Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



I don't know the difference between onion and garlic powder, granules, dried minced and dried flakes. When do you use which? Are there guidelines for substitutions: fresh or dried?

— Linda Ellis


Okay. So we're jumping into a question here about, um, food processing and, and some of the applications, um, a difference between onion and garlic. Um, well, uh, let me focus on powdered granules, minced flakes. Okay. And, you know, generally speaking, those are simply gonna be different sizes, different sort of processed sizes, uh, of that given item, whether it's onion or garlic in this case. And, um, uh, when do you use, which? So there's a lot of flexibility. Okay? So when you look at a recipe and, uh, you know, it, it calls for, uh, well, let, let me lemme back up in here and say that, that, you know, garlic powder or the powder is gonna be the finest, uh, in texture, and it increases in size according to your list. So granules will be a little bit bigger, uh, followed by minced pieces. And then dried flakes are gonna be something much larger, okay? But, uh, uh, again, there's, there's a lot of flexibility, um, if the larger pieces are gonna have more texture to them and more mouth feel. So, um, you know, if you're adding a dried flake to something, um, maybe it goes into something that is moist so that it has a chance to rehydrate and become a little bit more tender on the palate, even though it might maintain a little bit of chew. You, there's, these are small pieces, and so, um, they're gonna add some subtle texture versus a powder, um, or even a granule, which is still pretty small. Uh, when you add these to something, you may not notice the texture at all. I, with powder, I would say certainly not, um, at least, uh, I don't pick up any texture with a powder. Um, one thing with powder is because it is so fine, uh, when you, with, with certain preparations, and I'm thinking of maybe, um, oh, I don't know, uh, may, maybe it's, uh, it, it's, it's steamed broccoli, okay? And you, you, you, uh, put garlic powder or onion powder on that, it, it may have a, a tendency to, to sort of cake onto the surface and maybe even produce a little bit of, uh, gumminess, uh, which visually, uh, as well as, uh, uh, uh, from a, a mouth peel feel perspective, uh, would not be, uh, desirable, you know, versus a, um, a, a larger cut. Okay. I'm, I'm looking at your list here. I'm thinking maybe minced, uh, garlic. All right. So there's a lot of overlap, okay? Um, when it comes to recipes, it's up to the recipe author, but when it comes to you, the cook, you have full control. Um, my recommendation is always to try, uh, two or three or four of these different styles. Uh, we call them market forms, uh, of this given ingredient and see how you like it. Okay? Um, there's, in the world of cooking, there usually isn't just one correct answer. Uh, there's usually multiple, um, opportunities to get it right. And, uh, part of that is gonna depend upon your personal preference. Okay? Now, uh, guidelines for, for, uh, using fresh or dried, um, you know, if clearly if you've got a, a, a dry blend of, uh, uh, that's, you're, you're concocting a spice blend, an herb blend, um, then it's usually nice to, to blend in dried components, you know, uh, onion granules or, uh, or garlic powder, for example. Just in terms of the shelf life, if this is something that you want to, uh, to maintain for, for some period of time, because you made a large quantity of it, let's say, okay? Um, the, the fresh counterparts, we'll have more aroma and aroma equals flavor. And so probably 98 out of a hundred times my preference, you know, would be to reach for the fresh product, uh, and then to, to work it from there. Um, also keep in mind that, you know, within the fresh category, that you have different varieties of onions and different varieties of garlic that you might come across. And it's gonna be up to you to taste these, first of all, and determine what you like. Uh, again, because so much of what you do in your kitchen is gonna be dictated by your personal preference, aside from your personal preference, you might also take into consideration, um, cultural conventions, for example, if you're making some recipes from different regions of the world, uh, you know, you might stick with, uh, the way that it is generally done in that part of the world in order to better understand that culinary experience. Okay? Now, when I say that, I, I, I also wanna throw out the caveat that, um, when, when you go to some place in the world and you see some dish made, it's in my, uh, uh, experience, it's never just made in a single manner, uh, locally, you'll have, you know, people in different households and different restaurants that do it a little bit differently. And, uh, whereas when we come back home, you know, thousands of miles away from, um, that regional cuisine, what we see is often represented by one recipe that, that single most popular recipe online, uh, you know, or some very close variation of that. Uh, whereas in reality, there will be much more variation when you go to, um, the home country or region of that, of that, uh, food item. But, um, so anyway, what I'm saying is, um, you know, if, if you're making international cuisines, global cuisines, regional cuisines, sure, you know, try to, to replicate to the best, uh, that we can, um, those dishes and get to know those ingredients if they're new to us, that particular type of garlic, that particular type of onion, for example. Um, but, uh, uh, you know, in your own cooking, it's up to your personal preference. So when we talk about the onions and garlic, um, you know, you've got, uh, sweetness intensity, you have bitterness or heat intensity, those might be two different things. Um, you have the color, you know, such as red or purple onions that have a certain presentation to them, a certain visual appeal, um, and, and therefore, a certain function, right? In that preparation. Um, and, um, sometimes it's, it's simply based upon, uh, a convenience such as, I buy my onions in bulk, and therefore I want them to have a long shelf life, you know? And, uh, so I'm gonna buy Spanish, yellow onions and not Maui sweet onions because they have a shorter shelf life. Uh, and so there are different ways, you know, to approach, um, what you choose more specifically. Okay? But, um, again, uh, going back to your question, um, uh, here, fresh versus dried, uh, I'm just simply a big fan of, of fresh ingredients. Um, there will be other cooks out there, um, that may be more amenable to dried foods, um, for whatever reason. And we can probably come up with 10 reasons, you know, as to why someone might favor that. But, um, again, that's gonna be up to you, al, uh, to figure out what fits into, uh, you know, your style and your preference. Okay? But, uh, again, get out there and, and try, uh, compare, do side-by-side, uh, taste tests, and, um, learn at, at a deeper level, um, you know, for yourself, uh, what these things can do for you.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction