We know Rach loves garlic, so she's the perfect person to ask this question about all the different methods there are for preparing garlic while cooking.
Q: What determines whether you chop, grate, slice, or smash the garlic clove?
— Sharon, viewer, via Facebook
A: "Your patience level!" Rach says. HA! But also, there are certain times when you might want to choose one over the others:
When To Grate Garlic
"If you have no patience and arthritis or your joints hurt, just put away your garlic peeled and grated," Rach says. "Grating is the easiest."
When To Slice Garlic
"If you want it sliced, that's usually for effect in the dish so it looks a certain way," according to Rachael.
When To Chop Garlic (& When To Smash It)
Unless Rach is making mashed potatoes, she says she never just smashes garlic cloves. She usually smashes or crushes her garlic before chopping to make it quicker and easier.
"Chopping is a byproduct of smashing," Rach explains. "If I crush the garlic, only if I'm going to mill it or process it in a food processor or put it through a food mill with mashed potatoes do I not do anything more to it. If I smash it and just throw it into the pan, it's because that's going to get emulsified or processed in some way or ground in a food mill. Usually if you crush the garlic it's to run your knife through it quicker and easier and make it small faster.
Whatever your preference, these methods "are all fine and legit," according to Rach. The only big thing to know about garlic is not to burn it, she says. Make sure not to cook it at too high a temperature, "because once you burn it you've got to start over and wash the pan."