How Many Cloves In A Head Of Garlic?

If you do a lot of home cooking, you probably are aware that many recipes call for at least one glove of garlic. Many foods such as salad dressings, sauces, and meat dishes just don’t taste the same without it. 

Given the popularity of garlic in cooking, many people want to know “how many cloves are in a head of garlic?”. While the number of cloves can vary, we can provide estimate.

Cloves in a Head of Garlic

The general consensus is that there are approximately 11 to 20 cloves of garlic in a head. There is some variation based on the size of the bulb and type of garlic purchased. However, most generic garlic (a.k.a. artichoke garlic) found in grocery stores falls within the range mentioned above.

We bought a bulb of the common grocery store garlic to see how many cloves our particular head produced. We counted 16 cloves from this one head of garlic. As expected, the cloves were within our range of 11 to 20. 

How Much Garlic Is In A Clove?

There is not a precise answer to this question. Just like there is a range in the number of cloves in a head, there is also variation in the size of each individual clove. Some cloves are huge whereas others are so small to where some people might not even bother mincing them. 

You’ll hear 1/2 to 1 teaspoons as a common answer to this question. This is a good generally guideline to follow. 

However, cooking is all about personal taste. If you are cooking at home, you have the ability define your idea of a glove.

For example, when a recipe calls for a clove of garlic, I equate this to the size of the largest clove in a typical head of garlic. This often means I am mincing up two or maybe three smaller cloves of garlic to equal a recipes requirement of a clove of garlic. 

As you cook meal after meal that calls for a clove of garlic, you will begin to determine your own idea of what this means based on your taste. If you have never cooked with garlic, start small and then increase the garlic until you find your sweet spot. 

Unless you are making a dish with a ton of ingredients, never use the pre-minced junk stored in oil. Take the time to mince up a fresh clove of garlic. It is much better in terms of taste and only takes a couple of minutes to prepare. 

Garlic Clove vs. Head

There was a lot of talk about cloves and heads of garlic above. However, we realized that not all people know the difference between the two.

The head is the complete bulb of garlic you buy at the store in its intact form. A head of garlic is also known as a bulb. 

The many pieces of garlic inside the head are the cloves. As stated above, the number of cloves in a head garlic range from 11-20. 

The below picture shows the difference between a garlic clove and head. The cloves are located in the front in the picture with their brownish coloring. The white bulbs or heads are in back of the picture.