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The Best Way to Chop Garlic, According to a Chef

It's the method to cutting up garlic you need to adopt ASAP.
woman-chopping-garlic-on-cutting-board

Chopping garlic is no joke. Garlic cloves are so small, and it's crucial that your fingers are strong enough to grasp onto the cloves so that you don't have an accidental slip while slicing and dicing. We know, that's a lot easier said than done, and knowing how to cut garlic the right way is a bit tricky.

We spoke with an expert—head chef of Hello Fresh Claudia Sidoti—to get the lowdown on how you can correctly cut garlic so that you don't chop your fingers off in the process.

What's the best way to cut garlic?

Sidoti says you can slice garlic in just six easy steps.

1. Pull a single clove from the garlic bulb.
2. Lay a knife blade flat on top of the clove.
3. Using the palm of your hand, push down on the blade with enough strength to crack the skin.
4. Peel the skin from the clove.
5. Cut off the root ends.
6. Use a gentle rocking motion to slice the cloves into several slices, or as many slices as your clove can generate.

And that's all you need to do! So now you've uncovered the secret on how to cut garlic, but you most likely still have another lingering question…

Is there is a difference between sliced and minced garlic?

Yes, there most certainly is. First of all, it's important to note that sliced and minced garlic do not look the same. Slices of garlic look exactly how they sound: They're slices (like the steps you followed above). Minced garlic, on the other hand, is slices that have been finely chopped into smaller bits. OK, so then how do you mince garlic? Sidoti says that you should use a rocking motion to chop the garlic until it's finely minced.

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And as for the benefits of mincing, those smaller pieces will actually help enhance garlic's natural flavor in a dish. "Minced garlic will distribute more flavor in a dish and is perfect in sauces and marinades," Sidoti adds.

Speaking of distributing more flavor, there's another trick to getting the most savory flavor out of chopped garlic. If you're using minced garlic in a sauté pan and are seasoning other vegetables, you'll want to make sure you give the garlic time to simmer in the olive oil by itself first, before tossing in any other foods into the pan. Heat the garlic with spices of your choice just until it becomes fragrant and then throw in the other ingredients to extract the most garlicky flavor.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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