As you can imagine, as garlic growers we use a lot of fresh garlic at our house. Now I’ll be the first to admit that peeling and cutting, chopping or mincing fresh garlic is not the easiest way to go, but in my opinion fresh garlic is far superior to using garlic powder or even the store bought jars of minced garlic. Therefore I’m always open to easier ways of preparing fresh garlic.
I have a few tools or gadgets that are designed for use on garlic and I thought I’d share what I see as the pros and cons of each.
The first tool that I used is a simple paring knife.
I often use a paring knife if I am only peeling and slicing one or two cloves of garlic. I simply cut off the root end of the clove and slip the knife under the skin and once the skin is loosened it generally peels right off. However using a paring knife to do a lot of cloves becomes a long and tedious process so I look for simpler options.
Another garlic tool that I’ve owned for many years is a garlic press.
Since this is the only garlic press that I have ever owned I can’t speak for them all. I do think a garlic press is a great tool if you need minced garlic. I bought this garlic press many years ago at a Pampered Chef party. Pampered Chef promotes this tool by saying that you don’t even have to peel the garlic and that is true. You can put an unpeeled clove of garlic inside and squeeze the handles and the peel remains in the press while minced garlic and juice squeezes out. I do find that some of the actual garlic is left inside along with the peel and therefore gets wasted. So peeling the garlic before putting it in the press is usually my preferred method. After squeezing the garlic through the press I use a knife to scrape the minced garlic off the outside of the press and into a bowl, I also use the knife to clean out any garlic that may have been left inside the press. One thing that has always been an issue for me has been the cleaning of this tool. Making sure the garlic is cleaned out of each individual hole takes a little extra attention, and sometimes a toothpick, but looking at the Pampered Chef website I see that this tool is now sold with a cleaning tool that is designed to press into the holes and clean any garlic out of them.
My favorite garlic tools thus far is this simple garlic peeler.
It is a simple silicone tube. This particular one is made by a company called zak! designs, but I see there are other ones out there including one sold by pampered chef. To peel garlic with this, simply put a clove or two inside the tube and roll it on the counter. It doesn’t take much of a roll. I usually just only roll until I hear a crack and at this point the peel will slip right off the clove usually leaving the clove whole. Pressing too hard might result in a smashed clove but the peel still comes right off. Some of the peel sticks inside the tube, and if you are peeling a lot of garlic you may need to rinse it out once in a while, but cleaning it out is simple enough, just run some water through the tube until everything is rinsed out.
Another garlic gadget that I own is called a Garlic Twist.
When I bought the garlic twist, online, I thought it was a tool that would both peel and chop garlic. It wasn’t until after I received the item that I realized that in order to peel the garlic with it you have to smash the garlic with the flat side of this tool. Well I could use any number of items to do this. Using the garlic twist to chop or even mince garlic is easy, just put a clove or two, maybe even three depending on their size inside, put the lid on, and twist it. The more you twist the smaller it cuts the garlic. To remove the garlic you will need a spoon or small rubber spatula. I haven’t really put it through the paces, but it seems very durable. The company claims it can be used with ginger, peppers, herbs and nuts, but I have not tried any of these yet. It is made in the USA and sold by a company called NexTrend. The website says it has a lifetime warranty for durability.
One last garlic gadget I have is called Chef’n Garliczoom.
This tool is strictly for chopping garlic. To use this tool open the top door, put in a peeled clove of garlic, snap the plastic lid shut, and roll the wheels on the counter. The gear turns the sharp blades inside to chop the garlic. To get the garlic out open the bottom door and find a utensil small enough to dig the garlic out. Be careful when removing the blade for cleaning, it’s sharp. The tool will only chop one average size clove at a time and some larger size cloves may need to be cut before putting them inside.
I understand that everyone has their own preferred methods of doing things, but if you asked me which garlic tools I would recommend, I would tell you about the zak! garlic peeler http://www.zak.com/garlic_peeler_red_silicone_garlic_peeler_0078-0261 ,the Pampered Chef garlic press https://www.pamperedchef.com/shop/Cook%27s+Tools/Herb+%26+Garlic/Garlic+Press/2576 ,and of course always have a good paring knife on hand.
One last tip that I have recently read about is that professional cook often keep a bar of coffee soap in the kitchen to remove odors, including garlic and onion, from their hands before preparing the next dish. Since I now have a new batch of coffee soap ready I intend to try this.