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Kuhn Ricon garlic press

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Cooks Illustrated recommends this, so when I needed a new garlic press, it's what I bought. When it arrived, it was made mainly of plastic and looked very flimsy, and the first time I used it to mince some unpeeled garlic, it broke in my hand.

Turns out Kuhn Ricon makes two models. The one I bought, the Easy-Squeeze Garlic Press, retails for $20. CI's recommendation is for the Epicurean Garlic Press, which is made of metal and costs twice as much.

It's my fault for not paying enough close enough attention and buying the wrong model. Don't make the same mistake! But it's also Kuhn Ricon's fault for making such a flimsy tool in the first place.

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  1. Garlic presses are an unnecessary tool. If you want to be able to finely slice and puree garlic, I would recommend the Garlic Mandoline. Here's one place I found it online:

    http://www.piercechefmart.com/mm5/mer...

    11 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Why not an Oxo garlic press? Ours has been good for years of use many times a week.One squeeze & done.

      Cheers!

      1. re: FishTales

        I'm sure your press works fine for you, but since you asked why not, according to Cooks Illustrated, both OXO models are not recommended.

        The Steel 58181 Garlic Press: Plunger couldn’t be fully depressed to bottom of hopper. “Inefficient,” complained testers. Flip-handled model cleaned up easily. Testers deemed the sieve holes too large, producing “coarse,” “chunky” pieces.

        The Good Grips 28181 Garlic Press: Plunger couldn’t quite get to the bottom of the hopper, leaving some garlic unprocessed. Couldn’t handle unpeeled cloves. Traditional flip-handled model rinsed out easily. Handles were comfortable and easy to press.

        1. re: John Francis

          <according to Cooks Illustrated, both OXO models are not recommended. >

          I have the SteeL OXO garlic press.

          http://www.amazon.com/OXO-SteeL-Garli...

          It is my only garlic press so I have no good comparison. It works, but it also feel much can be improved. The sieve holes are indeed large, producing coarser garlic mash. So I think the Cooks Illustrated descriptions are not too far off this time.

          1. re: John Francis

            I had an Oxo garlic press for years before replacing it with the Kuhn Ricon Epicurean model. In my experience the Epicurean is much easier to squeeze, to clean and pushes more of the garlic through than the Oxo.

          2. re: FishTales

            The Mandoline allows me to slice and puree garlic--and I frequently slice a lot. And since you have to peel the garlic anyway I don't see any advantage to having a separate press.

            1. re: escondido123

              The Kuhn Rikon actually works very well on unpeeled cloves.

              1. re: CanadaGirl

                As I posted below, there are usually a clove or two in every head of garlic with some "bad" spot so I always peel mine first to be sure they are fine. Wouldn't want a rotten spot in my food.

                1. re: escondido123

                  I sometimes do peel, but I very rarely find any troublesome spots inside that we're not visible from the outside. Certainly not on most heads. It maybe we have different definitions of a troublesome spot :)

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    If it's a brown spot, I consider it troublesome enough not to eat and I usually can't see those until the white peel is off.

            2. re: FishTales

              I have the Oxo garlic press for many years. I was happy with it until recently I noticed that the finiish on the inside of the "holes" where the garlic is squeezed through seems to have come off or is discolored. I would not say that I used this press a lot since I often find that it is simpler to just use a knief and chopping board. Maybe not all parts of the press is stainless steel. I think I will be replacing this press. Does anyone else who uses the Oxo press notice the same problem? Thanks to the OP for posting. I was trying to decide which press to get.

            3. re: escondido123

              Thanks for the suggestion, but a garlic press minces garlic the way I like, and when I want to slice garlic (not often), I use a knife.

            4. Had to reply as I love my Kuhn Rikon Epicurean. I'm so sorry you had the plastic one! It sounds terrible.

              I use a lot of garlic in my cooking and it's fabulous to be able to crush some unpeeled garlic straight into the pan without dirtying up a knife and cutting board. Not having to peel the cloves is what really won my heart. I'm not super-strong either so you don't have to have the hand strength of a gorilla to use it. I don't know what it is that makes it so much better. It's a very simple design and it looks very much like every other metal garlic press I've ever used but it works really nicely. Cleans up pretty easy too because the crush grate swings out separately so it's easy to remove the bits of crushed skin and fibrous bits.

              I had the Oxo and it would get gummed up, would crush instead of mince, and was never able to handle an unpeeled clove without so much coaxing or preslicing into smaller chunks that I just ended up using a knife.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greymalkin

                Thanks to everyone for the comments on the Kuhn Rikon Epicurean. I was thinking of getting it, and now I will.

              2. I really like my Kuhn Rikon Epicurean. Prior to getting it a couple years ago I hadn't owned a garlic press in years. I like being able to just crush the garlic straight into the pan even without peeling nor needing to break out the cutting board.

                1. I have the Kihn Rikon metal one too; it is fantastic.

                  1. It sounds like you got a faulty one. I have one of the Easy-Squeeze plastic handled models and it has worked like a champ for a couple of years now. I do wash it only by hand - I remain cautious that the plastic will degrade if it is washed in the dishwasher too often. I love this garlic press - it does an excellent job of evenly mincing the garlic and is extremely easy to clean.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lotsofscots

                      I didn't get to the point of washing the Easy-Squeeze - it broke in my hand the first time I used it.

                    2. I noticed people saying they put in garlic without peeling it. I would say about 10% of the time, there is some kind of bad spot on a garlic clove which doesn't show up until I peel it. Wouldn't want that to go into any dish I was cooking.

                      1. I highly recommend the garlic twist. http://www.amazon.com/NexTrend-GARLIC...

                        It gets much closer to a true mince than a press does. Harder to break too.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Becca Porter

                          Yes. That works well with multiple cloves as well. My only problem is getting it started. It can take a mighty squeeze, but once underway, it works well.

                          1. re: sr44

                            OP, I have never used a garlic press..I just use a knife and cutting board.

                        2. I've been using the same Zyliss for 30 years: http://homecooking.about.com/cs/produ...

                          No peeling needed. If you crush with the peel on, it's much easier to clean, and if not, that's what old toothbrushes are for, right?

                          No one has mentioned a mortar and pestle, which is what I use for pureed garlic: put the cloves in unpeeled, whack a couple of times to loosen the skins, remove the skins and pound them into paste (even easier if you add a pinch of salt). Especially great for making garlic butter: just add some diced butter (no need to soften, it will soften during pounding).

                          1. i use the oXo mini chopper. i have had it for years now and its awesome. i dont like crushers as it seperates the pulp from the juice

                            http://www.oxo.com/p-545-mini-chopper...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Locutus

                              Snap Chop

                            2. Another vote for the Epicurean. I love mine. I was without it for about 4 months because my stuff was in storage, and I had to use my BF's crappy one. Once I unpacked mine I was so happy to see it :)

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: juliejulez

                                I just don't see spending more than twice as much (as for the Zyliss) for a garlic press.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  The Zyliss garlic press used to be an America's Test Kitchen top choice, until they noticed that its nonstick finish was peeling around the hopper, not a good thing for the business end of a food processing tool. It's now "recommended with reservations."

                                  1. re: John Francis

                                    Mine doesn't have a nonstick finish -- just plain cast aluminum. I guess it's an older model.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      I got my Zyliss Susi 2-3 years ago, and yes, the finish was wearing off, though I didn't see it actually peel. Probably could have stayed with it but the Kuhn Rikon design looked better. Maybe it is, but since the plastic broke in my hand, I couldn't say one way or another.

                                2. re: juliejulez

                                  Man, it is expensive, but then it also looks like it builds like a tank.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    It is built like a tank. I don't expect to ever need to replace it, as long as I don't lose it in a move or something.