this thing's incredible

This Gadget Lets Me Mince Garlic With Reckless Abandon

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Rewatching Top Chef episodes is the extent of my culinary experience. So I avoid experimenting with recipes — if Ina Garten tells me to scoop up a half-cup of store-bought, bottled lemon curd, I won’t be adding a drop more. My biggest exception is garlic. I chop close to a full head when I only need three cloves — always going for something indulgently garlicky and enough to make Count Dracula queasy. But all that chopping is hard to do because of my shoddy knife skills. I look like a toddler hacking away on a fake cutting board.

Despite my best efforts, my cloves end up more mangled than minced. After yet another bloody accident recently, I wanted to find a tool that would do the garlic-chopping for me. I wasn’t expecting anything other than a Cuisinart chopper dupe. Instead, I found the Garliczoom. This little lime-green gadget reminds me of a circus unicycle from the front (a second, spiked wheel is on the other side). It looked the least fussy out of all the options, which included seemingly messy presses and hard-to-store mini–food processors. The Garliczoom’s premise is simple: You throw cloves into the snow-globe-like top, roll it around, and pull down the top’s two “doors” to release the cut garlic. The more you roll, the finer the chop.

The Garliczoom comes from the same company that makes prop stylist and salad expert Jess Damuck’s favorite leaf-shape tool for stripping greens and herbs. That fact helps explain why it works so well. Chef’n offers hyperspecific, generally single-function products (see this strawberry-stem remover and cob-corn stripper) in an age when basically every piece of kitchen equipment has at least three functions — seriously, you can make an entire turkey in an air fryer now. It’s refreshing to use a gadget that does one thing really, really well. I can get chunkier chops for a decadent shrimp scampi, tinier cuts (resembling what you’d see in a jar of already minced garlic) for a tomato sauce, or something in between depending on how many times I roll it around on the countertop.

There are two prep steps before using the Garliczoom. You have to peel the garlic and split particularly plump cloves in half to fit them into the gadget. How much you can pack inside depends on the size of your cloves. I can jam in most of a small bulb in one go. When I’m in a rush, it can get through a full bulb (about 10 to 12 cloves) very quickly. And when I’m finished, the tool comes apart easily to clean — I make sure that the pointy tips of the duo of blades are vertical (per instructions) and yank on the wheels to separate the top of the gadget from the bottom. Rinsing the two parts gets to most rogue garlic pieces, and a quick scrub with some soap does the rest (it’s dishwasher-safe if you’d rather not hand-wash).

Since switching to the Garliczoom, I haven’t had any garlic-related kitchen mishaps. And I’ve become even more shameless with my garlic use. With knife skills and garlicky fingers out of the picture, there’s absolutely nothing stopping me from adding just one more clove (or two).

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This Gadget Lets Me Mince Garlic With Reckless Abandon