In response to a question on the chef's website titled "Ask Ina," a reader asked Ina Garten which kitchen tool she thought was overrated: the garlic press.
Garten said she doesn’t use it,
as she always has "a knife
handy and it does the same thing perfectly well." Per Garten, her chef's knife chops and minces garlic better and faster.
The chef then went on to explain that the fewer single-use, "fancy gadgets" — like the garlic press — you keep in your kitchen, the more you'll be able to keep things organized.
Pro-chefs look down on garlic presses for several reasons. For one, although garlic’s innards squeeze through the device's holes, most of the outer portion remains behind.
Plus, the more garlic is pressed or pulverized, the more allicin (a chemical responsible for garlic’s flavor and aroma)
gets released, resulting in an overpowering garlicky flavor.
Additionally, pressed garlic burns fast, so it isn’t a good choice for recipes that require sauteing garlic in oil. Lastly, some hate garlic presses because they're hard to clean.