The One Cooking Shortcut I'll Never Take in My Kitchen

The One Cooking Shortcut I'll Never Take in My Kitchen

Ariel Knutson
Aug 31, 2017
(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

I am all about taking cooking shortcuts in the kitchen. There are a lot of websites out there that will tell you that you should take your time in the kitchen, or that grocery shortcuts means you're not really "cooking," but when it's Wednesday night and it's late and I'm hungry, there's nothing that makes me feel like a smarter cook than relying on shortcuts to help me make dinner faster (and with less stress).

I have no shame in buying pre-cut butternut squash during the fall, or store-bought salsa for my breakfast tacos. I love that I don't have to bust out my stand mixer to make fresh whipped cream (use a Mason jar!) or that the fastest way to peel a mango is with a drinking glass. But there's one kitchen shortcut that I refuse to give into — one shortcut that I truly think will not benefit you or your cooking in the slightest — and that's store-bought minced garlic.

(Image credit: Eva Gruendemann/Shutterstock)

Listen, I get it, prepping garlic — especially when you only need one clove — can seem like a total waste of time. First you have to peel back all the layers, which can be totally frustrating, and then you have to run your chef's knife up and down the clove like a mad woman. The minced garlic can be sticky on the knife and your hands, and just ugh.

But here's the thing: There really is no substitute for the fresh stuff. Freshly minced garlic has a totally different flavor than the stuff that comes in the jar. It's the difference between a dish that's bright and flavorful and has a kick to it, and something that just, well, lacks in all of the above. The stuff in a jar always looks so sad and lifeless whenever I spot it in a kitchen fridge. Instead of being bright white, it's usually this sad yellow color. It had so much potential! So much life to give! It's not worth the two minutes you might save. You're honestly better off just not adding minced garlic at all to a dish than to use the stuff in a jar.

Do you mince your own garlic or do you rely on the store-bought stuff? Let us know in the comments!

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