When making meatballs, you want small pieces of garlic to be evenly distributed throughout the ball, otherwise you could end up chomping down on big, raw chunks. You could chop the allium into tiny little pieces, or you could just grate it in.
Photo by Stu Spivack.
This tip not only saves you a bit of time — which is all important on busier weeknights — but grating the garlic ensures it gets properly cooked and mellowed. It also releases delicious garlicky juices, resulting in a much more flavorful ball. In fact, I'm here to declare that chopping is over. From now on I'll be microplaning my garlic into all the damn things.