Yes, it’s that time of year again. Gift-giving time. Perhaps you, dear reader, are tempted to find an interesting kitchen gadget to give as a gift to someone you know. Or perhaps someone you know may gift one to you. This can be great, and fun. But it can also be a colossal disappointment. For there is one gadget that thou shouldst not gift. And which thou shouldst regard with disdain, yea, even loathing, shouldst it be gifted to thee. I speak of the garlic press.



Here are three reasons why this is the worst kitchen gadget ever.

1. It only does one thing.
Gadgets that only do one thing are generally surplus to requirements, especially if you’re trying to reduce clutter in the kitchen or generally simplify your life. Or if you hate wastefulness. Or if you don’t do much of that one thing.
Granted, some single-purpose gadgets can still be kept around if you do indeed do the thing that they do and they either do it especially well, or fulfill a niche that nothing else does. The paella pan is an example. It’s unlikely that you have any other cookware with a sufficiently large surface area that can comfortably sit over an open fire. So the paella pan has a pretty unique and useful role… if you’re going to cook paella.
The garlic press, on the other hand, also only does one thing: crush garlic. A fancy one may also slice garlic. Personally, I don’t consider this different enough to actually consider a second task. Besides, there’s the fact that:

2. Everything it does can be accomplished with other things you already have.
So. A garlic press crushes and possibly slices garlic. But you probably already have a knife. And you can most definitely slice garlic using the cutting edge of the blade. You can also crush garlic using the flat of the blade. So a knife does everything that a garlic press does (plus a whole lot more). On top of that, crushing garlic isn’t exactly a task that requires specialized instruments. In fact, you can use any number of objects to accomplish this task: a spatula, a mallet, your hand, a pan, the faces of a pair of assassins dispatched by your arch-nemesis to attack you in your kitchen but who quickly found themselves outmatched by your superior unarmed combat skills and are now being taught a lesson as you repeatedly smash their heads onto the surface of your kitchen counter. See? The list is pretty much endless! Furthermore, pretty much any other thing in your kitchen doesn’t suffer the garlic press’s most offensive flaw:

3. This thing is a tremendous pain in the ass to clean.
A garlic press functions by mashing a clove of garlic through a small grate. Now there are bits of garlic stuck in the holes of the grate because they did not mash all the way through. Better grab an old toothbrush and scrub that sucker out now, because if you don’t, the garlic juices extruded via the mashing process will become sticky and then dry, naturally gluing the mush into the grate and completely gunking up the entire contraption. Now, I know that last sentence contained a lot of technical terms, but what it boils down to is this: you will never want to use this thing again after the first time.

So if you are thinking about giving one of these things to a non-mortal enemy, please, for the love of humanity, reconsider! And should you suffer the misfortune of receiving one yourself, I suggest rejecting it disdainfully and then showering the giver with scorn for the rest of the night. Seriously–you’ll be doing them a favor. They need to know that they did something wrong, so that they’ll never do it again.

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