“ Brand: Lakeland / Product Type: Garlic Press „
I'm a bit of a vampire fan..but no self respecting vampire will come near me when my hands smell of garlic, right?
Only joking...but I do hate it when my hands smell of garlic after cooking. Not only this, I'm no Gordon Ramsey with a kitchen knife and it takes me forever to mince garlic or slice it finely.
I bought the garlic zoom for my boyfriend as a present but I really wanted it for myself! It cost me £9.99 from john Lewis and it is such as fun novel idea that actually works.
My first thoughts were hamster ball... as the plastic casing looks like one of the little balls you can exercise your hamster in. However, this one has a number of stainless steel blades inside. (Maybe not the safest place for furry animals!) At the top of the ball are two trap doors and at the bottom are a pair of rubber wheels that are connected to the blades by a piece of plastic inside. There are a couple of colours to choose from and I chose one with blue plastic.
You simply need to pop the garlic clove, already peels and prepared in to one of the little trap doors. Close the lid and it will click shut, the device is now ready to chop.
Hold the device by the plastic see though casing and as you turn the wheels, by running the device up and down the kitchen or up across your hands, in a backwards or forwards motion, the wheels turn the blades that chop the garlic. The size of the machine means that no garlic gets left un-chopped as long as the wheels turn the blades will chop through the garlic. The chopped garlic can be collected from the second trap door.
First of all I would like to point out that the machine is fun and cute to use. My boyfriend goes crazy with it like a little boy with a toy motor car and runs it all over the kitchen 'performing stunts.' On a practical note, there have been some problems with it. For example, the wheel struggle to grip normal work tops and pressure is needed to make the wheels turn rather than slide along. I find the best results happen when I run it over my other hand. Another point to note is that sometimes the garlic gets jammed in the machine and you need to open the trap door to dislodge it so that the blades can move freely. I also find that when it time to collect the garlic, there is always loads stuck to the blades and to the balls or the ball. You never get as much out as what you put in.
This is easy once you know how as the machine just comes apart and you can throw all the parts in the dish washer or wash by hand. Be careful though as the blades are sharp!
I love cooking with garlic but I hate it when my fingers smell for hours afterwards. I like this machine because it avoids all this and so long as the wheels move, the garlic comes out perfectly chopped. The more you roll, the more finely chopped the garlic becomes.
I will always use the machine when I cut garlic and I am pretty quick with it now. It is quicker for me to use it than use a knife anyway!
Over the last couple of years my passion has increased a little, which was not difficult as before I hated doing even the simplest beans on toast! My skills in the kitchen have improved with the help of my fiancé but my knife skills are still a little ropey. I just seem to have a bit of a problem chopping things finely, especially garlic. That was until a year ago my sister in law to be bought us what I thought was a tiny gimmicky present. It turned out it was a garlic chopper!
The garlic chopper is made from plastic with two thin wheels on the bottom. One wheel drives the blade to turn it the other is there just to hold the thing up. There is a small lid on the top to allow you to pop the garlic in. The whole thing also opens half way so you can access the blade and remove it. The blade is made from stainless steel and as you would imagine for a chopper is extremely sharp and should be watched when washing. It is a very small chopper which when you hold in your hand to roll it fits perfectly and feels very comfortable.
Using the garlic chopper is extremely simple. Once you have made sure the blade is sat in the correct groves you shut it and then open the top tiny lid. You need to peel the garlic so you do still have to touch the garlic a little then you place it in the top. Sometimes if the garlic clove is a large one I chop it in half just to make it quicker. Then once the garlic clove is in you shut the top lid and roll it on a flat surface until it looks chopped. As the plastic is see through it is easy enough to see if it is all chopped up. Sometimes a large piece of garlic can get wedge behind the blade but it is easy enough to open the top lid and stick a knife in and move it to back onto the top of the blade. I can manage to get about two to three garlic cloves in total but I add one at a time as otherwise it is too much for the blade and they wouldn't fit. Once the first is looking fine I add another one to it.
Once your garlic is finely chopped in the chopper it is time to remove it. I begin with open the top lid and removing the large amount of finely chopped garlic. I then open it from the middle carefully removing the blade and knocking any bit of it. Then you really need a knife to scrape the reminding bit out. There are a few little nukes when the garlic may get stuck but you can usually remove most of it. I will say you do usually lose a little garlic as you just don't have time to get it all out. I usually empty mine straight into the pan as I find this easiest.
A little tip I would recommend you give the whole thing including the blade a quick rinse under the sink straight after use. On the first time I used it I didn't and when I went to wash it after tea the little bits of garlic that were left were a nightmare to remove. If you have done this before hand it is a dream to clean. As the blade does remove and it does open out in half it makes it easy to get into all the little places. For all of you with a dishwasher (you lucky people!) it is dishwasher safe. I would probably say it would be best to still give it a good rinse beforehand though.
So the results from this little chopper are great. It chops it ever so finely I could never get it that fine with a knife and neither could my fiancé and he is pretty good at chopping things. I love the fact you handle the garlic minimal so you hands don't get that horrible strong scent of garlic that I hate. Washing it up is as easy as it is using it. Yes it does have a couple of problems but then doesn't most gadgets. After using this for over a year I wouldn't be without it, it is certainly more than a gimmick. At seven pound I initially would have felt it was expensive but after the use I have had from it I would say it is great value. We use garlic quite a lot in our homemade dishes so it has been worthwhile to us.
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I absolutely LOVE this product. It was originally bought for my boyfriends mum who has severe arthritis to save her chopping garlic with a knife. However she tried it and prefers the old fashioned way and so gave it to me. What a timesaver! You simply cut the end off your garlic and peel as you usually would do, and then pop it in the lid at the top and roll it like it was a toy car up and down your kitchen worktop surface as much as you want to make sure it is finely chopped and then when you are ready open it up, take out the little blade and empty. It is so easy to use and so easy to clean, it also saves clumsy people from chopping into their fingers with a knife and from getting the smell of garlic all over your hands. This is also really good if you want to get the kids involved in cooking! I would recommend this to anyone!
Garlic; I adore it in almost everything I prepare from salads to roast chicken and even on fish dishes, Garlic is a staple ingredient I add despite its rather amorous scent and flavour in some corners and a loathing aspect from others. Despite a rather old and cracked soap stone pestle and mortar that was handed down to me, I've often resolved the issue of Garlic preparation to crush all life out of it in the old family hand me down or to quickly push a flat knife against a clove to loosen its harder skin before I scuff my fingers or sustain cuts when slicing garlic by traditional serrated knives. I'm sure most people would agree with me if the have endured the searing pain of an Onion cut and will find the same if they inadvertently slice or prick a little bit of finger when cutting up Garlic; the pain is about as bad as dipping your wounded finger in salt! Slicing garlic therefore, isn't the easiest procedure to do and I can't abide the "Lazy Garlic," products as the preservative vinegar that holds them in their jar often taints my cooking with a sour and bitter aftertaste. Garlic in mind should never really be bitter but in a strong onion like way, a taste that prickles the taste buds into sweet and potent submission.
At the moment my choice store is John Lewis for my general household needs and I have been checking out most of their kitchen wares since finding a fantastic Australian made picnic ware tumbler for my bathroom that I originally thought was made of glass based purely on its look. But when it comes to gadgets I seldom look at what John Lewis sell often on the basis that it will never be around the next time I visit the store. There have however been some eye openers this year and one of them being the "Chef'N Garlic Zoom," a product that seems to available all year round!
At £8 however I was a little unsure of whether this gadget would actually work as it claims to slice garlic in an odour-free procedure and thanks to its mini blades set on a ratchet wheel mechanism able to keep chopping up the Garlic in as many tiny pieces as you want. Naturally I couldn't wait to try it at home!
For a start this gadget looks like a mini-toy dreamt up perhaps by someone who has either thought about cutting up Garlic in the safest way possible or by someone who had the same idea and loves playing with toy cars. Hence the fact that the Garlic Zoom has two wheels, one on each side of the oval egg shaped body and looks like a little toy trailer as a result. A couple of fingers or my whole hand over the gadget seems to work best to get the wheels moving and there are indents in the thick, well made Acrylic that logically suggest where you can rest your fingers. What a pity that Chef'N haven't put an additional "stabliser" on one end of the whole body as the Garlic Zoom falls to one of its sides when not in use and made to stand up.
After peeling the Garlic, I set about choosing how many cloves I was going to put in my pasta dishes and at the time knew that the chicken I was going to dry fry would also need some garlic to give the meat an added dimension along with my Lea and Perrins base sauce. Having cut the onions the old fashioned way by knife (since my mother has taken my food processor, alas one day we may buy a proper one instead of relying on noisy Kenwood machines) and sustaining a slight paper-like cut scratch on my finger I didn't wish to repeat the same accident with the Garlic!
The packaging for the actual product doesn't say very much however other than it is "top rack only," dishwasher safe and that the blades are very dangerous. Well, I wouldn't suggest that this toy like gadget is suitable for children even with a parent standing by on guard. This is the immediate downside about this gadget - for all the toy value that it aspires to - the blades are set on a mini star like disc that have four blades in total on its main fly wheel design and sits within a cradle of the Garlic Zoom with ratchets on either side to fit into the corresponding cogs of the main two sided wheels on the outer body. The blade frame/disc can only be fitted one way however, which is very welcomed but you need to be very careful when picking the blade out, particularly if you want to wash it as there are no safe parts of the blade disc that can be picked out, but rather carefully you need to grab one of the blade edges to pull out the whole mechanism. If you are slow and careful you shouldn't sustain any cuts. I however narrowly missed stabbing my finger after I had "Zoomed" my first clove.
The procedure for slicing Garlic in this gadget is quite simple and effective. However you still have to remove the hard skin on the clove, which means stinky fingers regardless of how far you keep your fingers away when pushing the clove with a flat knife to loosen the skin! Only then can the Garlic itself be inserted. Thanks to its curved top, a little door can be picked upwards to allow the clove to be inserted. I've managed to insert two small cloves in the small cutting chamber before the lid snaps down and locks shut. Then in a vigourous fashion move the Garlic Zoom back and forth on a flat surface to get the blade spinning and as it does so, thanks to its all natural clear acrylic design with green accents (including the blade holder) you can keep an eye out on the thickness or thinness of the Garlic as it starts to get chopped up. Keep moving it and the Garlic will continue to be chopped into infinite pieces - very handy for anyone who doesn't like food processor chunks of Garlic in their food and more importantly - the smaller pieces have equal sizes to them much more finer and precise than I could ever do with a knife and a great deal of patience!
After you have finished zooming, the cut pieces of Garlic sit at the top and bottom of the holder. Flipping up the top is easy to do and it is here that you get your first flurry of Garlic pieces ready to be taken out. However the blade sits proud just under the lid which means removing the blade first and foremost should be done to avoid any cuts. This is where one of the most pernickety actions has to be done because most of the Garlic sticks to the top; once the blade has been removed the easiest way to get the Garlic out is to ironically use a finger.
I tried to use a knife but most of the Garlic landed on my kitchen worktop which somewhat prevented the whole exercise of odour free measures whilst getting all the Garlic out wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Then I tried a mini spatula with mixed results; whilst the fins fitted length wise it wasn't always possible to scoop out the pieces completely without some of the Garlic slicing landing elsewhere! However as a gadget it does what it promises - largely! As for its promise of being odour free however I do question how you get all the chopped Garlic out without using a finger thus sustaining the smell of Garlic on your fingers not to mention having to remove the skin first in any event.
Another downside but one of greater importance is the marking that the wheels put on my kitchen worktop. No wonder other owners have used a tea towel or material to roll the gadget on. Although removable by scrubbing I wasn't expecting the marks that the wheels left after use and in this respect thanks to their PVC plastic build, I know the next time I use the Chef'N Garlic Zoom it will be strictly used on a tea towel basis to avoid trailing marks on my work tops!
So it's a cut free thumbs up (or other digits on your hands) for the Chef'N Garlic Zoom generally and a new novel way to cut one of your favourite herbs. But for the removal of its very sharp blade and removing the Garlic product from its rather oddly narrow shaped body, this design could be improved here for bigger implements to scoop out all the Garlic without touching it. Only then can it become a truly safe and odour free experience. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009
Product code 81249724
Lakeland is a fantastic website (also have stores) which has so many gadgets that I just can't resist splashing out on as a little treat when I have some money to spare.
I like to use garlic in lots of meals but find that no matter what I do it takes many hours to get rid of the garlic scent from my fingers and I have to keep a small grater especially for my garlic as I hate the smell being transferred to other things when I am not using garlic in a recipe.
This Garlic Zoom is available from a Lakeland store or the lakeland.co.uk website for £7.82 and I think it's worth every penny just to stop me having awful smelling fingers and having to use a seperate grater just for garlic!
The Garlic Zoom is a small plastic device which has a circle on the top which is see through and you simply open it up and throw in peeled garlic cloves (I find it works best if you've sliced them in half but it still works fine on whole cloves) and then close it back up. Run it along your apron or tea towel for the best effect and you simply need to rub it back and forth a couple of times and it will chop the garlic in to very small manageable pieces that are ideal for throwing straight in to the frying pan.
I have had my Garlic Zoom for around 1 month now and have used about 10 times so far. It's fantastic as I don't have to deal with any bad odours on the chopping board or on my fingers any longer as I usually just peel the garlic cloves under water or you can get them in pickled juice already peeled. This gadget is very easy to use and although it may seem a little expensive I think it's fantastic for me and is something that I've used each and every time a recipe has required garlic.
I find this pretty easy to clean as I usually just dump it in my washing up bowl for a little soak. It's strong and durable and I've had no problems with it at all so far, as I would expect from something by Lakeland.
I am going to rate this 5/5 and would highly recommend you check it out if you use garlic regularly and can't get rid of that horrible odour!
Place the peeled cloves inside and wheel the ball back and forth a few times.