This tip saved me while crushing a mountain of garlic. It seems like almost every savory recipe needs garlic, but peeling or crushing them requires a little knack. Folks have tried everything from smashing them with a knife blades and meat tenderizers, to using a garlic press. Try this tip and you'll never go back! Read more for the how-to...
Crushing garlic by using the side of your knife's blade may work fine for a clove or two, but crush anymore, and it can become tedious (and a bit dangerous). Using a garlic press works all right, but it's yet another kitchen gadget that needs to be bought, washed and stored. Plus, squeezing a garlic press is hard on the hands after a few cloves.
My tip for simultaneously crushing and peeling garlic, especially when doing several cloves, is repurposing a common empty, glass beverage bottle. Just one quick smash with its domed base on a wood or plastic cutting board, makes the peel burst off and crushes the garlic at the same time. It takes incredibly minimal effort and is virtually error-proof (no flying cloves). This works equally well when crushing just two cloves of garlic to crushing twenty.
The reason this tip works so well lies in the dome shape of the base of the glass bottle. The dome keeps the clove from flying out, which happens while using flat tools like knives or meat tenderizers.
Don't be discouraged by using glass. I've used this trick countless times without breakage. The thick glass used for beverage bottles are hefty and durable. Think of all the beer and wine bottles you've seen thrown out without breaking.
People with larger hands may be able to use jars instead, but beverage bottles work well for most people because of the comfortable girth for a better grip.
With this tip, you'll never look sadly at a pile of garlic again.