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Garlic Press

I'm thinking of buying a garlic press. I've never used one but I've seen them used. I have a friend that has one, but says they don't work well. Any thoughts?

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  1. I just recently bought one and I love it. It is made by kitchen aid. I had one previously that did not work well, but this one definitely works well.

    1. Like all kitchen appliances, there are good and bad garlic presses. Buy the one from Rosle--it's the best.

      1. Swiss-made Zyliss. Works great. Moderate price. Even comes with a little cleaner for the holes.
        If you are in a hurry, it will press cloves that have not been peeled. Terrific!
        Oxo is so-so.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          I've had many, best one really is the Zyliss. If you use lots of garlic, get the larger one.

          1. re: jackie de

            Absolutely the Zyless also known as Susi.

          1. re: Stack8

            Yes...large Zyliss....according to Cooks Illustrated...

          2. I've never met a garlic press that didn't just make a mess.

            4 Replies
            1. re: revsharkie

              The Susi by Zyliss is near perfect,design-wise. The only problem is that I'm told the old school cast aluminum Susi they made for decades is out of production, replaced with an ABS plastic model.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                I just had my original Susi replaced after 30+ years. At the time I bought it, it had a lifetime guarantee. But now it's only a 5 year guarantee. Nevertheless, I wrote to Zyliss in Irvine and they told me to send it back and they'd replace it free of charge. The only problem I had was that the new replacement was brushed aluminum and not as sturdy as the original casted version. Still an excellent press but I have a feeling it won't last another 30+ years. Oh well, you can't have everything! My mom still has one that is over 50 years old from when I was a little kid. Zyliss is still the best.

              2. re: revsharkie

                I'll second that. A garlic press is a waste of money (and a waste of valuable storage space in your kitchen). They're a pain to clean, and they're barely faster than doing it with a knife.

                Get a good knife, and get someone who is comfortable with it to show you how to chop garlic properly, and you'll be a lot happier.

                1. re: greglor

                  'waist of time and space? But garlic presses are so small and , honestly i don't know how fast you are with a knife, it takes ME much longer to chop little pieces of garlic with a knife. WIth my press, it takes me literally less than 10 seconds to turn up to 3 cloves into finely minced pieces, with very very little effort. Chopping garlic with a knife is so 1800's!

              3. Mine is a heavy-duty, kind of double-jointed press by OXO. The "presser" part has flat surface for mashing the garlic on one side and a surface with little protrustions on the other than match the holes in the receptacle. Press the garlic with the flat side, the flip the "presser" over to self-clean the little holes. Little waste and easy to clean. Also, the handles are rubber-coated to cushion the fingers a bit when pressing hard.

                1. I don't know which one I have but I like mine a lot. The part with holes is like a square basket that is removable. I put it in the silverware tray of my dishwasher and it gets really clean. Much better than one that doesn't come apart. It was even easy to clean before we got a dishwasher. If I ever get another one I'll get one that has two press baskets for when one is in the dw.

                  1. One question: Why?

                    Take clove of garlic. Squash with the broad side of your favorite knife. Peel. Chop. This take about ten seconds and does not necessitate the cleaning of a garlic press. If you need creamed garlic add some kosher salt and puree with the tip of your knife. 20 seconds max. Done.

                    I have yet to see a professional chef using a garlic press.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: andreas

                      One answer: I get a better-quality mince, faster, by using a garlic press, especially for dishes where I'm using two-to-six cloves of garlic, not just one. I can blast half a dozen cloves through a garlic press in less than your "20 seconds max," and the time savings more than makes up for the utterly minimal clean-up involved, which basically consists of: 1. open press, 2. rinse.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        Amen. amen, amen. The pros have someone cleaning up after them. With my Susi (aluminum, have had for more than 20 years) all of the garlic and juice go into the food, non wasted on a board. With the Susi I don't have to take an extra movement to peel either.

                      2. re: andreas

                        The reason I was interested in a press is because I have poor eye sight. Sure, anybody can squash it with a knife. So can I. But when I'm trying to really put a fine chop on it, and I know about the salt, I use a light grey french sea salt, that when my eyes give me a problem. That's why I thought the press would help.

                      3. Sometimes I use a garlic press, sometimes I whack the clove w/ the broad side of a knife, sometimes I chop or mince. Depends on the texture I want -- and what I feel like doing.

                        1. Just received a new Hugh Carpenter book. He always points out proper equipment and superior brands of ingredients in the beginning of his books. He recommends the Zyliss garlic press.

                          1. Funny, I've never seen a chef use a garlic press...only, back of the knife and chop to desired size method.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: HillJ

                              I'm not a chef. I also use the back of my Henkels chef knife, but I have very poor eye sight. The press will make it simple for me.

                              The large size Zyliss is on it's way.

                              Thanks for all the help.

                            2. I've had several. The only on that has been sturdy enough to really work well is the one from Pampered Chef. I've had it for several years and paid around $15 for it. In another thread someone said that the PC garlic press appeared to be a copy of the Zyliss which has been already recommended here.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Sam D.

                                I agree - I love my PC press - but I lost the thingie to clean out the holes! I don't use it every time I want garlic, just when I want it really fine. It does a great job with peeled or unpeeled cloves. I'm going to try carswell's recommendations - for ginger and the toothbrush - awesome!

                              2. Buying a cheap garlic press is being penny wise and pound foolish. They're messy, ineffective and break easily.

                                The press was invented to save cooks not from chopping but from peeling. Just put the clove in the press, peel and all, and have at it.

                                That said, I rarely use mine for garlic. Fresh ginger's a different story, however, especially when I'm making a marinade (like for this evening's quail).

                                A good stiff toothbrush or denture brush makes cleaning a snap, by the way.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: carswell

                                  The Zyliss comes with a cleaning tool, and you can throw the clove, peel and all, into the Zyliss, but only if you're doing one clove. If you are doing mulitple cloves, you really need to peel your cloves.

                                  When a recipe calls for 'one' clove of garlic, that to me means, fill up the cylinder full, then press. I've rarely used just one clove for anything, so three small ones will fit in a Zyliss easily.

                                  For some reason, I've never had the strength needed to properly mash a clove with a knife. I guess I've never learned the proper technique.

                                  1. re: personalcheffie

                                    With the large Zyliss you can put in a few unpeeled cloves...the skin pops out easily with a finger or using the easy cleaning attachment...great tool

                                2. Add another vote for Zyliss!

                                  1. Count me in for Zyliss too!

                                    1. I hear that the William Sonoma Garlic Press is great.

                                      Make sure that you buy a large one without any plastic components.

                                      As far as cleaning goes...use a butter knive to scrape out the loose leftover garlic and then apply the hand sprayer until all is gone.

                                      1. I use a mini food chopper to chop garlic. I have tried using garlic presses and they simply don't do it for me. My mini chopper is perfect for it. I actually have two; one for garlic and one for everything else. I am a gadget geek.

                                        1. jfood has great knife skills and owns a Susi. He loves it. Uses the press when he wants the garlic clove more pulverized than the fine mince that a knife can accomplish, especially useful when jfood makes gazpacho

                                          1. I've owned the KitchenAid, one of the Oxo styles, and the Zyliss. The first two actually broke when using somewhat dry cloves. The Zyliss is great, and no garlic on the fingertips.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: bear

                                              If you send your OXO back to the company, they'll replace it.

                                            2. We have an old Zyliss (Susi) that works best. Had KitchenAid, detachable metal press area (piece with the holes in it) pushed through the handle instead of the garlic! Returned to Target. Got I think Target Michael Graves which works okay, has larger holes than the Zyliss. But we haven't used it in ages. Not really a need to have two of them around after all, apparently.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: CrazyOne

                                                Hey CrazyOne, If you don't use your GRAVES will you sell it to me? I love mine and have been looking all around for one to give my grandma, but all targets are out of stock, and no one sells them online. I will pay you up to $25 dollars for it if it is in like-new condition!!!!

                                              2. My brother gave me a brushed aluminum Zyliss, i love it. Easy to clean, works well, and gets the garlic much better "minced" than I can get it. I have seen it used on "America's Test Kitchen" (recognized the logo) many times. I dunno...maybe they aren't professionals - but they sure seem to like it. I do know in "Kitchen Confidential" Anthony Bourdain rants about them, never quite understood why.

                                                1. I, self proclaimed gadget freak, am seriously thinking of adding one of those new 'Garlic Twists' next to my Zyliss. I'd like it for when a recipe calls for lots (8+ cloves) of garlic. Anyone play with one of those yet? Kinda expensive.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: leetmom7

                                                    I just googled Garlic Twist. Looks interesting, except you have to peel the garlic first. One of the things I like best about my Zyliss is that I don't have to peel. If I am making 40 clove chicken, I would rather squeeze a couple of cloves at a time than have to peel all 40 cloves first.

                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      (Psssst KaimukiMan....I use so much garlic I buy the peeled cloves in a jar from Christopher Ranch...making sure its grown in California, NOT China. There is so much Chinese garlic out there and I'm NOT touching it with a ten foot pole)

                                                      I'm also interested in the Twist as I get older and I find it harder to squeeze the Zyliss.

                                                      1. re: leetmom7

                                                        (psst, psst Leetmom.. I always have one of those costco jars of christopher ranch in my freezer - im single, can only use it up so fast no matter how hard i try - couldnt live without it, but sometimes I like fresh)

                                                        I wasn't aware that chinese garlic was prevalent (especially in LA), aside from the fact that Gilroy is the best for garlic, is there something particularly objectionable about garlic from China? Having spent two plus years in Seoul, i know asia has good garlic.

                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                          China is importing a LOT of garlic to California. I wrote to Christopher Ranch and they told me any bulb with a 'shaved' root is from China. After what I see happening with the pet food, toothpaste, honey, and toys from China I'm not touching ANYTHING edible from them, ever, again. For years every time I picked up a Consumers Report and checked the 'Recalled' section there were toys with lead. To quote the commercial, 'Wake up people!'

                                                  2. Another Susi (zyliss) lover here. I've had mine over 10 years.

                                                    1. Does any one have access to the Cooksillustrated website? I know they tested these but I dont subscribe to the thing. How annoying! I was wondering what there results were.

                                                      1. I have owned a garlic press, but I prefer the easy and speed of using the the side of my chefs knife and few quick chops. I don't have to store another gadget and it is much less cleanup.


                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Kelli2006

                                                          [Former CI employee here:]

                                                          I have two Zyliss garlic presses, both of which have a semi-nonstick coating that is flaking off. Does a great job, but the one I like better now is made by Kuhn Rikon.

                                                          It's stainless steel, and the performance is just as good as (if not better than) the Zyliss. And it doesn't flake. The negative: It costs $35.

                                                          1. re: wittlejosh

                                                            Cool thanks. It is a little pricy but gets so much use in my house it may be worth it!

                                                            1. re: jroxybabe19

                                                              One other advantage is cleaning: The sieve portion of the KR press lifts up, so that you can just wipe it with a sponge (as opposed to shoving something down inside a chamber). Really cool. It also accommodates TWO large garlic cloves

                                                              The one place the Zyliss has a tiny advantage: When you press the garlic in the Zyliss, you can scrape across its perfectly flat surface with a knife to release the minced garlic. With the KR, there's a shallow ridge on either side of the sieve, so your knife hits it slightly when releasing the garlic. Not a big deal, but an annoying design flaw for such an otherwise brilliantly designed piece of equipment.

                                                            2. re: wittlejosh

                                                              Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen has fallen out of love with the Zyliss Garlic Press because of the coating flaking issue (noted above by "wittlejosh.")

                                                              Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen now recommends the Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press (they now prefer the less expensive plastic version over the stainless steel version.):

                                                              Kuhn Rikon Plastic Garlic Press


                                                              Kuhn Rikon Stainless Steel Garlic Press (During last Xmas season, Amazon had this on sale for as low as $24.99).


                                                          2. The best garlic press is the side of your chopping knife, be that a chef's knife, santoku or whatever.

                                                            We were getting ready to sell our house a few months ago and as part of the "decluttering" process that we went through to prepare it for showing, I went through the kitchen and evaluated every single piece of equipment for for necessity. Masses of it went into boxes that in turn went into a storage cube, and I have to say the joys of cooking in a streamlined kitchen are significant and were totally unanticipated.

                                                            The garlic press (actually two of them) were one victim of the cleanout and they have not been missed. And I use a LOT of garlic (two to three heads a week sometimes), much of it which needs to be rendered into a paste.

                                                            If your issue is not wanting to smell like garlic, get stainless steel soap:


                                                            It's like magic. Seriously.

                                                            Last but not least, if you live near Trader Joe's, look for their smashed garlic in a jar. Nothing at all like the diced up crap in water. This is like real fresh garlic. I always have a jar of it in my fridge.

                                                            Sorry for the long-winded response lol.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: LovinSpoonful

                                                              I was just in TJs today, wish I'd seen your post before I left. :-D I'll have to keep the smashed garlic in mind for my next trip.

                                                              1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                And the chopped ginger in the jar can be a lifesaver too when you pull out the hand of fresh ginger and it's shriveled down to nothing.

                                                            2. The thing that always creeps me out is when people say "I don't even have to peel the garlic." I don't know about other people, but much of the time when I peel the garlic I find a brown bad spot. Thanks much, but I don't want that in any dish I'm eating. (There's a wonderful little device, like a tiny mandoline, that has a holder that allows you to slice or mince 3-5 cloves at a time. One of my favorites for any garlic heavy dish.)