Kitchn Love Letters

Chefs Hate Garlic Presses — But I Think That’s Because They’ve Never Tried This One

published Dec 16, 2021
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Whole garlic cloves, individual peeled cloves, and a small pile of pressed garlic on a cutting board
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Earlier this year, I set out to write an article about the garlic presses that chefs love. Garlic is such a ubiquitous ingredient — and one that pro cooks use with abandon — that I assumed recommendations would come pouring in. I thought, for sure, chefs would have a few tools to suggest. But after asking more than a dozen restaurant professionals, I had only learned one thing: Chefs hate garlic presses.

“My garlic press gets no love,” said one veggie-loving cook. Another shared a video of Jacques Pepin chopping a head of garlic with a knife by way of explanation: “Sorry, but the master does it by hand.” A lot of chefs I spoke to batch prep garlic in a food processor. Good for them! But here’s the thing: Most home cooks don’t need to prepare four-dozen cloves at a time. For those of us who love garlic but aren’t trying to feed a restaurant full of people, a garlic press is the perfect tool for the job. And I think that mine is the best one on the market.

I own the Williams Sonoma XL Ultimate Garlic Press, and I think you should, too. (Unless you’re a chef. In which case, just keep churning out that haterade.) This is a hefty press, measuring 7 1/2-inches long and weighing a full pound. It’s made with BPA-free silicone and nylon in the loveliest forest green color; I never thought I’d find a garlic press pretty, but this one truly is. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

I love that this press ekes out every last bit of garlic — there’s very little waste left behind after the cloves are smashed through the screen. That means more garlic in your pan and an easier cleanup. And of course, you don’t have to stink up a cutting board or your hands to achieve that pungent, paste-like texture.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

But the real selling point of this monster is the XL metal basket. It can hold an extravagant amount of garlic, which is, frankly, the only acceptable amount of garlic. The last time I used mine, I fit in seven cloves! (These are the things that excite me!) I typically pack the press to the brim and transfer any leftover minced garlic in an airtight container. It keeps in the refrigerator for a few days, which means I always have expertly-minced garlic ready for sautéing. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

This garlic press is a Williams Sonoma exclusive. It retails for $54.95, which is not a small amount of money. But it’s worth every cent and more. I may never convince my chef friends to spring for their own garlic press, but that’s OK: I love mine enough for all of us. 

Do you have strong *feelings* about garlic presses? Share them in the comments below.