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Smash, Peel, Mince, puree are all the steps that goes into preparing garlic. While traditional chef say that its faster with a knife, my experience says that it doesnt beat the convenience. Often time professional chef will have many helper preparing food for them. When you are at home, youre by yourself. A good garlic press is a godsend. All you need to do is lop off the hard end and press. However, there are a lot of models on the market, finding the right one can be difficult.
How to Use a Garlic Press
To use a garlic press, all you need to do is cut the stem and drop it in the hopper. Squeeze and scrape off the garlic. I personally peel the skin, but on some model, that is not necessary.
The annoying part about garlic press is the cleaning portion. While you do get the majority of garlic, there is always a peel left over. You can use your finger to scrape out that part. Small bits that are stuck in there can be push out over the tap. I like to press it right across the faucet. The pressure forces it out. Models where the hopper can be separated are the easiest to clean. Thankfully, a lot of these manufacturer share similar design.
Some models have a specialize cleaning tool. These cleaner aligns to all the hole to push the stuck garlic out. It works great, but I keep on losing it. Maybe you will have better luck than me.
Sliced vs Minced vs Puree vs Crush Garlic
Depending on the way you prepare garlic, it will produce different flavor. Puree Garlic is strongest in terms of flavor. It will blend readily into the dish. This is what you will typically get with a garlic press. Minced is a step coarser and is not as strong. Sliced garlic is great for things like pasta where you just want to flavor it lighty. Crushed Garlic is preferred for when you make soups or stock. The slow cooking will extract the flavor out without making it too strong.
Use it at the last moment
One thing that a lot of people dont know is that garlic will change flavor. After you mince it, the flavor profile will change due to oxidization. To get the best flavor, its best to crush it right before using it. Thats why a garlic press is so useful. You can just stand over the stove, crush and continue cooking. With a prep table, you have to prepare it 10-15 minute ahead of time. You cannot get the maximum freshness.
Is a Garlic Press worth it?
Yes, even for a professional chef I think its worth it. If you are a preparing a large batch of food, having a specialized tool will make your job several time easier. You can also get other parties to help you with cooking. They dont have to touch a knife at all.
Best Stainless Steel Garlic Press
Below you will find a list of some of the Best Stainless Steel Garlic Press around. These are the premium garlic press that will last you a lifetime. The design are pretty similar, some even share the same hopper. The good thing is that they all work pretty well. Choose one that appeals to you the most.
Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press (Best Overall)
Khun Rikon is a Swedish manufacturer of kitchen utensils. Their banana shape press is comfortable and easy to use. All you need to do is pop it in and press. You dont even have to peel the skin. This model is dishwasher safe but its best to clean it by hand. You want to really get the old garlic out of the hopper.
Rosle Garlic Press (Great Alternative)
Rosle is a German manufacturer of Kitchen utensils. They have many iteration of their garlic press. The newer one with the scraper attached will automatically scrape the garlic for you. However, I personally use the older style. Interesting enough, the hopper looks identical to that of Khun Rikon. Since the handle flexes a little bit its not as good as Kuhn Rikon.
Best Aluminum Non Stick Garlic Press
These Garlic press uses a aluminum body construction with a nonstick coating. They are slightly easier to clean but the coating isnt as durable. Overtime, you might experience some black oozing. However, they wont affect your health.
ZYLISS Susi 3 Garlic Press “No Need To Peel” (Best Buy)
Zyliss is one of the original garlic press manufacturer. Their older model use to be made in switzerland. Nowadays, they are manufactured in China. Having said that, its still an amazing press. Its also a lot more affordable then their competition. I recommend that you get the 3 model so that you can fit 3 garlic easily. The smaller one is a little tedious and only fit one or two.
The Pampered Chef Garlic Press (Honorable Mention)
Pampered Chef Garlic Press uses a aluminum body construction with a nonstick coating. The handles are shaped comfortably so it wont cause fatigue. You can probably fit one or two garlic each time. The best thing about this model is its separate cleaner, just be sure not to lose it.
A garlic press is a wonderful tool to have. Your finger no longer have to smell like garlic. Its also super easy to use. When you have a lot of things going on, the last thing you want to think about is garlic. By using a press, you can prepare right when you need it. Its the best way to get fresh pureed garlic.