granulated garlic isn’t as fine as garlic powder. i just use it if i want to boost whatever i’m putting garlic in, or in most meat rubs. Garlic powder to me has a different smell/taste, maybe more acrid? It’s more pungent to me, and i prefer the granulated stuff. And no, it’s not the same as freeze-dried garlic flakes. Most Latin grocery stores will carry both in little cellophane packets.
In my experience, the powder tends to clump and not as easily distributed throughout the dish. i do not stock/keep/use garlic or, for that matter, onion powder. The granulated product just seems to blend in more easily and as @mariacarmen says seems less pungent or concentrated as the powder.
There are 3 different dried / dehydrated types - powder, granules, and flakes.
I tend to use granules most (finer than the term “granules” may imply) just because it’s what I tend to have at hand.
I had a big jar of powder that lasted years - it was bizarrely potent!
My current favorite is Costco’s granulated garlic (& onion).
(John Hartley - a culinary patriot eating & cooking in Northwest England)
I have never used other than fresh garlic.
Presumably there is a benefit in using powder/granulated and I’d be interested to learn what it is. Perhaps if any of my cookbooks had a recipe including its use, I may know the answer - but I can’t recall ever seeeing such a recipe.
Endless uses for it in seasoning where you want an evenly distributed yet more subtle flavor, unless you want stronger then just add more. When I put out a bowl of home seasoned bar pretzels with cocktails most people don’t want pry them apart and have sticky garlicky goo on their fingers and glass.
Exactly what @Respectfully_Declined described. When making garlic bread I’ll add an ample amount of fresh garlic to the butter and Parmesan mixture, but will also add granulated garlic or garlic powder too, to evenly distribute through the mixture, so you’re getting the sharp and pungent fresh garlic, with the background flavor of garlic also. I’ll do the same for soups and stews, it’s a good booster. Also, it can be a short cut for some cooks who don’t want to mince fresh garlic, but I don’t typically use it that way. Oh, and another thing, it’s also good for grilling meat if you want a garlic flavor on meat or vegetables, but don’t want the fresh garlic bits to burn.
Almost forgot that granulated or garlic powder is pretty essential in dry rubs, and a lot of seasoning mixes if you make your own. An indispensable ingredient for lots of things. I use it in house made vinaigrettes in addition to fresh as well.
I was informed somewhere along the way that powdered includes the skins but granulated has no skins. Therefore I have always preferred granulated to powdered. Whether this is actually the case, always or sometimes, I can’t say for sure.