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Jun 8, 2002 03:47 PM

Best Garlic Press?

  • j

I've been looking for a replacement garlic press for the one which has served me ably for almost 5 years. The one I just picked up at Fante's in south Philly, a place whose recommendations I usually trust, has been useless. It's a "Pedrini" from Italy and it has at best produced some garlic juice, but not pressed garlic.

I've looked at:

Oxo GoodGrips
a couple of German models (one with interchangeable press screens)

.and maybe 1 or 2 others.

My only true requirements are that it have an attachment for cleaning (with the 'fingers' that go through the
press holes), and that the garlic not mush around the press due to too much clearance on the sides.

Any real recommendations for the gruly great garlic press?


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  1. I got a Zyliss last year, and nothing else will do. When I cook in other peoples' kitchens (once or twice a month), I bring my Zyliss along (and my immersion blender).

    There's just the right heft to the cast aluminum press, and the "plunger" can be maneuvered to press even very large cloves. And yes, it comes with a little blue plastic "cleaner" that lines up easily with the clogged holes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom Steele
      Buen Provecho

      I wholeheartedly second the Zyliss recommendation. I got one back when they were called SUSI - and I'm still using the very same one I got in 1985!! It does a great job of pressing, and it comes with the cleaner, actually though I never found them to be too useful. OXO puts out good products too, but when it comes to garlic you can't beat the Zyliss.

    2. Dave,
      Definitely go with the Zyliss Susi garlic press. I won't use any other. I had mine for over ten years. Nothing better.

      1. Hi. Perhaps a bit on a tangent, but recently I've found (in large part from some thing's on Jamie Oliver's show The Naked Chef) that many times I can use a strong mortar and pestle to mash garlic and cook with it that way. The process of pulverizing the garlic releases more flavor, and it seems I've almost replaced the garlic press entirely. If you do a search on for example, for thai stone mortar pestle you can find the same one he uses, or if you want I can send you a link to where I got mine. Something to think about. I've been on a real fit of smashing things lately, with good results :)


        8 Replies
        1. re: Fritz

          Fritz, I'd appreciate the link to your source for the mortar and pestle. I'm more of the "smash it with a knife and chop" kind of person, but the image you sent looks really interesting. Thanks, Pat

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            When I smash one garlic clove, it's in one of those marble mortar-and-pestles that you see everywhere.

            When I do 3 or more, I use a giant plastic mortar with a wooden pestle that I got at a Korean store. It has little dimples on the inside surface to help smash up stuff. It was really cheap, it's unbreakable, and weighs almost nothing.

            1. re: Pat Hammond

              Hi Pat,

              You might give a good solid mortar/pestle a try when working with garlic. I find that if you pound a few cloves of garlic real hard a few times, the skin comes off easily, then put it back in and a few more whacks with the pestle to loosen it up, bruise and release flavor, then you can take it out and chop it quickly for use. There is a good heavy-weight mortar pestle from the shop at link below, I have the 8 inch.


              1. re: Fritz

                Thanks, Fritz. It's certainly a handsome looking piece. Is it porous? I ask because I'm wondering if you use it for garlic a lot, do subsequent things taste of garlic, or not?

                1. re: Pat Hammond

                  Hi Pat. The mortar is very smooth inside, and non-porous so after using it just wash with mild soap and water and there is no after-taste or lingering smell. I love it, much better than the marble or ceramic variety, because you can really whack as hard as you can without doing any damage, and it has great size & weight. The thing is indestructible. Only drawback, though can be the heavy weight. It's like moving around a big boulder, 15 lbs, not quite as heavy as the Kitchenaid mixer but still a handful I wouldn't want to drop.

                  Here's a fantastic chile/lime/garlic dipping sauce for any kind of fish:

                  Whack 5-6 cloves (or more) garlic and remove skin, put back in mortar and whack until it's a paste. Throw in a few small Thai chiles (remove stems first and slice a couple times). Whack it all together until chiles are mixed up well with garlic. Add 2 teaspoons sugar. Add about 4 tablespoons fish sauce, and same amount of fresh lime juice. Pound it a bit more, mix it up with a spoon in the mortar, transfer to small individual dishes. There you have a great fish dipping sauce. Out of this world.

                  1. re: Fritz

                    Thanks, Fritz, for the addition info. , and especially for that great recipe! pat

                    1. re: Fritz
                      Wendy Leonard

                      I make a similar sauce although I haven't been using the mortar. It is great with sticky rice and is a family favorite, especially with children (minus the chilis).

                      1. re: Fritz

                        A 15 lb. piece of equipment to mash a little garlic? What am I missing here? What's wrong with the blade of a knife?

              2. Answer: the palm of your hand.

                I can't image what benefit a garlic press would have over the slice or whack of a chef's knife?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Shoeman

                  Shoeman, you're close, but this guy wants to *puree* his garlic. So what he REALLY should do is just get a good chef's knife and chop chop chop mash chop chop chop mash until he's reduced it to paste (working in a little salt helps). Garlic presses are totally unnecessary.

                  1. re: CTer

                    better yet, back of chinese cleaver. Wider surface area so you can really smash those babies. chopping should be unnecessary after you have smashed it hard and flat enough you have to scrape it off the cutting board (something chinese cleavers are also very good at)

                2. Decided to give garlic presses one last shot after reading the responses to this post, picked up the Zyliss Susi from Bed Bath and Beyond today and Whoa!

                  After a pile of broken pedrinis, and misc other presses, this is definitely the one!!!

                  Smoooth, easy, strong and clean fine crushed garlic from this puppy. Also has a nifty little detachable cleaner that actually works. Highly recommended

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SG

                    Wish I knew about the broken pile of Pedrinis before I bought one last week :(

                    I guess I will try the Zyliss and see if it holds up for a few years!


                    1. re: JugglerDave

                      If anyone lives near Ann ARbor, MI I saw them today at Kitchen Port - a cooking specialty store - for $12.95 which seems quite reasonable.