How Do You Chop Garlic?

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I had never used a garlic press until about three weeks ago.

I bought one from Pampered Chef, because, well, it helped raise money for my MOPS group and I’ve always heard they are great. It’s pretty much exactly the same as that one pictured from Progressive International, which is under $10 on Amazon. So I probably way overpaid for my PC one. Oh well.

Until recently, I’ve used three different methods to get minced garlic. One, buy the jars of preminced garlic. These are certainly convenient, but the garlic loses a lot of its oomph. Two, try to mince it using my big knife, usually ending in an uneven, chunky mess. And three, use my microplane zester, which makes a great minced garlic but often results in my finger being grated.

So you will understand why it felt like I heard angels singing the first time I used a garlic press. I always thought they were incredibly difficult to clean, but mine even has an attached tool for getting the garlic off and then cleaning it thoroughly. It’s really, really simple. And leaves me to wonder what other kitchen tools I am missing out on? I wrote about a few of those things I can’t live without now.

Time for your opinions: what are your favorite little kitchen tools? And do you use a garlic press? Have I been in the Dark Ages about this one?

9 thoughts on “How Do You Chop Garlic?

    • I really don’t mind chopping most things, but I’m not a very precise person, so I end up with a lot of uneven pieces. And in garlic, having big pieces can be kind of icky!

  1. I’ve never used a garlic press; I’m a jarred minced garlic girl most of the time, but you make it sound like something worth trying. My favorite kitchen tools are wooden spoons and my bright orange Rachel Ray spatulas, but my favorite specialty gadget is my cookie scoop. I always thought it was a little silly to have when you can just use a spoon, but it’s so much easier to get cookies that are relatively even in size with a scoop, and the little lever on it pops them right out with lots less mess. And a small offset spatula for frosting is a must.

    • I seriously had no idea what I was missing out on in my pre-cookie scoop life. I have a small one and a large one and I use them ALL THE TIME. Not just for cookies, but scooping muffin and cupcake batter, pancakes, and probably a bunch of other things, too.

  2. I smoosh the garlic clove with the flat of my knife. That makes the skin easy to remove. Then I coarsely chop it. I did recently get a little tool that is like like a small grater with a gadget to move the garlic back and forth and it turns out finely shredded. But for most things I make, the garlic doesn’t need to be tiny.
    I like gadgets, but mostly don’t have them now. My favorite gadget that I don’t have would probably be a nice cookie press. I love the idea, the cookies are beautiful, and it always brings back good memories of Almond Press Cookies that my mom, sisters, & I would make every Christmas.

  3. We use garlic in pretty much everything savory that we cook. And we are jarred garlic ALL THE WAY. The trick? Use more than they recommend! The flavor will be there if you just use a bit more of the jarred stuff. And for me, the time it saves me is SOOOOOO worth the fact that I have to use more to get the same flavor. But I do use a zester for grating romano cheese into light, beautiful strands. Perfect for pictures! 😉

  4. I used to sell PC, when I first started my teaching career. Didn’t really get too far with it as a business, but was able to get my kitchen stocked with some basics. One of the tools that I love is my egg slicer. Sounds like an unnecessary item, but it really makes slicing hard boiled eggs a piece of cake. I like thinly sliced eggs on my salads or as a garnish on potato salad. I also use the egg slicer for making fancy strawberry fans to use as a garnish on desserts, especially strawberry pie. You just put the strawberry stem side down, then slice most of the way, leaving just a bit attached at the stem end. It’s all in the details. 🙂 I love reading your blog whenever I have the time after taking care of my two toddlers, working on lesson plans, and trying to keep my household in order.

  5. I got a fancy pants, high quality garlic press when I got married. I moved that thing four times before finally either pitching it or donating it– I can’t for the life of me remember which. Anyhow, for ME, it wasn’t worth the kitchen real estate. Most of the time I need garlic, I’m chopping/mincing something else anyway, so the cutting board and knife are right there. I think I was always too lazy to get it out of the drawer. 😉

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