Dried Onions: Granulated Onion Vs Onion Powder

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Last Updated on December 14, 2023

Are you confused about the differences between granulated onion and onion powder? There’s also minced onion, onion flakes, and onion salt. We’re going to explore the distinctions between granulated onion vs onion powder and all the other dehydrated onions and teach you everything you need to know.

Granulated Onion Vs Onion Powder

Granulated Onion vs Onion Powder

When it comes to adding flavor and aroma to your dishes, onions are a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world. However, sometimes using fresh onions may not be convenient or practical. In such cases, granulated onion and onion powder come to the rescue.

But what exactly are the differences between these two forms of onion? Let’s find out!

Granulated Onions

Let’s take a look at what granulated onions are, how to use them, and how you can rehydrate them when necessary.

What is Granulated Onion?

Granulated onion is a versatile seasoning that adds a burst of onion flavor to a wide range of dishes. It is made by dehydrating fresh onions and crushing them into coarse granules. These granules are larger in size and provide a more pronounced texture compared to onion powder.

Granulated onion offers the perfect balance between sweetness and pungency.

How to Use Granulated Onion

Granulated onion can be used in various ways. Its mild and slightly sweet flavor makes it a great addition to gluten free casseroles, meatloaf, and pasta dishes.

Using granulated onion is a fantastic option for those who love the taste of onions but prefer a milder flavor. It offers all the aromatic qualities of fresh onions without overpowering the other ingredients in your recipe.

There are countless creative ways to incorporate granulated onion into your cooking. For example, you can mix it into burger patties for an extra burst of flavor, or sprinkle it onto roasted root vegetables for a delightful crispy crust.

Rehydrating Onion Granules

When using granulated onion, sometimes you need to to rehydrate the granules before adding them to your recipe. To do this, simply soak them in a small amount of water or any liquid called for in the recipe. Allow the granules to sit for a few minutes until they soften and release their flavor fully.

onion flakes

Onion Powder

Now, let’s learn about onion powder and ways you can use it instead of fresh onions (or even in addition to them) in your recipes.

What is Onion Powder?

Onion powder is a fine-textured seasoning made by grinding dehydrated onion flakes into a powder. Its concentrated flavor allows you to add the taste of onion to dishes without the bulk of fresh or granulated onions.

How to Use Onion Powder

Onion powder can be used in almost any recipe that calls for onion flavor. It is particularly handy when you want to enhance the taste of sauces, dressings, or rubs.

When cooking with onion powder, remember that a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount, taste the dish, and add more if desired. This will help you maintain the perfect balance of flavors.

You might also like these dried seasoning Recipes

Granulated Onion vs Onion Powder

While both granulated onion and onion powder are derived from onions, there are a few key differences between the two. The main difference lies in their texture and intensity of flavor.

Granulated Onion vs Onion Powder: Texture

  • Granulated Onion: It has a coarser texture similar to small flakes or crystals.
  • Onion Powder: It has a finer texture that’s more like a powder.

Concentration of Granulated Onion vs Onion Powder

  • Granulated Onion: It is less concentrated compared to onion powder.
  • Onion Powder: It is more concentrated than granulated onions.

Granulated Onion vs Onion Powder: Flavor

  • Granulated Onion: It retains a strong flavor, however less concentrated than onion powder.
  • Onion Powder: It has a strong oniony flavor that’s slightly sweeter than granulated onion.

Shape & Size of Granulated Onion Vs Onion Powder

  • Granulated Onion: It consists of small flakes or crystals with irregular shapes.
  • Onion Powder: It is finely ground into a powdery form with uniform particles.

Usage of Granulated Onion Vs Onion Powder

  • Granulated Onion: Due to its coarse texture, it is commonly used in recipes where the presence of onion pieces is desired, such as soups, stews, marinades, and meat rubs.
  • Onion Powder: Its fine texture makes it suitable for dishes where a smoother consistency is preferred, such as sauces, dressings, dips, spice blends, and dry rubs. I use it in my good turkey seasoning rub.

onion powder

Cooking with Granulated Onions Vs. Onion Powder

Another important factor to consider is their ability to dissolve and how each type of dried onion holds up in recipes.

Granulated Onions

Granulated onion takes longer to dissolve when cooking, which makes it perfect for slow-cooked dishes like soups and stews. As the granules slowly break down, they release their flavor, infusing the dish with a subtle onion taste. This slow dissolution also allows the flavors of other ingredients to develop and meld together, creating a harmonious and well-balanced dish.

Onion Powder

In contrast, onion powder dissolves almost instantly, making it suitable for quicker recipes like sauces or marinades. Its fine texture allows it to blend seamlessly with liquids, ensuring that the onion flavor is evenly distributed throughout the dish.

This quick dissolution is particularly useful when you want to infuse a dish with a strong onion flavor in a short amount of time, such as when making a last-minute sauce or marinade.

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Ways to Dehydrate Onions

Dehydrating onions is a simple process that can be done at home. Here are two popular methods:

  1. Using an Oven: Dehydrating onions in the oven is easy, but expect your house to smell like onions! You’ll set your oven to a low temperature and bake them low and slow. Check out this recipe to learn how to make onion powder and granulated onions yourself using the oven.
  2. Using a Dehydrator: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific dehydrator model. Typically, you will need to slice the onions and arrange them on the dehydrator trays. Set the temperature to around 130°F/54°C and let the dehydrator do its magic for approximately 8 to 10 hours. Once dehydrated, you can choose whether to make granulated onion or onion powder based on your preference.

How to Make Onion Powder

Learn how to make onion powder from scratch using your oven. It’s a simple way to ensure that your onion powder is fresh and contains no additives.

how to make onion powder

Other Forms of Dehydrated Onion

Besides granulated onion and onion powder, there’s also onion salt, dried minced onion, and onion flakes. Here’s what you need to know about each dehydrated form of onion.

Onion Salt

Onion salt is another popular seasoning that combines onion powder with salt, the same way garlic salt does. It offers the convenience of adding both flavors in one step.

Keep in mind that using onion salt means incorporating additional salt into your recipe, so adjust your overall salt usage accordingly.

Dried Minced Onion

Dried minced onion is made by finely chopping fresh onions and then drying them. It has a granulated texture and retains the characteristic pungency and aroma of onions.

The flavor of dried minced onion is slightly milder compared to fresh onions but still provides a strong onion taste when used in cooking. I use it in my savory dry rub for chicken recipe.

Onion Flakes

Onion Flakes are made by slicing fresh onions into thin pieces before drying them. These flakes have a larger size compared to minced onion and offer a more noticeable texture in dishes.

The flavor of onion flakes is also milder than fresh onions but still imparts a distinct oniony taste to recipes.

Which to Use: Granulated Onion or Onion Powder?

So, which one should you use? It depends on your personal preference and the specific recipe you are preparing.

For a More Mild Onion Flavor

If you prefer a milder flavor with some texture in your dishes, granulated onion is an excellent choice. It will add want distinct bits of onion for added complexity.

For a Stronger Onion Taste

On the other hand, if you desire a stronger onion taste without any texture in your food, then go for onion powder. It is ideal for dishes like dressings, dips, spice blends, or recipes where you want the onion flavor to blend seamlessly without any visible particles.

How to Store Homemade Dried Onions

Once you have made your homemade dried onions, it’s crucial to store them properly to maintain their quality and flavor. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry place, away from direct sunlight for a long shelf life.

Shelf Life of Homemade Dried Onions

The shelf life of homemade dried onions can vary depending on storage conditions and processing methods. However, it’s generally recommended to use them within 6 to 12 months for optimal flavor. Always check for any signs of spoilage before using them in your recipes.

What Can Be Substituted for Onion Powder or Granulated Onion?

If you find yourself running out of onion powder or granulated onion, don’t worry! There are several alternatives you can use to substitute for these seasonings.

Some options include using fresh onions, minced onion flakes, or even garlic powder for a different flavor profile. Experiment with different substitutes and adjust the quantities to suit your taste preferences.

Onion Powder Types

You get different flavors depending on the type of onion the powder is made from. Most commonly, white onions are used to make onion powder that you get at the grocery store.

  • Red Onion Powder: Made from red onions, this variety of onion powder has a slightly sweet and mild flavor with subtle hints of tanginess.
  • White Onion Powder: Made from white onions, this type of onion powder has a stronger and more pungent taste compared to red onion powder. It provides a sharp and intense onion flavor.
  • Green Onion Powder: Made from green onions or scallions, this variation of onion powder has a milder and fresher taste. It adds a subtle onion flavor with hints of freshness and mild sweetness.

Conversion Measurements

Here’s how to swap various types of onion seasonings for fresh onion:

  • 1 teaspoon of granulated = 1/2 cup of chopped fresh onions
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 small onion or 1/4 cup of fresh chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder = 3/4 cup of fresh onions
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated onion =  3/4 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoons of dried minced onion = 1/2 medium-sized onion
  • 1 tablespoon of onion salt is equvalent to approximately 1 medium-sized fresh onion plus salt. Keep in mind that when using onion salt, you may need to adjust the amount of other salts used in your recipe to avoid over-salting.

Benefits of Using Onion Powder

Besides the convenience factor associated with using onion powder in place of fresh onions, there are a lot of health benefits of onion powder! So, you can feel good using onion powder as you are still getting some great nutrients (and it doesn’t make you cry like onions do!).

Final Summary

If you love the savory flavor of onions and always want it on-hand, the good news is it’s easy when you have an onion substitute like onion powder or onion granules in your cupboard!

Both granulated onion and onion powder impart a true onion flavor into dishes. If you want a bit more texture, opt for onion flakes or dried minced onion.

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