Garlic is one of the Best Ingredients in your pantry. It adds aroma and flavor to just about any dish. However, one of the most annoying thing about garlic is peeling it. You need to cut the skin off, then you need to mince it. If your knife skill is subpar, it will take minutes to just get through one clove. Luckily the garlic press takes care of all that. The Best Garlic Press should be able to mince garlic without even have to peel it.
What is a Garlic Press?
A Garlic Press is a tool used to mince garlic. Usually, it will have to lever that you crush with your hand. The garlic goes into the hopper and a flat surface will push it through. Most only requires one hand to operate. Older press is usually made with pure aluminum. Modern iteration will use stainless steel as its core construction. They retain its beauty better than aluminum, but its generally heavier.
There is another type of garlic press that is the garlic press rocker. You use both hand and press it through the holes. They are generally inferior to the two lever garlic press. You require more effort and results are usually worse. I recommend you go for the traditional press.
Why Garlic Press is Bad?
Some Chef will tell you that a garlic press is a unnecessary tool. By the time you finish using it and washing it, you would have put the same effort into chopping with a knife. I agree to that to a certain extent. Garlic press is a hands off type of tool. Once you have the clove, just press and it will be minced. This is great if you need fresh garlic right before cooking. Not only that, the speed that you get from a knife is limited to only a few cloves. Imagine mincing clove, you will soon find that tool is actually much better.
There are other disadvantages to a garlic press. Since its a set tool, you cant adjust how fine the garlic is minced. The degree to how its cut affects the overall flavor. For example, thinly sliced garlic will produce a mild flavor. While a finely minced one that you get from a press will give it a really pungent flavor. In cases where you need a mild flavor garlic, a knife will actually be better.
Quite a few celebrity chef will tell you that the flavor is off, but truth be told, they are a little bias. Often time habit becomes the truth for them and change is difficult. As stated before, the flavor from a press is a bit more pungent than the one you get from the knife. I imagine eating a finely puree garlic will be even worse for them as well.
How to Use
For the most part, all you need to do is pop it in the hopper and press. However, its generally recommended that you cut off the rough stem. I personally peel it anyways. But most garlic press will leave the skin in the hopper. All you need to do is pluck it out when youre done. I like to run a knife or spoon through the other end of the press to dislodge the garlic.
Aside from garlic, you can use it to mince a variety of softer food. Things like Ginger, Caper, Olive, Anchovies and more. Just experiment around.
Cleaning a Garlic Press
If its one thing I hate about garlic press is the cleaning. The holes get clogged and you end up cleaning it individually with a tooth pick. The good thing is that most press comes with a tool that fits into all the holes. As long as you do it soon after press, it comes right off. Another technique that I like using is to run it through the water. The more pressure you can build, the easier it is to clean. I like to press it right next to the faucet.
Best Garlic Press List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Garlic Press. There are a few different models available, choose one that best suits you.
Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press (Best Overall)
This Swiss Based company is known for their design in kitchen appliance. This garlic press is one of the best product they offer. The handle is comfortable and performance is great. What I like most about this press is the screen. It can be set by itself for easy cleaning. The only downside to this press is the price.
ZYLISS Susi 3 Garlic Press “No Need To Peel” – Built in Cleaner (Best Buy)
Zyliss is famous for their garlic press. Their original one is made in Switzerland and features an all Aluminum construction. If you can find one of the older one, they go for 50 dollar plus. Thankfully, these newer one are just as good, just made in China. It has a nonstick coating so that its easier to complain. There are some complaint about black gunk…but thats just due to the coating coming loose. Its safe and works just fine. I never got any black gunk on mines though…
Rösle Stainless Steel Mincing Garlic / Ginger Press with Scraper (Best Alternative)
If you do not like the Banana handle of Kuhn Rikon, rosle has a very similar one. The main difference is the handle and the inclusion of the automatic scraper. You dont even have to run a knife through it for it to scrape. Interesting enough, the hopper on the older model is almost identical to the one used in the Kuhn Rikon. The price point of these two press are similar as well.
Garlic press are wonderful tools that make your life easier. Even though some celebrity chef will tell you otherwise, try using it. You will be surprised at how good it is. My favorite is the one by Kuhn Rikon, however, Zyliss makes a very good and much more affordable model. Any of the one that I listed works very well. Just choose one that appeals to you the most.
Looking for more gadgets? Check out our article on the Best Silicone Basting Brush.