This Is The Trick To Mashing Garlic Without A Garlic Press

Garlic is one of those amazing flavor enhancers that can be used in almost any dish. The Spruce Eats explains that garlic is found in a plethora of recipes and cuisines — from Asian to European to African and more. And beyond being tasty, eating garlic even comes with a host of health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and combating the common cold (via Healthline)! But unfortunately, mashing garlic can be tricky and time consuming — especially if one doesn't have a garlic press. While this may tempt you to use dried garlic or jarred garlic paste, there is really no reason to skimp on the fresh stuff if you're armed with a few easy tricks.

According to Fine Cooking, mashing garlic into a paste is pretty simple using only a chef's knife and a cutting board. You start by trimming off the ends of your garlic and splitting the cloves in half — then it's time to get to the real work. Place the cloves (flat-side down) on your cutting board and lay the side of your blade on top of each half clove. Then, smash them gently with the heel of your palm, careful not to cut yourself on the knife edge. After you've smashed all your cloves, sprinkle the garlic with kosher salt and give it a chop. Fine Cooking recommends you next hold the knife at a 30-degree angle to the board, and scrape the chopped up garlic and salt across the cutting board. From there, continue the scrapping process a few times more until you've got yourself a paste. 

More Ways To Mash

This easy mashed garlic technique is so popular that it's been recommended by several other outlets, including Epicurious and The Kitchn. While mashing garlic with a chef's knife may be an easy process to follow, there is one step you definitely should not leave out: salting your garlic. According to Epicurious, the reason that adding the kosher salt is so important is because it pulverizes the allium — meaning, it makes it easier to break up the garlic and quickly mash it into a paste.

If you're the lucky owner of a mortar and pestle or a microplane that you don't mind breaking out for the occasion, you can create garlic paste using these tools as well. According to Serious Eats, garlic that has been through a microplane tends to be stronger, while garlic mashed with a mortar and pestle isn't as offensive as one may expect.

Using these three mashing methods can get your garlic pretty pulverized, so be cognizant of the size and amount you wish to use.