How To Easily Measure Garlic Without The Mess

Keep this tip in mind the next time you need 1 teaspoon garlic.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Cooking is not rocket science but there are definitely times when you need to be intelligent enough to do some math. This is particularly important when you are scaling down (or up!) recipes to equal the number of servings you want. 

Learning the basics of measuring ingredients is necessary to come as close as possible to the recipe that you're trying to recreate. However, there are some ingredients that require more effort to measure. These include vegetables that come in bunches, chicken pieces that are smaller than normal, and packs of tomato sauce that is more than the 1/2 cup that you need. 

These odd-numbered, uneven amounts are frustrating to many of us who would like to use up the entire packet of tomato sauce rather than leave the remaining tablespoon or two left in the packet. 

When it comes to vegetables, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to determine what the size of the vegetable is or trying to decide just how many sticks of carrots you need to make 1 cup of carrots chopped up into sticks. This type of measuring can confuse anyone!


This is where weighing ingredients come in handy. There is no confusion about how to measure 100 grams of chicken fillets, cubed. There is no figuring out how to fill in the gaps left behind in the measuring cup when you need carrots sliced into matchsticks. The weight of the ingredient will be the same, no matter the container you're using to measure it in.  

Unfortunately, not everyone has a weighing scale. The most common method of measurement we have are the measuring cups and spoons. While measuring cups are less accurate than a scale, fortunately, measuring spoons are universally used in both the metric and imperial units of measurements.

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However, it's still difficult to determine just how many garlic cloves you need if you're told you need 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. Here's a quick guide to determine how to measure garlic without actually chopping it up first.  

1 garlic clove = 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 

The size of the garlic clove is important when determining if you need more garlic cloves to make that 1 teaspoon. The outer cloves are usually larger than those located on the inside, and its these cloves that measure around 1 teaspoon once chopped. 


The smaller, inner cloves are harder to scale by eye alone. Instead, use this simple guide:

3 small garlic cloves = 1 teaspoon garlic  

If you think about it, you can guessimate exactly how much garlic you want in a recipe but in instances where it's too important to do that, use this quick guide to help you. In any other instance, we say, if you love garlic, the more garlic you use, the better. 

Still need more help how to measure ingredients more accurately? Here are more ways to do that: 

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