Which garlic press is best?
If you aren’t familiar with a garlic press, the idea of this kitchen tool might seem unnecessary. Once you’ve used it for the first time, you’ll see why a press beats the knife method. Not only will a garlic press save you time, it will also save you effort.
This simple tool requires a straightforward action rather than a collection of movements and techniques. A handheld garlic press will let you mince the garlic and add it straight to your meals or pan without needing to dirty any chopping boards or knives. Garlic presses are also easy to clean — most can just be popped into the dishwasher.
The Alpha Grillers Garlic Press is a good all-around garlic press.
What to know before you buy a garlic press
Since the point of a garlic press is to eliminate the effort needed to form a garlic paste, the mechanism has to work effectively. This means you’ll need to place an adequate amount of pressure on it using the handles. When the handles are too slippery, you won’t be able to get a good grip and will find it difficult to crush the cloves. Handles that have a silicone layer or are textured will provide you with plenty of grip and make the process a lot easier.
There are three types of garlic presses.
- The nut-cracker style press: This is a hinged two-handle device that lets you place a clove in a chamber and press down on it, forcing the garlic through tiny holes.
- The garlic chopper: It uses a container to hold the garlic and a handle you twist and chop the garlic up with.
- The simple garlic press: You rock it back and forth over each clove. The rocking motion squashes the garlic through tiny holes in the center of the press and uses movement to crush the garlic rather than force.
Plastic vs. metal
Some presses come in a nylon plastic free of bisphenol-A, or BPA, a chemical that may raise some health concerns. Others will be made from stainless steel. The stainless steel ones tend to be a lot weightier and will feel more heavy-duty, and the heavier the device, the more comfortable you may feel applying a lot of pressure. The plastic ones work just as well but may feel less secure.
What to look for in a quality garlic press
If you are a lover of garlic or simply have a big family you prepare food for, a press that does one clove at a time will not be good enough. Look for a press with a large chamber that can hold up to seven cloves at a time. This will let you prepare things faster. Also, make sure it is still easy to use once loaded up with that many cloves. You need to be able to apply enough pressure to crush the cloves without fighting with the press’s handles.
Some presses come with a cleaning tool, a brush or poker that will help you clean out any stuck pieces of garlic once you have finished pressing your cloves. Garlic presses that give you good value for your money also include a tool that will help you remove the skin from your garlic.
When using a garlic press, you want to be able to squeeze the handles until they are as close together as possible. This will indicate that no more garlic can come out. To get a good grip on the handles, you need to be able to wrap your hand around them and clench them together, so they need to be slim enough that they both fit into your hand. If you are looking at a rocking garlic press or slicer, you still want to make sure the handles are big enough to get a good grip, yet small enough to grip them fully.
How much you can expect to spend on a garlic press
A good midrange garlic press costs around $15. The more simple rocking press will cost you less, as there is little going on mechanically, but the slicers have a few more elements and could cost upward of $20.
Garlic press FAQ
When should you use a garlic press?
A. A garlic press will provide you with paste-like garlic that is easy to add to aiolis, meat rubs and stews. If you plan on sauteing the garlic first, you’d be better off chopping it, as pressed garlic tends to burn a lot easier than chopped garlic does.
Do you need to peel garlic before pressing it?
A. In theory, no. But to avoid that flakey skin mixing with the paste, remove the outermost layer from the clove before pressing it.
What’s the best garlic press to buy?
Top garlic press
What you need to know: This is an efficient garlic press that is dishwasher-safe and ergonomically sound.
What you’ll love: The press comes with a silicone roller designed to remove any garlic skin before you place the clove in the press. The press is made from stainless steel and is sleek and scratch-resistant. It will produce a smooth garlic paste and make the cleanup process quick and straightforward.
What you should consider: Cleaning the other parts of the press can be time-consuming, as it has a few notches where garlic tends to get stuck.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top garlic press for the money
What you need to know: An affordable garlic press that is lightweight, it hasa large garlic chamber.
What you’ll love: The press can hold up to seven cloves at once and uses a twisting action, rather than a clamp, to press the garlic. The press is made from BPA-free plastic. This press will produce well-minced garlic.
What you should consider: The press requires two hands to operate.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This heavy-duty press is simple and easy to use.
What you’ll love: This press has a simple design with no unnecessary extras. It is easy to clean and can be placed in the dishwasher. When pressing garlic, you will be rewarded with a very fine garlic paste.
What you should consider: The press is quite heavy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lottie Winsor writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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