What Is the Best Celery Powder Substitute?

One of the most important skills for any cook to possess is not simply making sure that their kitchen is fully stocked, but also being able to substitute ingredients as necessary when the pantry is running low.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at celery powder and the best replacements that you can use whether you’re fresh out or just want to try something different.

What is Celery Powder?

Celery powder is a seasoning created by taking celery, drying it out and, as the name suggests, grinding it into a powder-like substance. This powder is mainly used for two distinct purposes – seasoning food and preserving meat.

Celery powder works well as a seasoning to spice up your cooking. It’s a versatile seasoning with a distinct flavor that works well with salad dressings, soups, casseroles and more.

You’ll also often see celery powder recommended in recipes as a dry rub to apply to meat before cooking.

As well as seasoning, another common use of celery powder is in meat preservation. Because it is rich in nitrates, it does an excellent job as a curing component. Aside from meat, it also works exceptionally well at curing natural and organic foods as well. In addition to curing and preserving meats, the level of nitrate found in celery powder can offer many health benefits also.

Nitrates are a necessity in the curing process of meat. They extend its shelf life and prevent harmful bacteria from thriving. However, added nitrates have been linked to some types of cancer and a variety of other health problems. Because of this, food producers often use celery powder as a naturally occurring nitrate and to market their product as containing no added nitrates.

What is the Difference Between Celery Powder and Celery Salt?

There are a lot of similarities between celery powder and celery salt. As you might have guessed, both are made from ground celery, and both can be used to add the flavor of celery to a dish. However, the key difference between the two is the part of the celery that is used to make them.

Celery powder is made from celery leaves and stalk. These parts of the celery hold juice, which can be fermented. Fermenting celery juice increases the level of nitrates in the final product, giving celery powder its ability to work perfectly as a natural preservative for meat.

Celery salt, on the other hand, is made from ground celery seeds and salt. This enhances the flavoring of the powder, making the celery taste stronger. Celery salt is great as a dry rub and can be used as a seasoning for many foods. However, the seeds do not hold juice and contain a much lower level of nitrates. As a result it is not recommended that celery salt be used for curing and preserving meat.

Can You Use Celery Salt in Place of Celery Powder?

In many cases, celery salt can be used in place of celery powder. When cooking, celery salt can be used. It is important to remember that around half of the seasoning is salt, whilst the other fifty percent is ground celery seeds. Because of this, you need to be careful about how much you use to avoid overpowering your dish with salt.

Whilst celery salt can be a great celery powder substitute as a seasoning, it can’t be used as a replacement when curing meats. This is because it does not contain the same level of nitrates and therefore won’t work to cure the meat in the same way that celery powder will. 

What About Other Celery Products?

Can You Use Celery Seeds in Place of Celery Powder?

Celery seeds can be used in place of celery powder or celery salt, provided that they are crushed. They will enhance the celery flavor and reduce the amount of sodium in the meal. However, you will still likely need to add a small amount of salt to the dish in addition to the crushed celery seeds for maximum taste.

Can You Use Celery Juice in Place of Celery Powder?

Celery juice can be used in place of celery powder for most recipes. Unless the recipe calls for a celery powder rub, celery powder can be substituted with celery juice to capture some of the same flavor. However, it isn’t the best replacement and can often taste a little watered down compared to some of the better alternatives.

So, without further ado let’s take a look at the best replacements for celery powder.

What is the Best Celery Powder Substitute?

Curing Salt

The primary use of curing salt is for preserving meats. It works well and often lengthens the shelf-life of the meat. It also provides the meat with the shade of pink we often see. Curing salt will preserve the meat for a longer period of time, but lacks the flavor of celery powder. Depending on whether you enjoy the flavor of celery and how long you wish to preserve the meat, both curing salt and celery powder are excellent options.

Dried Celery Flakes

These flakes are used primarily as a seasoning. They are commonly used in soups, dressings, and to season meats. Dried celery flakes are exceptional as a flavoring on sausage. A bonus is that the process of dehyrdating celery to create flakes means that they have a long shelf life.

Celery flakes make a fine celery powder substitute to add flavor when cooking. However, they are not recommended for use in curing meat. This is because the flakes are dehydrated, which removes all of the nitrate-rich celery juice rich that works to preserve meat.

I recommend having some dried celery flakes on hand in your kitchen cupboards at all times – they’re a real staple that you’ll be able to use in all sorts of recipes!

Chopped Fresh Celery

Chopped celery is the freshest celery powder substitute. It offers a rich flavor and is easy to prepare. Chopped celery can be used in stews, soups, casseroles, and a large variety of other dishes. This form of celery is full of celery juice, so is full of flavor. However, it can’t be used to cure meat.

The Best Celery Powder Substitute

All of the suggestions in this list work as a replacement for celery powder. However, depending on your needs there are undoubtedly two that should be considered before any other.

Curing salt is by far the best alternative if you need a replacement for celery powder to use for curing or preserving meat. In fact, it is considered by many to be superior to celery powder for curing meats.

Chopped celery is my favorite substitute to use when looking to replace the flavor of celery powder. The addition of chopped celery to a dish changes the flavor immensely and there’s just something about using fresh ingredients that I’ve always preferred. One final bonus is that fresh celery is brimming with vitamins and nutrients and is really good for you.