The 10 Best Garlic Presses
10. Kuhn Rikon Epicurean
- elegant brushed finish
- pulp tends to leak out the sides
- considerably expensive
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
9. Amco 8662
- ergonomically designed handle
- nonstick-coated cast zinc
- finish tends to flake over time
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
8. Easi-Pro RX 886
- handle provides a sturdy grip
- nickel finish won't scratch easily
- pulp gets stuck between its spikes
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
7. Culina Deluxe Set
- good value for the price
- easy to disassemble for cleaning
- not as durable as metal options
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
6. Joseph Joseph 20067
- no moving parts or pins to break
- can accommodate several large cloves
- holes are a bit big for a fine mince
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Zyliss Susi 3
- works with unpeeled cloves
- backed by a five-year warranty
- hand washing recommended
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
4. Oxo Steel 58181
- chamber accommodates multiple cloves
- built-in cleaner pushes out pulp
- hollow handles tend to collect water
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
3. Kebley QH404
- flat nubs fit perfectly into holes
- works with ginger as well
- ergonomic anti-slip handles
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. Alpha Grillers
- comes in a lovely fabric-lined case
- includes silicone rolling peeler
- durable stainless steel construction
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
1. Rösle 12782
- hinged face plate for easy cleaning
- handles lock for storage
- satin finish conceals finger marks
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Why Everyone Needs A Garlic Press
There is, perhaps, no vegetable whose properties have caused such equal portions of pleasure and disappointment as garlic. The flavors that diffuse throughout your sauces and sautés in its presence are unmistakably delightful. By the same token, however, the odors it leaves behind on the breath and–more importantly for our purposes–the fingers of whomever prepares the cloves are unmistakably repugnant.
Take, for one iconic example, the vampire. Vampirism evolved, at least in part, as a cautionary tale about seduction, as a way to warn women in particular not to fall for the guiles of an attractive man. From early folklore straight on through to the most recent film and television examples, there is almost no separation between vampires and sensuality. It makes sense, then, that the food serving as their primary culinary antithesis, as the one thing guaranteed to work against seduction, would be garlic.
What’s more, chopping garlic is dangerous business. Garlic cloves are usually very small, and most recipes require that you render them into incredibly tiny pieces, as too large a chunk would overpower a bite of food. Additionally, exposing more of the cloves internal area to your recipe will allow more of the flavor compounds to make their way into your dish. That kind of chopping, mincing, and dicing–especially if you don’t have a good chef’s knife–can quickly result in a lost or damaged finger.
What a garlic press does to ensure you won’t romantically repel those in whom you’re avidly interested, is allow you to prepare finely minced garlic cloves without ever touching a knife or putting your digits at risk.
Pressing The Issue
If you’ve ever filled your hand with something squishy and squeezed, then you know how a garlic press works. Whenever you apply pressure to a substance inside a chamber of porous material that’s stronger than the substance itself, that substance will break down and squeeze out through the chamber's pores. Go ahead and pick up a nice ripe tomato and slowly tighten your fist around it. Maybe wear safety goggles while you’re at it. At a certain point, the tomato will burst, and all of its innards will come oozing out between your fingers.
A garlic press better resembles a nutcracker or a hand juicer than a bare fist, in that it uses a hinge to increase the amount of pressure you can create with your hand. On one arm jutting out from the hinge is a small basket in which you can load one or more cloves of garlic depending on the unit’s design. On the other arm is a complementary press, a pusher with a flat surface that fits snugly into the basket. When you squeeze the handles together, the pressure of the pusher inside the basket eventually crushes the garlic clove and sends its smaller pieces out through holes in the basket.
Some presses have adjustable hole sizes, so you can fine-tune your garlic morsels to meet the needs of a specific recipe. Others have means by which you can change the amount of pressure that the unit applies to your garlic, which can be a big help for customers whose hand strength has faded over the years. It’s also a good idea to look out for units with removable components and included cleaning tools, as these will help you keep the smell off of your hands after you've gone to all the trouble to avoid touching the garlic in its preparation.
The Honorable Fight Against Garlic Breath
There’s a dangerous family of plants out there, the sole intention of which seems to be the end of human coupling. These plants, members of the allium family, are better known by their street names: onions, shallots, leeks, and garlic, to name a few. When you eat the products of one or more of these plants, they leave behind sulfuric compounds in the mouth that give an individual very bad breath. While this phenomenon can be particularly vexing on the dating scene or in the professional business world, it is relatively easy to remedy. A simple brush, floss, scrape, or mouthwash can usually do the trick.
A second, and significantly more nefarious means by which these plants infect our expiration is by means of absorption into the bloodstream. When you eat garlic, your body breaks it down into its nutritious components, each of which makes its way through your system in the bloodstream. Most of the compounds that enter your blood are simply very god for you, and eating garlic has a slew of health benefits associated with it.
One of these blood-borne compounds is called allyl methyl sulfide, and it’s actually a gas that moves from the blood into your lungs. Once this level of garlic circulation has occurred, the only perfect remedy is time, as the sulfuric aroma will continue to enter your lungs and crawl toxically out of your mouth with each breath until it’s left your system entirely. If you consume enough garlic, this compound will even permeate the skin when you perspire, causing a case of garlic body in addition to garlic breath.
There is one relatively simple way to help reduce the intensity of garlic breath that arises from your bloodstream. It turns out that those sulfuric compounds are highly acidic, so consuming foods with strong alkaline content, or that alkalize effectively in the body is a pretty well-tested way to fight the funk.
Many Italian dishes contain parsley, not just because it’s a delicious and complimentary herb to the flavor of garlic and onion, but also because its alkaline properties help fight bad breath. You can take this idea further by chewing on loads of parsley, drinking milk or tea, or consuming lemon in some form (which, despite its acidic nature, alkalizes in the body) to combat the effects of too much garlic in the blood.