When it comes to fiddly ingredients, garlic cloves are up there. We tested peelers, presses and choppers to bring you a review of time-saving best buys
Best for… peeling
Best bits: Speedy and efficient
Features: Peels multiple cloves, dishwasher safe
Comments: This is an upgrade from the standard silicone tube peeler. For a few extra pounds it makes shorter and more efficient work of removing the skin from individual garlic cloves. Designed with a wider middle, multiple cloves are held in place unlike a design with equal diameter. If you’re sick of getting garlic under your nails then this is the answer.
Best bits: Price, requires little strength
Features: Crushes peeled and unpeeled cloves finely, dishwasher safe
Comments: This garlic press doesn’t offer any added features and that’s what we liked about it. We found presses that both crushed and sliced tended not to do the latter well. Garlic presses can be tricky to use if you have smaller hands or stiff joints, but this one was super lightweight and manageable. It doesn’t offer a cleaning tool to get the garlic out of the holes but it left comparatively little behind and was easy to scrape clean with a knife.
OXO Good Grips garlic slicer
Best bits: Creates fine, even slices
Features: Sharp, fully protected mandolin-style blade, dishwasher safe
Comments: For fine, uniform slivers of garlic, this gadget couldn’t be beaten. It slices to a thickness of 1mm, much more quickly and efficiently than possible by hand. It’s ideal for when presentation matters and gives maximum garlicky flavour.
Buy from John Lewis
Best for… the no-nonsense cook
Best bits: Fast and fine grating, versatility
Features: Snap-on cover, measurements for grated ingredients, dishwasher safe
Comments: This superfine handheld grater turns garlic into a paste in a matter of seconds. If you want results and aren’t fussy about the smell of garlic on your hands then this is an excellent choice. It’s equally suitable for ginger, nutmeg, Parmesan and zesting, plus you can measure up to 3 tbsp using the handy storage cover.
Best for…garlic-free hands
Best bits: Easy clean, no waste
Features: Stylish and simple design, dishwasher safe, ultra durable
Comments: Most of the gadgets we tried left a little garlic behind, this was our favourite of the two that didn’t, producing a finished texture well suited to most dishes. We found the trick is to turn the grater in one direction to crush and then do a half turn in the other to create two small piles of garlic that are easy to remove. No little holes to poke the garlic out of, this gadget can be rinsed and washed with no effort.
Buy from The Garlic Farm
A sprinkling of salt and the flat side of a cook’s knife is surely the most efficient way to render garlic to a paste. Slicing accurately is equally at your fingertips using a sharp knife. The downside? Very garlicky hands. And that’s where garlic crushers, slicers and peelers come in. They also speed up preparation time.
What should I buy?
The finer you chop or crush garlic, the stronger it tastes. This is because more of the cells that release the strong aroma and potent flavour are broken down. If you’re after a powerful hit, a press or crusher is your best bet. For a more delicate flavour, opt for a slicer. We think a peeler is a worthwhile investment as even the products that don’t require pre-peeling still work more efficiently when you do.
What we looked for
Quick to use: We chose simple designs that articulated smoothly. Stiff or clunky mechanisms were discarded.
Easy to clean: Garlic gadgets have a reputation for being difficult to clean. We avoided products with awkward to reach parts and all were dishwasher safe.
A good crush or slice: We looked for tools that left our garlic evenly chopped or sliced with little wastage.
More advice on buying kitchen kit
This review was last updated in April 2017. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
Do you have a garlic gadget you can't live without, or do you prefer a manual approach? Let us know in the comments below...