Garlic's signature, pungent aroma comes from a sulfuric compound called allicin, which is created and released when garlic is cut. The more a garlic clove cells are chopped and broken up, the stronger the flavor will be. Which is why a pureed garlic clove can taste much more garlicky than a chopped one, while a whole clove might lend a subtle, almost sweet garlic flavor to dishes.
Curious how different preparations will affect the outcome of your dishes? Learn how to peel, chop, mince, and more, with the help of OXO's garlic tools, to create a range of garlicky goodness.
How to Peel Whole Garlic Cloves
Often called for in soups, stews and roasts, whole garlic releases the most subtle flavor of all preparations because it requires very few, if any cuts. For easy prep, we use the Garlic Peeler(Opens in a new window). Simply roll on the countertop while pressing downward. Cloves come out peeled, but hands stay clean and won't smell garlicky. Cooking with a whole clove of garlic will yield a lighter, more mellow garlic taste.
How to Slice Garlic
One of our favorite ways to prepare garlic is to use a slicer to create thin, even pieces. Equipped with a bi-directional blade, the Garlic Slicer(Opens in a new window) produces a result that's perfect for stir fry recipes and simple pastas. Compared to whole clove, sliced garlic will release more of the essential garlic flavor as it’s cells have been broken up by each slice.
How to Chop and Mince Garlic
Recipes most commonly call for chopped or minced garlic. What's the difference? Technically, a mince is finer than a chop and closer in texture to crushed garlic (see below). Typically this is done by hand with a knife. Preparing a big batch? We like to use a Chopper(Opens in a new window) to process multiple cloves at once. Compared to sliced, chopped and minced garlic will be more pungent as even more of the garlic cells will be broken down by the chopper or knife.
How to Crush Garlic
A go-to tool for saving time, the Garlic Press(Opens in a new window) crushes garlic with a squeeze. Texture wise, the press achieves something between minced and grated. Because each clove has been pushed through a small hole pattern, breaking many of its cells, the result is a bold, garlic-forward taste. One bonus: the OXO press can process unpeeled cloves, saving time and mess.
How to Grate Garlic
Occasionally, recipes call for grated or pureed garlic. This method will yield the most pungent taste of all options listed because it involves making many small cuts to the garlic’s cells. Our go-to tool is the etched garlic grater(Opens in a new window), but in a pinch we often use the garlic press as the results are very similar.
What is your favorite way to use garlic in your cooking? Plus, find out which mandoline or grater is best to use for your next meal.