garlic press--am I doing something wrong, or is this a wasteful tool?
I like pressed garlic more than chopped in many recipes, but our OXO garlic press always leaves behind a substantial amount of garlic in the press. Does this tool suck, or is this par for the course for garlic presses?
I've had a Zyliss for years and years and use it less and less. I find that my inadequte knife skills can still do a better job of it. And some TV chefs put a garlic press to shame. One tip of Batali's that I've been using for a while now is to thinly slice garlic rather than chop. As he says (ad nauseum I admit) you get the flavor of garlic without biting into a big piece. Meaning you can pick it out. Tonight I finally chopped/mashed garlic for a tapenade but usually just slice.
i haven't used the oxo, but i am very happy with my zyliss. my mom got it for me years ago because the frugal gourmet, jeff smith, used and recommended it as the best one. it is certainly much better than others i've had in the past. when using it, i will press through a clove (or cloves, done two at a time, depending on size) a second time, after a minor rearrangement of the clove(s) in the well, to maximize the yield.
plus, the zyliss has has a handy little plastic "cleaner" to reverse-press through the holes.
i use it when i want pressed garlic. i'll also use minced or sliced, according to the purpose.
there was a thread a while back about the most useless kitchen gadgets, and i was definitely not the only hound who had the garlic press at the top of my list. i haven't used one for years - it's a waste of money and valuable drawer space...oh, and garlic too, since half of it does inevitably end up stuck inside.
you're better off chopping by hand. personally, i've come to find the task very satisfying and somewhat therapeutic...especially the part where i give the cloves a solid "thwack!" with the broad side of my knife to remove the skin :)
I use several methods to prepare garlic for a recipe. Sometimes I just smash, peel then chop. Other times I peel, then thinly slice... but there are times when the old Zyliss press is put into use. For example when I want the essence of garlic in a salad dressing without having to worry about having large-ish pieces in the dressing. I believe that any tool which gives your desired effect is worth the investment. So there's a bit of residue left in the press. What's the big deal?
Only the Zyliss seems any good vs the few others we have tried. I don't think it leaves very much behind. This is a oft-debated topic here though. ;-) For us, the press is easier than attempting to chop with the knife.