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Mar 23, 2014 08:30 AM

Garlic Press - do you believe in them?

I do. I believe you get different results using it, rather than chopping (or mashing, etc.) for every dish you make.

For instance, my SIL loves my tzatziki. I told her how I made it.......and several times she has made it, she says "it never tastes like yours". After many attempts, I found out that she didn't use a garlic press, she chopped her garlic. I tell her, that's the key - to use a press. I even went out and bought her one. She must've thrown it out b/c I can't find it in her kitchen anymore.

She swears there's no need to use one at any time. I do. Thoughts?

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  1. I love, love, love my garlic press. That said, I've been chopping with kosher salt lately- just in a phase after I saw this method.
    It really helps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      Yes, I do that w/ a creamy garlic dressing that I make - makes it into a fine paste.

    2. I got rid of my garlic press when I learned the trick to grate things like garlic and ginger on my microplane grater. Turn it 'upside down' and it stays on the grater and you can see how much you're getting. Otherwise I slice as taught by Batali.

      6 Replies
        1. re: daislander

          I can't find a picture so let me try to describe. Hold it like you normally would where whatever you grate is going to come out below/underneath. Reverse that and hold the garlic or whatever underneath and grate. The food will stay on the inside/top of the grater. Much easier to do a certain amount.

          1. re: c oliver

            Thats what I thought. I don't think id have the nerve. Even watching my fingers get near those blades makes me nervous. Id slice threw for sure.

            1. re: daislander

              I kinda hold things perpendicular to and between my index and middle finger, if that makes any sense.

                1. re: daislander

                  Oh, he tends to slice rather than chop garlic. At least on the old Molto Mario's he did.

      1. For a small amount, I use my microplane. For more than a couple cloves, I use this Garlic Twister. I hate, hate, hate garlic presses.

        8 Replies
        1. re: grampart

          I love the garlic twist. There's a learning curve, but I like it better than a press.

            1. re: DuffyH

              It takes a certain technique with a butter knife to get all the garlic out. ;)

              1. re: Becca Porter

                I use a small wooden skewer to get between the teeth. btw, this gadget also works very well on small amounts of weed.

                1. re: grampart

                  But I wouldn't recommend using a grinder for garlic :-D

                    1. re: grampart

                      Blech. Sorry, no intent to yuck your yum, but I keep my herbs and my cooking separately.

          1. I microplane nowadays. The garlic press was great but too annoying to clean. Plus, the microplane is a multitasker so it eliminates at least one gadget in my kitchen.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Hobbert

              That's exactly how I felt when I put it in the donation box.

              1. re: c oliver

                I have a kitchen gadget addiction that I'm working on...

              2. re: Hobbert

                Over the years I've bought versions of the conventional garlic press. Each new version claims to be easier to clean, but I've never noticed a difference and I've gotten rid of every one. And then, I discovered the Joseph brand. Here's a link to a photograph of the press:


                This is much simpler to clean and I find I'm using this gadget.

                1. re: Indy 67

                  I've got several Joseph items and love that brand! Especially the cooking utensils that have a little ledge so they don't rest directly on the stove or counter top. Very smart designs!

                  1. re: Indy 67

                    Indy, your link shows a couple of styles. Which one are you endorsing?

                    1. re: ChillyDog

                      When I click on the link, there's a large photo in the center of the screen showing the same utensil in three different colors. The black press is empty, but oriented right side up. The purple one is upside down. And the green one shows the aftermath of having mashed a clove of garlic. I admit, this image doesn't make as much sense to someone who has never used the Joseph press.

                      Here's the way I use this press: I put the clove of garlic on a plate or chopping board and place the "mesh" section over the garlic clove. Then, I grab both sides of the gizmo and press down rocking back and forth. The mashed garlic oozes up through the mesh like you see in the green utensil at the bottom.

                      The holes of the Joseph tool are slightly larger than those of all the other garlic presses I've owned. This makes it easier to clean, but this also may mean I need to repeat the mashing process. If so, I simply scoop the garlic pulp off the grater, put it back on the plate/chopping board and repeat the process.

                      The clean up with this tool is a fraction of the time and effort I used to put into cleaning my traditional style graters. I, who am anti-gadget, love this gadget.

                      And it appears that I'm not the only one. I just did a search in the Sur La Table web site to see if I could find another photo for you. The Joseph tool is one of 15 versions that come up with a search. There's a box that says "Best Seller" next to the Joseph model.

                      FWIW, my gadget is colored plastic like the photograph I first posted. The model featured on the Sur La Table web site is all stainless and the text claims that using stainless will remove the garlic smell from your hands. I have no idea whether this is true or not. I'm perfectly happy with my plastic version.

                  2. re: Hobbert

                    Another vote for the microplane over the press. You get a better consistency of garlic smush (that is the technical term, I believe) with a lot less waste.

                    1. re: TVHilton

                      Better than the garlic press? I respectfully disagree- strongly.

                  3. I try to minimize gadgets but used to have a garlic press. It never worked as well as my mother's. it wasted too much garlic. Now I chop, grate on a micro plane or use my mortar and pestle. Usually the micro plane is in place of crushing garlic. I hope to inherit the other press some day but otherwise my methods work and taste like mom's.