Garlic is a wondrous thing in so many ways but it also has its downsides — it can be a pain in the butt to peel and mince.
Never fear, however, as there are some simple tips and techniques that can teach you to mince garlic like a pro and save a ton of time in the kitchen.
Keep in mind, too, that there’s really no right or wrong way to mince garlic. As long as you accomplish your end goal — cutting up your garlic to use with your dish — you’re good to go, even if it takes you a little longer to get there in the end.
A good 8 inch chef’s knife is indispensable in the kitchen and should be your tool of choice when it comes to chopping or mincing garlic.
How to Mince Garlic
- Use the right tools for the job. If you’re still hanging onto that $15 knife set you bought at Target when you first moved into your own place, it’s time to step up your game. If you’re going to buy just one nice knife, start with a 8 inch chef’s knife, as it’s a versatile knife that you’ll reach for time and time again.
- Be rough. Don’t be fussy or shy when its time to mince garlic. Break up the garlic head by placing it on a cutting board and pushing down hard with the heel of your hand. Lean into it and the cloves will easily separate. Cut off the base of a clove then crush it with the flat blade of the knife, with the sharp edge pointing away from you and applying strong pressure with the base of your hand. This break up the clove and lets you quickly and easily peel away the wrapper and skin.
- Have a game plan. The finer you mince and crush the garlic, the stronger it will taste. If you’re working with a very robust tasting garlic and want to throttle back the flavor, cut into larger pieces. If you want to revel in that wonderful garlicky taste, mince it as finely as possible, frequently pausing to crush it into your cutting board with the flat of the knife blade.
- Rock it, baby, rock it. There’s a trick to quick mincing which isn’t necessarily intuitive and easy at first try. Instead of holding the garlic clove with one hand and hacking at it with another, using a rocking motion with the blade, with one hand applying pressure towards the front of the blade and the other gently holding the handle. A picture — or in this case a video — is worth a thousand words, so here’s a pro demonstrating how to quickly mince garlic