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What Garlic Press Do Chefs Use?

July 23, 2023 4 min read

What Garlic Press Do Chefs Use? - Maria's Condo

Garlic, the beloved allium, has been a crucial ingredient in kitchens worldwide, providing a rich, aromatic base to countless dishes. While the traditional method of mincing garlic with a chef's knife is still widely practiced, the invention of the garlic press has revolutionized culinary preparations. But with many options on the market, which garlic press do chefs prefer? Let's delve into the world of this essential kitchen gadget.


1. The Quintessence of a Garlic Press

Garlic presses are the embodiment of convenience, designed to mince garlic in seconds without requiring any knife skills. This small, everyday tool usually comprises a perforated basket or hopper that holds garlic cloves, a plunger that presses garlic through the perforations, and a lever mechanism or handles that force the plunger down on the cloves.

2. The Pursuit of the Perfect Press: Our Evaluation Criteria

We evaluated numerous garlic presses, considering factors such as the uniformity of the mince, the required pressing strength, the simplicity of the design, the shape of the plunger, and the width of the openings. We also considered additional features like a swing-out hopper for easy cleaning.

2.1. Uniform, Small Mince

Most garlic presses provide an even, paste-like mince, which is crucial for ensuring consistent cooking and flavor distribution. The consistency of the garlic mince was a key factor in our evaluations.

2.2. Minimal Strength Requirement

The best garlic presses required only a moderate amount of force to press the garlic through the perforations. However, the process still demanded some effort.

2.3. Simple Design

Intuitive and easy-to-use garlic presses with streamlined designs and fewer parts were favored due to the ease of cleaning.

2.4. Flat, Smooth Plunger

Presses with a smooth, flat plunger without any protrusions were preferred as they are easier to clean after use.

2.5. Wide Openings

Models that opened wide enough for easy garlic loading were given higher preference.

3. The Not-So-Important Factors

While additional features like a swing-out hopper were considered helpful, they were not deemed necessary for a quality garlic press.

4. Red Flags in Garlic Presses

Certain aspects of garlic presses were deemed undesirable. These included large mince, requiring excessive force, complex designs with too many parts, and needless special features.

4.1. Large Mince

Garlic presses that produced larger pieces of garlic were less favored as they did not provide the desired consistency.

4.2. Excessive Force Requirement

Presses that required significant force, straining the user’s shoulders and wrists, were deemed unsuitable.

4.3. Overly Complicated Designs

Garlic presses with multiple parts that required disassembly before washing were considered impractical as they defeated the purpose of the tool's convenience.

4.4. Unnecessary Special Features

Some models had additional elements that were either useless or hindered performance. These were viewed as drawbacks.

5. Our Top Picks: The Best Garlic Presses for Chefs

5.1. Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press

The Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press emerged as our top pick. Its features include a comfortable grip, easy cleaning, and efficient, even mincing.

5.2. Alpha Grillers Garlic Press

The Alpha Grillers Garlic Press offers a sleek, stainless steel design, bonus cleaning and peeling tools, along with a pocket-friendly price.

5.3. OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Garlic Press

The OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Garlic Press stands out for its large capacity, wide screen holes, and a comfortable grip for good leverage.

5.4. Dreamfarm Garject Self-Cleaning Garlic Press

The Dreamfarm Garject Garlic Press is a top choice for its fully mechanized hinge system that scraped and ejected spent garlic skins in a single motion.

5.5. Zyliss Susi 3

The Zyliss Susi 3 is a classic choice and lightweight with a handy cleaning pick that attaches to the press.

6. Garlic Presses: A Controversial History

Despite their convenience, garlic presses have been a subject of debate. However, testing shows that once cooked, pressed garlic has a slightly stronger flavor than knife-minced garlic, making the press a preferred choice for many recipes.

7. The Tests

Our evaluation process included several tests. We pressed two to three cloves of garlic in each press and compared the size and consistency of the results. We also tasted a small amount of garlic pressed through each garlic press and rated the flavor.

8. The Advantages of Using a Garlic Press

A garlic press not only provides a fine mince but also evenly minces garlic, ensuring its flavor is uniformly distributed throughout your dish. It also allows you to bypass the peeling step, making it a convenient tool in the kitchen.

9. Cleaning and Maintenance of Garlic Presses

Most modern garlic presses are dishwasher safe. Some even come with built-in cleaners that eject the remaining garlic pieces. However, for an easy cleanup, it is advisable to rinse them under running water shortly after use.

10. Final Takeaway

Choosing the right garlic press involves considering factors like size, material, design, and personal comfort. Despite the debates surrounding their utility, garlic presses continue to be a valuable tool in the kitchen, saving time and effort and ensuring a uniform, potent flavor in your dishes.


  1. Food Network
  2. Serious Eats
  3. Food 52
  4. All Recipes
  5. Good Housekeeping
  6. Cook's Illustrated

Marias Condo
Marias Condo

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