5 Garlic Press Mistakes Which May Be Affecting Your Recipes

A garlic press may be a modern invention but it’s now an indispensable part of Indian households. Cutting, mincing or chopping garlic manually is quite the chore and it doesn’t always offer evenness. With a garlic press, you can mince your garlic evenly so it offers a uniform flavour and is also easier to add to the food.

However, if you have never used a garlic press or if you bought a new one, you may be making some common mistakes with this simple tool. Using garlic press the right way can make sure your garlic infused some serious flavour and aroma to your dish since it’s one of the primary aromatics. Using the right garlic press is quite important. If your press is too large, it may not effectively crush smaller cloves, leaving them partially intact and resulting in unevenly minced garlic. Using a press that's too small for larger cloves can be cumbersome and inefficient.

Before purchasing a garlic press, consider the size of the cloves you typically use in your cooking. Look for a press with a chamber size that accommodates a range of garlic bulb sizes, ensuring consistent results regardless of the cloves' sizes. Here are some other common mistakes which you may be making with your garlic press

Using it dry

Don’t use your garlic press without lubricating it first with some oil. Using olive oil in a garlic press can be a handy technique for infusing dishes with the rich flavour of garlic-infused oil. To do this, simply add peeled garlic cloves to the press as usual, then drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the cloves before pressing them. The oil helps lubricate the press, making it easier to extract the garlic while also infusing it with the aromatic flavour of olive oil. This method works particularly well for recipes that call for both minced garlic and olive oil, such as salad dressings, marinades, and pasta sauces. 

Not choosing a cupless garlic press

The cup or bowl that holds the garlic makes the press heavier and also takes away from the garlic’s aroma as it holds the garlic oil after its being pressed. Investing in a cupless garlic press will give you better flavour and it’s also easier to clean. Buy one with a mesh plate which swings out so the remaining garlic in the press slides out easily. They also have extra-wide ergonomic handles that are extremely comfortable to hold, which is great if you have to mince large quantities of garlic.

Pressing it atop a cutting board

If your pressed or minced garlic is falling on a wooden cutting board, you’re wasting quite a bit of its flavour. The garlic oil produced by the act of crushing can be used to maximise the flavour of your dish. Any flat surface will let the liquid from your pressed garlic spread all over the place and get lost but a closed, preferably circular container will hold these fresh pressings. Use a bowl or the mixing pan where you will be prepping the ingredients.

Don’t forget to measure

Don’t press your garlic without counting them out or consulting the recipe. It’s hard to guess the number of garlic used by looking at the pressed garlic but it’s easy to get carried away with a garlic press. Measuring your garlic before you press it makes sure you don’t overpower your dish with garlic. Even if you have a bigger garlic press, start with only two cloves.

Not peeling the garlic

One of the most common mistakes when using a garlic press is employing an incorrect technique. Some people simply place whole cloves into the press without peeling them first. This can result in a messy and inefficient process, with bits of garlic skin getting mixed into the minced garlic. To avoid this, always peel the garlic cloves before using the press.

Pressing too forcefully can lead to garlic that's overly crushed, releasing bitter compounds and altering the flavour. Instead, apply gentle pressure when pressing the cloves to achieve finely minced garlic without mashing it excessively. The proper technique not only ensures better flavour but also extends the lifespan of your garlic press.