Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Garlic Press: Is there a "Best?"


Recommended Posts

I have the OXO garlic press and while I like how it utterly demolishes the garlic, they need to refine their design (OXO, are you listening?). They should put a gasket around the press/weighted part so the smooshed garlic doesn't come out the back (wrong) end and ideally gets forced out the front end by the gasket.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear all,

I received the Zyliss "Jumbo" garlic press today. I pressed 4 small cloves of garlic (skin on) in under 30 seconds (three the first time, and then the fourth one) and had it cleaned and drying in another 30 seconds.

To those who said it is hard to clean, the Zyliss now comes with a plastic cleaning tool that stores with the press itself. Not only does it clean the holes in the press effortlessly, but it allows one to free the garlic skins in the pressing "well" in a matter of 1 or 2 seconds. No garlic is squeezed back up along the sides of the press (the wrong way) as happens with many presses. Everything worked just great.

Thanks for the help. I would recommend this to anyone (unless you have no fore arm strength)

Sincerely,

Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites

99.972% of the time, I just smash and chop.

I have a Zyliss for the rare times that I want to use a press.

I used to have a Genius garlic cutter that I got as a gift. It makes absolutely wonderful uniform tiny (~1/16") garlic cubes, but was a PITA to use - much, much, much twisting of the gizmo to get the job done (very slowly), and took way too long to clean. I threw it away. (Had it not been several years ago, I'd have been willing to sell it to someone here, who would likely have ultimately come to the same conclusions that I did).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the Zyliss, which is the best press I've found. I have large hands and appreciate the extra volume, as well as the cleaner. Never get a press without a cleaner, or you'll end up poking the remainders out of the holes with a toothpick.

I also use the Norpro grater/slicer. It's a bit slow on grating, and an annoyance to clean, but it produces perfect, ultra-thin slices and is well worth the low price

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the first kitchen "gadgets" I bought was my Zyliss garlic press, about 16 years ago (recommended by The Frugal Gourmet on his shows). I've always loved it. I still use it all the time, and I'm a garlic fanatic. It came with the little plastic cleaner-tool that Alan mentioned, but my older model doesn't store the cleaner, I keep it in a drawer. I rarely need it, anyway - rinsing while digging with a fingernail gets any stuck bits. Sometimes I do the "smash and chop" with a knife, but I like intense garlic flavor so I usually press.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have the OXO garlic press and while I like how it utterly demolishes the garlic, they need to refine their design (OXO, are you listening?).  They should put a gasket around the press/weighted part so the smooshed garlic doesn't come out the back (wrong) end and ideally gets forced out the front end by the gasket.

Ditto, we have an OXO and it rules.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite type was one that I have been unable to find since. It is of very simple construction, very sturdy, two flat arms hinged at one end, one with the "basket" and one with the press. What is nice about it is that the "cleaning tool" is on the back of the press side; after you press the garlic, you pull the handle around the other way and the raised nibs on the back of that arm of it press into the "basket" of the press from the outside and push the leftover bits of garlic out.

Here I just use my mortar and pestle and a bit of salt; it does the trick just fine. The technique with the paring knife sounded interesting and I'd like to learn it, but I was a bit confused about the directions.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorite type was one that I have been unable to find since.  It is of very simple construction, very sturdy, two flat arms hinged at one end, one with the "basket" and one with the press.  What is nice about it is that the "cleaning tool" is on the back of the press side; after you press the garlic, you pull the handle around the other way and the raised nibs on the back of that arm of it press into the "basket" of the press from the outside and push the leftover bits of garlic out.

The OXO Garlic Press has that feature.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorite type was one that I have been unable to find since.  It is of very simple construction, very sturdy, two flat arms hinged at one end, one with the "basket" and one with the press.  What is nice about it is that the "cleaning tool" is on the back of the press side; after you press the garlic, you pull the handle around the other way and the raised nibs on the back of that arm of it press into the "basket" of the press from the outside and push the leftover bits of garlic out.

The OXO Garlic Press has that feature.

This was the first garlic press I owned. I liked it, but it broke at the hinges within a year. I've been using a Zyliss for over a year now without problems. It seems to be sturdier than the Oxo.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a gadget-mistress by any means, but I do think a garlic press provides a certain outcome that is not exactly achievable by mincing or crushing (provided the holes are the right size).

That said, the MIL is always buying stuff from Pampered Chef :hmmm: , most of which I think is useless crap, but she did buy me their garlic press, which never forces the garlic up the sides and is extremely easy to clean - I just run a toothbrush along the holes and any remaining garlic rinses away easily.

There, I think I've met my quota of positive comment about Pampered Chef products for a year (or two).

sg

Link to post
Share on other sites

There, I think I've met my quota of positive comment about Pampered Chef products for a year (or two).

...yeah. Without going too far OT, some friends gave me a bunch of Pampered Chef stuff one year. I did like the nut chopper, as long as it lasted, but the garlic press thingie that they gave me was pretty useless. It was a screw tube that you twisted to force the garlic through the holes. It took a lot more hand/arm strength than I thought the process was worth. There wasn't enough mechanical advantage to overcome the friction of the (plastic) screw threads; the holes didn't really cut...it was a poor design. Your press sounds like a better design.

Hmm. I do like their garlic roaster, although that's pretty foolproof. I guess I've had better luck with PC than some folks here - but I still prefer to support my local kitchen store.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found most garlic presses to be more trouble than they're worth, an extra cleaning step that I'd just as soon avoid. I hate to clean.

I use the two fork method, that I learned years ago in a fine dining restaurant where we mixed caesar dressing tableside.

In the saute pan or bowl, wherever you will be putting the pressed garlic, drop a clove and spear it with one fork, then with the other fork begin tearing and smashing the garlic clove against the bottom of the pan until you have a nice paste.

No mess, no waste, all the oils are there as is every bit of the garlic.

Easy and fast.

:) Pam

Edited by pam claughton (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...

Resurrecting an old topic...

I have owned both the Zyliss and the Oxo (which I use currently).

The Zyliss I retired when the "axle" in the hinge came loose, but I didn't like it very much - the coating on the aluminum began to flake and I don't know what it consists of but I don't want metallic flakes in any of my consumables except Goldschlager. Also it wasn't very easy to clean; it may have come with a separate plunger thingy for cleaning the holes but I lost it; instead I spent a lot of time rubbing it under running water and even BLOWING into the basket to try to force bits of garlic out of the holes. On the good side, it did a good job of forcing the garlic through the holes, rather than back up the sides of the basket, and it wasn't terribly hard to press, not that that's a big issue for me.

The Oxo I don't care much for either. It's dead easy to clean, for reasons noted elsewhere in this thread, but (also as noted) about 1/3 of every clove either gets squeezed up instead of down, or is left smashed but unpressed in the basket.

My criteria for a garlic press are:

1. Effective at pressing garlic - very high percentage of garlic gets pressed through the grate without fuss.

2. Easy to clean - this rubbing with a toothbrush business mentioned upthread is not gonna fly. And if it requires a separate tool to ream out the holes, that's no good either. Such a thing must be integrated into the design (as in the Oxo) or not needed in the first place.

3. Not outrageously priced.

Seems that America's Test Kitchen now favors the Kuhn Rikon Epicurean press. Anybody have direct experience? It seems to hit my first two criteria, but fails on the third, as it seems to be around $40. I can pay that if this truly, finally, is the garlic press I'm looking for but I'm hoping to find a cheaper alternative.

Kuhn Rikon also makes a cheaper press, called the EZ-Squeeze or something like that, which appears to be similar to the Epicurean except that it's plastic construction, aside from the basket. It's a lot cheaper, at under $20, but I'm skeptical that it would hold up, as pressing garlic can take a lot of force at times. Again, anybody own one?

Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . .

Seems that America's Test Kitchen now favors the Kuhn Rikon Epicurean press. Anybody have direct experience? It seems to hit my first two criteria, but fails on the third, as it seems to be around $40. I can pay that if this truly, finally, is the garlic press I'm looking for but I'm hoping to find a cheaper alternative.

Kuhn Rikon also makes a cheaper press, called the EZ-Squeeze or something like that, which appears to be similar to the Epicurean except that it's plastic construction, aside from the basket. It's a lot cheaper, at under $20, but I'm skeptical that it would hold up, as pressing garlic can take a lot of force at times. Again, anybody own one?

ATK hated the Eva Solo model, which I got my boyfriend as a birthday present, but I have no problem with it at all, and would say that it meets your first two criteria (admittedly, the glass holder is not a good solution for storing garlic, but does make a pretty good bud vase), although the equivalent of USD80 (I bought it several years ago, so it was a little cheaper) is fairly ridiculous for a garlic press, even here, where everything is expensive and has 25% sales tax.

If you see one on sale, I'd recommend snagging it.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found most garlic presses to be more trouble than they're worth, an extra cleaning step that I'd just as soon avoid. I hate to clean.

I use the two fork method, that I learned years ago in a fine dining restaurant where we mixed caesar dressing tableside.

In the saute pan or bowl, wherever you will be putting the pressed garlic, drop a clove and spear it with one fork, then with the other fork begin tearing and smashing the garlic clove against the bottom of the pan until you have a nice paste.

No mess, no waste, all the oils are there as is every bit of the garlic.

Easy and fast.

:) Pam

This sounds really interesting. I'm going to try it. The secret to getting the oil out is the smashing, not the chopping. That's why some folks like the garlic press. But I have given away every garlic press ever given to me, and that's quite a few. Like you, I'm also in the "more trouble than they're worth" camp. When you give the clove a good whack with the flat blade of a chef's knife, you are smashing it and pressing the oils out and that's the approach I very much prefer for myriad reasons, including that I don't want to have to deal with another "gadget" to move around the kitchen, take care of, keep track of, maintain, replace when it breaks, clean, etc. But if I can master this double-fork technique and if it does indeed release the oils as well as the "good smack" technique, I might switch.

Thanks for telling us about it.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to hate prepping garlic. Peeling, crushing, washing the crusher (Oxo, which was hard to get fully clean).

Now I buy a container of pre-peeled garlic from whole foods or sunflower market and use a microplane grater. Garlic is now the easiest part of prpeping a meal. It takes no time at all, clean up is a snap. I hope I never have to go back to my old method.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to hate prepping garlic. Peeling, crushing, washing the crusher (Oxo, which was hard to get fully clean).

Now I buy a container of pre-peeled garlic from whole foods or sunflower market and use a microplane grater. Garlic is now the easiest part of prpeping a meal. It takes no time at all, clean up is a snap. I hope I never have to go back to my old method.

Two questions...

Does that garlic taste like fresh garlic, or do they pack it in something that affects the taste, like vinegar?

And, if it's true that you have to smash the garlic to release the oils, how do you do that by grating it with a microplane?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to hate prepping garlic. Peeling, crushing, washing the crusher (Oxo, which was hard to get fully clean).

Now I buy a container of pre-peeled garlic from whole foods or sunflower market and use a microplane grater. Garlic is now the easiest part of prpeping a meal. It takes no time at all, clean up is a snap. I hope I never have to go back to my old method.

Two questions...

Does that garlic taste like fresh garlic, or do they pack it in something that affects the taste, like vinegar?

And, if it's true that you have to smash the garlic to release the oils, how do you do that by grating it with a microplane?

The garlic is just in a container with usually nothing else (sometimes a few sprigs of herbs accompany it). There isn't a liquid or anything. I'm not sure how long it stays 'fresh' but I keep it in the fridge, sealed, and it typically doesn't last to long. It's probably not 100% as good as real fresh garlic, but I can't taste the difference and the convenience is worth it.

The microplane does a really good job turning the garlic into a mush. You can see plenty of liquid/oil escaping and are left with a mushy sticky substance just like when you press it.

Again, it might not be exactly the same as fresh, pressed garlic, but I can't tell the difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

last time I was at the restaurant supply house I found a strange press...It has ,in addition to the section that squeezes the garlic thru the very small holes,another section that will slice the clove into a bunch of nice thin slices I don't mind the chefs knife slice , but this is really fast and easy,and it was pretty inexpensive,(about $10 or so, as I recall...

Bud

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Rosle press. It is solidly built, easy to clean and will last the rest of my life I predict. It is not perfect though - some garlic presses up the sides of the chamber. But it is quick and easy and cleans well. I will keep using it. I replaced a Zyliss press that the coating started flaking with my current one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

These - Winco GP-1 http://www.restaurant-services.com/images/smallware/Garlic-Press.jpg - work well. Under various brand names they are available in supermarkets and restaurant supply stores for $4 to $6 or so. They do better than most of the fancy units that cost a lot more. They don't squish garlic around the sides of the "piston". The handles long enough to give lots of leverage and are strong and won't break. They clean up easily. They're cheap.

Link to post
Share on other sites

These - Winco GP-1 http://www.restaurant-services.com/images/smallware/Garlic-Press.jpg - work well. Under various brand names they are available in supermarkets and restaurant supply stores for $4 to $6 or so. They do better than most of the fancy units that cost a lot more. They don't squish garlic around the sides of the "piston". The handles long enough to give lots of leverage and are strong and won't break. They clean up easily. They're cheap.

Cool, I'll definitely look for one of these.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was actually gifted this wheely contraption. I thought it was ridiculous--I'm a knife purest--but it's actually kind of cool when I need larger amounts.

You poor soul. And a knife purest to boot. Biggest problem with these types of gadgets is where to store the unitaskers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...