Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How to Slice, Mince and Crush Garlic

posted in Spices and Seasonings by Kathy Maister

A small amount of garlic goes a long way.

Crushing or mincing garlic releases more essential oils than just slicing the garlic. The more oil released, the stronger the flavor. Cooked garlic has a much softer and sweeter flavor than raw garlic, which can have a bit of a bite if too much is used.

This is what sliced, minced and crushed garlic looks like.

imgp4121_305

You need a garlic press to crush garlic. The price of a garlic press can range anywhere from a low of about $4.00 to a high of about $25.00. Mine was $8. Many of the expensive ones have nubs so that when you flip the press back on itself, it helps to clear the garlic out of the little holes. It’s helpful but not essential.

imgp4284_305

Put the peeled garlic into press.

imgp4288_305

Close the press.

imgp4305_305

Squeeze hard until all the garlic is pressed through.

A garlic press isn’t useful for doing much but pressing garlic, but you’ll be surprised at how much you use it. I think it’s worth getting one!

When it comes to mincing or slicing a clove of garlic, first choose a knife you are comfortable using. For some people, it will be a small paring knife like this.

imgp24031_305_01

Try to make the slices as thin as possible. (There are some movies where you see people slicing garlic with a razor blade to get the slices really thin!)

Once the garlic is sliced you can then mince it. Use a chopping motion with the knife, holding down the tip.

imgp24231_305

You will need to carefully brush the garlic off your knife, as it tends to pile up on the knife as you continue to mince.

That’s it! Stay tuned for Curing Garlic Breath!

If you are new to startcooking, or are a regular visitor here, please consider subscribing for free.

17 Comments

Jon Sacker said:

Kathy,
Kathy,

I’m so glad you mentioned the ‘slicing the garlic with a razor blade’ scene. If any of your readers don’t know it, it comes from that great Mafia film Goodfellas.

I’ve always wanted to be able to slice garlic that finely :-)

I’m so glad you mentioned the ‘slicing the garlic with a razor blade’ scene. If any of your readers don’t know it, it comes from that great Mafia film Goodfellas.

I’ve always wanted to be bale to slice garlic that finely :-)

Tom SW said:

Garlic crushers are pointless. You can crush garlic very simply with a knife and maybe a bit of salt.

If you want to cut it very fine, forget the razor blade and just don’t try and cut all the way through the clove – make lots and lots of cuts, shredding the top half so that when you turn it on its side and cut slices you end up with very fine specks of garlic (and about half the clove still intact).

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Tom! A garlic press is great for someone just learning how to cook. You are right that, (once a beginner gets comfortable using a large knive,) crushing garlic with a knife is easy. It’s really all about learning how to use knives properly!

me said:

I just use a microplane. I haven’t chopped or pressed garlic since.

It’s easy and to the point. Just don’t go too fast or you may cut your fingers. If the holes clog, just take a spoon and scoop up the garlic.

This works for me. You may be able to find one at “Lig Bots” for 3.00.

Kathy Maister said:

I love using my microplane for lemon zest, ginger, and of course garlic. Everyone should keep in mind that the finer garlic is minced/crushed-the stronger the garlic flavor!

Michael said:

How do you preserve crushed / minced garlic?

Kathy Maister said:

There are several ways to store fresh garlic.

Freezing it is actually one option and storing it in oil is another option.

According to The Garlic Store:
“A word of caution: NEVER allow garlic in oil to sit at room temperature. It is a hotbed for botulism. Keep it refrigerated or frozen at all times.”

Dave Dreyer said:

Kathy,

I’m just learning how to cook and I find your website so useful.

It’s hard to find resources, even online, for techniques like mincing garlic and it helps that it’s visual.

Keep up the good work!

-Dave

Mayra said:

Is there any way to avoid refrigerated minced garlic becoming green?

Mark said:

re: Is there any way to avoid refrigerated minced garlic becoming green?

Not sure, pre processed garlic found in stores seems to have the problem solved but not sure how. Probably some sort of preservative, salt or citric acid I’m guessing.

I love fresh garlic but I always keep a jar of pre chopped garlic from the retail store handy also.

Depending where your from Derlea (www.derlea.com) or Christopher Ranch (www

.christopherranch.com) are two great pre processed garlic providers.

Derlea is Canadian, not sure if you’ll find them in the states, Christopher Ranch is from California, they can be found all over the U.S and in some parts of Canada.

Kathy Maister said:

If you use a lot of garlic, having it pre-chopped is a time saver. (I do understand that for the beginner cook Preparing Garlic (Video) can seem like a difficult task but with practice it is quite a simple maneuver.)

I have never found garlic from a jar that I like. But I recently bought Melissa Fresh Peeled Garlic and it is fantastic! The bag contains the equivalent of four bulbs of garlic. The great thing is that they are shrink-wrapped into little mini packages of four. I loved the convenience of having fresh garlic ready to go, and it seemed to last forever in the refrigerator.

Deb Johnson said:

How long does minced garlic in oil store in the refirgerator? Can it be frozen in the oil, or would it be best to just freeze the cleaned cloves?

Kathy Maister said:

Here are some great tips on freezing garlic from the University of Missouri:

“Garlic is best frozen in wide mouth freezer jars. Plastic containers and freezer bags tend to allow the garlic aroma to flavor other frozen foods like ice cream, meat, and entrees.
Chop the garlic, wrap it tightly in a glass freezer jar, and freeze. To use, grate or break off the amount needed.
OR
Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as needed.
OR
Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic. The puree will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape out parts to use in sautéing. Freeze this mixture immediately.
Do not store it at room temperature. The combination of the low-acid garlic, the exclusion of air (by mixing with oil), and room-temperature storage can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum.”

Whammy! said:

Garlic presses are the worst invention ever. They only have one use and they are the absolute hardest kitchen tool to clean. I’ve never tried one of the ones that comes with “nubs” but I doubt they are all that much better. It doesn’t matter if you’re just “learning how to cook” – knives are universal and simple. Just keep cutting until the garlic doesn’t get any smaller. I’d rather buy pre-crushed garlic than clean a press again.

startcooking said:

Some garlic presses work much better than others. It sounds like you have not had much luck finding one that works for you!

erushe said:

Is there something that makes the odor of garlic on the pressing tool used go away?

startcooking said:

Erushe, that is an excellent question.

If your garlic press did not come with a little cleaning tool, then it is difficult to remove the bits of garlic left in the tiny holes.

I usually scrape out as much of the bits as possible right after using the garlic press. Then, immediately put a dab of dish washing liquid on the press and stick it in a cup of hot water. When I am ready to do the washing up, the bits of garlic on the press will rinse right off. I then stick the press in the dishwasher.

The trick is get your garlic press soaking immediately after use.

Good Luck!
Kathy