Subbing fresh garlic for powdered garlic
I'm planning on making slow cooker pulled pork last week and the recipe I'm using calls for a tablespoon of powdered garlic. I always have garlic bulbs on hand and would hate to buy something for a single recipe because I don't think I'd use powdered garlic for anything else. Does anyone have experience using fresh garlic in crock pot pulled pork and, if you do, how much did you use?
No direct experience in crock pot pulled pork, but I think it'd be OK -- for me I'd do what I always do; eyeball it and consider the tastes of who you're cooking for.
I know there are recommendations when cooking sous vide to use powdered garlic as fresh garlic can get a tinny taste during the sous vide process, but as a slow cooker probably cooks at higher temps than sous vide you should be fine.
Recipe specifications for garlic typically list amounts as "1 clove", "2 cloves", etc. How big a "clove" is depends on who you ask. For a tablespoon of garlic powder, however, I'd substitute two tablespoons of minced fresh garlic. IMO, it's nearly impossible to use too much garlic in anything so a minor error on the high side should only improve the dish.
The only times I would use powdered garlic (I don't like it much) is in dry seasoning blends (i.e. dry rubs) or sous vide. Other than that it is always fresh garlic at our house. Some recipes for pulled pork do call for powdered garlic in the rub which I have done. My preference is for a wet rub with fresh garlic, but then I am a garlic lover and use it on a daily basis.
I happen to think that garlic powder is a key ingredient for any rub. It has a different flavor from fresh garlic. We go through a lot of the stuff in our house as it is an easy way to add garlic flavor to any dish. In other words, the kids love it sprinkled on a bagel with butter, on the macaroni and cheese and most definitely on a slice of pizza or any pasta dish.
As an adult, I use it in all of my spice rubs, steak, chicken, fish, pork...etc. It is a key ingredient in most BBQ pork rubs.
Finally, it is not at all expensive.
I keep garlic powder on hand for rubs and such but there is no reason you couldn't use fresh garlic. Pulled pork is not like baking where quantities and ratios are crucial. A few crushed, sliced or diced cloves would be appropriate. If you are a garlic head use more. I find garlic powder to have the flavor of toasted garlic.