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Garlic is somewhat of a staple ingredient in many recipes, from marinades to stir-fries to sauces. But many cooks find mincing garlic a chore; it is not particularly strenuous, but when the bits of garlic cling to the knife blade and need to be removed repeatedly, it’s hard to mince a few cloves quickly and easily—without getting garlic-scented fingers in the process. When you’re using a large quantity of garlic, a food processor can do the work, but when you need a single clove or a small handful, a smaller tool is more efficient. That is where a garlic press comes in handy.
Besides being ideal for small quantities of garlic, presses have the advantage that many of them can be used without peeling the cloves first. They come in a number of styles, shapes—and even colors. If you’re a garlic lover, it’s a sure bet that one of these gadgets will become a favorite tool in your kitchen.
Here, the best garlic presses.
Dreamfarm loves to come up with creative mash-up names for its innovative cooking tools. In this case, Garject is a mashup of garlic and eject. One innovative feature of this press is the integrated scraper tool that rubs across the face of the press to neatly scrape the garlic off, so there’s no need to use a knife to retrieve the last bits of garlicky goodness. Then, with the press opened fully, little silicone nubs fit into the press’s holes to clean them and get the skins ready for the ejection using a little lever that flips the skins away.
Once the skins are disposed of, it’s simple to rinse the press clean or wash it in the dishwasher. This press is made from metal and is available with red or black accents. The Garject Lite has a slightly smaller bowl to hold the garlic cloves, and is made from plastic rather than metal.
The Alpha Grillers garlic press is made from heavy-duty stainless steel, so it’s strong enough to crush unpeeled garlic or peeled ginger, and it won’t stain, rust or retain odors. The handles are designed for comfort, making it easy to squeeze, and when it’s time for cleaning, the press is dishwasher safe.
Of course, you can use this press with unpeeled garlic, but when you need to peel a clove or two, you’ll love the peeler tube that’s included. Just insert the garlic and roll the tube on your counter to remove the peels with little effort.
While crushing garlic through a press is easy for most folks, it can be an uncomfortable process. This press is designed for hand comfort, with soft, non-slip handles that absorb pressure, making squeezing easy.
The large capacity chamber can hold several cloves at a time, while the hole pattern is designed to get the maximum amount of usable garlic with the least effort. When you’re done, you simply rotate the handles in the opposite direction and a built-in cleaner pushes out the peels. The press is also dishwasher safe, for thorough cleaning.
Unlike a standard garlic press, the garlic rocker doesn’t have any moving parts. That makes it ideal for folks who don’t have the hand strength for squeezing the handles of a press, and even better for those who don’t have a lot of storage space in their kitchen. All you need to do is put the peeled garlic clove on your work surface, place the press on top, and while applying a little pressure rock it back and forth to squeeze the garlic through the holes. Then just scoop the garlic out to use in recipes.
This tool is made from stainless steel and is dishwasher safe, but if you prefer to hand wash, the stainless steel will help remove the garlic scent from your hands as you clean the press.
This wallet-friendly garlic press is made of heavy-duty stainless steel that is not only substantial and sturdy in the hand but also nice to look at. The design is ergonomic, making it comfortable to hold and press the garlic through. The stainless steel and nickel-plated zinc won’t rust, pit or retain odors. The bowl is smaller than some of the more expensive presses, but it is so simple to use that you may not mind having to fill it a couple of times.
The Oye garlic press is also pretty easy to clean; the basket that holds the garlic comes off, so removing the garlic skins is a more simple process than with many of the one-piece presses. It is also dishwasher safe.
A different type of garlic press, this model made entirely from clear polycarbonate uses a twisting action rather than a squeezing motion. You simply place the garlic in the bowl, put the top on, and twist back and forth to crush and mince the garlic as much as you like. Since the vessel is clear, you can see how coarse or fine the garlic is without opening it to check.
Besides garlic, the Garlic Twist can be used for ginger, shallots, small peppers, and more. This is the third generation of this design, so improvements have been made over the original, making it even better at mincing garlic perfectly. It is also dishwasher safe.
Not technically a press, since this doesn’t squeeze the garlic, but it’s in the same garlic-prep family and the results can be similar. This has spinning blades that chop and mince the garlic. It operates by rolling the wheels back and forth on your work surface, and since the blades are completely enclosed during use, kids can use this to help with cooking. The more rolling, the finer the garlic is chopped. Even better, herbs can be tossed into the Zoom to chop them along with the garlic. When chopping is done, the blades are removable, and everything is top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
The Dreamfarm Garject Self-Cleaning Garlic Press with Peel Eject earns our top spot as it presses unpeeled garlic and then self ejects making it easy, efficient, and tidy! If you're looking for a rocker-style option, we recommend the Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker.
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Donna Currie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. A self-professed "kitchen geek," she's written many roundups on a range of essential kitchen items, from the best Thanksgiving gadgets to the top seafood kitchen tools of the year.