The $11 Kitchen Tool I Never Knew I Needed Until I Worked at an Italian Restaurant
Garlic, garlic, garlic. I love this classic, fragrant ingredient, but I also often find myself asking: Why is it so difficult to work with? Peeling a clove feels like a major accomplishment, and then I remember, I still have to chop it up! The cloves wobble all over the cutting board, making precise slicing even more of a challenge.
Every time I walk into a kitchenware store or even my hardware store, I spend way too much time staring at the wall of kitchen utensils. Yet somehow it took working as a line cook, slicing garlic by the quart, for me to discover this brilliant OXO Good Grips Garlic Slicer.
If you cook with garlic, and I think most cooks do, you must be fully aware of its properties that make it a hassle to use in daily cooking. Its shape is wobbly with nowhere to lay flat, and it’s small, sticky, and pungent. Yet we can’t leave it out of the dish, because that would be massively detrimental to the joy of eating, so thus we suffer. But don’t worry, I’m here to make your life of cooking with garlic much easier with this compact, easy to use tool.
The OXO garlic slicer can fit up to five cloves in the holder, contained by a protective piece that thinly slices garlic in seconds. This nifty slicer eliminates the smelly mess on your fingers left behind from chopping cloves. And FYI, it can go right into the dishwasher, so no sticky garlic pieces left on the cutting board or knife to deal with cleaning afterwards. Once you get yours, I highly recommend making my favorite pasta dish, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, with your perfectly even garlic slices. Here, and in many other recipes, smashed or grated cloves could never replace the textural necessity of the paper-thin slice.
Now, call me a rule breaker, but this little tool can slice more than just garlic. It’s really an easier-to-use, less-intimidating miniature mandoline. If I’m slicing radishes for salads, tacos or topping tortilla soup, I simply use the handheld slicer without the garlic holder piece. I’d never whip out my full sized Benriner for something as small as baby carrots, celery, Persian cucumbers, shallots, or even chunks of hard cheese. Put the cutting board away! I just prepped a whole salad in that list using this little guy.
Clearly you can rely on this tool for all your tiny slicing needs, but back to why we’re all here: Our love of garlic. As if we couldn’t love garlic even more, this slicer has us looking for an excuse to add this power ingredient to every single meal.