A good chef's knife will get you far when it comes to garlic, but sometimes even a pro chef doesn't want to haul out their cutting board, so in comes the garlic press: A lever tool designed to "mince" or finely chop garlic for recipes like Shakshuka without having to peel it.
Yes, you read that correctly: You don't need to peel garlic before using placing it in a garlic press. The flesh will separate from the peel in the basket and even allow you to continue pressing without constantly cleaning it out. Results are usually soft and a little wet, similar to a loose paste, ideal for cooking the garlic into oil in the beginning of a recipe or using in a marinade. It's very potent so you'll likely want to avoid using it raw!
In the Just Cooking Tools we have put 42 garlic presses to the test since 2014. In total, we pressed more than 252 cloves of garlic cloves (peeled and unpeeled) to determine how much yield each press produced. We also checked how sturdy each garlic press was and how easy it was to clean by hand and in the dishwasher. The best garlic presses produced the most yield, didn't bend under pressure, and were relatively easy to clean. Here are the best garlic presses you can buy in 2021:
In our test, Tomorrow's Kitchen Die Cast came out on top for both performance and ease of use. It produced a 72% yield for peeled garlic and 66% for unpeeled, which earned it a 5 out of 5 and a 4 out of 5 respectively. It offers a strong design made out of die-cast metal, which is known for being durable and long lasting: It barely had any give, no matter how hard we pressed, yet it only took a bit of pressure to press the garlic. The basket was also able to hold multiple cloves at once for big recipes.The green lever on the head works as a scraper is actually useful, and we liked that the lever is manual versus automatic.
- Produces large yield
This garlic press stands out on Amazing for having almost 8,000 five-star reviews. Reviewers say it's sturdy, easy to clean, and a good value; we agree. In our test, it was able to press peeled and unpeeled garlic without bending. Its basket swings out for easy cleaning and doesn't require a special tool, although the included brush helps. The Orblue Garlic Press also comes with silicone tube that can be used to peel garlic by rolling back and forth.
- Won't bend or deform
- Easy to clean
- Mulitple parts to store
This Oxo garlic press is heavy-duty, something we appreciate when it comes to garlic presses. It has large handles that are wrapped in silicone, which offer a slip proof grip. It also fits very comfortable in the hand, which makes it easy to use. Its large head fits multiple cloves at once and is easy to reach into to remove the peels. At 75%, it yielded the most amount of unpeeled garlic than any others we tested.
It also offers a cleaning tool on the opposite side to help release any buildup, which is extremely useful. Plus, the holes are square (unlike most of the garlic presses we tested which were round) and as a result, the pressed garlic was a little bigger and more minced looking than others.
- Soft handles feel comfortable in the palm
The Zyliss 3 Garlic Press is lightweight, among the slimmest of the bunch, and as sturdy as the other top-rated garlic presses on our list. While it couldn't easily handle multiple cloves at once, it produced a good yield, particularly when garlic was pre-peeled. Its long cleaning tool, which stores securely in the handle and pops out when you push on it, proved to be very useful with a pointed and toothed end that was able to get into corners and poke out peels.
- Lightweight yet sturdy
- Useful cleaning tool
- Works best with one garlic clove at a time
We were skeptical of the Amco Garlic Press and Slicer's dual design at first: Two swinging pushers seemed like they'd cause more trouble than it was worth, but we were pleasantly surprised by the results. You can press and slice garlic in one swift motion that feels durable. Both sections can handle peeled and unpeeled garlic, though we recommend peeling before slicing to avoid having to rummage through results later. Slices were clean-cut and even, perfect for stirring into recipes toward the end of cooking. The garlic press and slicer also comes with a cleaning tool that stores well in the handle and can be used for the press and slicer.
- Doubles as a slicer
- Brushed stainless scuffs easily
- Construction: A garlic press should be sturdy and not bend or deform when you squeeze the handles together. Look for words like cast or die cast on the packaging, which means its parts are made out of solid, molded pieces of metal.
- Style: Most garlic presses work by squeezing the handles together to press. One that we tested had a two-handed design that we found a little tricky to align and use.
- Hole size and shape: Almost all of the garlic presses we tested had round holes versus square. The larger the holes, the more "minced" the results instead of pasty.
- Basket styles: Garlic presses can be designed with baskets or holders that remain in place or swing out for easier cleaning. We do not prefer one style to the other as long as the ones that remain in place are large enough to easily reach inside and pick out peels.