or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Garlic - Do you mince or use a press?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Garlic - Do you mince or use a press?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
In another thread about knife skills we were talking about mincing garlic and I was wondering what everyone's preference was mincing or pressing. This past year I find myself reaching for my garlic press more and more instead of mincing. 
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #2 of 39
I prefer to mince because I'm pretentious like that.
 
  Seriously though I do prefer to mince just because most of my cooking is rustic in style.  However, I use a fine grater instead of pressing when time is short.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #3 of 39
Depends. If I've got the board and knife out already from other work, I'll mince. If not, then I press.
post #4 of 39

A microplane grater works wonders. Zip zip quick.

post #5 of 39
Smack wit the side of the knife then mince
post #6 of 39
Depends on my mood and what I'm cooking.  Yesterday when making the bit pots of chili and spaghetti sauce, I minced because I was a chopping fool. lol  Other times, I'll pull out the press.
post #7 of 39
I've got a press but I rarely use it.  Usually just whack or crush with the side of the knife and mince if doing just a few cloves.  If doing a lot, then the press.  I just don't like cleaning the thing.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #8 of 39
Went through a period trying various makes/models of presses, and concluded I didn't see the point of them. They tend to clog, have to be washed, and don't do as good a job as my knife.

So, the obvious answer, I prefer to mince or crush into a paste.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
I never used a press until I tried the cooksillustrated one and then I started using it a lot more.

http://www.cheftalk.com/products/kuhn-rikon-stainless-steel-epicurean-garlic-press



Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Went through a period trying various makes/models of presses, and concluded I didn't see the point of them. They tend to clog, have to be washed, and don't do as good a job as my knife.

So, the obvious answer, I prefer to mince or crush into a paste.
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #10 of 39
I stopped using a press many years ago. More trouble than it's worrth in my opinion.
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post

In another thread about knife skills we were talking about mincing garlic and I was wondering what everyone's preference was mincing or pressing. This past year I find myself reaching for my garlic press more and more instead of mincing. 


I use my knife for minced and a mortar and pestle to liquefy when making guacamole or garlic oil (for pizza).

I've used presses and actually like them, but gave up after breaking several in a row,

Terry
post #12 of 39
oh I was showing this thread to my 20 year old son and he said the best way is with a razor blade!
I said "What!" He said "Mom havn't you seen the movie Good Fellows?"

Does anyone know what he's talking about?

Gypsy
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #13 of 39
He's referring to a scene in that movie where some mobsters are still experiencing the the good things in life in the big house by preparing their own meals. The 'chef' insists the secret of good spagetti is to produce transparent slices of garlic using a razor blade....
It's based on the life of Henry Hill so apparently it was both what you knew & who you knew that got you a razor blade in the joint!
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
Reply
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
Reply
post #14 of 39
Sorry gypsy.. good fellows sounds like they were cutting something less like garlic than flour....

(Titomike thanks for the explanation, one less sleepless mother tonight!)

So.. as far as the original question, I've tried presses, I don't "get" what the hell the press does? More often than not it just clogs up and I end up with a couple small rice like garlic pieces, and a puddle of juice/pulp sitting inside it. It looks like a mini ricer, that works for potatoes that have been softened. What is that supposed to do for me with garlic? How did that speed up anything?

I am a firm believer in striking the clove. You don't have to smash it so hard things go flying, just enough to fracture the internal structure some, then chop it. The chop ends up a dice. Yes it can be sticky, but if you are avoiding a technique because your knife got "ewww icky" then I refuse to speak to you... well not really... but you get the point.
post #15 of 39
that's so awsome ..real chefs at work in the joint! Well my son got the movie out and just showed me the scene. I then realized I had watched it years ago and forgot  that movie. It was so violent all about the real italian mobsters..but he was Irish the main character I think....anyhoW what a lark my son had the movie ...

thanks for the update Tikomike

Gypsy
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #16 of 39
KYH and others who mince - I'm with you.  By the time you've found your garlic press, make sure its all settled in, then crush, scrape off, clear out the mush,  THEN clean it....Good grief...just use your knife.  If you want to get it really smooth, add some salt to the garlic on the board as an abrasive, then  crush and smoosh with the side of the blade till smooth enough for what your want.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #17 of 39
I'll use the press when I don't feel like dragging out the board and am not chopping anything else (rarely) but generally don't mince either. 
I find mincing (if by that you mean cutting slices into the clove leaving one end entire, and then cross cutting across the "fringe" you've created) to be way too time-consuming. 

I cut in half crosswise, put the flat sides down on the board and smash with the knife (it breaks it up more than just smashing the whole clove or lenghthwise cut clove) - then i chop back and forth over the smashed thing, then if i want it really fine, I rub the thick end of the blade over it like a spatula or palette knife - at a low angle to the board, and smear it more.  I can get it to a real cream like this.  I do this especially if i'm putting it into something raw. 

But depending on the last result I might just slice it (like for sauteeing cooked vegetables in oil for flavor, or for cooking stuff like cauliflower or zucchine slowly in oil till they get soft, for putting on pasta).  In that case you need the pieces to be bigger or they'll burn.

Still, i will also just put it in my garlic press, when i don't feel like peeling.  (trick: cut the unpeeled garlic crosswise and put the cut sides down facing the holes on the press.  Then the skin won't impede the garlic from coming out. 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #18 of 39

Touching on food science but for me garlic in Chile or Beef Burgundy is getting pressed. After a two or three hour simmer, the extra time to mince will have no flavor or texture gain IMO. I would think garlic through a press would be more beneficial for this as the cell structure gets thoroughly broken down and distributed.

 

For something like Green Beans Lyonnaise, or Shrimp with Garlic, I do minced.  I feel the structure of the garlic is kept more intact. Thus you end up with a layering and some separation of flavors in the dish. For you professionals out there, am I on the right track?     

post #19 of 39
The absolute best way I know of is to smash it, sprinkle it with coarse salt, and work it into a paste with a bench scraper or back of knife.  The salt acts as an abrasive and makes short work of it.
post #20 of 39
"Best" is a kind of nebulous term, Benway.

I often use the technique you describe. But if you really want a smooth garlic paste, the "best" way is to put the salt and garlic in a mortar, and go to work with the pestle.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #21 of 39
depends on the food im cooking and who im cooking for sometimes. the last chef i had hated biting into garlic and wanted everyone to paste it before adding. i dont mind it or my family. i just smash it with my knife mince and paste again.
Chef it up errrrday!!!
Reply
Chef it up errrrday!!!
Reply
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

Smack wit the side of the knife then mince

my usual technique as well. Sometimes when  I really want a lot of flavor and little mess, I will rough dice and place in a thick shot glass I own and pulp it with a wooden handled spoon. I don't like garlic presses , I always seem to have a bunch of garlic stuck in it and those little holes.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
post #23 of 39
definitely mince. i tend to get into a bit of a zone with my monster of a 12", especially if im already using it for the rest of whatever it is im prepping to make. smack the hell out of it, and get to mincing. i've never used a press, but i havent heard to many good things. although im sure there's many people who use it, i like the old fashioned way.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post




my usual technique as well. Sometimes when  I really want a lot of flavor and little mess, I will rough dice and place in a thick shot glass I own and pulp it with a wooden handled spoon. I don't like garlic presses , I always seem to have a bunch of garlic stuck in it and those little holes.
 

hahaha...thats how you improvise right there! two thumbs up on that!
post #25 of 39
 My knife, and I sprinkle salt on  the garlic (.1. It acts as an abrasive 2.It stops garlic from sticking to blade.)

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #26 of 39
 Sorry guys because I really dislike the aroma of garlic on my hands and chopping boards etc., etc., have opted out of preparing it and use garlic puree from a tube, not quite a pungent as the real thing but definitely my choice these days.  
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post

I've got a press but I rarely use it.  Usually just whack or crush with the side of the knife and mince if doing just a few cloves,

mjb.
 


I agree, I usually crush it with the heel of the blade but I always do. I personally can't stand garlic presses/crushers. When I used to use them they used to come out really nasty looking, but I also feel that you are destroying such a wonderful ingrident using a press. Treat your garlic with love and respect :)

"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
Reply
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
Reply
post #28 of 39

I've had a few garlic presses over the years. A couple are still lurking in the drawer somewhere but it's been years since I used one. It's so simple to just whack it with a knife, pull the skin off and chop. Why have one more thing to clean?

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaside View Post

 Sorry guys because I really dislike the aroma of garlic on my hands and chopping boards etc., etc., have opted out of preparing it and use garlic puree from a tube, not quite a pungent as the real thing but definitely my choice these days.  



It is for this reason that most of us have seperate chopping boards.  One for fruits/veggies, one for fish, one for meat, etc.  I personally (and would be willing to bet others as well) have a seperate chopping board just for onions and garlic alone.  To get the smell off your hands just wash them, rub them with half a lemon, and wash again. 

 

Garlic from a tube is horrifying.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #30 of 39

Well  Koukouvagia, I have bought fresh garlic and I always have fresh lemons so I'm ready to go,  actually have just remembered that In a Kitchen Equipment Store I often visit, they had little plastic squares with a garlic clove printed on them - now I realise their purpose!!  Thank you 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Garlic - Do you mince or use a press?