What is the Difference Between Crushed and Chopped Garlic?

crushed garlic vs chopped garlic

Garlic is a vital ingredient in almost every exotic dish we cook. But have you ever wondered why some recipes call for crushed garlic and some for chopped garlic? Is there any difference? Let’s explore.

The Difference in Texture

Chopped garlic has pieces that are usually visible in a dish. It is used most commonly in garlic bread and pasta.

Crushed garlic looks smashed and pasty. You can use a garlic press or the flat side of a broad kitchen knife to crush the garlic cloves.

Crushed pieces of garlic easily dissolve into the other ingredients, leaving curries and sauces smooth and evenly flavoured. 

The Difference in Taste & Flavor

You can get slightly more taste out of crushed garlic. Here’s the reason why. Garlic contains a sulfuric compound that transforms our food into aromatic dishes. As soon as we cut into a garlic clove and expose the inside to oxygen in the air, the sulphur compounds get released immediately.

The more you chop garlic, the more sulphur compounds it will release. This theory means crushing garlic  will release even more sulphur compounds, making the garlic flavor stronger.

Crushing garlic releases the essential oils, resulting in a strong flavor.  So, crushed garlic will have a stronger taste in dishes than the best chopped garlic!

The Difference in Use

People use minced or crushed garlic when they want a strong garlicky flavor in dishes. It is better used in recipes where it needs brief cooking or needs to be added at the end for the stronger, raw garlicky taste.

On the other hand, people use chopped garlic when they want to add a subtle garlicky flavor to dishes. This subtleness is because chopped garlic releases lesser sulphur than crushed garlic, leaving a mild flavor.

In roasting, low-temperature cooking, and slow-cooking methods, it is best to use large chunks of chopped garlic as that is the only way to extract all the flavours out of it.

The Difference in Cooking Time

While frying or sautéing garlic, the size of the garlic pieces determines how much time it will take to brown. The smaller the pieces, the sooner it will brown. As a result, crushed garlic will take lesser time to fry than chopped garlic. This is because the individual components of crushed garlic are smaller and have less surface area. So, crushed garlic will brown quicker than chopped garlic.

As crushed garlic will brown quickly, it will tend to burn faster and impart an unpleasant bitter taste to the dish. So, people should not leave crushed garlic in the pan longer while frying or sautéing.

The Takeaway

Crushing the cloves releases a lot more of the sulphur compounds, making the garlic flavor a little stronger. Whereas chopping garlic will release a little of the sulphur, leaving a hint of garlic flavor in the dishes.


 Chopping or crushing garlic affects the flavor of the dish. You can control the garlic flavor in your dish by changing how fine you will chop your garlic. The smaller the pieces of garlic, the more pungent are the flavor. So, the next time you want to increase the intensity of garlic flavor in your pasta sauce or dip, use crushed garlic instead of the best chopped garlic and see if you can taste the difference!

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