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8 best garlic presses for quick and easy kitchen prep

Avoid laborious chopping and make great tasting dishes with one of these useful gadgets

<p>While delicious and healthy, the shape and size of the cloves mean garlic can be very fiddly to cut up, and the smell will linger on your fingers long after</p>

While delicious and healthy, the shape and size of the cloves mean garlic can be very fiddly to cut up, and the smell will linger on your fingers long after

Garlic is ubiquitous in some of the nation’s favourite dishes, from curries and stir fries to hummus and aioli. It’s no surprise given that adding a clove or two can do wonders for the flavour of your food, not to mention the fact that garlic is also well known for having health benefits, including the ability to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

But while delicious and healthy, the shape and size of the cloves mean garlic can be very fiddly to cut up, and the smell will linger on your fingers long after you’ve finished eating.

This is where a good garlic press can come in handy – you can crush through a couple of cloves within seconds and the result is pretty consistent.

Not all garlic presses are made equal though. Some will leave half of the clove trapped in the chamber, which you’ll then have to scrape out, while others will get garlic everywhere, leading to a lot of waste and making clean-up a nightmare.

We tested a range of different garlic presses to see how easy cooking and clear-up could be simply by adding one of these gadgets into our routine.

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Most of them were based on a lever system – you put the garlic into a perforated chamber attached to a bottom lever and then pull down, which forces a flat or protruding press to squeeze the cloves through the holes – but there were some more unusual ones too. Here are our favourites.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Lakeland garlic slice and dice

The Lakeland garlic gadget can prep garlic in three ways: slice, dice and puree. The slicing and dicing is done in the main chamber using interchangeable blades – you simply place a clove onto the blade, push the lid down like a stapler and the garlic is squeezed into the removable storage pot below. There’s a grid pattern on the lid that fits between the blades so all of the garlic is forced through, meaning no waste. To puree, you have to use the grater on the bottom of the storage pot – it’s a series of protrusions similar to what you might find on a ceramic grater – and rub the clove over it in a circular motion. Fair warning, this last one will get messy.

We found that this garlic prepper was quick and easy to use, and the ability to slice as well as dice made it more versatile for different types of cooking. You can only process one clove at a time, though, as otherwise the gadget will struggle under the strain but clean up is exceptionally easy. The lid has a removable guard that you take off when you’re done – it scrapes off any stray garlic as it comes away – and the whole thing is dishwasher safe.

Zwilling pro garlic press

Despite being the biggest of the garlic presses we tried, the Zwilling pro garlic press has in fact been created with minimalism in mind. The stainless steel gadget has a rounded upper handle attached to a flat press and a concave bottom handle (think the handle of a ladle) that cradles the movable garlic chamber. But it’s certainly not style over substance – the manufacturers say that the hole pattern in its garlic chamber is so efficient, you can leave the cloves unpeeled.

We put this to the test and it really did work, but it was much less messy and wasteful to peel the garlic first. Because of its size, this is one of the few garlic presses that allows you to put more than one clove of garlic in at the same time and comfortably grip with both hands to squeeze. The clean up was fairly easy: the garlic chamber can be lifted up so you can rinse around it, although we did find that because it wasn’t completely closed, some bits needed a brush to clean properly.

Stellar soft touch garlic press

The handles of the Stellar garlic press are designed to swing almost 180 degrees around a hinge. On the bottom handle is a solid garlic chamber, while the top handle has a flat press on one side and a sheet of plastic with protrusions on the other. The idea is that you swing the top handle one way to squeeze the garlic through the chamber and flip it in the other direction to use the protrusions to release any trapped garlic.

We found this garlic press fairly efficient, although because it had quite thin handles, it did feel a bit “top heavy” and might not suit those with bigger hands. The plastic protrusions managed to dislodge some of the stray garlic, which helped with the clean up. However, because the holes in the garlic chamber were quite big, there were bits of garlic that simply refused to budge.

Tala garlic press

This budget-friendly garlic press from Tala is made from stainless steel and features a detachable garlic chamber. The design is simple and lightweight – similar to Stellar’s model (£7.15, Horwood.co.uk) the press is a flat sheet rather than a solid bit of metal – and there are also loops on the end of the handles so you can hang it up.

The garlic chamber is quite small, which can be an issue for bigger cloves, but it did a decent job with the ones we put in it. However, we found that after pressing a couple of cloves, the press had a tendency to catch on the sides and lift up the garlic chamber. It also stopped forcing the cloves through the holes as cleanly as we’d like. On the plus side, the removable garlic chamber made cleaning up really easy, and the whole thing is dishwasher safe.

Zyliss susi 3 garlic press

This Zyliss garlic press is small and super-lightweight. The handles are slim and comfortable to hold, but they are fairly short, so not suitable for big hands. The press itself has protrusions to match the holes in the garlic chamber to help push more of the garlic through. And unlike other garlic presses we tried, the press on this one is suspended from the top handle and drops down into place as you lower it.

The design was fairly efficient to use and we found that there was less garlic trapped in the chamber compared with some of the alternatives. However, there are occasions when the garlic would get caught on the protrusions of the press instead – this was easy to clean up as it came with a detachable plastic brush. And because the presser is suspended rather than stuck in one position, it can catch on the sides when the garlic chamber is very full, so don’t overload it. The manufacturer says that you don’t need to peel the garlic first but, like with Zwilling’s press (£24.95, Zwilling-shop.com), we felt that there was too much waste in doing so.

Oxo good grips garlic press

The Oxo good grips garlic press is very similar to the Stellar one – the top handle swings one way to lower the solid flat press before swinging the other way so a sheet of protrusions can force any trapped garlic out of the chamber. Size-wise the two are about the same, but the Oxo version has a bigger garlic chamber and handles with better grip, and is a little bit heavier.

We found the Oxo garlic press handled really well and felt solid and sturdy during use. While very efficient at crushing a couple of cloves at the same time, a fair bit of garlic was getting trapped in the chamber. This was easily lifted by flipping the handle the other way, though. And actually we found this one to be the easiest to clean of all the ones we tried.

Joseph Joseph rocker garlic crusher

The Joseph Joseph rocker garlic crusher looks a bit like a miniature seesaw. In the middle (also the lowest point) is a honeycomb lattice for pressing the garlic while on either side are raised, curved plastic handles. You place the garlic under the lattice on a chopping board or other flat surface and then press down on it while rocking from side to side. The garlic should be forced through the holes, ready to be scooped up for use.

In reality, we found you had to be quite strong to make it work, especially if your garlic isn’t as fresh as it could be. But once it’s done, it’s easy to lift it from the chopping board straight to the pan. However, stray bits of garlic can, and do, get caught in the honeycomb, so you’ll have to get a stick to push it out. The holes are also quite large so it’s not suitable if you’re looking for a fine puree.

ProCook garlic press

This ProCook garlic press was the cheapest of the ones we tested and it was also one of the lightest. Almost the entire thing is made from moulded plastic, including the solid flat press, and it’s surprisingly comfortable to hold. The movable garlic chamber is the only bit made from metal; stainless steel in this case, but despite being largely made of plastic, we found that it was as efficient as the metal alternatives we tried.

The chamber for this one is quite spacious, so we used it with a couple of cloves at the same time and it managed to crush through them with ease. As the movable chamber was a single piece, it was really easy to clean around it. However, although it comes with a year’s guarantee, it’s obviously made of plastic, and might not last as long as some of the metal ones.

The verdict: Garlic presses

The Lakeland garlic slice and dice was a firm favourite because you can use the one gadget to prepare garlic in several different ways. Plus, compared with the other garlic presses we tried it’s very competitively priced.

We also liked the Zyliss garlic press because the detachable brush made cleaning up super easy, while ProCook’s garlic press delivered impressive performance at budget-friendly prices.

Become a whizz in the kitchen in no time with our write up of the best rice cookers for flawless, fluffy results every time

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