A very common problem in kitchens is running out of storage. You only have so many drawers, and cooking can demand a surprisingly large amount of tools. So how do you decide which tools deserve your coveted storage space? One of the best hacks is to find alternative tools that have many uses! A great example of this is the garlic press. We have learned all we can about this crushing tool to help you find the perfect alternative to it!
There are several common kitchen tools that you can use to prepare your garlic instead of a press. These tools all have multiple uses, so they're a little more worth your kitchen drawers. Check them out:
- Meat tenderizer
- Morter and pestle
Sometimes it's not about finding the best tool for the job. Instead, you should find a great tool for several jobs. That's how you can truly cut down on clutter. You can pick any one of these tools, and they will do an adequate job of preparing your garlic to be cooked. However, before you do that, it would be helpful to know the benefits of each alternative. Make sure to keep reading below for the ins and outs of each of these different utensils!
Alternative Tools For A Garlic Press
Each of these methods gives a slightly different outcome with your garlic. Some crush while others chop and cut. Depending on how you prepare the garlic, it can have a different effect on your dish. Mashing up or completely crushing the garlic makes it more pungent and strong. In comparison, chopping or slicing makes it less intense since most of the oil stays within the garlic. Here is what each method can bring to your dish.
One of the most common garlic press alternatives is to use a microplane. It is also commonly referred to as a citrus zester. This long and skinny tool resembles a file. It has the same effect on ingredients as a standard grater, but its shape and easy-to-grip handle make it easier to maneuver. You can easily set it over a pan or bowl and grate the garlic directly into your dish. It's also easy to clean, thanks to its design.
Using a microplane has a very satisfactory effect with garlic. It grates it up into small pieces so it can easily disappear into a dish but add a good amount of its flavor into it. If you prefer your garlic to be wholly crushed or mashed, you may want to try a different tool.
A standard box grater is also an easy way to prepare your garlic. It has the same effects as the citrus zester but with a less convenient design. You may have to grate the garlic onto a plate or cutting board with this tool before adding it to your food. Some of the garlic may also get stuck inside of the box grater. Thanks to that side effect, washing it might be a little more of a pain than some other alternatives.
A big plus for standard graters is that they are very common to find in most kitchens. Unlike the zester, you also usually have several options for what size you want the grated garlic to be.
3. Meat Tenderizer
This choice might be a little barbaric and a little messy, but it will undoubtedly get the job done. You'll most likely have a lot of fun using it too! While this tool's main job is to tenderize things, it is designed to crush them too. It's easy to use and easy to clean. A meat tenderizer will smash up your garlic easily. The biggest downside of this alternative is how much of a mess you'll probably make using it.
4. Mortar And Pestle
Depending on what you need the garlic for, this may be the perfect tool. It does a great job of turning garlic into a paste. It can also simply crush the garlic up too if you don't overuse it. While this alternative may not be as common in kitchens as the other choices, it certainly has its uses.
The most common and multifunctional choice on this list has to be a simple chef's knife. Most professional and amateur chefs make this choice for dealing with their garlic. It can slice, chop, or mince the garlic to your liking. It is also very good at crushing garlic.
Use the flat side of the blade and push it down on top of the garlic. After doing this a couple of times, you can use the same technique but angling the knife slightly, so the side of the edge is doing the work. This will do the same job as a garlic press. However, this way, the oil doesn't get trapped in a garlic press, and it's much easier to clean!
More Garlic Press Questions
While picking the best garlic press alternative for you should be much easier now, you may have some other thoughts that come up.
What Is The Purpose Of A Garlic Press?
Garlic presses are designed to do exactly what their names states. They press garlic. The tool has a little cup that you set the garlic clove in. That cup has tiny holes on the bottom of it. When you press the two handles together, a small disc goes inside the cup and pushes the garlic through the small holes. This minces the garlic for you.
How Can I Press Garlic Without A Garlic Press?
Many of the alternative tools above do a great job at pressing garlic. The most favored of them is probably the chef's knife. It does a great job of pressing the garlic, but it also has endless other uses.
Is Using A Garlic Press The Same As Mincing?
Basically, yes. Using a garlic press has roughly the same result as simply mincing the garlic manually. However, many say that garlic presses can hinder the effects of mincing. This is because the oil that is released from the garlic can easily get trapped inside the garlic press. That oil is where a lot of the strong garlic flavor comes from. That's why many choose to mince with a knife instead.
Is It Better To Chop Or Press Garlic?
The answer to this question depends on what you want from the garlic. If you want it to be stronger and more pungent, then pressing the garlic would be better. If you're going to sautee it with other ingredients or have a slightly more subtle flavor, then you might want to chop it.
Do Professional Chefs Use A Garlic Press?
Many professional chefs do not use a garlic press. Most chefs state that they don't like this tool because of what it does to the garlic. They claim that it changes the taste of the garlic and makes it unpleasant. This is partly because of how it crudely presses the garlic and because many garlic presses are made from metals that react negatively with the oils of garlic, which changes the taste of it when it comes out of the end of the press.
Other chefs state that it's not the garlic press's fault. Most of the garlic presses made today are just made cheaply. If you can find an old garlic press, then they say you can have a better experience with this tool. However, most chefs prefer to use a good knife.
What Is Used To Mince Garlic?
There are a lot of different gadgets on the market today that claim to mince garlic. However, for the best result, most experts agree that you should stick to the basics. That would mean using your best chef's knife to flatten and then finely chop the garlic cloves.
The main takeaway is that there is a lot of different ways to prepare garlic. While garlic presses might seem great, most decide to pass up this one-use tool and use something that's much more multifunctional. All of the alternatives on this list do a good job of preparing garlic.
It's just about deciding how you need the garlic prepared for your specific dish and choosing the multi-purpose tool for the job. Now's the time to put your new garlic mincing knowledge to the test and try out some new recipes!
Make sure to click on the links below for more garlic and vegetable knowledge!