Why Grating Garlic Lowers The Chance Of Burning It

Garlic is an essential ingredient in too many recipes to count. Chopped or minced into little bits, this bulbous vegetable's beautiful aroma and spicy taste are irreplaceable yet oh-so easy to destroy by burning. Luckily, there is a hack to help avoid this pitfall and, once you change your garlic prepping ways, you will never go back. Instead of using a knife to transform your garlic into the perfect size for your recipe, turn to your microplane or grater of choice. 

Why grate? By creating smaller bits and expanding the surface area, it helps decrease the probability of burning by providing a quicker, more even cook. Because grating garlic creates ultra-thin pieces, you can cook it at a lower temperature, which helps minimize burning. That said, because grated garlic will cook quickly, be vigilant, or enjoy the char.

The benefits of grating don't stop there. When you forgo chopping for grating, you eliminate the need for breaking out the cutting board as well. You can grate directly over your pot or pan, making for a quicker clean-up. To grate your garlic, simply take a single clove and run it back and forth against the grater.

Grating garlic is quick and easy

Grating garlic can be done in as little as 10 seconds. However, you still need to be thoughtful about the timing of when to add your grated garlic when making stir-fry dishes or sauces to avoid burning it. Generally speaking, you can add it halfway through the cooking process to help ensure it doesn't become a smoky mess by the end. Remember, you want it to turn golden, and that can happen quite fast. Once the garlic goes past this color stage, the flavor is going to become more intense and sharp, which is not as delicious as your mouth is hoping for.

Of course, if you need a real seal of approval for this technique, you should know that Ina Garten is a fan of grating garlic for her dishes as well. In addition to being able to cook your garlic quicker without burning it, the texture of grated garlic is much easier to blend into a dish compared to chopped garlic. In fact, the grated bits will practically seem to dissolve, allowing the flavor and smell of garlic to be evenly distributed.