How Many Cloves in a Garlic Head? How to measure garlic?

Knowing how many cloves are in a garlic head is a resourceful skill in the kitchen! To avoid any garlic clove miscalculations, it is easier to memorize how many cloves of garlic are in a garlic head.

There are about 10 to 15 cloves of garlic in one head of garlic available in an average local grocery store.

This can vary as no two different garlic types possess the same clove number and dimensions. Knowing the number of cloves may be handy for people who want to grow garlic indoors.

In this blog, we also provide details about measurements regarding minced garlic and garlic powder. For your help, all measurements are in common kitchen measurements, teaspoons, and tablespoons, and are easy to remember.

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Number of Cloves Based on Garlic Type

There is no strict number as to how many cloves can appear on a single head of garlic.

The highest number of cloves on a garlic head is 24 (30 in rare cases!) while the lowest is 1. A garlic head that has undergone poor development and early harvesting can have a single large clove!

The average number of cloves on a garlic head is about 10 to 15 cloves. Not all garlic heads have this number and it varies a lot depending on which type of garlic you use. 

Certain varieties of garlic are modified variants that give more cloves per garlic head. Others are not modified and therefore yield a lower number of garlic cloves. 

There are two main sub-species of garlic: Hardneck garlic and Softneck garlic. Both show variation in taste, size, longevity, and number of garlic cloves per garlic head.

Below are the various subtypes of garlic with their respective clove number.

Number of Cloves in a Hardneck Garlic Head

hardneck garlic

Hardneck garlic has a hard central stalk which allows garlic cloves to form around it. They are easier to peel and are known to possess more flavor than Softneck garlic. Additionally, hard neck garlic forms edible flowering stems known as “scapes”.

Hardneck garlic has fewer garlic cloves on each head but each clove is larger than softneck variants.

One issue with Hardneck garlic variants is that they do not store well. The main variants of hard neck garlic are Rocambole, Purple Stripe, Asiatic, Turban, Creole, and Porcelain. 

– Chesnok Red

This cold-tolerant garlic variant yields 9 to 10 cloves per bulb.

These bulbs mature late and are enveloped by a colorful purple-stripe outer wrapping. Due to flavor, Chesnok is mostly applicable in roasted recipes since it retains all its flavor.

– French Pink

Renowned for its slight pink hue, French Pink garlic bears a head that features 12 to 16 well-storing cloves.

You get a mellowed-down sweet taste when incorporating it into food. However, this garlic is hot if you consume it raw. 

– Georgian Fire

Georgia Fire belongs to the subgroup of Porcelain garlic (due to their soft and smooth outer wrapping).

You will find 5 to 8 large cloves on Georgia Fire garlic bulbs.

High resistance to diseases makes this variant quite popular. Bulb wrappings of this garlic type can have a variety of colors. 

– German Red

German Red garlic features a minimum of 8 garlic cloves.

They have a red stripe wrapping hence the name. “Red” also refers to its heated flavor! They do not store as well as other variants and freezing is the best way to preserve them.

– Marino

Marino garlic develops 6 to 8 medium uniform cloves in each garlic head.

This type of garlic plant is much smaller than the regular types. This could be due to the broader and shorter leaves they possess. Their skins can be a mixture of purple, red, and brown.  

– Metechi

Metechi garlic keeps well and gives only 4 to 6 cloves!

These spicy cloves are enclosed by brown wrappers with a distinct pointy end. The long-lasting taste character makes Metechi great for keeping for later use.

– Music

Yielding 4 to 6 large cloves, many garlic growers in the Northern region of the USA recommend this variant of garlic.

They are easy to peel and store well for extended use. This hardy variant will supply you with an intense hot flavor that does not disappear fast! 

– Pennsylvania Dutch

This hard neck variant yields a miserly 4 to 5 cloves for each medium/large garlic bulb.

The Pennsylvania Dutch garlic is a mixture of spicy and hot flavors, making it a fan favorite among American food enthusiasts.

– Russian Red

Large Russian Red garlic gives 4 to 6 cloves in each bulb.

This variety is notorious for giving “double-cloves” meaning two cloves are encased in one wrapper. These inner wrappers are in turn surrounded by a purplish-brown wrapper. 

– Spanish Roja

Spanish Roja is a variant that will definitely deliver on 5 to 8 sizeable garlic cloves.

It provides a comprehensive hot taste that works well to give a spicy touch to any dish. This even applies to cases when it is added raw almost like a garnish.

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Number of Cloves in a Softneck Garlic Head


Softneck garlic lacks a hard stalk and bears soft stalks that are easy to braid earning it the name “braided garlic”.

This garlic type is difficult to peel due to its hard tight wrapping. Also, soft neck garlic does not produce scapes that are a highlight for some garlic home-growers.

Softneck garlic is widespread and popular because of the high number of garlic cloves on each garlic bulb. These soft-neck garlic variants can be stored for long periods (up to 8 months).

– California Early

California Early is named due to its suitability to California weather which is usually hot and dry. They are easily the best soft neck garlic to grow in the USA. Their mild taste is another reason why they are popularly selected for growing.

They provide 8 to 10 cloves with a mild demeanor.

– California White

This softneck garlic gives between 10 and 20 cloves per head.

This variant is particularly suitable for growing in a range of climates. California White garlic is known for its flavor that ranges from spice to hot. Braiding this garlic variant is easy and appealing to the eye.

– Inchelium Red

Inchelium Red softneck garlic gives up to 15 cloves per garlic head.

This variant is usually measured by weight rather than the number of cloves since it yields relatively heavier cloves.

– Lorz Italian

Lorz Italian garlic has up to 16 cloves that have a unique squarish shape making them easy to tell apart from other garlic variants. The cloves contain smaller inner garlic cloves.

– Nootka Rose

Nootka Rose garlic bulbs have a unique rose color on the bulb wrapping.

Bulbs are of medium size and yield approximately 10 to 20 cloves per garlic head.

You can store this garlic for months without much fear of spoilage. This variant is relatively easy to grow in organic well-draining soil with high sunlight. 

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How Much Pure Garlic is in one Clove?

Pure garlic is an edible part void of external white paper wrapping.

So how much pure garlic is there in one clove? This is a question common among chefs and even home cooks.

The amount of garlic in a clove actually depends on the size of the garlic and its form. It also depends on whether it is minced, chopped, or sliced.

Below are the staple measurements of Garlic:

  • A single garlic clove (medium) is equal to 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 2 garlic cloves are equal to 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 3 garlic cloves are equal to 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 12 garlic cloves are equal to ¼ cup of minced garlic

Knowing these minced garlic proportions is helpful when trying a new recipe! Garlic measurements are usually always in teaspoons or tablespoons, so keep them ready at hand.

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How Many Cloves of Garlic are in a Teaspoon?

A teaspoon usually comprises 1 clove of garlic. This is assuming that the cloves are of medium size. 

If they are smaller, more cloves will fill a tablespoon. If they are larger, fewer cloves will fill a tablespoon. 

  • Small garlic clove (1) is equal to 0.5 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • Medium garlic clove (1) is equal to 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • A large garlic clove (1) is equal to 1.5 teaspoons of minced garlic

Unsure about teaspoon measurements? You can alternatively use tablespoon measurements instead. 

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Size of a Garlic Clove

Garlic cloves vary greatly in size. This is due to genetic composition, health, nutrients, garlic variant, etc. Each factor directly affects garlic head size and this also affects the garlic cloves’ size.

Here is an average size of different garlic cloves.

Small garlic cloves: 

  • Length- 1 inch
  • Diameter- ½ inch

Large garlic cloves:

  • Length- 1.25 to 1.4 inches
  • Diameter- ¾ to 1 inch 

Garlic Clove or Garlic Head?

Garlic clove

A garlic head is a group of garlic cloves that lie in a protective white paper-like wrapping.

Garlic clove is an individual portion of the garlic head and is also covered by another wrapping. On average, a garlic clove bears anywhere between 10 to 15 cloves according to garlic type.

Do you find choosing between a garlic head and a garlic clove tough? Read this information to help make the decision easier. 

  1. Garlic bulbs are sometimes hard to store due to their large size and somewhat awkward shape. This rarely occurs with garlic cloves which are space-efficient. 
  2. Garlic heads do tend to keep better than cloves when curing is complete. Cloves are more vulnerable to spoilage due to moisture or pests. 
  3. Garlic cloves are more convenient and easy to handle compared to a whole head of garlic. They are easier and faster to clean, especially when soaked. 
  4. Garlic heads can be grown from cloves making cloves even more valuable and multi-purpose than garlic heads.

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The amount of garlic on a garlic head depends on the variant. Hardneck garlic has fewer cloves compared to Softneck garlic varieties. 

The average number of garlic cloves for Softneck garlic is 8 to 20 cloves. The average clove number for Hardneck garlic is 4 to 12 (12 being the maximum).