Why use a complicated tool that's a hassle to clean when a simple one will do? Forget garlic presses, use a rock! Fresh garlic is a staple ingredient for many recipes, but cloves have a tough and dry skin on them. Garlic presses get the job done, but are a pain to clean and can leave a lot of the garlic behind. Janet, a reader at the tips and tricks blog TipNut, shared the following tip for easy crushed garlic:
Find a rock that is smooth and is about the size of your palm. Look for one that is comfortable and not too heavy in the hand. When you first pick the rock, run it through the dishwasher a few times and it's ready to use. If you don't have a dishwasher just wash it in hot soapy water with a bit of bleach. To crush garlic, hold the rock and smash it on a clove of garlic. Pull out the skin and there you have it, crushed garlic ready to cook with. Cleaning the rock is a dream, just throw it in the dishwasher utensils basket and it's perfect to use for years and years. I keep my rock in the utensils drawer in the space between the tray and the back of the drawer, I call it my kitchen rock.
You can also give the rock a good scrubbing and then boil it, a technique many an aquarist has used to prep river rocks for their fish tanks without using chemicals. An alternative method that relies on the same principle is to place the clove of garlic on your cutting board and lay a broad cutting knife atop it, crushing the garlic with a strike of your palm. I saw many a cook use flat of the blade technique during my past life as a caterer, but would consider a smooth stone a much safer method. If you have a kitchen tip of your own, rocks involved or otherwise, sound off in the comments below. Photo by a.pitch.