How to Crush Garlic

How to crush garlic? Here’s a quick tutorial for how to crush it for use in recipes or as the step before mincing it.

How to crush garlic

Want to know how to crush garlic? Around here, we do it on the daily. In fact, we use garlic in more recipes than we can count! What makes this method different from mincing? How do you do it? Here’s a bit more about terminology, and how to put it into practice in your kitchen.

What is crushed garlic?

There is some confusion in terminology around crushed garlic. Perhaps that’s because a garlic press is also known as a garlic crusher, but it results in minced garlic. Here’s what to know about the way terminology may be used in recipes:

  • Crushed garlic in some recipes is the same as smashed. In this case, the garlic clove is used whole, and then usually pulled out of the dish and discarded later. This helps to infuse a subtle garlic flavor.
  • In other recipes, crushed garlic is the same as minced. These recipes use the garlic as a whole ingredient, and you mince it in exactly the same way as you would minced garlic. The recipe may refer to a garlic crusher.

Bottom line: This terminology isn’t standardized, and it varies between countries! Take a look at your recipe and make a best guess on whether the writer meant “smashed” or “minced.” On this website, you’ll see those terms used in all our recipes.

How to crush garlic
Place the flat edge of the knife across the garlic clove

How to crush garlic

Though it might seem intuitive, we don’t recommend using a garlic crusher. Otherwise known as a garlic press, it’s not the best tool for the job. It makes very fine shreds that are more pungent, making for a potentially overpowering flavor. It’s also hard to clean and can be difficult to use. The best way to crush garlic is with a chef’s knife! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Slice off the end of the garlic clove. This makes it easy to peel once it’s smashed.
  2. Use the knife blade or a jar to smash the clove. Place your knife blade flat on top of the garlic. Taking care of the sharp part of the blade, gently smash it with a fist or the heel of your hand. Or, you use the bottom of a ball jar or can of beans to smash the garlic.
  3. Remove the paper. Use your fingers to remove the paper around the clove.
  4. Mince if desired: Then you can mince the garlic or use the crushed clove whole, whatever your recipe specifies (see the definitions above).

How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.

How to crush garlic
The finished product: smashed or crushed garlic (vs. minced garlic)

More garlic recipes

There are so many tasty garlic recipes to try! It infuses major flavor in many of our recipes, but there are some where it’s the star. Here are some of our favorites where you can practice your new skill:

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How to Crush Garlic


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 1 clove 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

How to crush garlic? Here’s a quick tutorial for how to crush it for use in recipes, or as a step prior to mincing it. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 garlic clove

Instructions

  1. Slice off the end of the garlic clove. 
  2. Place your knife blade flat on top of the garlic. Taking care of the sharp part of the blade, gently smash it with a fist or the heel of your hand. Or, you use the bottom of a ball jar or can of beans to smash the garlic. 
  3. Use your fingers to remove the garlic paper. Then you can mince the garlic or use the crushed clove whole, whatever your recipe specifies. 
  • Category: How to
  • Method: Crushing
  • Cuisine: Garlic

Keywords: How to crush garlic

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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