I find it just as easy to crush it under a good chef's knife.
I second that emotion.
I'm a yay on this, I love the garlic press when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to mince =)
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Nay, nay, nay! The garlic juice (and lots of great flavor) remain in the press, never finding their way into whatever you're cooking. If you're going to peel a clove of garlic, you might as well take the ten seconds or less required to mash it with the side of your knife (which does 90% of the work of peeling it) and then chopping it with the same knife. ;o)
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I'll come down on the Tony side. That would be nay. If the only reason you own a garlic press is to make garlic bread then I'll look the other way, but seriously it's a one note instrument.
I crush with a knife sometimes and sometimes I use the garlic press recommended by Cook's Illustrated (Zyliss). It does a very good job extracting the juices and such and leaving just some of the fibrous parts of the peeled clove. It is also relatively easy to clean, you just pull out those fibrous bits as it doesn't have that part with the little prongs that never seems to work anyways.
Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
I love using my meat pounder (see photo) for crushing garlic. One strike and you're done -- boom!
Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Ok, I do love my garlic press and use it pretty much every day. When you crush with a knife, some juice lingers on the cutting board and you don't get as fine a mash as you do with the knife blade. But now that I see Amanda's alternate use of her meat pounder, I'm a) laughing, and b) going to try it. Clean-up will certainly be easier.
This is brilliant.
Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I'm with monkeymom--I have a really good garlic press (kuhn rikon) and it extracts the juice and is easy to clean.
Mine works well too- I often open the press up afterwards and lift the thin skins and fluff them up to repress again. Most of the time I get more garlic and juices out!
Ha! I just got a meat pounder, I'm ready to go boom!
Mortar and pestle.
And if you add a pinch of salt, it will smash quickly.
I don't think you need the salt. Smashes just fine without it. And the less salt you use in your diet the better.
I don't like garlic presses. I crush with my knife and chop finely.
Anthony Bourdain ranks right up there as one of my favorite teachers, and I'm with him on this one, but not for the same reasons. It's because it's one less thing to clutter my drawer and - most important - to wash.
I find that the garlic press is great for a really fast mince or for use in a more delicate dressing or sauce. The garlic never seems as strong from the press so I usually stick to the chef's knife smash and then quick chop.
If I want it really fine then I use a rasp grater, but the meat pounder is perfect to just slightly crush (or totally smash).. I am a big fan of the pounder shown - so useful for lots of things.
Bourdain Schmourdain... I love my Xyliss garlic press! No need to peel, just pop in the whole clove. No smelly garlic hands!
Seriously - no need to peel BEFORE pressing? Sounds great. I've been smashing, peeling...then pressing with my OXO.
If all you want is a schmear of garlic pulp with no textural integrity, then hey, go knock yourself out....
Zyliss have a good garlic press as you don't need to peel the clove. Other than this the crushing with a cooks knife works well. add a touch of salt and you can turn this into a paste with your knife easily.
I am a knirfe crusher or a microplane user, depending on the recipe.
I use a little japanese grater (it looks like a little rectangular plastic dish with a small thin metal grater in the bottom). It works for ginger too, which makes it twice as useful as a garlic crusher.
If you hold the tines of a fork down firmly against a cutting board, you can just quickly rub a peeled clove across them repeatedly to create a paste.
Nay, a garlic press is for someone who doesn't want to get thier hands dirty or smelly. Someone who has to cook but doesnt want to cook usually. Or that wants alot of gadgets to bragg about. Or the lazy cook who wants everthing to be easy. Or the person that just doesn't know any other way. But not usually the impassioned.
And, perhaps ironically, DonnyG, regarding the people who don't want to get their hands smelly, the garlic smell disappears right away when you run your fingers over the stainless steel blade of your knife. JonPalmer, I need to try your method sometime. And Ophelia, it had never occurred to me to use my wonderful little ginger grater for garlic. I have one that's porcelain and a bit larger than most. I can grate a tablespoon of fresh ginger in about thirty seconds flat. I'm going to try it next time I'm doing garlic and ginger for the same dish (which, around here, is fairly often). Thanks, everyone, for all the great tips. Foodpickle is the best, isn't it?!!! ;o)
Wow, tons of responses! I love all these great suggestions...I can't wait to try some the grater and the meat pounder! I'm not anti-garlic press... on a quick week-night dinner, my heavy-duty stainless steel press (that I got for a steal when I worked at a kitchen store in college), works wonders without much clean up or fuss. And it comes in handy for the kitchen-rookie boyfriend. When I'm actually getting down and dirty, I use knife and cutting board and am not afraid to get personal w/my garlic.
Lines of horse noises.... I use the side of the knife, but don't draw the big knife just for a clove of garlic Usually the bottom of the Tabasco bottle (No I don't have granite counters). Several times a week I use garlic in a meat marianade, then I crush it again with a fork in the marinade. Never had a meat pounder, but now I'm on the lookout for one (seems safer than a bottle). What do traditional cooks in garlic-centric cuisines do? Hard to imagine they would use a press.
I was anti-press until I got my hands on this amazing work of art, the Kuhn Rikon Epicurian. http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn...
You don't have to peel the garlic! It flips open to clean easily. Almost all the good stuff comes through..more than any I've ever used. And sometimes, you want a delicate puree, instead of tiny pieces. I find that pressed garlic is best for some sauces, especially. I still mince and cut and slice and smash; now I just have one more variation to add to my repertoire.
When I use my press the garlic is stronger than chopping. So it depends on the recipe how much garlic flavor I need. Can I prove it scientifically? No. But my nose tells me that pressed garlic is stronger than a light chop.
Nay - I'm in the crush and peel crowd; how hard of a crush depending on how I'm using the garlic.
No press. Microplane rasp. Easy to clean, too.
Nay! the press seems to make the garlic bitter.
btw - cold water over your hands (no soap!) after handling garlic makes the after-scent disappear.
Bourdain needs to get a life...I love my garlic press!
I'm a "chop by hand" kind of girl because I hate unitaskers, particularly unitaskers with hinges that inevitably flip the wrong way when I'm trying to open the drawer (garlic presses and citrus squeezers - HATE). But garlic presses aren't evil, and dang, to automatically assume someone's lazy if they own one? Am I lazy because, even though I have great knife skills, I love my food processor and look for reasons to use it? If so, then we're all "lazy" to a degree, evidenced by the number of tools we all use in the kitchen. Nothing wrong with it.
Nay. What a slow and awkward mess the garlic press is. I prefer the broadside of my knife. Mash the garlic, keep or remove the green stem, chop, chop, chop, mince, mince, mince. This is how one develops knife skills. Less is more. Why complicate your kitchen with unnecessary crap?
Also, after you mince, add a little salt and press the broad side of the blade down and with a few strokes you have paste. I can do this in a matter or seconds. You can too.
Rewind. Obviously, remove the papery husk after the initial broadside mash.
Years ago I always used a garlic press. Then for years, I became an anti-garlic press snob. No more. If you use a good press you get much more than the pressed garlic. You get all of the juice also.I don't use it when I want chopped garlic to add to other chopped veggies, but I like the smooth texture of the pressed garlic and how it blends in with certain dishes. I 'm glad that I gave it another try. Sometimes we need to have an open mind and give something another chance. You can surprise yourself and wish that you had tried something sooner.
have you ever left a garlic press to clean the day after? nay on the garlic press.
Never - I have been using a knife for the last 50 years - chop or a blade "wack" for garlic squashing.
Nay. I like to be really minimal on my kitchen doo dads...just one more thing to clean, too. Who needs that. In the time it takes to clean the damn holes, I'll have pounded, diced, smashed a few garlic heads already.
I was Yay on the garlic press for a pretty long time. But now i'm NAY. too much effort. just sliver and sliver again - imho takes less time in the long run!
Depends on how much garlic we're talking about...
A knife is already out and esier to clean. And if you're using garlic the recipe probably also has salt. Use some of the salt over the garlic and it chops like a dream! No stickiness to deal with.
I didn't realize the addition of salt would help the stickiness until I read your post. I just thought everyone was suggesting for flavor...which I don't always need. Thanks!
Use the press. It's easy and if it prevents you from using jarred garlic (or WORSE - powdered) so much the better....
I use the back side of a wooden spoon to smash garlic.
Nay. Coming from a very classical background I look at most kitchen gadgets with a juandiced eye. I was taught how to do all things with out a kitchen gadget and despise how the American culture has come to the virtues of quick and easy. And I don't the outcome either. Spend a few minutes using a knife and eventually your knife skills will get better quicker. As for the people that don't like getting thier hand smelly I find this a bit childish.
Mine broke seven years ago and I haven't missed it a single day. A good knife is all you need.
I have to say that I never used fresh garlic until I was given a press. Now I use it daily. A simple rinse is all I usually do to clean it and if the dish doesn't require any other chopping, I don't have a large knife for smashing and a cutting board to wash. As busy as life is and as much as we like to eat good, simple food (with garlic!), I'll keep my press.
Is there anything Bourdain doesnt have an opinion about? That said, I find garlic press' tedious...like the idea of using a meet pounder1
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I don't understand why. I want to take the sprout out, so I still have to cut the clove in half, My chef;s knife works just fine to flatten out the pieces and chop the garlic. The garlic press was always a pain to clean. And I think the garlic from it is bitter. Probably at least partly because the sprout is usually still in there.
I love garlic and I usually just used my chef's knife for chopping and mincing (I have a tiny kitchen and don't have much storage for a bunch of gadgets).I've used my hand grater a few times, too. I'm loving the meat pounder and ginger grater and microplaner ideas. : ) Anything but a garlic press!
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
I agree with AntoniaJames - too much gets left in the press. Also, I think the delicate oil gets separated from the garlic, the flavor changes, and the garlic tends to scorch even more quickly. I used to hammer a couple of cloves at a time under, a bench scraper, then came across Lynne Rosetto Kasper's suggestion (The Splendid Table: How to Eat Supper) to find a good, flat rock. Great conversation piece, too!
Depends on the application. I'm usually in the knife smashing camp but if you need the garlic taste without chunks, a press is the way to go. For example- a quick vinaigrette with just oil and vinegar.
Mostly nay except if I'm in a hurry and I can find the garlic press. The meat pounder intrigues me, though.
for a few cloves I use a chefs knife. If I'm making kimchi and it requires 15-20 cloves, I'd rather have the press.
I definitely go with a garlic press for everyday (fast!), but for large amounts I use food processor, actually.
well what ever makes you happy. if you feel angry just give it a smash ... boem! if you are relaxed and like to wash you garlic press its also oke. i hate cleaning the garlic press so angry or not.... i give it a
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Garlic press? Bad, bad cook!! Time out for you.
I use it some times.
When you come home after a ten hour day to a hungry teen who need dinner before a violin lesson in 20 minutes, I am without judgment on the garlic press issue. Press when you need to , chop when you can. Anthony Bourdain doesn't live at my house!
JenniferF, after I posted and I was rushing to finish cooking, I remembered my teenager and was going to say something just to this effect. You said it so well!
The current state of my kitchen is such that if I bring something in, I have to get rid of something else, so the something had better do more than one job.
Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Nay, for me I don't own one. Crush with chefs knife it takes a few seconds and works well for me.
I have an old one hanging around somewhere in my drawer of kitchen implements of mysterious origin, but it never really occurs to me to use it. Easy enough to do the smash (peels falls away) and quick chop.
Having said that, my feeling is use one if you like, don't if you don't, whatever works for you - if you're gracious enough to cook for me, I'll be happy to eat it either way. (Not a big fan of the culinary police.)
If you like using a garlic press than that is what works for you. But don't get offended if we have been asked our opinion and it differs from your own. Just keep going your own way. There is no right or wrong. Just enjoy what what is that you do. Happy Hollidays!
Unless you're doing a heroic amount of garlic, I can't see a press being quicker than smash and mince.
I can understand the desire to own a garlic press. I usually add 4 cloves of garlic (minimum) to many of my dishes, and we used to have an amazing garlic press that could easily press 5 cloves at a time, and very little pulp stuck in the press itself. Sadly, the press eventually broke, and apparently they don't make that kind anymore. Now, I just smash and mince the cloves the old fashioned way, and it's no big deal. Honestly, I'm ambivalent. I mean, I get the sense that if you say, "Oh my gosh, never own a garlic press!" then you sound more chefly. And if you say, "Heck yes, use that press!" you sound a little gauche. But honestly, I don't think it makes a huge difference. More than anything, it's the space that yet another one-hit wonder takes up in your drawer.
Why all this energy directed towards garlic (I love garlic!)? I bet people are lots more worried about surviving Thanksgiving, with or without a garlic press.
Mostly, by the way, I squash and chop the garlic with a knife. When I'm in the mood for something a little different, I use the garlic press- but first I have to find it (no easy task), and after I've used it I've got to clean it- tougher than wiping off a knife.
So I vote for the knife.
Bottom line, though- smash that garlic any way you like; then enjoy it!
I agree....use a knife
A friend just gave me a ridged rolling pin-like crusher from Berlin, and being a knife crusher and mincer, I have no clue how to use this lovely-looking gadget. Ideas?
The only reason to use a garlic press is if you are too drunk to be trusted with a sharp knife.
The best anwer I have heard yet!
I got tired of cleaning the garlic gizmo years ago, so just crush with the side of my French chefs knife with a pinch of salt.
I love to use the press for garlic in a salad. But for, say, a pesto, I'll mince it myself as I like the crunchy surprise throughout the sauce.
Yay to Anthony Bourdain, nay to garlic press. If I want it fine, I use a micro-plain. Otherwise, I bash it under a knife and slice it up.
Mr. Bourdain can kiss my fanny on this one- I like having an option where my hands can truly stay garlic free, without fear of the knife, and without the smell that seeps in under the nails. S
While this is perhaps the most boring question ever posted to food52, let me just say that unless you make a whole goddam lot of garlic bread a garlic press is a waste of space in your drawer. For most other uses you don't want or need garlic mush.
Pierino--I know, right? I posted this question when FoodPickle (now hotline) first started, just to test it out, and never expected to get so many passionate responses about garlic presses (including 4, from you).
Nay - good knives work best and I've never found a garlic press that didn't waste most of it and leave chunks
I love using my microplane !
I'm gonna go with a big nay because you will lose all the essential oils with the press. A simple crush with a knife should do the trick and the garlic will retain all it's delicious flavor.
I agree the finer you chop garlic the stronger the flavor i find if you crush it with the knife add a pinch of salt and chop the salt acts like an abrasive
Definitely chop it with a knife...don't wanna lose l the good garlic juice...
I prefer mincing, then crushing under the blade of my chefs knife. Never use a press.
Yay it is quick and and cleaner and therefore safer healthwise
Enough already with this question.
I actually enjoy smashing the cloves with the knife and then mincing them properly. It's sort of of a meditative thing for me.
Ugh, it's like ketchup on sushi...
I prefer chopped always. I got one of the ones that you roll and it minces. That is just as easy as cleaning the garlic press...
Yay. Chop it up works the best
I often use the xyliss press because my husband hates bits of garlic in foods. With a press I can sneak it in. I am careful to squeeze it over the pan so I get the juices in. I prefer it minced myself.
Ummm, how else can you get garlic into such a fine state without a press? Why would any good cook be anti-garlic press?
Sam is a trusted home cook.
I think the fact that this thread has so many different opinions, techniques and options just points up a fact:
If it works for you, use it.
There's no 'right way' for some things. I used to use a garlic press..and some times I'll still use it..sometimes I won't. Sometimes I'll pound it with salt in mortar and pistil..sometimes I won't.
Nay! You want all that garlic and juice! Best to chop it or I also do what Rachael ray does with the little hand held grater! I feel it tastes fresher!
I Use it when needed. Don't over think this stuff.
It seems to me that garlic done with a garlic press is 'hotter' than when I chop it.....
I prefer the Chief's knife "crush & peel" technique, takes seconds to dice add a pinch of Kosher salt works into a paste quickly.
To start off with, I have no respect for Anthony Bourdain. I very seldom use a press. As most people have said here a knife on a hard surface works great. Then I don't have to clean the press. 'grin'
Who cares what Anthony says! Use what works for you and move on.
I like my garlic minced or sliced,but if you must press it use a mortar.It works for me...so I'm a nay?I don't know!Thinking of Bourdain confuses me a bit...Is it hot in here?
I use my molcajete all the time when it comes to garlic
As someone who doesn't own a garlic press, I'd say use a knife, smash, mince. It's pretty easy and only takes a few seconds. The only time it's a pain is when mincing garlic the only thing you're using the knife and board for and you have 2 pieces of equipment to wash!
I agree with nay on the garlic press a little salt works wonders and for garlic bread toast with olive oil run a grate a peel garlic clove over the toasted bread while hot best garlic bread ever
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