sporting goods store for cleaning fish. Armored, like the ones they sell for microplane, but you get one for each hand. I scraped my knuckles once on the microplane and it just took forever to heal.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 02:52 PM

14. I don't have expendable income...

and I hate wasting anything, but for this, I would just pitch it and buy new. Then keep it in a cool, dry place to prevent it happening again. I keep all my spices and seasonings in an upper cabinet. It's next to the stove, but not so close that they're affected by the radiant heat. Have never had them clump up or harden, no matter how old some of them may have gotten.

Either that, or break it into small chunks that are usable for dropping into things like soups or stews, etc.

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Response to hippywife (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 03:02 PM

18. I've taken to storing my spices in a dedicated dresser drawer (yes, there's a lot of them, lol)

away from the kitchen to avoid the heat and moisture issues. Seems to mostly work. This was a large container (and garlic!) so it stays in the kitchen and succumbed to the clumpy fate.

I'm extremely frugal as well, and am loathe to toss out anything that is still usable. Yes, it's a burden....

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 04:05 PM

25. I've had that problem with both onion and garlic powder

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