The Hassle-Free Hack For Slicing Sticky Garlic

Garlic is no doubt one of the most crucial go-to ingredients in our kitchens at any given time. It's a component in a variety of recipes and adds fragrance and flavor to so many meals. But it can also be a bit difficult to deal with thanks to its many layers, small size, and overall tendency to become sticky.

Let's be honest — even if you enjoy cooking, slicing up a clove of sticky garlic is not exactly fun. It's a true challenge to your fine motor skills when you're trying to take a knife to that tiny white bulb and chop it into minuscule pieces, only to have it stick to the blade — not to mention your fingers, which will usually end up reeking of garlic for several long hours.

But there's good news for home cooks and garlic lovers everywhere: There's a better way. The hassle-free hack for mincing a stubborn, sticky piece of garlic? All you have to do is sprinkle some salt on the clove and proceed to mince the garlic as planned.

How and why salt makes cutting garlic easier

There's a reason you want to reach for the salt when you need a little help slicing your garlic. Salt doesn't just season food, but it also draws out moisture (through osmosis if you want to get scientific about it). So sprinkling garlic with salt, especially something like kosher salt with larger crystals, will dry it out just a bit, so it becomes less sticky and easier to work with.

Famous chefs swear by incorporating salt into your garlic chopping method, as well. Gordon Ramsay recommends salting your garlic while mincing it because the salt helps to break down the fibers in the garlic (per YouTube). This ultimately allows for finer chopping and better results.

To properly salt your garlic for a speedy and easy mincing process, you can start by either roughly chopping your garlic into slices or crushing it – to do this, place your knife over it and safely pound down on the flat of the blade, away from the sharp edge. From there, add a generous pinch of kosher salt and continue to finely chop until the garlic is minced to the desired size. You'll find it doesn't stick to your blade or hands and minces up beautifully.

More helpful garlic hacks

There are many things that can be tricky about preparing, chopping, or cooking garlic, but that also means that there are lots of hacks out there that home cooks everywhere have found helpful when dealing with this oh-so-important ingredient.

The first step to using garlic in any form is to peel it, and, unfortunately, this can be a tedious task. But there are easy ways to peel garlic that are more efficient than tackling those pesky layers by hand. One trick is to stick a paring or butter knife directly into the clove of a head of unpeeled garlic; it'll come out peeled and in one piece. Another method is to simply grab any container, throw separated garlic cloves inside, and shake for about 30 seconds until the peels come off.

When it comes to chopping or mincing your garlic, another great hack is to ditch the knife entirely and simply grate your garlic using a fine grater or Microplane. This will create almost a paste-like consistency which breaks your garlic down even more, making it more potent and flavorful. Lastly, if you want to cut down your prep time, you can mince garlic in large quantities in a mini food processor and freeze it for later, so it's already chopped and ready to add to your recipe.