How to mince garlic: 10 steps (with pictures)

How to mince garlic: 10 steps (with pictures)
How to mince garlic: 10 steps (with pictures)

How to properly clean and mince garlic is one of the basics of cooking. This will help you prepare many different dishes. Fortunately, whether you are using a traditional knife or another method, it takes only a few minutes to acquire a good technique. With a little practice, it won't be long before you add flavorful minced garlic to your savory dishes with the expertise of a true chef.


Method 1 of 2: Use a knife

Step 1. Separate the pods

Separate the head of garlic into individual cloves. To mince the garlic, you must first prepare the cloves. Press down firmly on the bulb with your palm. Light pressure will separate the pods from each other.

  • To reach the pods, remove and discard the outer skin of the bulb, which has a dry texture reminiscent of paper. Be careful not to throw out small pods that might be hidden in this skin.
  • Most recipes indicate the number of pods needed. If not, a medium sized clove usually produces about a tablespoon of minced garlic.

Step 2. Peel the pods

Before using the garlic in cooking, remove the taut transparent skin that envelops each clove. There are several ways to go about it.

  • Cut the hard end of the pod (the one that connected it to the rest of the bulb) and press gently, but evenly, on the sides of the pod so that it comes out of its skin.
  • Place the surface of a knife on the pod and press firmly until the skin opens. You can then remove it with your fingers. Be careful not to completely crush the garlic clove, as the flesh may mix with the skin.

Step 3. Cut the pod

Cut the whole garlic clove into slices lengthwise. The thinner the slices, the better. A sharp knife is very helpful, but since garlic cloves are small, be especially careful not to cut your fingers.

  • To avoid accidents, some cooks hold the ingredient they are cutting (in this case, it's a clove of garlic) with their fingertips and bend their fingers while pressing down on the food placed on it. the cutting board. In this way, the side of the knife rests against the bent phalanges, but its blade does not touch the fingertips, reducing the risk of cutting itself.
  • For better control of the knife, place its blade on the cutting board and rock it back and forth to cut the garlic rather than moving it up and down.

Step 4. Cut the garlic the other way around

Rotate the pod 90 ° and cut it again. Again, the thinner the sliced ​​parts, the finer the garlic will be at the end. Use the same technique as in the previous step.

When you're done, you should have dozens (if not hundreds) of tiny diced garlic. Well done ! You have just minced a clove of garlic

Step 5. Continue

If you want, continue chopping the garlic. The more you cut it, the more tiny pieces you will get, which will produce a more pronounced flavor and aroma. If the recipe calls for it, continue to run your knife through the pile of chopped garlic to mince it even more or to get rid of any large pieces that may remain.

Remember that “finely chopped” garlic is cut into many tiny dice. The "coarsely" chopped garlic is cut into a few larger pieces

Method 2 of 2: Mince garlic without a knife

Step 1. Prepare the garlic

Prepare the garlic by separating and peeling the cloves as usual. Here you will learn some alternatives for slicing garlic if you don't have a knife. For each of these methods, you must prepare the garlic cloves normally before slicing them.

  • Detach the necessary number of pods from the bulb.
  • Discard the outer skin of the bulb.
  • Peel each pod by pressing down on the sides to pop it out of its skin or by pressing firmly on it with a knife before removing the skin with your fingers.

Step 2. Use a fork

An easy way to mince garlic is with the tines of a fork. This method requires a little strength in the arms, but it is particularly effective.

  • Lay a garlic clove flat on a cutting board and take a sturdy metal fork.
  • Place the tip of the fork's tines on the garlic clove and press firmly so that the garlic rises between the tines.
  • Rotate the fork and repeat the process, slicing the garlic in the other direction. Continue in this way to finely mince the garlic.
  • Take the pieces of garlic stuck together with a fork and remove the hard part of the minced garlic. The garlic is now ready to be cooked.

Step 3. Use a garlic press

A garlic press is a very practical tool for preparing garlic. It does exactly what its name suggests: it crushes the garlic and turns it into a kind of paste. To use a garlic press, do the following.

  • Put the clove in the hollow part of the garlic press.
  • Bring the garlic press handles together tightly. The garlic will come out of the other side of the tool, passing through the holes.
  • Scrape the inside of the tool to catch the remaining garlic and add it to the flesh that has come out of the holes. You can now use the garlic.
  • You can also use a mortar and pestle to achieve a similar result.

Step 4. Grate the garlic

Try using a zest grater. This is a tool similar to a cheese grater, but with very fine holes, which allows a clove of garlic to be cut into small very thin slices quite quickly.

  • To use a zest grater, simply rub the garlic clove against its surface while holding it over a bowl. Small wet slices will fall into the bowl.
  • When the piece of garlic becomes too small for you to grate it without hurting your fingers, simply cut it with a knife or else crush it and add it to the grated garlic.

Step 5. Use a robot

It helps to know that most food processors should allow you to mince garlic. Make a few short taps with the device. This should be enough to finely chop the garlic. Since garlic cloves are small, it might not be worth taking out the food processor just to mince one, but it's a good option if you need to mince a large amount of garlic for a large dish.


  • Methods of crushing garlic or cutting it into extremely thin strips (eg, the zest grater) produce much stronger flavors than using a traditional knife. Be careful, because you can easily make your food taste too strong this way.
  • Also note that very finely chopped garlic tends to burn more easily than whole cloves or more coarsely chopped garlic.

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