Why does garlic powder not burn like fresh garlic?

After a long standing feud with garlic powder, I’ve begun to make peace with it. After purchasing excellent locally grown and dehydrated garlic at my farmers market, I decided to dial back my prejudice.

I missed how garlic powder doesn’t burn as readily as fresh garlic when used in a dredge for deep frying chicken or for blackened catfish. But I can’t find a reason for this. In fact, the opposite is intuive to me. I.e., I would think dried garlic would burn faster, since it doesn’t have moisture. Does anyone know the reason behind this?

Because water is a better conductor of heat. Fresh garlic contains liquid.

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That’s an interesting question - I’ve never put that together but my experience is the same.

I wouldn’t think it was the water considering how small the powder granular are and in a deep fry the water would actually reduce the temp instead of increase it. Water only gets so hot before it becomes steam where oil will get much hotter - so it almost has an insulating effect at high temps (above boiling).

This is a total guess - but I’d suggest maybe one of two things. Either the powder form has removed natural oils in the fresh garlic slowing the burn rate or it removes natural sugars in the fresh garlic which speed the burning in fresh.

But again total guesses.

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Where’s Alton Brown when you need him? :wink: