So many recipes include a clove or two—or even 40!— of fresh, fragrant, earthy, pungent, spicy, sweet garlic. (Can you tell how much I love garlic?)
Usually, our test kitchen recipes call for it minced, which is easiest to do with a garlic press. You get perfectly minced garlic instantly and it cooks more evenly, distributing flavor throughout the dish.
But handling garlic puts off a surprising number of home cooks—nobody likes having the persistent scent of garlic on our hands. And washing only seems to go so far in removing the smell.
But never fear. We have the solution.
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Here’s some good news: While it sounds a little unbelievable, rubbing your garlicky hands on stainless steel helps. Although the mechanism hasn't been verified by science, it's hypothesized that sulfur-containing odorous molecules that cling so persistently to skin will happily transfer themselves to steel. Those molecules can then can easily be washed away from the steel with soap and water.
How to Use a Garlic Press (the Right Way!)Have you been using your garlic press wrong? Try these tips.
Another way to get rid of the garlic smell? Use some sugar. Wet your hands with warm water, sprinkle with a tablespoon of granulated sugar, rub for a minute, and then rinse off. The sugar crystals act like porous sponges to absorb some of the odor molecules.
But here’s a better, one-step way to do the same thing. No extra ingredients or gadgets.
The Best Garlic PressesSure, you can mince garlic with a knife, but a good garlic press makes the job faster and easier.
After you press garlic, it’s always a good idea to wash the press immediately, since garlic residue has a way of drying into cement and clogging up holes in the press. So go ahead and run water and pull out any garlic residue, while rubbing your hands all over the press, then grab a soapy sponge and give it a quick wash and rinse. In a few seconds, the press is clean —AND the garlic smell is completely gone from your hands.
Now that you know, I hope you enjoy handling garlic without the scent on your skin—and will use plenty of delicious fresh garlic in your cooking.