Garlic is quite possibly the most beloved allium in the culinary universe. And it’s no wonder! Even a tiny bit of it adds fantastic flavor and dimension to pretty much any dish, whether stir-fries, soups, stews or marinades. But peeling and mincing garlic can be a chore, especially if you plan on using a lot of it (as any garlic lover would). That’s where utensils like garlic presses and crushers come in for home cooks. They let you prepare a bunch of cloves all in one go, which saves you precious time in the kitchen —no chef’s knives or cutting boards required.
Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press
OXO Good Grips Soft Handled Garlic Press
Orblue Garlic Press and Peeler Set
NexTrend Garlic Twister
Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker Crusher
We asked experts for their favorite gadgets, referenced Amazon reviews and tried out several for ourselves in order to choose the very best garlic presses and crushers based on functionality and ease of use. For more information on how to use these gadgets, plus the difference between presses and crushers, be sure to check out the bottom of the article.
The Kuhn Rikon garlic press proved to be the best overall stainless steel garlic press of the different tools we tried. The sturdy weighted handle presses cloves with ease, and an inner lever flips out for easy cleaning of excess garlic. The whole thing is dishwasher-safe as well. This is my own personal garlic press, which I’ve had for nearly a decade, so I can attest to its durability.
Michael East, a veteran chef based in Colorado, concurs. “This small garlic press is great. It’s easy to use, the garlic cloves simply need to be placed on the grooves and then press down on the smooth end to easily crush the garlic. This one is my personal favorite, as it’s much easier to clean than a traditional garlic press.”
One Amazon reviewer also gave it five stars: "The all-metal construction is not going to snap, like my old plastic-handled one did. This garlic press is extremely easy to clean and extract the garlic skin from. The chamber is actually made from the side of the handle and a hinged plate that swings all the way up. So when you swing the plate up, all the bits come up with it, where you can blast it with water from all sides or get a brush or scrubber in there easily."
The OXO Good Grips garlic press is best if you want to press multiple cloves at once. It has the largest capacity chamber of the presses we’ve tested; we were able to press three to four cloves in one go. We also like the soft and comfortable nonslip handle, which absorbs pressure while squeezing. The results weren’t quite as good as that of the Kuhn Rikon — the yield seems lower overall — but it’s still a solid press.
“From my experience as a chef, I find the OXO Good Grips garlic press to be the most effective product currently on the market,” said Jenna Moran, a professional chef and founder of Whimsy and Spice, an online culinary hub. “This is because its soft rubber handles make it much easier to squeeze the ingredient without needing too much force. On top of this, the garlic ‘basket’ in the press is large enough to fit at least three cloves, which saves a lot of time when prepping.”
It's popular on Amazon too, with over 26,000 five-star reviews. "I have crushed so much garlic since my new garlic press arrived that I don't think I'll be seeing any vampires again any time soon," said one. "I love this thing. Pop in a peeled clove and, presto! — crushed garlic. It's heavy-duty and easy to clean and, really, I have no complaints."
Another decent choice is this garlic press from Orblue. We like its robust and durable stainless steel construction, plus, it's dishwasher safe. We especially appreciate that it comes with an additional silicone garlic peeler in the box. That said, we didn’t particularly like the handles, compared to the others'; it was a little harder to grip and squeeze compared to the OXO and Kuhn Rikon.
“One of the best garlic presses on the market is the Orblue garlic press,” said Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review. “It’s stainless steel, easy to use, and its simple design makes cleanup a breeze. It’s also very reasonably priced.”
This Amazon shopper loves it too: "I wouldn't normally get excited over a garlic press. However, this set was a head-turner. ... First, the garlic press is of great quality and easy to use. The post-smashed cloves left in the holder are very thin compared to the last cheap press I had, so more of the garlic is actually used. Next, and sadly most excitingly, the rubber roller is THE BOMB at peeling garlic. ... Holy crap, this thing actually works!"
If you want a multifunctional kitchen tool that doesn't just mince garlic but also ginger, herbs and nuts, then this unique garlic twister from NexTrend is perfect for you. We found it fairly easy to use — simply place peeled garlic cloves inside, and twist the unit back and forth for the mincing teeth to do their work.
Of all the different presses we’ve tried, the Garlic Twister produces results that are the closest to traditional knife work. Instead of a slightly pasty consistency, the Garlic Twister turned out normal, minced garlic. We also tried mincing ginger with it, and though it was a little more difficult — ginger tends to be tougher than garlic, of course — it still works surprisingly well. However, we didn’t like that you had to meticulously dig out the garlic and ginger from the Twister’s crevices, which is why we still tend to prefer the traditional press, as the process is a lot faster. The good news is it’s dishwasher safe.
“When pressing garlic, I always prefer a twisting press to a standard press,” said Isabella Flint, a professional chef and founder of Fanatically Food, a culinary site for home chefs. “Not only is it less straining, but you often get a more evenly pressed garlic, and you don’t have to scrape big lumps off of the inside.”
This reviewer says it also helps avoid garlic odor on smelly fingers: "I cook a lot, and I need minced garlic frequently. But I hate mincing it with a knife. My knife skills aren't great, but mainly I wanted to avoid smelly hands from cutting garlic. This Twister works exactly as described and makes the job a breeze. As recommended, I always rinse it before any garlic bits dry on it. Then I wash it on the top rack of the dishwasher. My only regret is that I didn't know about this a long time ago. I highly recommend it."
Another method of crushing garlic is with a garlic rocker, like this one from Joseph Joseph. It’s simple to use — just rock it back and forth. Unlike a press, you can actually use the garlic crusher over multiple cloves, as it’ll all gather in the bowl shape anyway.
We found this very satisfying to use but didn’t think it was any easier than using a regular press. Additionally, the results were a little chunkier than what we would like on the first pass — we found that we needed to rock it over the cloves a few times, to get a finer consistency.
“The Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker is a compact design that requires little to no effort to crush the garlic,” said Eric Sornoso, a co-founder and recipe developer at Mealfan, a meal delivery service. “Worry no more if you dread cleaning after peeling and crushing garlic cloves. This rocker-style machine is easy to use. All you need to do is wiggle your wrists and get minced or pastelike garlic.”
“However, it’s not the same as a garlic press,” he continued. “Those are much more refined than a simple rocker machine. So, you may experience inconsistency in the squeezed garlic. But you don’t need to worry about stinking up your cabinet. The garlic [rockers] don’t absorb the smell.”
One Amazon shopper is very impressed with it: "This is probably the best garlic press tool there is out there. I have used mine now for over a year and liked it so much I bought another one for a friend. I used a Steel Spatula to smash garlic out of their husks and then in no time at all have pressed garlic, in like five minutes. Tool is very easy to clean."
What's the difference between a garlic press and a garlic crusher? What about a garlic twister?
A garlic press is a kitchen gadget that extrudes a garlic clove through a grid of fine holes, typically by squeezing two levers together. A garlic crusher, on the other hand, usually has a curved shape and has to be rocked back and forth over the garlic cloves. There's also a third category called a garlic twister, which uses a twisting method to chop up garlic.
Why do people like garlic presses or crushers?
The convenience! Chopping up garlic by hand can be tedious, especially if you have to deal with a whole bunch of cloves at once. Garlic presses and crushers on the other hand, let you mince or chop a lot of garlic with minimal effort. Plus, you don't have to worry about your hands smelling like garlic all day.
Are they better than using a knife?
It depends on how you define "better." If you have patience and excellent knife skills, then yes, using a knife is certainly cheaper than using a garlic press. The resulting minced or chopped garlic might also not be as smashed up as it might be with a garlic press. But if you just want garlic in a sauce or soup, then the consistency of the garlic doesn't matter, as it'll blend in with the rest of the meal anyway. Plus, garlic presses are pretty affordable, and the savings in time and energy more than make up for the cost.
What to look for in a garlic press or crusher?
There are a few important criteria to look for in a high-quality garlic press or crusher. First is how well the item presses the garlic. You generally want the garlic to be minced finely, but not to a paste. Additionally, you want the press to "press" as much garlic out of the clove, leaving as little skin behind as possible. You also want it to feel comfortable in the hand. You should not have to squeeze super hard for the press to do its job. Just a simple squeeze should be enough. As for a crusher, you should also choose one that fits your ergonomic needs.
Do you need to peel the cloves?
If it's a really good press, no! Our top pick, the Kuhn Rikon, does not require it, and neither does the OXO. However, the rest of the selections above do recommend removing the peel before using the gadget on unpeeled cloves of garlic.
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.