Fresh Herbs and Spices vs. Dried

By Carolyn Shearlock, copyright 2011 . All rights reserved.

Quick reference guide

So many recipes specify things like “3 cloves of garlic, minced” . . . and all you’ve got is garlic powder.  You know that it’ll work to substitute it — but how much should you use?  If you have an internet connection, you might Google it.  On a boat, though, you may not have an internet connection when you need it.

Keep the following list handy for the most common substitutions, but note that heat and age can considerably reduce the potency of many herbs and spices, so you may need to use more.


1 clove, minced = 1 teaspoon minced = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Bouillon Powder/Cubes and Salt

1 bouillon cube = 1 teaspoon bouillon powder

1 teaspoon bouillon powder has about 1/3 the sodium of salt (I often use bouillon powder in place of salt to add flavor to meats and decrease sodium)

Garlic/Onion?Celery Salt vs. Powder

The “salts” are generally half salt and half powder, so if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon garlic salt, use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Similarly, if it calls for 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and all you have is garlic salt, use 1 teaspoon and cut any salt in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon.


1 tablespoon fresh, minced = 1 teaspoon dried UNground = 1/2 teaspoon dried ground


1 tablespoon fresh (grated or minced) = 1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger


1 medium onion, chopped = 1 tablespoon onion powder = 1-1/2 tablespoons garlic salt (this includes an extra 1/2 tablespoon salt that you’ll need to compensate for)


1 cup chopped or sliced celery = 1 tablespoon celery powder = 1 teaspoon ground celery seed

NOTE:  So many times, I haven’t known what the exact conversion was for a particular item and have just winged it.  I finally began compiling a list and included it in the cookbook Jan and I wrote.  Our Substitutions chapter is huge — 28 single-spaced pages in Word (way too long for an article) — as we both know how substitutions are just a way of life when cruising. And our recipes always list lots of substitutions right in the them. Get a free sample of it here (sorry, the Subs chapter isn’t part of the sample):

The Boat Galley Cookbook

by Carolyn Shearlock and Jan Irons

The one comprehensive galley reference needed aboard every cruising boat!

Get a free sample -- 33 recipes in a 28-page PDF. Enter your e-mail here (if the box for your email isn't showing, please re-load the page):

BONUS: You'll also get a FREE subscription to The Boat Galley weekly newsletter with more tips and useful information -- if you don't like it, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Find The Boat Galley Helpful?

Sign up for the FREE newsletter and never miss a thing!

Copy an ArticleTBGC 300x100


  1. Katrina Drahos says:

    Have you ever tried the liquid Garlic & Onion? I forgot who makes them, they come in a tall thin bottle. Found them at the grocery store and put them on the boat this week to try for the summer. Just curious if you have had any experience good or bad with them.


    • Carolyn Shearlock says:

      I’ve never seen them. I’ll look for them next time I’m at the store and if I can find them, I’ll try them. Sounds interesting.

Add Your Thoughts