Many cooks want to buy the best garlic press or garlic crusher they can afford. Why? Because garlic is an essential ingredient in many recipes, yet can be a challenge to work with. Difficult to peel and prone to imparting its strong aroma onto a cook's hand, garlic is one herb that cooks generally love to use in recipes but sometimes dislike working with.
What is Garlic?
Garlic is a plant in the Allium family, which makes it a relative of onions, leeks, and chives. It's easy to grow and its distinctive, pungent scent and aroma makes it an in-demand ingredient in many cuisines.
When working with garlic, it's important to remember that, as with onions, chopping, slicing, or mincing releases sulfur compounds. The degree to which these strong-flavored compounds are released depends on how the garlic is handled. Whole roasted garlic, for example, has a sweet, nutty taste, while finely minced or crushed garlic has a strong, pungent flavor or aroma.
Learning how to crush garlic when necessary for a recipe, as well as slicing or mincing it, is something that all home cooks should master.
What Does a Garlic Press Do?
A lot of things, but many cooks use a garlic crusher or press quickly and efficiently crushes garlic so that it can be added to recipes that call for minced or smashed garlic.
It is possible to crush ginger in garlic press, something that can be very handy when preparing stir-fries and other Asian dishes. Some cooks also use a garlic crusher for crumbling olives for tapenade or pasta sauces, as well as pressing out small quantities of fruit or vegetable juices for use in cocktails or cooking.
How to Use a Garlic Press
Learning how to use a garlic press is easy: The press has a little slotted container for the garlic clove: Users simply put the garlic into the container and squeeze the handle of the press so that the "hammer" of the press crushes the garlic, pushing it through the slots so that it is ready to be added to a recipe. If a garlic clove is too large for the basket, cooks can cut the clove in half before pressing.
Garlic Press Advantages
The advantages of using a press include:
Speed: Peeling garlic can be a particularly onerous task, as can mincing it by hand. A garlic press processes garlic in a matter of seconds.
Safety: While it is possible to use a grater/zester or even a chef's knife to process garlic, it should be noted that garlic cloves are small and there is a chance of cutting one's fingers while using a grater.
Effectiveness: If a recipe calls for a very strong garlic flavor and aroma, garlic crushed in a press delivers better than hand-chopped garlic. In addition, home-pressed garlic is cheaper and fresher than the prepared garlic sold in jars or tubes.
Flavor consistency: Many cooking experts believe that pressed garlic is more consistent in its flavor as the particles are all of the same size. In addition, pressed garlic does not contain the stem, which can detract from the flavor of garlic.
Garlic Press Disadvantages
While a garlic crusher or press is a handy tool, it isn't always the best option for a recipe. In addition, there are some possible issues that arise from using them:
Flavor concerns: Both recipe creators and individuals may have an aversion to very strong garlic flavors.
Cleaning: A garlic press can be difficult to clean as the minced garlic may get trapped in the basket.
Wrist or hand problems: The need to squeeze a garlic press can be a challenge for people with repetitive stress injuries or arthritis. These issues can be mitigated, however, by choosing a press that doesn't require much pressure and that has a handle that is comfortable to grip.
An Alternative to Garlic Presses
Even the best garlic press isn't always the best option, which is why it is important for cooks to be prepared to process garlic in other ways. A chef's knife, for example, can be used to slice or mince garlic.
It can also be used to lightly crush a garlic clove without completely mashing it: All one needs to do is place the flat side of the knife on top of the clove and then press down with the other hand. This provides an intact clove that becomes more flavorful and aromatic while cooking than a whole-roasted clove.
Choosing the Best Garlic Press
Finding the best garlic press can require a bit of research. It should be noted that Orblue's premium press has been a long-time bestseller on Amazon with thousands of positive reviews.
Both Orblue presses also include a garlic peel remover for those who prefer to peel garlic either before pressing or slicing, as well as a brush for cleaning. These presses are also dishwasher safe. It is easy to learn how to use a garlic press when it works well and is easy to maintain. After all, the best garlic press should both provide tasty, consistent garlic and be a pleasure to use.