Best Garlic Press of 2020
The Zulay Premium Garlic press is a simple, effective garlic press that looks good, won't break the bank, and is easy to clean to boot, checking off all the boxes for what we're looking for in a good garlic press. Its smooth, rounded handles are ergonomic and easy to squeeze, and its spiked plate pushes out juicy, minced garlic that can be easily scraped off into your favorite dish. The press design is the most common of garlic-preparation gadgets, with its most exciting benefit being that it can even press unpeeled cloves of garlic. The Zulay does this relatively well, but for best results and less garlic waste, we recommend peeling your cloves before use.
The Zulay press has a smaller chamber compared to other models we tested, but this fact is offset by how easy it is to clean between uses by peeling the extra garlic pulp off the spiked pressing plate and giving it a quick rinse, making pressing large quantities of garlic a breeze.
The cleverly designed, Chef'N Zoom Bonus garlic chopper has small, internal blades that chop garlic to your desired mince by rolling the unit back and forth on its wheels. You simply load the chamber with peeled garlic and roll it more or less depending on whether you want a coarser or finer mince. This model allows you to fully customize the size of your garlic pieces and is definitely fun to use. Because it comes with a silicone garlic peeler and is an efficient chopper with a low price tag, we think you'll get the most bang for your buck out of the Chef N'Zoom.
It is not the easiest model to clean, however, as you must take out the small internal blades, which we do not recommend as a good kitchen job for children. The minced garlic also gets stuck on all sides of the chamber, requiring a small utensil to scrape out all the garlic. It is also made entirely of plastic, and the small removable blades could be easy to lose and could also grow dull over time. But for those who like to control the size of their garlic mince and like freshly chopped instead of pressed garlic, this is a great little device for the kitchen.
The Kitchen Innovations Garlic-A-Peel is a small, square device that works by placing a peeled clove of garlic under its lid, and pushing it down through a stainless steel grid producing garlic mince that gathers in a removable plastic chamber. With interchangeable dicing and slicing blades, you can have garlic in small chunks or longer slivers. This garlic chopping device produces the least waste out of all of our models tested. It uses the entire garlic clove, leaving little pulp behind, and its convenient removable chamber makes it easy to scrape out all of the garlic.
While the Garlic-A-Peel is only suitable for chopping one clove at a time, its chamber can easily fit 5 or 6 chopped cloves, allowing you to quickly chop one clove after the other without having to clean in between, and collecting the final product all in one place. The silicone peeler it comes with is smaller and shorter than the long tubular ones that came with other models and is not as easy to use because of its length. It does fit neatly into a storage compartment at the bottom of the unit, however, making it harder to lose.
Our biggest gripe with the Garlic-A-Peel is its many removable pieces. This makes the cleaning more involved, as you must take out and individually hand-wash each piece for the best results instead of being able to throw it easily in the dishwasher. But for someone who hates the waste produced in a traditional press-style device and doesn't mind the extra cleaning steps, this is the device for you.
Some people will hate peeling garlic no matter what and don't even want to use a silicone peeler to prep the cloves for pressing. The Orblue Premium Mincer garlic press is the best choice for those who want to break off a garlic clove, throw it in a device, and have freshly pressed garlic in the least amount of steps. Its large chamber can accommodate one big clove or two smaller cloves at a time, and its big handles make pressing a fully-skinned clove quite easy even for those with weaker or smaller hands.
Like all the models we tested, you will get better results and more garlic from a peeled clove. The caveat for pressing an unpeeled clove is that the skin and extra pulp that gets flattened to the sieve must be cleaned out between each use, making the pressing of more than one clove of garlic a bit more involved. The chamber also has small openings in its corners where pieces of garlic can get hopelessly stuck, making cleaning a hassle. Luckily the Orblue comes with a little cleaning brush to aid the process. Because it comes with two accessories, this press is a great value.
The Rösle Stainless Steel Press is a sleek, German-engineered garlic press that is our choice for the highest quality build. Made entirely out of stainless steel, its heavy handles and smooth camming action make pressing easy. For those who like their kitchen appliances to look good while doing their job, the Rösle does not disappoint.
The rounded design of the sieve makes the pressed garlic slightly inefficient to extract. While other press devices have a flat design that makes it easy to scrape off the final product with a knife, the Rösle's curved design does not make it quite as easy. This press also has many moving parts and hinges — places where garlic can get stuck and left unused. While this is the best looking press we tested, it is not the most efficient. However, with its sturdy, stainless steel build and lifetime warranty, it is guaranteed to be a long-lasting press that looks good in your kitchen.
The NexTrend 3rd Generation Garlic Twist is made of two large, durable pieces of plastic with teeth that cross-cut your peeled garlic clove by twisting the device back and forth. It has a large chamber and is therefore tempting to stuff it full of cloves, but the device will only work efficiently with 1 to 3 cloves of garlic at a time. It is easy, however, to mince a clove and add another, twisting until you get your desired quantity.
Unlike a garlic press, it will not produce much of any garlic waste, mincing an entire clove. However, when it comes to scraping the garlic out of the chamber, some will inevitably get stuck and left behind in the plastic teeth. The Garlic Twist's all-plastic design is very easy to clean, with a quick rinse being all you need to wash away those pesky pieces.
The Vantic Stainless Steel Rocker is essentially a handle with a grate on the bottom, making pressing garlic as easy as pushing down on a clove and rocking back and forth to crush the garlic through. Some will prefer the simplicity of pushing down instead of the squeezing, two-handed action of traditional presses, and the Vantic makes this a breeze with its large, comfortable handle. It also comes with a silicone peeler and a small knife to easily scrape the minced garlic off the rocker, and for the inexpensive price of the unit, these items are a welcomed bonus.
You must press the garlic onto a hard surface like a cutting board, unlike other models that can press garlic directly into your recipe and this adds an extra cleaning step to the whole process. It is also easy to accidentally flatten the clove of garlic if you press too hard and forget to "rock" the Vantic back and forth to efficiently mince the clove. But once you get the motion right, this press is a great alternative to traditional presses, with no moving parts to break and a large, easy surface to clean.
The Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker is another press that works by pushing down, rocking, and forcing the garlic through a small grate. A sleek piece of stainless steel, it is a useful tool that also looks good in the kitchen, and is less bulky than the other models we tested. Unlike the Vantic with its handle design, the Joseph Joseph requires two hands to grip either side of the rocker. The garlic mince collects nicely into the concave grate, allowing you to scoop it out easily with a spoon ready to use.
The size of the holes in the grated part of the rocker is much larger than other models we tested. This produces a large, tubular garlic mince that is a little bit bigger than we like for our average recipe. One method is to press the garlic a second time or chop the mince quickly with a knife. Like the Vantic, it is easy to accidentally flatten the garlic clove while pressing down if you don't also rock the press from side to side. This can produce a lot of garlic waste, as some of the pulp comes through and the rest stays flattened to the other side of the grate.
The garlic press by Zyliss Susi 3 is a traditional-style press that comes with a silicone cleaning device that is conveniently stowed in the body of the press itself. It has a large chamber that can fit 2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic, and a nice, flat grate that allows you to scrape the minced garlic off with ease. The best feature of this press is that its cleaning tool won't easily get lost.
The cleaning tool looks like a silicone brush, with little rubber spikes that you push through the holes of the grate to loosen extra garlic pulp and then rinse away under running water. It is a little difficult to use the brush accurately and takes a few seconds to align it perfectly with the holes in the grate. It is also worrisome that the flexible silicone spikes can bend, making it even harder to align with the grate. One must be careful to not force the spikes through, to increase the longevity of the brush. The "cast aluminum" build is also not as high quality as the other stainless steel models we tested, and would probably be best to handwash instead of running it through the dishwasher to preserve the finish for as long as possible.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our reviewers have been hard at work testing the latest kitchen gadgets, bringing you years of experience testing appliances and tools that will help make your lives easier. Miya Tsudome, the main reviewer on this project, has practiced knife and culinary skills, yet knows just as well as anyone that peeling and chopping garlic is one of the chores at dinner time that is not her favorite. By testing each garlic press side-by-side, chopping, pressing, and dicing over 100 cloves of garlic, she brings an attention to detail and prioritizes ease of use to bring you honest conclusions about the best garlic presses for your needs.
We spent hours testing each press, making sure to test their holding capacity, seeing how effective some of the models were at peeling unpeeled cloves, assessing how much of a clove each press could use, testing to see how easy they were to use and clean, and assessing the quality of their build.
Analysis and Test Results
Peeling and chopping garlic can be a chore. From the difficulty of peeling the skins off the cloves by hand to attempting to get a nice, even dice from a large kitchen knife, it can take a while to do a relatively simple task. Having gadgets to make the small chores of the kitchen easier is a welcome thing in the modern age, and you won't be disappointed by adding a garlic press to your kitchen arsenal.
We rated each press against a series of metrics to see how they performed. From ease of use to effectiveness, ease of cleaning, capacity, and quality, each press was thoroughly assessed to determine which did their job the best.
Ease of Use
Specialized kitchen appliances should be easy to use. A garlic press's purpose after all is to eliminate all the steps of peeling and chopping garlic the traditional way. Some of the presses we tested can press a garlic clove with its skin on. Some come with a silicone tube that could strip the cloves of their skin by rolling them inside, to prep them for use. We measured ease of use by how much effort it took for a clove of garlic to go from unpeeled to pressed and ready to use.
The traditional-style presses like the Orblue, Zulay, Zyliss, and Rösle are the models we tested that can press a garlic clove with its skin on. For those who want the absolute least amount of steps and effort to get freshly minced garlic, these models are the answer. The Zulay was a favorite for its crisp, pressing action, but with its heavier handles and bigger chamber, the Orblue is the best choice for those who will routinely be pressing their cloves unpeeled.
While the other models we tested are all easy to use, they require the extra step of peeling the garlic clove before it can be pressed or chopped. The Vantic, Garlic-A-Peel, and Chef N'Zoom all come with silicone garlic peelers to help make this step easier and ensure you don't get pesky garlic skin sticking to your fingers and under your fingernails. While easy to use, the Joseph Joseph and NexTrend twist do not come with any peeling accessories, and you must peel your garlic cloves yourself to use them.
Many garlic presses produce some garlic waste after use. Minced garlic is sticky and often gets lost in any nooks and crannies it comes into contact with. Our testers measured the effectiveness of each press by assessing how much of the total garlic clove was used in the pressing or chopping process.
The models that "chopped" instead of "pressed" the garlic produced the least amount of garlic waste overall. The Garlic-A-Peel was our top pick for effectiveness, as little to no pulp was left stuck on the pressing lid or the grate after the garlic was pushed through. The convenient removable chamber collects all the garlic and is easy to dump into a bowl, pot, or pan, and scrape out the last pieces of garlic with a spoon for full use of the entire clove. The Chef N'Zoom also chops the entire clove of garlic, but some will get stuck on the walls of its narrow chamber, causing some minced pieces to be too cumbersome to extract. The NexTrend Garlic Twist has a large chamber to scrape garlic out of, but some will inevitably get stuck in the cross-cutting teeth.
By design, the traditional press models don't do the best job at using an entire garlic clove, because while some of the garlic will get pressed through the holes, some will also flatten against the holes from the pressure leaving extra garlic pulp behind. The waste left behind in the press was even more significant while pressing an unpeeled clove, and one must weigh the pros and cons of convenience versus effectiveness when deciding whether or not to peel their clove.
The rocker-style presses like the Vantic and Joseph Joseph also produce waste with some of the garlic getting flattened and stuck on the grate from the downward pressure, and some of the mince being difficult to extract from the holes without the use of the point of a knife or another tool.
Ease of Cleaning
While kitchen gadgets can help fast-track the cooking process, if they aren't easy to clean then they can become more trouble than they're worth. Naturally, it is much easier to clean a garlic press immediately after use. Waiting until the garlic dries is a recipe for cleaning disaster, as the minced pieces will stubbornly adhere to all surfaces.
Every model we tested was dishwasher safe, but a quick handwash was the most precise and effective cleaning method. The NexTrend Garlic Twist, with its large chamber and plastic teeth, requires only a short rinse under running water to wash away any extra garlic pieces. If there is any left stuck in the teeth, it can easily be dislodged by the tines of a fork. The Zulay's pressing plate has spikes sharp enough to catch most of the garlic pulp, which can then be peeled off and thrown away, after which a quick rinse will do the trick. The Zyliss is the only model that comes with its own built-in cleaning tool, and though a bit difficult to use, is a convenient accessory.
The chamber of the Garlic-A-Peel is easily removed and washed, but there are many parts that you must disassemble from this device to clean it in its entirety — the grate, a plate behind the pressing part of the lid, the chamber itself — that makes the cleaning a bit involved. The Chef N'Zoom is easy enough to rinse out, but you must remove the internal blades and set them aside, which is a bit precarious and could lead to a lost piece.
The Rösle and the Orblue have sieves within chambers and spaces between hinges where pieces of garlic can easily get stuck. While the Orblue does come with a tiny cleaning brush, this is an accessory we can imagine will get easily lost in all but the most organized kitchen drawers. The rocker-style presses of the Vantic and Joseph Joseph have holes that can easily get plugged full of garlic and require a fork or knife to painstakingly loosen the pulp from each hole.
When we are cooking meals that are many servings or require large amounts of garlic, having a press with a large capacity can be desirable. We tested each press to see how many cloves they could effectively press, or how large their holding chambers were for storing larger quantities of chopped cloves.
While the chopping-style presses like the Chef N'Zoom and the Garlic-A-Peel could only chop one to two small pieces of garlic at a time, their chambers are equipped to hold up to 5 or 6 minced cloves. After peeling several cloves of garlic, you can easily chop them with these devices in succession, no in-between cleaning necessary, and have a large quantity of garlic ready for your recipe.
Our testers got excited by the large chamber of the NexTrend 3rd Generation Garlic Twist and quickly filled it up with seven cloves of garlic only to find that this was a little too much for the simple twist to handle. While the chamber is large, the teeth that cut the garlic are small, so it is best to twist 1 to 2 cloves of garlic at a time. But like the Chef N'Zoom and the Garlic-A-Peel, the NexTrend can be used to chop garlic cloves in succession, storing a large amount of mince in its chamber.
The traditional-style presses could only efficiently press 1 large clove or 2 small cloves of garlic at a time. If you try to overload these devices, they will become much harder to press, and there is a good chance you'll get some garlic chunks sprayed back at you from the pressure. The Vantic rocker-style press has a larger surface area than the Joseph Joseph, but you will still only want to press 1 or 2 cloves at a time with either for the best results.
While some might not be concerned with the overall build quality of something as simple as a garlic press, others might value longevity and good materials in all their kitchen appliances. We examined each model to see how well they were built and what they were made of.
The Rösle Stainless Steel Press is made of durable and long-lasting stainless steel, with undeniably smooth hinges and pressing action and heavy handles. There is no denying that this press is well-made, with tight hinges and a body that won't rust or peel over time. The Zulay is also well-built, with rounded, ergonomic handles and an attractive, brushed finish that comes in different colors. For those who prefer to have gadgets with less moving parts that can be susceptible to breaking, the Joseph Joseph is one slim, attractive piece of durable, stainless steel.
Although the Orblue is also made of stainless steel, its chamber is of thinner density and makes a "chopping" sound as the steel pieces rub against each other. The hinges on the Orblue and the Zyliss are not as tight as the Rösle's, bringing their longevity into question. While our testers loved the effectiveness of the plastic models, the Chef N'Zoom and Garlic-A-Peel both have small removable pieces that could be prone to breaking or being eventually lost and are therefore not our top choice for overall quality.
There is no denying that freshly chopped garlic is worlds better than the kind you can buy pre-minced in a jar. Crushing and chopping garlic is an integral part of many delicious dinners, and having a tool to make the somewhat involved process a little simpler is worth the money. Whether you want a garlic press that produces the least amount of waste, is easiest to use, or easiest to clean, we know you'll find one to your liking in our round-up of the best garlic presses of 2020.
— Miya Tsudome