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Sean "Puffy" Coals 03-24-2011 06:21 PM

"Granulated" Vs "Powder"
Just wanted to get some opinions from the pros before I spend a bunch of money:

Which makes for better BBQ- Granulated onion/garlic or Onion/Garlic powder?

All of last summer, I used "powder" because it's cheap and readily available. This year, I'm giving serious thought to ordering "granulated" in bulk from a site I found.

Is there really a difference in taste, texture or potency? Some expert opinions can really help me decide whether or not to invest in the granulated.

Thanks in advance!

Soybomb 03-24-2011 07:23 PM

I'll use either but I think granulated mixes in more uniformly. Keep at eye out at your local stores, mine recently had a sale on adams brand spices and I was shocked at how fresh and pungent smelling they were. Their onion and garlic grains are also a real nice size for rubs. I believe that will be my new regular grocery store brand.

Neil 03-24-2011 07:31 PM

I like granulated better than powder.

landarc 03-24-2011 07:33 PM

Currently I am really into medium grained rubs, so granulated works best. If I go back to dust type rubs, then powder.

Wampus 03-24-2011 07:55 PM

I think granulated has a more similar consistency to sugar, salt, pepper and other spices. I buy mine at Sam's Club in the large shakers for like $5. I don't know if it's that great a quality of spice (I think the brand around here is Tone's or Tony's?) but I figure since it's part of a rub, it'll do.

OakPit 03-24-2011 07:58 PM

Can't vote. Both are excellent...depends on your application.

Bigmista 03-24-2011 08:14 PM

Granulated. Powder tends to clump more in my experience.

BlueHowler 03-24-2011 08:44 PM

I have both in my spice cabinet. For my rubs I use the granulated but for sauces and marinades I use the powder.

smokaholic 03-24-2011 11:27 PM

granulated for dry stuff powder for mixing in with wet stuff. Powder doesnt mix well due to granule size (or lack of) with dry granulated ingredients. For wet stuff powder breaks down better and doesnt settle.

jemezspring 03-25-2011 01:31 AM

No expert here but I like granular for my rubs and seasonings. If using a recipe you may need to add more granular than the called upon amount of powder. I love when you chew and hit a piece of garlic/onion/pepper flake/celery seed/ and the taste pops off in your mouth. I use powders more for sauces.

blues_n_cues 03-25-2011 06:12 AM

i like the granulated texture better but i buy powders @ GFS & it's potent stuff so it goes a lot farther.

expatpig 03-25-2011 08:26 AM

I use powder, I make my own garlic powder with garlic from my garden, commercial garlic powder doesn't even taste like garlic compared to the homemade stuff.

fweck 03-25-2011 09:47 AM

After reading this and seeing the vote count I am going to have to try the granulated in my next rub. Generally speaking would the amount used remain the same, or would it change?

spicewine 03-25-2011 12:25 PM

In rubs, granular doesn't seem to "cake" as much. I don't like useing powder in wet applications because it clumps like corn starch when added to hot liquids. Switched away from powder to granual about 5 years ago and never looked back.

kcmike 03-25-2011 12:51 PM

There is a difference. It's all about essential oils and volatile compound content. More = better/more pungent spices. Powdered spices, by their very nature, have less of these compounds because of the higher level of mechanical processing necessary to manufacture them into that form. Granulated spices on the other hand, have a much better chance of containing more of their original EO and VC content. Please keep in mind however, not all spice manufacturer's spices are created equal. There is a vast and dizzying array of levels of quality out in the market place. Unfortunately, virtually all of this grading takes place behind the scenes at the manufacturing level and this information never makes it to the consumer.

This is why I demand that my spice supplier/blender only source their spices from suppliers who routinely test and report their spice's EO and VC content via MDS sheets or other publications. I monitor these values to make sure my rub products are made with consistently the very best spices available.

However, as a general consumer there are things to look for, and unfortunately price isn't always the best indicator. It can help, but it isn't 100%. First buy granulated spices where ever possible. Don't buy salt/spice combos like garlic salt or onion salt. These are almost always made with inferior grades of spice. Instead, make your own from the individual components. Look for a deeper richer color and/or more pronounced flavor and aroma. And finally, look at how the spices are packaged. The more air tight the package, the better. If you can pick up a spice from the store shelf and smell the spice through the container, walk away. Oxidation from free oxygen exchange through the spice container is the primary cause of dull and lifeless spices, regardless of their original quality.

Hope this helps.

Mike Trump
Oakridge BBQ LLC

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