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You're probably doing it wrong.

Perri Ormont Blumberg
June 9, 2018

Some will tell you to mince garlic cloves with a fork. Some will tell you to buy a snazzy garlic press. Some will tell you to buy it already minced, happily floating in a jar in the condiments aisle. All would be incorrect.

The first method is sloppy and ensures that flavor doesn't distribute evenly in your dish (and garlic won't cook evenly in the pan) and isn't going to work if you need more than a clove or two in a recipe. The second creates yet another thing to clean and will set you back a good 20 bucks or so. The third is no substitute for the fresh deal.

So how, then, do you do it? Mince your garlic clove exactly like you'd chop an onion. I picked this technique up in culinary school when we learned how to chop an onion by scoring vertical slits in it from the root outwards and then sliced across horizontally in quick succession to create a small, medium, or large dice (depending on how far apart you make your cuts). If you're having a hard time visualizing this, Real Simple provides a step-by-step onion-cutting tutorial here

Then, our instructor casually mentioned that you could do the same with a clove of garlic — excepts you won't need to cut the garlic clove in half — and I became obsessed with the quick, efficient method.  Using a paring knife or a chef's knife, simply slice lengthwise along your clove about four or five times, depending on the size of your clove, and then, just as you would when dicing an onion, chop width-wise until you hit the end of the clove. You may need to run your knife over your pile of chopped garlic a few more times to get a finer mince. The result is a beautiful, even chop that's completely restaurant-worthy.

WATCH: How to Roast a Whole Cauliflower

While we have you on the topic of these glorious, knobby, fragrant bulbs, here are five mistakes you're making when cooking with garlic.