Healthy Cooking

A Chef Shares Why a Garlic Press Is One of the Best Cooking Tools For Making Flavorful Meals

Photo: Getty Images/Ana Rocio Garcia Franco
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Garlic is one of *the* most used cooking staples. It's the foundation in cultural dishes all over the world, including Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and Indian cooking. Truly, whatever savory meal you're cooking up, there's a good chance it could benefit from at least a little garlic.

Cooking with garlic also ups the nutrient-density in your meals. Watch the video below to find out how: 

But if you've ever cooked with garlic, you already know that it's a bit more tedious than, say, salt and pepper. Virtually any chef will tell you that freshly minced garlic has more flavor than in its powdered form and you literally have to cut though your tears to integrate it into your dish. It can also leave your hands smelling pretty potent.

This is exactly why Dora Stone, the creator of the vegan Mexican cooking site, Dora's Table, says having a garlic press can come in handy. "A garlic press can save you some time, especially if a recipe calls for a lot of minced garlic," she says. "I spend a lot of the day cooking and I'm always looking for tools that are efficient and time-saving."

If you're unfamiliar with a garlic press, basically it's a kitchen utensil that crushes the garlic cloves by forcing them through a grid of small holes. In mere seconds, you can have a whole pile of crushed garlic on your chopping board. Stone says she uses her garlic press all the time. "I use it when making garlic toast, aioli, marinades, or salad dressings. All these recipes call for garlic to be finely minced, almost pureed, and the garlic press is perfect for this," she says.

Not only does having a garlic press cut down on time, Stone says there are times when having the smaller cuts of garlic that a press is helpful for enhancing the flavor in a dish. "Smaller cuts of garlic allow for a more intense garlic flavor to shine through," she says. "But when you're sautéing or cooking with oil, you do have to be very diligent because smaller pieces of garlic are easy to burn."

When it comes to buying a garlic press, Stone recommends looking for one that's sturdy, comfortable, and easy to use. "What's most important to look for is finding one that's easy to clean," she says. "If it takes longer to clean it than it does to chop some garlic with your knife, then it's not a good garlic press." Not sure where to start? Rounded up here are five options to consider.

5 Garlic Presses To Consider For Easy, Flavorful Cooking

garlic press
Photo: Kitessensu
Kitessensu Garlic Press — $13.00

You don’t have to shell out a lot of money for a quality garlic press. This one is just $13 and comes with a cleaning brush to make cleanup easy.

garlic press hand roller
Photo: Jasvic
Jasvic Garlic Press — $11.00

To use this garlic press, first you place the garlic in the peeler and roll it back and forth. Then, you grip the press and simply rock it back and forth to crush the cloves. Easy!

vovoly garlic press
Photo: Vovoly
Vovoly Garlic Press — $24.00

Made of stainless steel, this garlic press’s grid swings open making it easy to clean. The handles are ergonomically designed for a maximum comfortable grip.

Ototo gracula garlic press
Photo: Ototo
Ototo Gracula Garlic Presser — $20.00

This “Gracula” garlic press is one vampire hungry for your garlic. To work it, you just pop your clove into the black part of the tool, put the top on, and push the two halves in opposite directions.

kitchen innovations garlic press
Photo: Kitchen Innovations
Kitchen Innovations Garlic-A-Peel Garlic Press — $16.00

With this colorful garlic press, all you do is place your garlic right under the lid and press down. Then, your minced garlic falls into a little plastic container. This way, you can avoid touching the garlic almost completely, leaving your hands stink-free.

As you can see, there are several different types of garlic press styles to choose from. Go for the one that you feel is easiest to use and get ready to up the flavor in all your favorite savory meals.

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