What's the best way to chop garlic

Better press or cut garlic?

When it comes to chopping garlic, opinions differ widely. Many professional chefs advise against pressing because the taste would then be bitter. Others say crushing is healthier than cutting. Whether you cut or press garlic better ultimately depends on what you want to make of it.

Trick for cutting garlic: first lengthways, then crossways

For example, if you want to prepare pizza and bruschetta or cook pasta with garlic, it is a good idea to cut the garlic. So you can dose it better. Use a wooden or plastic cutting board so that you have a solid surface. The easiest way to remove the peel: hit the toe with your fist or gently crush it with the back of a knife. The shell bursts open and can be easily removed.

Cut the peeled toe with a knife that is as large and sharp as possible into fine strips lengthways, and then across. This is how small cubes are created. If you want to chop the toe, use a sharp knife to do this. But be careful: it is not always easy to chop the small garlic cloves. A chopping knife is therefore also recommended for inexperienced cooks.

Press the garlic without peeling

If you want to prepare a salad dressing, pesto or a dip, you should crush the garlic with a press. This creates a pulpy paste that can be easily mixed with the other ingredients. In general, this variant is also suitable if you process large quantities of garlic, as it is simply faster and more practical than cutting or chopping.

There are now different garlic presses. You can buy the simple models from around five euros - they are completely sufficient for private use. As a rule, the presses consist of a cylinder with a perforated base, into which the clove of garlic is placed like a piston and crushed. You can squeeze the garlic through the small holes in the bottom of the cylinder. You don't have to remove the shell beforehand - it stays in the press and can then be removed.

Advantages and disadvantages of the garlic press

When it comes to chopping garlic, opinions are divided. For a long time it was advised against pressing garlic. Many professional chefs still preach today that pressing garlic creates a bitter taste and that the valuable essential oils evaporate.

Current studies, however, suggest that garlic is healthiest when it is crushed or squeezed. The reason: Crushing it would release most of the allicin - the ingredient in garlic, which stimulates blood circulation and is said to prevent cancer.

Another benefit of the garlic press: it prevents your hands from smelling unpleasant. The disadvantage here is that the whole toe is never used when it is pressed, but rather a small residue always remains in the container. The cleaning of the press is also rather cumbersome, so it is best to make sure that the model is dishwasher-safe when you buy it.