I recognize you came below looking for a chart, yet converting whole spices come ground is a little more facility than that. (But yes, over there is a graph at the end of this article; scroll down if you must.)



The action of converting whole spices to ground is not precise science. You need to account for potency: exactly how long ago were the flavors ground? If the ground spice has lost several of its verve, have to you include more? (Answer: Probably.) You need to account because that settling: go you simply grind the flavors in an electrical mill? If so, they’re most likely to be much more aerated than ground spices you bought turn off the grocery save shelf. And also you need to account because that the size and also density of the initial spice in question (more on the in a second).

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Even spice professionals can’t seem come agree on precise ratio to rely on when substituting the ground spices you have actually for the whole spices called for in a recipe (or the reverse). You’ll discover discrepancies anywhere you look.

Cookbook author and also spice purveyor Lior Lev Sercarz likes to count on this rule: a measured quantity of whole spices will certainly fill about 70 come 80 percent that volume once ground. If you’re dealing with a very small spice, he says, favor celery seed, anise, or mustard, the ratio goes also higher. “The smaller the serial of spice, the closer you'll acquire to 100 percent conversion rate.”

Meanwhile, Alex Wilkens, head that sourcing for The summer sprouts House, states his “general rule of thumb once substituting powdered flavors for whole in recipes is to begin with around one-third the amount.” That’s rather a little bit lower than Sercarz’s argued ratio. Yet it illustrates a suggest that both experts say is more crucial than following any kind of formula: Taste as you go.

“If you’re making a soup, stew, or something else that you deserve to taste as you're cooking,” claims Sercarz, “adjust the freckles level as you go.”

“Don’t be afraid to include a little an ext spice if needed,” agrees Wilkins, even if you’re including it at a later on stage in the cooking.


Want come swap out the entirety spices in this yogurt sauce? execute it. Just think around it first.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Beatrice Chastka, Food Styling by Claire Saffitz

Potency matters

There are other factors that come into play as soon as you're make spice conversions. First, if the floor spice you're using has been sitting approximately for a while, it will be less potent than its fresh ground counterpart. If that’s the case, you may want to boost the amount friend use.

This concern of potential depends mostly on the volatile oil of the freckles in question. Wilkens states “high oil spices—like nutmeg, cloves, or Vietnamese cinnamon—will continue to be potent for months if save correctly,” away from light and heat. While “spices with less volatile oil—such as coriander or Ceylon cinnamon—should be provided in very short order after grinding.”

How can you tell if your ground spices room potent? Both pros advise purchasing only little quantities that ground flavors from a reliable source. Then offer them a good whiff every time you open up the jar. If her ground spices are strongly aromatic, and also you desire to use them in a cooking recipes calling for entirety spices, you’re great to go through the ratios noted below. If their scent is weak, include a tiny extra.

Fluffy spices

One various other consideration: if she the kind of human who buys whole spices, grinds the entire contents of a jar in one go, and also then stores the freshly ground freckles in your cupboard, the measurements listed below may not apply. Grind spices—whether you’re making use of a mortar and pestle or an electrical grinder—introduces air come the mix. That means freshly soil spice take away up an ext room than many packaged spices. Wilkens note the bottling step of The freckles House’s manufacturing line “simulates a bumpy ride.” together a ground spice is sifted right into its jar, it handle in, ensuring every jar is filled to the top as soon as it arrives in her kitchen.

For this reason, a measure up of freshly ground spice might be equal to also greater than its whole-spice counterpart. This is worth keeping in psychic if you're going to grind entirety spices come substitute because that the measurements of ground spices in a recipe. If your cookie cooking recipes calls because that ½ teaspoon floor cloves, you’ll desire to grind 75 percent more whole cloves (or ⅔ teaspoon—which, ns know, is no a usual spice measurement, however what do you want from one inexact science?). As soon as you've ground the quantity, her fluffy spices may measure better than the ½ teaspoon dubbed for, but you can go front and include the totality thing.

Cooking with whole vs. Floor spices

When it involves cooking v ground spices versus entirety spices, there space a few other guidelines to follow. Often, recipes suggest toasting entirety spices in a dry pan prior to grinding them. When using ground spice, you need to skip this step since ground seasonings will burn very quickly in a dry pan.

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However, if you are starting a sauté or braise and also have some fat in the pan—for instance, you might be cooking onions and garlic in olive oil in ~ the beginning of a recipe—you can add the soil spice come the pan and stir for around 30 seconds to gently bloom the spice’s aromas in the oil just before adding liquid come the pot.