A garlic press (also known as a garlic crusher in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), is a kitchen utensil to crush garlic cloves efficiently by forcing them through a grid of small holes, usually with some type of piston. Many garlic presses also have a device with a matching grid of blunt pins to clean out the holes.
Garlic presses present a convenient alternative to mincing garlic with a knife, especially because a clove of garlic can be passed through a sturdy press without even removing its peel. The peel remains in the press while the garlic is extruded out. Some sources also claim that pressing with the peel on makes cleaning the press easier.
Garlic crushed by a press is generally believed to have a different flavor from minced garlic, more of garlic's strong flavor compounds are liberated. A few sources prefer the flavor of pressed garlic. Raw-foods chef Renée Underkoffler says "a good garlic press makes dealing with garlic a clean pleasure. Pressed garlic has a lighter, more delicate flavor than minced garlic because it excludes the bitter center stem." The magazine Cook's Illustrated says "a good garlic press can break down cloves more finely and evenly than an average cook using a knife, which means better distribution of garlic flavor throughout any given dish."
On the other hand, some chefs say garlic crushed in a press has an inferior flavor compared to other forms of garlic. For instance, chef Anthony Bourdain calls garlic presses "abominations" and advises "don't put it through a press. I don't know what that junk is that squeezes out of the end of those things, but it ain't garlic." The cookery writer Elizabeth David wrote an essay titled "Garlic Presses are Utterly Useless". Alton Brown (known for his dislike of single-purpose kitchen tools) has referred to garlic presses as "useless" and without a reason to exist.
Cook's Illustrated lists some additional uses for a garlic press, such as mashing other small items (including olives, capers, anchovies, and canned chipotles) or pressing out small quantities of onion or shallot juice.
Garlic mincers can be used to obtain fine grains of garlic too.
- a small container for the garlic cloves, sliding on top of a grater.
- a glass-sized recipient featuring a grate on top of it. The lid will push the garlic cloves through the grate, cutting the garlic into slices or into small pieces, depending on the type of the grate used.
- Garlic Twister, a device made of a very short cylinder, tall enough just to fit a few garlic clovers, made of two detachable parts - the top and the bottom. The two parts can rotate, cutting the garlic.
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- For example, the Epicurious Food Dictionary
- Underkoffler, Renée (2004). Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods. Avery. ISBN 1-58333-171-9. p. 179.
- Wu, Sandra. "Notes from Readers", Cook's Illustrated, Sept. & Oct. 2006 p. 3.
- Bourdain, Anthony (2001). Kitchen Confidential. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-093491-3. p. 81.
- David, Elizabeth (2000). Is There a Nutmeg in the House?. Viking. ISBN 0-670-03033-3. p. 51.
- Rothman, Wilson (27 August 2009). "Alton Brown: Kitchen Gadget Judgment Calls - Yea or Nay?". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
- Microplane Garlic Mincer, CrateAndBarrel.com, Retrieved at 19 May 2017
- Buy Garlic Chopper From Kleeneze. Your online shop for FoodPreparation, Kleeneze.com, Retrieved at 19 May 2017
- Garlic Twister, Nextrendproducts.com, Retrieved at 19 May 2017
- Product Review: NexTrend Garlic Twist, YouTube, Retrieved at 19 May 2017