This text is a part of a product-testing sequence referred to as Food52 Authorised, a column the place we totally attempt, take a look at, and assessment the kitchen and residential merchandise you’ve got at all times questioned about. Food52 earns an affiliate fee on qualifying purchases of the merchandise we hyperlink to.
Have you ever ever been cooking with a beloved one, reached to your garlic press, and observed them subtly roll their eyes? Or seen the snark-filled remark part of a cooking video—branding presses as unitaskers, wasters of drawer house, ruiners of garlic?
After a long time of acceptance and reward from home-cooking champions like Madhur Jaffrey and Julia Little one, the disgrace round garlic presses began to mount across the flip of the twenty first century, due to scorching takes from Elizabeth David (“completely ineffective”), Anthony Bourdain (“abominations”), and Alton Brown (“there’s completely no purpose for a garlic press to exist”).
However, for those who take the time to speak to residence cooks, you’ll discover that garlic presses aren’t going anyplace. We requested the Food52 neighborhood on Instagram which life improvers they most needed us to assessment: It was garlic presses by a landslide.
After we requested them to inform us extra, 60 % of our viewers mentioned they love the divisive garlic press, and shared their best frustrations (“cleansing!”) and tips about their favourite manufacturers.
So, what higher strategy to kick off our new product-testing column, Food52 Authorised, than by placing the hard-working, much-maligned garlic press to the take a look at? Hold studying for what differentiates a press from a Microplane, our testing course of, tips about clear your press of selection, and our 5 favorites (we do our greatest in addition the disgrace, too).
A Microplane is Not a Garlic Press
Let’s tackle a typical grievance about garlic presses: A pointy knife and slicing board or a Microplane can (allegedly) do the identical job. That is subjective and a few folks will like mincing by hand higher, whereas others will want the Microplane or the press, they don’t produce the identical factor.
Allicin, the compound that offers garlic its pungency, is created when the cell partitions are crushed. So the extra obliterated the garlic cells are, the stronger the fireplace might be—although it usually mellows with cooking. Mincing with a knife could have essentially the most delicate taste, adopted by a garlic press, then a Microplane, which is designed to shred and makes a particularly pungent substance that doesn’t solely dissipate with cooking.
Now, the following time somebody tells you it’s all the identical, you’re set to elucidate how and why it’s not.
How We Examined
We tried out 15 manufacturers, together with our neighborhood’s favorites, squishing limitless unpeeled cloves, each separately and stuffing as many as we may into the press.
We appeared out for intelligent, sensible designs and the primary gripes with garlic presses: house for too few cloves, problem urgent, wasted garlic, and—loudest of all—cleansing. For cleansing, we dishwasher-ed and hand-washed; to check taste and texture, we tasted the outcomes each uncooked and warmed up as a garlicky oil with pasta.
We’re not a scientific lab, however we’re a neighborhood of residence cooks plus one obsessive researcher and meals author (me). As somebody who grew up with a garlic press however hasn’t owned one as an grownup, I’ve needed to analyze and clear their identify for some time—now’s the time.
However first a enjoyable truth: The trendy garlic press was invented by Karl Zysset, who owned a bicycle restore store in Lyss, Switzerland, in 1948—have you ever ever observed the similarity in a motorbike’s hand brakes and the design of an ordinary garlic press? With the success of the press, he left bicycle restore and based the corporate Zyliss, which nonetheless makes this descendant of his unique Susi garlic press design. Rising up, my household had the older sibling of the Susi 3 (the Susi 2). Julia Little one, who thought garlic presses have been a “fantastic invention,” was a fan of the unique design—it’s even a part of her assortment within the Smithsonian.
Now, onto the rankings.
The Basic (& Julia Little one’s Go-To): Zyliss Susi 3
Mince: Positive, pulpy.
Professionals: It’s very light-weight, comes with a helpful cleansing choose that clips into the press somewhat than floating free in a drawer, and was a favourite in our Neighborhood ballot.
Cons: It’s dishwasher secure, however hand-washing is advisable because the aluminum will finally darken within the dishwasher. The little cleansing choose has a behavior of falling out and will get misplaced (a fork or desk knife may do the job in that case), and, like so many presses, it requires a knife to scrape off the minced bits.
Neighborhood Choose: IKEA’s 365+ VÄRDEFULL
Professionals: This press from IKEA was one of many main entrance runners in our Neighborhood ballot, it’s amazingly sturdy for the low value ($7.99 on the time of writing), it swings completely open for simple cleansing, and has a really generously sized hopper for bigger garlic cloves.
Cons: The press’s smaller holes means it takes slightly extra stress to get the garlic by means of, it’s slightly more durable to rinse out, and will result in extra waste. Moreover, like others, it requires a knife.
Least Fiddly to Clear: Dreamfarm’s Garject
Mince: Very nice however not pulpy.
Professionals: That is the one mannequin we examined that scrapes itself clear and not using a knife (!) and has a neat eject button to get the peel out, making it a real all-in-one device. It additionally has a really generously sized hopper.
Cons: At 14 ounces, this press is the heaviest we examined (Dreamfarm additionally makes a lighter plastic model, if that’s a priority) and even the built-in scraper doesn’t get it 100% of the way in which to the pan or bowl, so that you may must nudge it off the scraper with a finger.
Best to Squeeze: Männkitchen’s Double Lever Assisted Stainless Metal Garlic Press
Mince: Medium nice, with some juice.
Professionals: This one required the least stress of any hand-squeezed press, even with a number of cloves. (My wrists obtained fairly drained by means of all this testing, so it was further appreciated!) Additionally, the curved form sits properly in your hand.
Cons: Like most, this press requires a knife to scrape and the dearth of facet partitions on the basket is helpful for cleansing, but it surely may let extra particles sneak out the edges.
Word: The Kuhn Rikon is almost similar, however has smaller holes—for those who want a finer, spicier mince and like simple squeezability, that could possibly be an excellent mannequin for you.
Useful for Restricted Mobility: Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker
Mince: Fairly chunky.
Professionals: There’s no must squeeze, simply rock together with your palms, then scoop it off with a spoon. It’s additionally simple to mince a number of cloves in a row, you possibly can rub your palms in opposition to the stainless-steel below operating water to take away a number of the garlic odor, and it’s one other Neighborhood fave.
Cons: It’s a must to peel the garlic cloves first (although utilizing a silicone garlic peeler makes this a breeze) and it nonetheless requires some wrist stress. It produces a really chunky mince, however you possibly can spoon it out and run it by means of the rocker another time simply. It additionally dirties a slicing board and loses some garlic within the urgent course of.
One other useful choice for restricted mobility: My mother-in-law has used a Black+Decker electrical mini chopper for many years (right here’s the fashionable model) and it makes a surprisingly good mince with just a few cloves. There are additionally hand-pumped choppers, however I haven’t examined them myself—please tell us if there’s a model you’re keen on!
A Word About Simpler Cleansing
In my testing, there was at all times slightly mess with a press (but additionally with the opposite strategies—garlic is sticky! However value it). The easiest way to ensure cleansing goes easily with any of those instruments is to rinse them shortly after utilizing them below operating water. Use your fingers or a brush to loosen any caught bits—dried garlic will glue itself to the floor and possibly received’t come out within the dishwasher.
Now that you simply’ve gotten the complete breakdown in The Nice Garlic Press Debate, hopefully you’re feeling absolutely outfitted (and empowered!) to decide on the perfect device for you and use it proudly.
Do you’ve gotten a go-to garlic press? Tell us under!