Garlic: To Press Or Not To Press


{See below about winning the garlic press to end all garlic presses.}

Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth on this burning issue: is it a good idea to press garlic?

The question sparks surprisingly violent debates, and often there’s an undercurrent of judgment (“real cooks just chop”) that I find out of place in any cooking discussion: there’s no single right way of doing anything, just different skills and circumstances.

As far as I can tell, here are the pros of each method:

Pros of pressing garlic:

– In just a few seconds and a single gesture, you get garlic pulp that you can add to your dish right away.
– If your knife skills aren’t those of a pro, it can be a challenge to get the garlic chopped evenly so it will cook evenly.
– Pressed garlic blends smoothly with other ingredients, which is particularly useful if you use it raw.
– It limits the lingering smell on your fingers, since you can avoid touching the garlic altogether if you prefer.

Pros of chopping by hand:

– It takes more time to clean the average garlic press than a knife and a cutting board, which you would probably have to clean anyway.
– No one-trick pony taking up space in your utensil drawer.
– You have control over how finely or roughly your garlic is cut.
– You use the whole clove, with none wasted in the crevices of the press.

In my own kitchen, I use a bit of both methods, and sometimes I’ll use my Microplane grater, too. I will usually chop my garlic if I’m already chopping other ingredients, but I reach for the garlic press when I’m pressed for time (ha ha), especially if I add the garlic as a second thought when I’m improvising a dish.

Until recently, I was using the one from Ikea (similar to this one, but without the removable insert), and liked it okay. I found the easiest way to clean it was to press unpeeled cloves, so that when I pulled out the peel, everything came with it (and this I would save in my stock box in the freezer). Any leftover bits of garlic I scrubbed out immediately, using the bristles of my potato brush or my fingernails, as needed.

Garlic pressI am now using the Savora garlic press* that Lifetime Brands, an American-based company that manufactures many household products, sent me to try.

The big advantage of this model is that you can unscrew the metal grid entirely, which makes it a cinch to clean using just the pressure of the water from the sink faucet. It also has a larger capacity than most, so you can press several cloves at once if you need to (though it takes a pretty strong hand and I don’t find it very comfortable), and a clear lid that tops the grid and measures exactly a tablespoon, if you’re the kind of cook who follows tablespoon measurements for garlic (not judging!).

And now, for the giveaway!

Because I am happy with this new tool, I asked Savora if they would give away five garlic presses to readers of Chocolate & Zucchini. To enter, simply leave a comment below before Monday, February 4, midnight Paris time (GMT+1), sharing your thoughts on garlic, and whether or not to press it.

I will then draw five winners randomly, and announce them here on Tuesday, February 5. Please note that the prizes can only be shipped to US, Canada, or UK addresses (but if you live elsewhere, it would be fine to use a friend’s address in one of those countries). And of course, make sure you enter your email address correctly so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Contest results!

I have drawn five random numbers through, and the results are screen-captured below. These comment numbers belong respectively to Carla G., Kate C., Clara Currier, Miss UK, and Bob Patterson, our lucky winners, whom I will email with instructions.

Giveaway results

To all the other participants, thank you so much for entering, and sharing your entertaining thoughts and valuable tips on garlic — I hope you win next time!

* You can follow all things Savora on their Facebook and Pinterest pages.

  • Audrey

    I haven’t used a garlic press for years, but I fondly remember the trusty one I used to make salads at my parents’ house when I was growing up (my parents both worked, and salads were my contribution to family dinner). I like the idea of using it without peeling the garlic. Would love to try this one.

  • Kaye

    Haven’t used a garlic press in years. Not even sure there’s one in the house. I’m a chop-chop sort of person. But I do have a sort of mini-mandoline thing that makes really fine slices that I pull out if that’s what I’m needing.

  • jenna

    I LOVE using my garlic press, but mine is really difficult to clean.

  • Marie F

    My roommate had a garlic press, an older, metal one that promised to deliver, but it was more of a garlic… smasher.
    As much as I love (love love LOVE) garlic, I really hate the lingering smell on my hands after chopping.

  • Maree

    Chop. In part because I don’t have a press, but also because I have never really liked the ones my family has had in the past. This one looks intriguing though!

  • Margaret

    I go back and forth on using a press — it’s faster, but sometimes I like those bigger bits that come from mincing by hand!

  • Tracy

    I use several methods, too, but I wouldn’t want to be without my garlic press. And, though I’ve never found them a hassle to clean, mine came with a little accessory that you press into the holes to push out the garlic bits left behind. Easy. But I love trying new gadgets, and I’m intrigued by yours. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Nifty accessory! Though of course, many would just lose it in the utensils drawer…

  • While I’m not one to press much garlic (I prefer to chop it fine – why lose all that fibre?) my girlfriend is a garlic pressing fiend and would LOVE a tool that removed the peeling step.

  • Susan

    I think I owned a garlic press, once upon a time, but rarely used it – it was awkward and hard to clean. This looks like a much better design. I agree that the pulp works better than a fine chop in some recipes, especially with certain family members who like the taste of garlic but object to finding bits of it in their food.

  • Will you judge me if I admit to using the minced garlic in a jar to avoid pressing or chopping altogether? ;-) But I DO get fresh garlic, and would love to try the new press.

  • Meg S

    I love garlic but hate how the smell just sticks to my skin after chopping it. I’ve never tried a garlic press but would love to!

  • Merna

    I’m of the smash and chop school, but this looks like its worth a try. Thanks for the review.

    • You know, this is the first time I hear about the smash and chop method! I just chopped without smashing, but now I’ll have to try that. Thanks!

  • Kate L

    I like the idea of pressing without peeling the garlic – I’ve never tried that before and find it a bit of a pain to clean the garlic press.

  • cb

    I press because I’m too lazy to chop(and I never found cleaning the press to be all that difficult)

  • ladywild

    I love me some garlic. I use my press frequently. My husband isn’t as keen on garlic, so I use the press so I can get “juice” to add to dishes. Makes it not as strong.

    • Interesting method! What do you do with the unused pressed garlic then?

  • Neonmoon10

    We eat a lot of garlic. I roast it, press it, slice it, etc. We eat it a lot of ways, depending on the dish.

  • Katie S

    I don’t think I’ve ever used a garlic press. I’d love to have a one handy and try it out!

  • I don’t own a garlic press, but any garlic press that can take unpeeled cloves and doesn’t give me carpal tunnel to use it is worthwhile in my opinion!

  • Amy

    A garlic press is on my birthday wish-list for next month!

  • Elina

    I haven’t had a garlic press for about two years, and I’m missing it so much. They are handy in the right circumstances.

  • Caroline

    I’ve been debating whether or not to buy myself a garlic press. Most of the time chopping by hand is fine, but for certain things you really want the garlic pulp, which I just can’t seem to do by hand

  • chris

    I’ve never used one but never thought of using it with the skin on, which seems much simpler. I think it would be really handy to have on hand and would love to try it.

  • Adina

    I found the Microplane was easier than the garlic press, but I often ended up grating my fingers! I started crushing + chopping, but that’s not as fine as I’d like. A new crusher would be great!

    • Indeed, the microplane loves to grate the tips of your nails or fingers. Less hazardous than the mandoline, but still.

  • Adele

    I prefer using a press when I’m making stews or saucy things where I don’t want to see the small dice of garlic bits. It also makes creating a garlic-and-salt paste a snap!

    Most often these days, though, I keep the cloves whole to impart a more subtle garlic flavor when heating oil, for example.

    • What do you use the garlic-and-salt for?

  • Susan

    I love Kitchenaid and Cuisinart products — how could this not be excellent?!

  • I almost always chop by hand, because I’m too lazy to clean my garlic press (even though I press unpeeled cloves, it never seems to get quite clean enough), I like your tip about saving the leftovers for soups… I never thought to do that! Maybe I’ll start pressing again!

  • Mai

    I normally just chop when its a couple cloves but I’ve stolen my aunts press a few times when I know I’m going to need a lot (like when I make a batch of pritong mani). It’s so much faster!

  • My first memories of chopping garlic are from Avignon where I did a “stage de cuisine” and was told to always remove the germ (“So bad for la digestion!”). Then we were shown how to rub the garlic against the tines of a fork as a way of preparing it. Thank you for your post that has brought such a memory back to me and I have my fingers crossed for winning!

    • I remember reading about that method somewhere! Did you find it efficient?

  • Monika Jankowiak

    I used to use a garlic press all the time… now it really depends on what I want the garlic for and if I am already chopping up a storm. The clean-up is annoying though, so this design sounds fab!

  • Carolyn

    I’ve never actually owned a garlic press! I’m not making judgements about using one, I just never bought the gadget. I agree that generally, the knife and cutting board are already being used, but it at the same time I’m really curious.

  • I’ve always felt that garlic presses require too much cleaning. I usually smash the heck out of the clove with a flat-bottomed cup and then chop vigorously with a knife. But the garlic press you’re giving away sounds really amazing. In contrast, this one looks like it would avoid some of the cleaning issues, and also looks mega-stylish (though I still haven’t ordered it).

  • Carla

    I like to use my garlic press about half the time. I’d love to try this one. It sounds like it negates some of the disadvantages that my cheap garlic press has.

  • Shawnna

    I have just purchased a very hip looking garlic press which is nearly impossible to close and which refuses to press the last half of any clove under any circumstances. I would love to try this one out and get to recycle my trendy mistake :-)

    • What a disappointment, I share your pain!

  • Catherine

    I always just chop garlic, out of habit, but the press looks too pretty to pass up!

  • Chef of the future

    If I need fine bits I usually just smash with chefs knife and scrape across cutting board with some salt. Fast n easy

  • bethh

    I had a garlic press but didn’t use it often, so I think I got rid of it in a move. Mostly I had trouble cleaning it, and I could never decide if you were supposed to peel the cloves or not, so I’m glad you mentioned that you usually don’t!

  • Rosie H

    I hate cleaning my garlic press, so normally I just slice cloves as thinly as possible. I also hate emptying the dishwasher after my husband has used the press; he doesn’t bother to remove the leftover bits, so the press doesn’t come clean and the whole load smells of garlic!

  • Megan

    I love garlic, but I admit my garlic cutting skills are pretty weak. I find presses to be useful, if difficult to clean.

  • Lisa

    I rarely press garlic for the reasons you mentioned – for some reason I find it more satisfying to chop. But, I’d love to try out this new, glossy apparatus!

  • Sparky

    I’m a chopper, but I have rather solid knife skills.

    That said, a large capacity easy to use press might be enough to switch me over for some more common applications where texture isn’t an important part of the process.

  • Lizzyd

    I used to press, until I dropped my press down the garbage disposal! Would love to have another one…

    • Ouch! Can’t imagine the noise that must have made.

  • Ruth

    I sometimes press and sometimes chop. Mostly depending on how much I don’t want to wash the garlic press.

  • I try to be organised about keeping a bulb of roasted garlic in the fridge so I can quickly squeeze out one or two (or three or four… we like our garlic around here, and roasting mellows out the flavours significantly) cloves for quick seasoning, but otherwise I’m a chopper, of necessity: I haven’t found a press yet that looks like a good idea–they’re mostly flimsy, or too big for limited drawer space in the kitchen.

  • Katie

    I have a garlic press taking up space in a drawer, but it’s such a pain to clean that I never use it. I think I’ll open up that space (maybe for a new one, or for just the sake of clearing out a useless gadget!)

  • I alternate between chopping and pressing, though I suppose I cheat a bit on the chopping as I often slightly crush my cloves with the flat of my chef knife before finely chopping. I favor pressing using my older Zyliss press for those recipes where the flavor of garlic is more important than the texture, such as say infusing an oil for sautéing. My wife and kids don’t complain either way, so no worries there. ;-)

  • Julia

    great post! i use both methods as well :)

  • Allison

    I usually prefer to chop, for the same reasons you listed, but I’d love a garlic press to get a finer texture for salad dressings and the like!

    Another pro of chopping:
    -getting to smash the garlic cloves with the side of the blade! It gets the peel off… and I have great fun smashing the cloves.

  • Kate

    I think garlic presses have their places…if you want that creamy, more subtle foundation of garlic – press, if you want a sharper punch that’s not as blended in – chop.

  • I remember when I received my first garlic press and was super excited until like you said, I had to clean it. I quickly stopped using it and now just chop garlic. I have this amazing garlic peeler tool which also helps and I’ve grown to enjoy de-sprouting the garlic as well. What can I say, I really love garlic. This press looks like a great tool though and a potential future present for myself and my mom!

  • StevyD

    Although I use garlic often, I find that different forms suit different recipes. Thin slices for a quick kale saute, minced for sauces, small dice for pastas and soups, whole cloves in long cooking stews. I haven’t used a press in years and haven’t the space what with all the other gadgets taking up the room.

  • Megan O

    I don’t currently have a garlic press since I got rid of a lot of kitchen utensils when I moved into a much smaller apartment in NYC recently… that said this one looks nice enough to sit out on my counter, where there happens to be plenty of room!

  • I have been chopping garlic instead of pressing it recently. Primarily due to the reason you mentioned here — it takes longer to clean the stupid press than the knife! I’d happily take an upgraded press

  • a.

    I like to use my microplane grater as well as the garlic keeps its moisture, and well, it’s another way to justify my microplane purchase :p

  • narf7

    I don’t press but that is because I don’t own one. I slice the garlic and mangle it completely with a medium sized mortar and pestle. There is no right and wrong way…just mash it folks! Use 2 rocks if you have to ;). So long as I “have” garlic…I am fine!

  • Meghann L

    I love garlc! I’m a fan of the smash and chop method for just about every dish.

  • Lillian Park

    I would love to win a garlic press.

  • Denise K

    I don’t own a garlic press so perhaps it would be easier than throwing hundreds of cloves into a food processor to chop up and then bottle with olive oil/salt. It takes a day to do it all: the peeling, chopping, cleaning, but afterwards, you have minced garlic on hand for a good few months!

  • Morgane

    I like the even texture that the garlic press provides. Especially when using the garlic raw, like in a vinaigrette, i think that it helps to have even flavor throughout the entire recipe.

  • I usually just chop the garlic, but the busier I get, the more appealing a press sounds!

  • ana

    I usually chop it or turn it into a paste. But sometimes it is better to use the garlic press, even more if it is a good, cool looking one :)

  • I have a Zyliss Susi that I’ve used for over 10 years. I love it and use it almost daily. There’s a 3-star review on Amazon that knocks it for poor results with UNPEELED garlic, which only goes to show that you must rely on your own common sense. However, I have three college kids who could all use a good garlic press, so fingers crossed!

  • Jill

    I cannot, for the life of me, chop garlic evenly. I keep trying because I’d like to be able to, but I always end up with some pieces that are teeny tiny and others that are too big. And it’s such finicky work, I just can’t do it. I keep trying though! But a garlic press is the only way to get it even.

    The microplane grater is a great idea. I’m going to try that!

  • Ahhh!!!! the divine moment when the garlic is added to the onions in a pan with hot olive oil… I usually flatten the garlic bulb with a chef’s knife and chop it, although I sometimes use a small grater dish I bought a few years ago when I was vacationing in Provence (it’s called a “gratte-ail”). But I don’t have a garlic press and this one seems the most interesting I have ever seen. Whatever I do, I just wouldn’t live or cook without garlic. And it’s so easy to find good local garlic here in Québec. BTW, for those who don’t know what a gratte-ail is, look here.

  • I would LOVE to press garlic, but I don’t have my own press so I just try to chop it very fine with my knife! Thanks for holding this giveaway <3

  • Michelle

    Always press – I’m lazy & I think it makes the flavor less pungent, which my kids appreciate. Great idea about not peeling, will try it tonight

  • Michael

    Sometimes I press, sometimes I chop, and sometimes I pestle my garlic!

  • Pat

    I use a garlic press often; as I make my own salad dressing.

  • Bob Patterson

    I broke a couple of metal garlic presses before I learned how to smash/chop/mince garlic with a knife. Would I use a good garlic press with certain recipes? You bettcha…It IS faster and gives a nice breakdown of the garlic cell walls for extra flavor transfer. The Savora press sounds like a great tool.

  • I love garlic. I usually chop, but I’m always open to trying new gadgets!

  • Nikki

    I love my garlic press, I just HATE HATE HATE trying to get the skins out after pressing!

  • smeds

    More of a chopper but confess to the occasional pressing.

  • Paola

    I would love that garlic press!

  • Chris

    I usually smash with the side of the knife and then chop to a finer consistency if I need to.

  • Wendy

    I am an unapologetic presser, ever since I received a Susi press many years ago for my 16th birthday. I’m still using that one–time for an update, perhaps? Or more likely a gift for my cooking inclined daughter!

  • I fall on both sides…I’m a weirdo who loves the smell og garlic on my fingers. However, if I want to be particularly quick, I will use a press (would love to have this one in my arsenal).

  • Tim

    I love pressing garlic, but I agree it’s hard to clean the garlic out of those tiny holes. I lost my garlic press in my last move, so I hope I win!

  • kate C.

    Sometimes press, sometimes not. Depends on the recipe or what I want to do with it. I love chopping garlic, so if it’s going to be cooked, I usually chop. If it’s going in a salad dressing, I always press it and then mince it because all the pieces are soft and not as big.

  • alain

    I am ALL for using the press. I’m not sure why, but similar to chopping onions, chopping garlic makes me tear up!

  • Ben

    I usually just smash and maybe a quick chop– chunky and delicious!

  • My knife skills are such that this garlic press would save me! Thanks.

  • Lizbeth

    I’d be thrilled to win that amazing garlic press!

  • Joanna

    I’ve never used a garlic press, but certainly would appreciate the time savings from having one!

  • rebecca

    Whether to chop, to squash or to press, or to leave it whole depends on the recipe, the quantity of garlic I’m using and how quickly I have to add it to the pot. But a garlic press that is ergonomic and easy to clean and will press unpeeled cloves and has an attractive design? A home run. I’d bet it will live next to the stove, not in the drawer with my large collection of not-so-good garlic gadgets.

  • Emily

    Awesome giveaway! I love garlic, but hate chopping it, because my hands smell all day!

  • Amanda

    I would love a garlic press for my kitchen. I’m not very good with chopping so this would be a great tool for me!

  • Claudine

    I treated myself to a Leifheit Proline garlic press last year and I haven’t looked back since!
    Finely chopped – not crushed – garlic and best of all, no moving parts and no messy clean-up required.

  • Jen W.

    I love using a garlic press, and could really use a new one – mine is kind of rusty inside.

  • The garlic press is one of the few “one use” items that I appreciate in my kitchen. I would love to try one that is easy to clean.

  • I both chop and press garlic, depending on how I’m using it. I love a good garlicky salad vinaigrette, so I choose to press the cloves for that. I’ve always wondered if you could press the cloves unpeeled–and now I have an answer, thank you!

  • mbk

    Am a chopper, but can be pressed into trying…

  • Linda B.

    A garlic press is handy when you are using several cloves of garlic. If I want just a little, I use a microplane grater.

  • Jen

    I usually chop, but a press can be awfully useful for certain dishes. I’ve never owned one I really liked though!

  • Sarah

    I’m a micro plane or chopping for garlic person, but would love a press for those situations where you’re in a rush. Also I seem to wreck my manicure every time I use the microplane which is both unhygienic and annoying.

  • Amy

    I use garlic all the time but (gasp) I have never pressed it. Clearly I need to get my hands on one of these!

  • Heather

    I do not use a garlic press, as I have found them difficult to clean so I find they don’t really save time. My boyfriend would love having this in the kitchen to cut down on mincing duties!

  • Silbrin

    I also do both, pressing and chopping.For eating garlic raw in sauces I prefer pressed garlic as it will be finer and you don’t happen to bite on a big chunk. For cooking it will be chopped garlic unless – like you do too – it is a last minute ingredient.
    Loving your blog!

  • Kathryn

    Wow. I have tried so many garlic presses and share your frustration with cleaning. If they’re easy to clean, they don’t work very well. Plus, this one looks super cool!
    Great giveaway. Thanks.

  • I would love a new garlic press. We gave up on having one – we kept breaking them. We love garlic, and I guess they just couldn’t handle the almost nightly use.

  • Rosh

    though so convenient I find garlic presses a pain to clean too so i would love to try this model! i have a small mortar and pestle and use that to crush garlic.

  • Carol

    I would love to win an easy to clean and use garlic press. I’ve been looking for just the right one for ages and none that I’ve tried have been all that effective. I prefer pressing to chopping but usually chop because it is easier in the long run (les clean-up).
    Thanks – merci!

  • I use a heavy duty press I got from Oxo years ago, it’s easy to clean and does a pretty good job. But I’ve tried a lot of presses that just don’t do the job! And if I have a lot to do, I use a mini-processor instead!

  • Heather

    I love garlic but have to admit to being lazy and using the bottle of already crushed garlic from Trader Joe’s most of the time. It’s the same consistency as pressed garlic without the cleanup.

  • Nina

    I generally chop, or cream the garlic with a little salt and a knife. The press is useful when using just one or two cloves.

  • I use a bit of both- garlic pulp is just so easy! But chopped garlic works better in lots of the dishes I make!

    xx Kait

  • Constantino

    I use garlic presses when I’m just cooking for myself at home. It’s much quicker, saves your fingers from potentially long-term funky smells, and I just pop it into the dishwasher at the end.

    I cut garlic by hand when I’m preparing food for a dinner party, which is fairly frequent. I agree that cutting garlic by hand maximizes the clove, and more importantly, allows you to control the fineness of the chop.

    Irregardless, the garlic press is an invaluable tool for home cooking, even though I can never wash it properly by hand.

  • Marie D.

    I actually just discovered them and was very very impressed. I use mine all the time and actually broke it today so perfect timing thanks :)

  • Jean L. Holman

    I press because it is definitely easier.

  • christina

    I use a garlic press if I’m using a lot of garlic. Otherwise, I sometimes just crush it with a knife.

  • Clarice

    I’m usually too lazy to use a press as I find them tedious to clean afterwards, and as long as I’m chopping the rest of my ingredients, the garlic may as well go that way too. However, I do like to use my mortar and pestle to crush the garlic when I am to be using it raw, like in salad dressings. Adding salt to the mortar really allows one to get a smooth garlic paste!

  • I’ve honestly always just done whatever feels easiest to my lazy soul! Sometimes that means using the press and then cleaning it, something that means taking time to chop the garlic finely. As long as there’s garlic sauteing in the pan at the end of the day, s’all good!

  • Amy L

    I use a garlic press, but it leaves too much “unpressed” garlic behind.

  • Michael

    I used my mortar & pestle until the smallest child broke the pestle. Now I just give it a bash with the side of the knife and roughly chop.

  • Julia

    I have never pressed garlic but wouldn’t mind trying.

  • Liz

    Crushing garlic is healthier because it makes more allicin. Adding the crushed garlic (let it sit crushed for at least 10 minutes) at the end of cooking keeps allicin from being cooked out and there is less flavor loss. More food for thought :) or is that more thought for food?

  • msue

    Pushing a clove through the tiny holes of my OXO press extrudes the garlic into a mushy consistency that is almost paste-like. The clove’s thin outer membrane (not the papery skin) is left behind. I have more control with the knife, and prefer that method usually. But if I want the garlic totally smooth, with the membrane removed, I opt for the press. The garlic press you linked to looks awesome. (And many thanks for mentioning using a Microplane – good reminder!)

  • Christie

    I haven’t used a garlic press in years. I remember them being so difficult to clean that I just wound up making a salt paste if I needed it to blend well.

  • Erin Himes

    I would love that garlic press! Such a time saver :)

  • Larry

    I found a heavy French aluminium garlic press in a small store a long time ago. It also pits olives and opens jars. (It could probably be used as a hammer too.)

  • Un presse-ail! J’adorerais avoir ce “sharp-looking” instrument dans ma cuisine. L’ail (ou comment faire manger des légumes à deux petits garçons réticents…) est un invité fréquent de mes soupes (entre autres…).
    Et j’habite aux US!

  • alexia

    I don’t have one so I buy chopped garlic in jars for when I’m lazy. BUT, if I had one I think I would use way more fresh garlic.

  • Sylvia

    I am a fan of pressing garlic! Especially when your in a rush and mincing is not an option for knife work. Also good for little hands to use a garlic press. :)

  • I find garlic sticky enough that I don’t want to chop it – chunks always stick to the knife, and make trouble. Sometimes I’ll SLICE garlic with the knife, but otherwise press. I find if you wash the press right away it’s noticeably easier – even if you leave it til after dinner it’s harder. But a better designed press would be good too :)

  • Kate Marshall

    I have a little IKEA press that works quite well.
    Btw, when I was tiny, I thought parsley was garlic. My mum made a wonderful oven-baked garlic bread. I couldn’t see the garlic, but she always included lots of fresh chopped parsley, which I could see.
    Figuring that one out, eventually, was the start of my love of cooking.

  • I’ve always been a chopper, not a presser, primarily because I enjoy using a knife. But also because of the cleanup. But now and then I need to chop a LOT of garlic, and during those times I wish I had a garlic press!

  • I’m in favor of garlic, but I’ve never used a press before: It’s a tool I’ve long wanted but I haven’t managed to buy myself one yet!

  • Brian

    I’d press it if I had a press to press.

  • Priya

    I love garlic and love to press it…it becomes creamy in sauces and flavors the whole dish much more uniformly.

  • Andrea

    my roommate uses a garlic press and it seems to produce better results, at least aromatically! For myself though, rather than get another gadget, I’ll stick to smashing cloves with my cleaver

  • Beatrice

    I once had a really good press that was quite easy to clean, the pressure of the tap water was usually enough. My best friend loved it so much that I felt pressured (ha) to give it to her. I have not been able to find another press since that could even come close to that. Depending on the time I have and the dish I am cooking or eating, I press, chop or grate garlic when I don’t simply bite in the clove to my friends’ amazement and shock :)

  • I think it is luxurious to not use lots of “convenience” products and to have uncluttered drawers. Lightly crushing with a chef’s knife prior to mincing is an effective aid. Interesting ideas about the pros and cons and I appreciate the honest review (including things you don’t like).

  • Michelle

    I was swayed many years ago, when I was just starting to learn to cook, by Anthony Bourdain’s disdain for garlic presses, but have slowly been letting go of my snobbery. To the point that I am entering a contest for a garlic press. It sounds great!

  • Samantha Joy

    I chop or press or purée in a tiny food processor depending on how much garlic I need and what I’m doing with it! But I’d love to try this press, because it seems like it might eliminate the need to purée when I make a garlic paste for Indian and Thai food.

  • jessica

    I love all of the garlic, all of the time. Sometimes I chop, sometimes I smash, sometimes I dice, sometimes I press (though I could use a bigger press). I don’t even notice the smell on my hands anymore. It’s tastier and less painful than onions (that taste good, but are my natural enemy).

  • Ruth Adams

    I make a killer garlic soup with one pound of garlic and 2 pounds of onions that I learned in Austria at a small family-run hotel. Having a functional garlic press would certainly cut down on prep work. Please! I read c&z religiously and would love this tool. Plus the colour is great.

  • Monica

    A bit of both — I press first with a knife then chop just a little — I’m all for minor clean-ups. And we’re just a humble household krayzee ’bout garlic… :) Cheers!

  • Claudia

    Garlic is probably my favorite flavoring agent. As to chopping vs. pressing… It depends how much time I have. When I’m “leisure cooking” on the weekend, I tend to hand chop my garlic. On weeknights, more likely to reach for my press.

  • D Moss

    I once owned a garlic press, and it definitely did NOT allow for pressing an unpeeled clove! If it had, I might have liked it more, as I find peeling the cloves (and it’s always cloves, plural, because my husband *likes* garlic) the most tedious part. Once they are peeled, it’s just as easy for me to chop with a knife as it is to press, plus my old garlic press was a pain to clean. However, a press that’s easy to clean? PLUS one that I can use without peeling the cloves?? THAT sounds like something I’d try….

    And for the record, I could never tell a taste difference between chopped vs pressed garlic. Never quite believed the hype around that issue.

  • Sheila S.

    I started using my food chopper to mince garlic because my old garlic press was difficult to clean and did not do a very good job of pressing whole garlic segments.

  • I use a garlic press because I hate how sticky my fingers get if I chop garlic. The press we have is mildly irritating to clean, so a new one would be nice. We just got a garlic press for some friends because they didn’t have one and so they didn’t use garlic. We’re kind of teaching them how to cook. :)

  • Ross

    I don’t mind chopping, but what I hate is peeling.

  • Amelia

    I adore garlic! I mostly mince it and saute, or roast whole cloves in the oven. I have not used a garlic press recently, and would love to try it out! Thank you!

  • MartiC

    I’ve never had a garlic press – always just chopped with a knife.

  • Jenn

    I don’t press garlic–and currently don’t even have a tool to do so, but I agree with you, sometimes it’s handy, it depends on the situation.

    I’d love to try a new tool, especially if it’s easier to clean!

  • Cynthia Acheson

    I think that “to press or not to press” really depends on how it is being used. I am fine with a rough chop for saucy or stewed dishes, but in dressings or spreads it needs to be broken down really fine, I have been hunting for a really great press, and making do with my fine micro plane grater in the meantime, thanks for offering such a great contest!

  • I thought garlic presses were so last decade. But now I will have to give them a try again. Thanks for the renewed incentive.

  • Tal

    I have a beautifully designed heavy metal garlic press that I bought in Japan and love. I rarely chop. I enjoy cleaning my press with a toothpick, it is very rewarding somehow.

  • Kara

    i love my pampered chef garlic press and i’ve never found that it was particularly hard to clean. i think i prefer pressing garlic mostly because i hate how my hands will smell like garlic for days, weeks, or months after i chop it.

  • Jo Green

    I used to have two garlic presses but as I have moved so much one got loss and the other arrived with bits missing so now I have none. I really would love to have another one.

  • Abir

    Pick me, pick me!

  • We do the same as you – chop if there are other ingredients to chop, but mainly use a garlic press we bought with wedding money. It’s a good one, having tried many terrible ones, but there is still a little wastage to be cleaned. I like the idea of using the unpeeled clove! Thanks! xoxo

  • Anna

    I always chop garlics with a knife, but for some recipes it will be a very useful tool for some recipes. And I adore the colors it have!
    Thanks for the giveaway!! :))

  • Clare

    Great prize! Hope I win! I love using garlic but hate the smell on my hands.

  • Glad someone is finally tackling the big issues!

    (I’m pro-press)

  • Kai

    It depends on my mood when cooking. If I start early then I chop by hand, but if I won’t something quick then my garlic press is my best friend.

  • Lucy Gable

    I have a lovely French earthenware dish with a rough patch of surface on which to grate garlic. But in truth, I am more likely to grate my hands with it. So maybe a press is what I need?

  • Well, I haven’t used garlic presser. I always do it by knife. I’m planning to buy though… hehehe

  • Helena

    I prefer a press – so much quicker.

  • Matt Walton

    I’ve often considered getting a garlic press. Trying to win one that’s proven to be excellent seems like an excellent idea! Great giveaway.

  • Peter

    I too have an Ikea garlic press, which actually cuts the cloves in to very small pieces rather than mash them. That said, depending on the presentation, I’ll dice it up but if it’s for a sauce, it gets pressed.

  • Caroline

    I find both cutting and pressing garlic useful.
    I’m adopting the suggestion about unpeeled cloves.Many thanks. Any
    wisdom about keeping your press and hands clean ?

  • Emma

    I don’t use a garlic press because I love chopping, but when I see other people using one, I like the consistency it provides.

  • My garlic press is my go to tool, but after using it for over 10 years, it is pretty beat up. I would love a new one.

  • I LOVE garlic.

    My press with a removable little basket works well.

    However, I let the amount of garlic oomphf desired in the finished dish to guide me how I prepare garlic. Pressed is great when I want a high octane punch of garlicky taste, sliced or hand-minced results in a more mild result, and the most mildest is adding lightly smashed whole cloves like in Piperade (and then fishing out the pasty bits so they can be spread on bread).

  • I have a friend who swears by her garlic press, but I am content. For once! With not having another one-trick pony, as you say, to clean and store. This new one looks fancy! Worth a try, especially with that color :-)

  • I have never used a garlic press before but I just bought one this weekend .. I am going to try it for the first time tonight .. wish me luck ;)

  • Lauren

    I have never used a press because I don’t own one. I’d love to try one though because the smell of garlic, from hand crushing and cutting, never leaves my hands…. I love garlic!

  • Amy

    In the last week I have used both press and knife for chopping garlic. I don’t love my press, would definitely like to try this one.

  • Kat

    I don’t have a garlic press, I either chop or use my microplane. Would love to try this garlic press. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • j med

    chop, but happy to try pressing

  • Marianne

    I love my garlic press and use it if I want the garlic to blend into the dish, as you mentioned.

  • Stephanie D

    I prefer to press garlic because I can never seem to mince it fine enough.

  • Rosann

    For those of you who avoid touching garlic because of the lingering smell on your hands, it’s easy to get rid of if you have a stainless steel sink. Just wash your hands briefly and then rub your fingers against the stainless steel briefly. It’s like magic!

  • kwacka

    I’ve got a press which I use but if I am frying garlic, thinly sliced (rather than pressed) seem to give a sweeter flavour.

  • Meghan

    Chop! I’d rather deal with garlicy hands than cleaning the press.

  • Suzan

    I have the same garlic press from IKEA, and I find that it becomes very hard to clean if I do not soak it in water right away. Hopefully, I’ll win a new one! :)

  • Lisa

    I use a garlic press evryday. This design looks amazing!

  • Steph N

    I usually crush or chop my garlic, just because the garlic press I have doesn’t work very well. I’d love to try a better one and see if it changes my mind.

  • I’ve been using a garlic press for a while, because I ended up finding garlic hard to cut into fine and even pieces. The garlic press I have is pretty junky, though, and I hate wasting whatever garlic gets stuck in the press.
    Last night while making soup for dinner I decided to just chop the garlic, and it wasn’t as bad as I remembered ;)
    I still like the idea of pressing, so maybe a better press is what’s needed!

  • I have a great garlic press that I bought many years ago in York – I think it is by Le Creuset, and the only one I’ve ever found that actually works.

    Whether I press or chop totally depends on what I am making!

  • Ashima C

    I use a lot of garlic in pretty much everything I make (no such thing as too much garlic), and I am of the same mindset as you… sometimes I chop and sometimes I press. My Ikea press has definitely seen better days and is on it’s last press, so I would love to replace it with a fancy new one!

  • Nicole

    I had always chopped garlic by hand because I felt more “chef-like” and rustic, but I received one as a present, and I find my self using it more often than not. It is definitely a time saver, and I don’t find the clean up to be that much of a turn off to using it.

  • Meg

    I normally chop it, but mainly because I find it so annoying to clean the press after it! But with dips like Hummus and Guacamole I love to press some very fresh and young garlic into it…

  • Shelly

    I like to chop, but I may change my mind if the right garlic press comes along…

  • Ada

    I’m like you in that I do a bit of both. If I’m adding the garlic raw to finish a soup, stew, or chili, I press it because I can distribute it evenly and the heat of the dish cooks it enough. However, if I’m sauteeing it at the beginning of making a recipe, I always mince it even though I find it tedious. I currently have the Ikea garlic press you linked to and honestly, it’s not a big deal to clean it as long as I don’t let the garlic dry onto the holes.

  • Katie

    I’m a chopper, but I think that is mostly attributed to me being a relative minimalist since I’ve moved into my own place and founded my own kitchen (i.e. I’ve never got around to getting one).

  • Heather Fluetsch

    I’m a mom-ANYTHING that saves time is priceless so I obviously use a press…but one that is easier to clean would be great!

  • Linda Maria

    While I love Trader Joe’s frozen minced garlic in mini ice cube trays, the press is great when you want that fresh bite to the garlic and don’t want your hands to smell.

  • isabel

    I nearly always press! I love a garlic press. This one looks great!!

  • Jena

    I go both ways–chopper or presser. Sometimes I just smash cloves with the flat of my knife & throw them in that way, depending on what I’m making. I actually have a couple different pressers, but I’m not very impressed with either. Although I gotta say–I think it’s weird that people press garlic after peeling it–that just takes more time in the end than chopping it with a knife (’cause if I have to peel it, it’s still just as fast to then chop it with my admittedly less-than-stellar knife skills). I think I tried peeling it first once or twice, thinking that I wouldn’t lose so much garlic around the edges but quickly realized the folly in that endeavor.

    Still, I’ve never found my presses difficult to clean unless I forget to rinse or drop it in dishwater right away.

  • Mark crane

    I love the smell of garlic on my hands, but my pale, sparkly girlfriend hates it.

  • Akemi

    Love garlic. Love garlic presses!

  • Wendy Koz

    Like many others from the looks of things, I press some, chop some. I do dislike the waste of the press, but sometimes I just want it more like paste, and I can’t seem to get it that way when I chop! Also, it seems the older (lazier?), the more I press – are the two related? No matter what the garlic method, I love you site – thank you!

  • Ha! My friend and I were just discussing the notion of pressing garlic or not over coffee! Great to read your thoughts on the subject and thanks for the pros and cons of each!

  • Jenn

    Mmmmmm, garlic. Very few things can’t be improved by liberal application of garlic. I find more often than not, I slice garlic using my veggie peeler. I hold the clove with my fingernails and slice into what ever I am cooking.
    But I would be happy to try something new!

    • Love the idea of using the vegetable peeler, I’ll try that!

  • Paula

    Clotilde, I have a garlic press but I mostly slice garlic. Or grate it, as you said. Although your post made me remember of how we handle(d) garlic in my mother’s kitchen, back in Europe. Which means placing it in a wooden mortar, with a pinch of salt and rubbing it until smooth paste would result. Then thin that with a bit of water and use it as a dip for roasted chicken, fried fish or to smear it on meat before placing grilling it.

  • Alison

    I chop (badly) and when I need a lot, I use a twisty thing with centre blades that cut the cloves

  • Susan W

    I am definitely a garlic press girl, my knife skills are mediocre, and I don’t like the smell of garlic on my fingers. When one of the chefs on America’s Test Kitchen said she loved the garlic press and would never chop again, I said “YAH”!!!

  • Ali

    I used to chop or press according to my mood, then I heard this and heard that it seems to make a difference. Now I follow the recipe instructions!

  • Kim

    I’m a presser, not a chopper, and I really need a new garlic press to replace my old, oxidizing one.

  • tk

    i usually chop garlic but i think it would be great to try out this press!

  • Evonne

    I seem to have the same approach to garlic that you do. I almost always chop it since I’m almost always chopping other things, but I do use a garlic press if I’m not going to have the knife and cutting board out. I really like using a microplane for raw garlic that’s going into dips like guacamole or salsa so that the garlic flavor is spread evenly throughout and no one ends up biting down on a big chunk of raw garlic.

  • Danielle

    I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a garlic press for a while. This one looks far more aesthetically pleasing than your average press!

  • Kate

    I don’t have a garlic press at present but I like using them (just have been too cheap to buy myself one after growing up using my mom’s). I do think there’s some unnecessary snobbery in the cooking world about people who dare to use a garlic press ;-)

  • Kim

    I go back and forth between chopping and pressing too. This looks like a pretty spiffy press, would love to give it a try.

  • Lisa Roll

    Use my garlic press, occasionally. Mostly mince, but would like to try this one.

  • MS

    Jacques Pepin’s method for chopping garlic by hand is easy, fast and doesn’t require any special equipment.

  • A-girl

    One winter a few years ago I noticed a pungent smell in my kitchen. When I hunted it down in the pantry, I found garlic that was sprouting. I decided to plant the garlic and the next spring I had small heads of garlic and fresh garlic scapes.

    I don’t have the patience to ‘finely chop’ or ‘mince’, so I usually use a garlic press.

  • Leah

    I do like the ease if a garlic press, but I can’t find one that I love. They all end up breaking or are too hard to clean. Would love to give his one a go!

  • Stuart

    I’m quite fond of the smash and it’s not until you try it on a lot of dishes that you thought you needed chopped garlic that you realize it’s ok just to whack the heck out of it.

  • Mmmm… would love to have this garlic press. J’adore l’ail!

  • Everything depends on the dish. Once I’m pressing garlic, other day I chop it. Nevertheless, when I had restaurants all my cooks never used garlic press. They were pressing it by knife and hand. Strong men:))
    It was a pleasure to be you quest!

  • Mike

    I could never be friends with anyone who didn’t like garlic! I have good knife skills and usually mince my garlic, but now and then succumb to the allure of speed with the press. I have owned several over the years, always looking for one that doesn’t leave half the clove behind. My current press has a pad full of little black teeth on the back side of the pressing piece, that when brought into the press in the reverse direction will clean the holes in the grid. While I am certainly not looking to measure my garlic, I would be interested in trying the Savora.

    • Carolina_D

      I actually broke an engagement off to a man I was actually in love with because he was such a ‘picky eater’. (Think a 3-year-old’s palate.) He absolutely refused to try anything new, not even a small taste. I was/am a professional chef. His adamant refusal to taste anything different was pretty much a deal breaker to me. The way I felt about him totally changed over the course of a year or so. It was obvious we weren’t meant to be a couple, it wasn’t fair to either one of us. Still, I learned to learn about a man’s tastes in food before anything else. I know several couples who managed to stay together despite their different tastes in nearly everything, but I just couldn’t do it. (Food was really only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ with us anyway.) I’d love to hear from other people who maybe broke up due to differences in tastes, an those who made it work despite the differences, and HOW they work it out. (I’m happily married now to another chef!) We are opening our own restaurant next year, hopefully. It will depend on the economy then actually. Fingers crossed.

      • Thanks for sharing your story, Carolina, that must have been a hard decision to make. It’s a most interesting subject, and you’re inspiring me to write a post about it sometime… Good luck with the restaurant project!

  • Because I can’t stand the smell of garlic on my fingers long after a meal has been made, I prefer to press. Having just moved off Hawaii to a new home on the mainland though, we couldn’t afford to take anything with us so all my kitchen supplies stayed behind with friends.

  • I go through tons of garlic a week. This would be great for my daughter who is starting to cook more.

  • doris

    I’m definitely team garlic press!

  • Nick

    I like pressing garlic in principle, but I’ve never found one that actually survived for any appreciable period… the handle usually cracks before I get what I consider my money’s worth. (Maybe the Savora is of higher quality?) Usually crushing the garlic against the cutting board with the side of the knife will do the trick.

  • Susan Christy

    I use garlic in practically everything. Except Desserts.

  • Carole

    Garlic press…I just searched the gadget drawer and found my press from 1966 which I haven’t used in years because of the cleaning issue…so much easier to whack it on the board and chop to the desired fineness. Maybe a new one would persuade me to return to the old ways…

  • mary

    LOVE to decide whether to chop, press or grate depending on my mood, desired speediness & type of food. Thanks for raising this fun discussion.:-)

  • Fanny

    I’m an avid press user. Garlic is the basis for almost ALL my dishes, and I too used the Ikea press until it gave out … haven’t made it out to ikea (kind of far for me) to get a new one, and this one would sure come in handy!

  • I LOVE GARLIC and I’m using it any way I have to. I swear by the Zyliss garlic press – I don’t know how many I’ve given to friends… I know Zyliss because it’s a Swiss brand originally and I found that all their products are über-cool, practical and simple to use as well as clean.
    If I couldn’t have garlic, I would be very, very unhappy… it’s such a delicious thing and it adds flavour and umpf to nearly everything. One way to use it is cut it in half in length and just braise it with your meat – if pops out of the hull all on its own!
    Should I win, I have umpteen friends in UK to give one to :)

  • Mary Violante

    I love garlic! I use various methods to
    use fresh garlic in a recipe – by a garlic press or knife. I actually find
    that if I have a small knife cut on my
    finger, the leftover garlic in a press
    is a great antiseptic & helps the healing!

  • Rebecca Lebeau

    This is a great debate because for years I continued to try different garlic presses and either was frustrated with how much of the garlic just got stuck in the grates or cleaning it. I recently bought a great chopping knife and it has made my ability to chop garlic well significantly better so I’ve leaned toward this method. I would love to try another garlic press that actually comes apat to clean though. Thanks for this post!
    p.s. so excited for your new book- I already have 3 people for this years christmas list that are getting it!

  • G. Mermoud

    I love chopping garlic, or anything really, but sometimes in the interest of shortening the prep time, a garlic press would be nice.

    ps. I have a US address tho I am in France.

  • Amanda

    I like garlic – ANY way. Right now I chop – for no reason other than that I don’t own a garlic press!

  • I usually press to save time, but sometimes chop when I remember all the cooking teaches who admonish that the germ must be removed because it ‘tastes so bitter.’ But I always wonder; has anyone ever tasted this bitterness??

  • M. Deeley

    I abandoned my garlic press(es) years ago and just chop as finely as I can. The old presses left so much of the garlic in one large piece that you would wind up chopping anyway!! Chopping makes sure you get it all. That said, this new press intigues me…

  • Curzon Tussaud

    This press looks amazing! I sometimes chop or slice my garlic, but usually use an old press; I like the stand-up design of this one and would love to try it!

  • Nina

    I often use a garlic press, even though it’s a little tough to clean. Would love to try the Savora!

  • Linda Hoffmann

    PRessing provides that little bit of liquid essence that’s an added boost to any recipe–why not try to get out all that lovely clove has to offer?

  • Thomas

    There is clear room for using both pressed garlic as much as for chopped garlic. Some recipes turn out best by using whole garlic cloves, others call for part or whole roast garlic not forgetting there is also the further possibility of substituting smoked garlic for traditional garlic in all these modes.

    That said, choosing an appropriate garlic variety can itself be challenging but not as much as getting high quality garlic as there are too many insufficiently labelled garlic imports based principally on price.

    How do you choose which varieties to buy and use Clotilde and how do you ensure you are always getting a high quality product. ? Easier I would think in France with AOC etc., but not necessarily evident.

  • Diane

    Hmmm. I don’t mind mincing my garlic the old fashioned way, but I hate the smell on my hands! I’ve tried the rub your hands with a stainless steel spoon trick, but it doesn’t work for me! I must have super soakable skin or a sensitive snout :)

  • TC Whysall

    Love your blog and can see it’s widely red!
    Smash and chop or use my faithful steel press.

  • Rae

    I usually smash & chop, but I sometimes use a press for guacamole. I read that smashing releases & blends the essential oils & that there is a benefit from the oxidation that occurs.

  • Andrea Seraphim

    I have always used a garlic press and try to clean it while the garlic is pulp is still wet;otherwise, I use a toothpick to poke out the garlic bits!

  • Lynn

    In our family we have one chopper (me) and one presser (my husband.)To me the cleaning of the old-fashioned metal press is more trouble than just chopping and cleaning the block.

  • Mary

    I usually always use a garlic press. For cleaning, I have a little plastic “fork” that came patterned the same as the holes. I press it into holes and they care clean! Can also keep on skins, but usually don’t.

  • This would be great! Especially since I am still using the one I bought in the ’80’s!!

  • Susan Luvison

    We cannot live without garlic – however, we smash or mince it because the old press is hard to clean and it seems to be wasteful.

  • Miss UK

    Hi, I have very recently bought a garlic press. I do sometimes forget to use it and still use a knife but I find it very convenient and it saves time although it is not easy to clean, maybe this new version is better ;-)

  • Rochelle

    I usually just press the clove with the side of my knife and then give it a coarse chop or two. However, my husband seems to prefer a finer effort. Maybe the garlic press is something I need?

  • kcc

    like so many, i use both the knife and the press, depending on the moment. i have an old press, i don’t really like it, but i can’t justify buying another since this one works, and it is a kind of non-essential item. however, should a nice one like this, that is easier to clean, come my way, i would be swooning with delight!

  • Robin

    My husband chops about 5 heads of garlic (in a mini mouli type machine) for me each month and stores it in olive oil in the fridge. That way it is always ready for use. But I think that a press would be better.

  • Denyse

    This press looks so effortless with this new design compared to my old stand-by. And to have the tablespoon measurer is a great addition. Clothilde – thanks for bringing this ti our attention!

  • Shawn

    That garlic press looks magnifique!

  • Cammie

    I, too, have a press (made by Zyliss, I think) that had a cool little gizmo that pressed out the garlic and cleaned it, but the part was made of plastic, and being small, fell into the bottom of the washer and burned on the element … it was not so useful after that! This zippy orange press with the removable grid looks great. I still have the Zyliss press, however, and use it regularly, since I live in CA and wonderful avocados are frequently available, so we eat a LOT of guacamole, made with one pressed clove of garlic, lime juice, a little freshly cracked pepper, and tomatoes when they are in season. The rest of the time I chop, and I admit I am a sloppy chopper. Oh, the shame.

    And BTW, I really really love the Chocolate and Zucchini blog and newsletter! Always different and newsy and unusual all at the same time. Thank you so much for all your efforts!

    • Thank you, Cammie, that means a lot to me!

  • christine

    Haven’t used a garlic press for years beacuse of cleaning issues but would like to try a different design sometime.

  • We tend to use the garlic press just because I never feel like I can get it fine enough when chopping by hand.

  • Madonna

    I use a knife or a press, depending on the consistency I want for a particular dish. If I’m making a creamy salad dressing, for example, I use the press so that the garlic will blend well with the other ingredients. If I’m making something with more texture, I chop. And if I just want a little bit of garlic flavor, for steak or a chicken breast, I smash the clove with the heel of my knife and rub the meat with it. I’d never thought of using my microplane. Thanks for that idea.

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who uses a potato brush to clean the garlic press.

  • M Lynn

    My mom has a garlic press in her kitchen, which I miss very dearly (now that I’m on my own). Especially when I only have a small amount of garlic to prep, it is easier to bear chopping mounds of garlic over one or two cloves. I remember the press being so simple for small dishes and raw applications. I know that it is on my (long!) list of things for my own kitchen.

  • Jeri van Etten

    I use a ton of garlic and use the press if I’m going to cook on the grill. I smear the garlic on the meats,etc. I would love to have this press as it seems to be easy.

  • Priscilla Bennett

    I’m anxious to find out if I can use this press with my arthritic hands. The ones I’ve had are a challege

  • Suzanne Barker

    I do both depending on time, the recipe, and the desired results. Nothing like through the press for making garlic bread.

  • Jeraldine Bisceglia Gilliam

    My grandmother from Bari, Italy chopped her garlic and grated cheese. When I was little (I’m now 72) she would put her warm loving hands on each side of my face to kiss me and the aroma was wonderful! I still lift my face toward heaven and pray for her hands to reach down and touch me again. Yes, I chop and grate too!

    • What a moving, evocative memory. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Debbie Slusarenko

    Have a pampered chef garlic press I use all the time. not hard to clean if I can remember where I put the tool to clean it!!

  • Absolutely I vote for press. When I chop there is blood.

  • Aisha

    It really depends on the dish and the flavor of garlic that you’re looking for. I chop, mince, slice, grate, pound depending on whether I want a mellow or a pungent/raw flavor, whether I’m looking for individual bursts of garlic or a strong pervading background of garlic, whether texture is unimportant or whether I’m looking to achieve crunchy nutty garlic slivers.

    For instance, lots of Pakistani/Indian dishes call for a spice base made of onions, garlic and ginger paste, spices and tomato fried together until the “oil separates”. The base has to be humid enough so that the garlic, ginger and spices don’t burn and turn bitter in the time needed for the flavors to blend. It also needs to permeate the ingredients that will be added next. It’s not easy to achieve this result with chopped garlic. You really get a nice wet garlic paste by pounding it in a heavy metal or marble pestle. Grating or using a microplane come a close second. Plus grating or pounding break down the cell walls more than chopping, and release more of the oils and sharpness of garlic, flavors that you want to bring out in South Asian cooking. And when you think that you might need to finish off your dish with a garnish of pan-toasted garlic slivers, you know that you definitely need more than one trick up your garlic sleeve!

    Sorry for the long post but this is a fascinating subject!
    Oh and garlic mashed with salt is used all overn Middle Eastern cuisine (think hummus!)

  • Jessica Becker

    I am pro garlic press and would love to win this one. I use homegrown garlic in my salads and everyone asks me what makes my salads spicy? Nothing like the bite of raw garlic to keep the bad bugs away! My husband only chops garlic and always lovingly sautées it in oil to accent greens and it takes on a sweet flavor which is hard not to love but I never seem to make time for that step but am so glad he does. With garlic you can’t go wrong! I love it!

  • annebelle

    hello — what a nice gift! given that my hands are becoming increasingly arthritic i am especially intrigued by this press’s reported ease of use. i both chop and press garlic.

  • I have gone back and forth on this issue, pressure I apply myself to myself about the inferior press….but I must not have such a sensitive palate as I think I like garlic pressed and I like it chopped. My chopped garlic is random in size, albeit I methodically remove the stem. Usually when I am a snob about something, it comes back to bite me, and of course all the mouthing off I have done has a line of people to call me on it. Such is life. Sometime press, sometimes chop. To everything, there is a season…:)

  • Cristy

    I do not own a garlic press. I find a knife and board to be sufficient since I’m typically using them anyway for other ingredients.

  • jong yang

    I usually press to save time. I never use garlic press,but willing to try sometime.

  • Micky Bezjak

    Being of Italian heritage, garlic is an integral part of my cooking. I grow my own garlic-a family tradition-and love to dry, braid and gift to special friends. It is humbling when my small crop does not fluorish, making me grateful for growers wo work hard to
    supply all of us who love garlic. I crush, slice, and chop depending on what’s cooking. Try growing your own
    garlic. It’s easy and rewarding if Mother Nature cooperates. Time truly can be found for anything one enjoys. Hoping to inspire a new garlic grower.
    Vive ail!

    • I’d love to try it. Should I just plant a clove of garlic? Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Deckled Edges

    I don’t own a garlic press, so I always just chop it. Although I’d love to skip that step and keep my fingers from smelling of garlic!

  • Suzanne

    What a great color the persimmon press is! Usually chop myself, but get tempted by the press…then saddened to waste and have pick out the unused skin. Have wondered if my press is inefficient when is wastes so much? Would have fun trying another press!
    Thanks for this and a great blog!

  • rachel

    I’m intrigued by garlic presses. I’d love to try one out. Cutting them up is such a pain.

  • Judy

    I’m a garlic press fan. I find if you use the little thingy that comes with the press to clean it, you can get pretty much every last morsel out of the press and into your dish. And there’s not much left to clean!

  • Donna

    Perfect timing! My ancient (40 years-old) garlic press has finally broken. Really, why choose any one method? Garlic is wonderful in so many dishes and in so many ways…chop, press, smash, mince, it’s all garlic and it’s all good.

  • re. garlic left in the basket of the press: I loosen it w/ the tip of a paring knife before inserting the second clove. The leavings of the first are pressed out with the second…the final clove is simply loosened and pressed a second time. Usually this leaves little in the press. Probably not a Cordon Bleu technique….

  • Leah S

    I use both methods with garlic….but I think I chop it more than using the press. My press doesn’t work very well so chopping is easier.

  • david roberts

    i usually chop/slice or just crush with the side of a large knife, a pinch of salt and a sliding action creams the garlic quickly, and cleaning is easy.

  • adsum-iam

    I have a garlic press with a removable insert. I use it a lot, though went back to using a knife when the insert accidentally went out into the garden compost bin with vegetable peelings. I recovered it 2 years later when putting compost from the bin onto the garden! – it’s now back in action after being sterilised.

    Garlic presses are really useful if you’re making salt dough models with children. We made little 2-D sheep and used the garlic press to produce ‘noodles’ of dough for their fleeces. Incorporate a twist of wire into the back for hanging on the wall. Bake in the oven, paint, varnish and *hey presto!* works of art.

    • Love the salt dough tip, thank you!

      And the compost anecdote reminds me of the story that ran recently about a woman who had lost her ring, and found it again when harvesting carrots from her vegetable patch. :)

  • betty

    I chop and slice garlic we use a lot of garlic would love to try the new garlic press

  • Danielle

    I’ve never owned a garlic press, but have used them when cooking with friends. The model that you describe sounds great, Clotilde, and I’d love to try it. My least favorite part of chopping garlic is removing sticky pieces from the knife! I’d prefer to press an extra clove, and add the waste to my stock scraps in the freezer. Plus, it would be gratifying to know that you read my comment. :)

  • Francine

    I love garlic press!!! no stinky fingers and chopping board..”Fast and Furious” but I had to throw mine out a while back (had it for 25 years) because it was aluminium based and a health hazard. I’d sooo much love to get this great looking one! thank you

  • Michele Patterson

    I also use both methods depending of the dish I am preparing. In a tomato sauce I prefer to chop it and preserve the texture of the garlic; but if I am making tsatziki I prefer to press a tiny amount for subtle flavor.
    I look forward to your visit on my computer each moth! Thank you!

    • Thank you Michele, that means a lot!

  • JoAnn Whittaker

    I gave up on garlic presses years ago but this one looks worth a try. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.

  • Leslie D

    Always eager to try something tried first by a serious cook! I love the “zen” of chopping, and the micro plane on occasion, so this would be a fun new experience!

  • Sms

    I use a press

  • notesontea

    I have a press but it’s ineffective. I prefer to use a micro plane grater.

  • Mark E

    I both chop and press, my favorite press is a Rösle that I have in the kitchen. When folded all the way open the basket comes up to be cleaned, very easy. It can do unpeeled cloves of garlic. All stainless steel so it does not add to the garlic.

  • Sarah

    I chop if it’s absolutely necessary, but if not, I prefer to smash it with the side of a knife and throw the whole gnarly thing in! Less work, less smelly hands (which I kinda like anyways), equal flavor awesomeness!

  • Graham R

    I think I have a couple of different garlic mangling devices I have been given as gifts over the years. For me, though, it’s the knife or, occasionally, the Microplane. I just keep the others in a cabinet in case the giver comes over and asks after their garlic whosits they gave me!

  • Megan

    The more garlic, the better! Pressing brings out all possible flavor. Yum!

  • Theresa Hasse

    I had a garlic press that was very cumbersome to use so I gave it to the thrift store. I just use knife and chopping board. I am curious about this cute looking gadget though.

  • Lisa

    Last weekend at IKEA here in Denver, we saw a chef demonstrate an easy way to PEEL garlic (included in our IKEA gift bag was an IKEA garlic press!). He took 2 IKEA stainless bowls — about $4 or $5 each and a very handy size — and popped about an entire head of unpeeled cloves into the bowl, put the other bowl on top and shook the apparatus like shaking a martini shaker. When he removed the top bowl, voila!, peeled garlic cloves. … Personally, I use a press, a mandoline, a knife,and from a jar! Excellent Gilmore garlic from California available throughout the U.S. in jars. (We live in Colorado.)

    • Ah yes, I had forgotten about that technique! Saveur ran a video demonstrating it last year. Never tried it, but I will soon!

  • I have a garlic press but it sucks. I’d love that one!

  • Alicia K

    I always press my garlic!

  • Annie

    I use alot of garlic, so pressed, chopped, sliced, smashed…whatever I have time or energy for is the way I end up playing with it! It’s all so good!

  • Mike

    Microplane is the way to go but I wouldn’t mind having one of these garlic presses :-).

  • Liz Thomas

    I have a heavy granite pestle and mortar. I pop in the garlic cloves with a generous pinch of coarse sea salt and bash it into a paste.

    I have never owned a garlic press — wonder if I might be a lucky winner! I hope so.

    As for the garlicky fingers, I have a stainless steal “soap”. It’s just a bit of stainless steel shaped like a soap and you just rub your hands with it, just liek a bar or regular soap, and the smell vanishes.


  • Stephanie S

    That’s a pretty nifty garlic press. The vertical pressing style seems like it might make using it easier than a traditional press. Intrigued!

  • Fran

    I’ve had many garlic presses over the decades and one of the favorites is my oldest, a simple press that used to be sold in every Paris street market, with an
    olive pitter at the end of the handles. It has much larger holes than other presses do, which made it easy to clean. My current fave is the Ikea, cheapcheap,
    and it’s brilliant. You do need to soak the basket before it goes in the dishwasher but otherwise it’s
    foolproof. This new one looks really thought-out…

  • lexie

    I prefer press the garlic and think it’s the best way to release its flavor.While sometimes I rushed for cooking or got lazy and then I would just cut it.

  • Anne Bourget

    What would Elizabeth David say?

  • Michelle

    We do both, press and chop. Just depends…. unless we go whole! I have an older Pampered Chef press and always leave the skins on the cloves. It came with a pronged cleaner, but alas after the years almost all the prongs have fallen off. There are just enough left to loosen the skins to lift them out by hand. Then a quick wash off and its ready for the next dish! Will have to try the microplane though.

  • I have a garlic press that I used to use more often than I do now. I cut back on using it when I realized the rubber handles were actually sleeves and the whole body of the press was really metal. Didn’t realize until I heard water sloshing around inside the handles one day, and then I realized how gross that could become. Now that I know I have to dismantle it to clean it I hardly ever reach for it.

    But I’ve never had very strong feelings about whether chopping or pressing is better. And I totally go for the jar of minced garlic sometimes, especially when it’s between CSA seasons and I can’t get farm-fresh garlic.

  • Anna

    I heard a lot of chefs I admire that a garlic press was a no-no, but for a home cook … c’mon, is more than OK. I bought a rather pricey one, that is to say not from the dollar store, and it was money well spent: creamy smashed garlic, easy to clean press. I think the garlic press discussion belongs in the recent article (I forget where) about snobbish attitudes toward food, as in pretentious pepper grinding over your plate.

  • Michele

    My old garlic press was relegated to the play dough toy box 20 years ago (homemade play dough, thank you very much) and I went to either smashing or using the jarred minced garlic. The design of the Savora is tempting enough to get me back to pressing again.

  • The pungent flavor we associate with garlic comes from an enzyme reaction with sulfur containing molecules. The more cell damage, the more reaction, the stronger the taste. The enzyme is denatured by cooking.

    That is why garlic soup, made with whole cloves,is almost sweet with little pungency, but a sauce made with crushed garlic can have a very strong garlic flavor.

    If you want lots of garlic, use a press or crush it with a little salt using the flat blade of your chef’s knife. For less garlicky notes, chop it or for a slightly garlicky, more nutty flavor, slice it.

    Once again, what looks like religion turns out to be science.

    Personally, I use a press almost always since I love the pungent flavors. Garlic from a jar is convenient, but sometimes leaves an off note from the citric acid used to preserve it, and almost always make sauces cloudy.

  • shelley

    I usually smash garlic cloves with the side of my knife, and then can quickly chop the resulting mash. It is just when making salad dressings and aioli, etc. that it would be nice to have a press for evenly pureed garlic… so I would love to win a press:)!

  • Marilyn

    I believe I have a garlic press in the back of a kitchen drawer that I never use. I always chop, chop, chop my garlic but also use my microplane for some fine essence.

  • Tony

    Does the method used really matter it’s the use of garlic that’s important. I admit that I chop, pound, slice, mush and only sometimes press as that’s the hardest to clean up.

  • Diane

    Although I have decent knife skills, I’m always open to gadgets that give me other options. It would be lovely to try the garlic press you’re giving away.

  • Mary

    I used a fantastic press for about 10 years until it broke, and I haven’t found its replacement yet. This would be fun to try!

  • Carla G

    I use my garlic press from IKEA and find it to be great! It’s not to hard to clean or use! Love to use garlic in my cooking! Thanks for a chance to win a new garlic press! :)

  • I often use a mini chopper (food processor) for chopping garlic and onions. Otherwise, I use a press. My knife skills leave something to be desired.

  • Allyce

    I like to press- its so quick!

  • Catherine Santo

    I would love to try the press as it sounds terrific. My preferred technique though, after many years of loathing having to wash the garlic press afterwards, is to grate the garlic with a microplane – quick, easy to clean or throw in the dishwasher and creates grated garlic with a superb texture.

  • Kathy S

    I don’t have a garlic press, but I’d love to have one. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Barbara

    Such a gorgeous design! Used a metal press for eons but began baking whole garlic heads and them freezing to use for entrees after I met my husband. Happily he is now, finally, a fan of garlic.

  • Tian

    I think garlic press is the way to go. Other than the advantages you listed, i think it’s best to have garlic become a tiny mince, cos it will then melt and meld into the food better. More evenly distributed flavour?

  • Barbara Harris

    Coming into the conversation late. I chop, I press & I rock – using the garlic rocker by Joseph Joseph. It’s a nifty tool that produces perfectly minced garlic with almost no waste. Easy to clean – I think. That’s my husband’s job

  • Wouter

    The more you breakthe cells of the garlic before cooking, the sharper the flavour. When you use a garlic press and/or pestle&mortar on raw garlic you get a strong flavour, especially when no further heating is applied (but even when cooked). If you first roast the entire bulb or individual whole garlic cloves you can then either use a press or pestle & mortar to get a very sweet mellow flavored paste.

    • Li-hsia from CA

      I agree, the rocker from Joseph Joseph is quick and easy and makes uniform bits of garlic–not a crushed puree, but little bits. Rinses easily from the top, and goes through the dishswasher afterwards.

  • Maureen Kenny

    I love using a garlic press as I think it is an excellent way to break down the garlic and relesase its flavor, the only drawback to using it however is trying to pick out the remaining skin which usually gets stuck in the holes.

  • Gregory Davis

    I like pressed garlic. If you slice you don’t always get fine particles.
    Looking forward to your new book!

  • Mfair

    To press or not to pres… It really depends on what I’m cooking.

  • Sam

    The only thing that stops me from using most garlic presses is how irritating they are to clean. If this one revolutionises that aspect, I definitely want it!!!

  • clay hughes

    What an attractive addition to my Kitchen Tool Box! “Pressing” is my favored method, and removal of skin-residue would be a big advantage of this model… should I be lucky enough to win. Good luck to me, and merci for your wonderful column!

    C.H. / Atlanta GA

  • Clara Currier

    I do both methods, chopping and pressing, depending on what I wamt the end result to be. I usually chop for stir frys, soups and stews, braises. I
    press for marinades, salad dressings, into oil to be put on vegies for roasting

  • Zoe

    My trusty garlic press (a birthday gift from a college roommate ages ago – testament to my love of garlic) just broke – was pressing and the handle snapped in two! SO – I am obviously a big fan of the Press, and am in the market for a new one! I did work in an Italian kitchen for a year or so – and they were adamantly against pressing. But it is so much faster to use a press when preparing dinner on a busy weekend night!

  • Annie

    I would use a garlic press if I had one that worked well. It would be great for smashing the garlic before using to flavor oil in the pan that you then cook with.

  • Claire

    If I am already chopping other ingredients, I chop garlic rather than pressing it. On the other hand, if the garlic is going into something like salad dressing that doesn’t require additional chopping, I press it. I like convenience in the kitchen!

  • Heather

    The idea of pressing garlic has always appealed to me as a time-saver, but I’ve never found one that was actually faster when you factor in cleaning time. It also seems like more garlic ends up stuck in the presser than comes out, a sad waste of wonderful garlic goodness. But I’m always up for trying something new, and the Savora press seems like it might do the trick!

  • Sarah

    I do both – it depends largely on how much garlic I’m using, and if I’m already chopping a bunch of other items. If it’s a lot of garlic, I use the press – saves time. If it’s a single clove, it isn’t worth washing the press.

  • The giveaway is now closed, and comments beyond this one can’t be accepted. Thank you so much for entering! The results will be announced shortly in the post above.

  • Kevin

    I love using my garlic press. I think it is really easy to clean up and leaves that smelly odor off my hands. Mine minces and slices garlic and I use it all the time. This is the online I use:

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