You’re about to put your famous dry rub on a pair of strip steaks destined for the grill. But wait—you’re all out of garlic salt. Don’t worry, it’s mind-blowingly easy to make your own. Here’s how to make garlic salt at home in a pinch.
What Is Garlic Salt?
It’s simple: table salt and granulated garlic. Store-bought bottles usually contain calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent that keeps the seasoning loose and shakeable. You won’t need any to make your own garlic salt, but be sure to store it in a dark place—ideally in an airtight container—to avoid clump-causing moisture from getting in. It’s versatile enough that it can make basically anything taste better, from popcorn and fries to pasta, salads and proteins. It’s also a great substitute for fresh garlic (use ½ teaspoon garlic salt for every clove you’re replacing).
How to Make Garlic Salt
The ratio to keep in mind? Three parts salt to one part garlic. You can use either granulated garlic or garlic powder. The only difference between the two is their texture and grain size. Both are made of dried garlic, but garlic powder is ground until it’s flour-like and soft, while granulated garlic is ground to a coarser texture.
Adjust the recipe based on how much you need in the moment or make a big batch so you’re good to go for months (for instance, 1 cup salt and ⅓ cup garlic powder should hold you over for a while).
1 tablespoon table salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
Combine the salt and garlic in either a seasoning shaker or mason jar. Shake until evenly mixed. You can also combine them in a bowl before transferring to a jar or shaker.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year. Keep an eye on garlic salt stored in a shaker with holes at the top; this can lead to moisture absorption and eventual clumping. Adding a few grains of uncooked rice to the shaker can help.
Different Types of Garlic Salt
If you don’t have any granulated or powdered garlic, try making a small batch of fresh garlic salt, using 1 mashed garlic clove for every 1 teaspoon of table salt (so 2 tablespoons salt to 6 cloves and so on). Dry the garlic by baking it in the oven on low heat (around 200°F) after peeling it and combining with salt in a blender or food processor. Once it’s dry and crumbly, it’s ready to use—feel free to blend it again to make it finer. If you want sweeter, subtler, more complex garlic flavor, roast the cloves first.
You can also branch out with additional flavors of garlic salt. Try dehydrated lime to give it a zippy brightness that’s fabulous for tacos (or rimming Bloody Marys). If you love to barbecue, smoked paprika, chili powder and black pepper will help turn it into a smoky go-to for chicken, fish and beef. Dried habanero can bring a kick to the OG recipe, while add-ins like onion powder and dried oregano, rosemary and thyme make it a solid all-purpose Italian seasoning. The spice rack is your oyster.