How to cook with garlic powder

Garlic powder displayed next to fresh garlic
Garlic powder works differently in cooking than fresh garlic, so learning how to harness its unique qualities is key.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Aside from the recipes for cornbread, fried chicken and firecrackers, there are myriad uses for garlic powder that need no recipe at all. If you treat it as a third seasoning, along with salt and pepper, the possibilities are endless.

Sprinkle it on roasted potatoes or fries as soon as they come out of the oven or fryer so the powder can bloom in the oil and flavor their crisp outsides. Garlic powder makes for a more intense, subtly sweet flavor in a brine for pickles. If you’re making slow-simmered Southern-style collards or kale, sprinkle in some garlic powder at the end to heighten the sweetness of the leafy greens, a pro tip from Michael Twitty and cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin. Garlic powder mixed into tahini sauce or mayonnaise makes a flavorful, impromptu cheater’s version of, respectively, toum or aioli.

And, of course, there’s garlic bread. Stir a liberal amount into melted butter and slather the mix on your cut bread. After a few minutes under the broiler, it will create that addictive crust that everyone will fight over at the dinner table.