Garlic press review
I do a lot of cooking, and I like garlic in a lot of things. I like all of the alliums, but others do not need the same amount of attention. Sure onions and leeks are a bit of work, peeling and chopping or washing and chopping, but for many dishes you can't beat super fine garlic which is a lot of effort to hand chop.
I expect everyone actually knows that. Garlic presses are a widely available kitchen tool for exactly that reason. So why the need to bring all of this up? Because in the course of cooking in a number of different kitchens (vacation house rentals), I've used a number of different presses and most are a lack-luster experience.
But there's one I found, and some time afterwards saw a very favorable review for at America's Test Kitchen that stands out as a very satisfying experience: the Kuhn Rikon "Epicurian" garlic press. It's got a bit of an eye watering price tag, at roughly eight times the price of the bargain alternatives.
America's Test Kitchen finds it best at crushing unpeeled garlic and the swing open hopper good for getting remanents out. I was attracted to the heavy metal construstion and that swing out hopper. And I use it for some off-label uses, aided by the same leverage that helps with crushing unpeeled garlic.
Besides garlic, two things I crush with it on a somewhat regular basis are jalapeños and ginger root.
Jalapeños are not difficult to chop up, I usually only go with the press if I'm using the press for garlic anyway and I'm making a recipe for which extremely fine jalapeño mash is acceptable. So not pico de gallo, aka salsa fresca.
Ginger root, however, is a chore to chop. And the garlic press is a help, but it still needs some strong squeezing. I find the best way to press ginger is to peel it and cut into smallish pieces that can be put in the press with the strands of the ginger oriented to push through the holes. Don't want the fibers forming a long matt across the press output. For a lot of ginger, the fibrous build-up that fails to get pushed through will need to be cleared before continuing.
For recipes with all three, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños, the Kuhn Rikon "Epicurian" garlic press takes the place of five minutes or so with the mezzaluna or careful work with a different knife, and has a faster, easier clean up.
(No one paid me or compensated me for this review, and I'm not linking to any e-store that sells it. I got mine about two years ago from a brick and mortar store.)