Minced garlic is a great way to infuse food with sweet, pungent garlic flavor. However, mincing is arduous and can often bring undesired smells. Follow this guide on when you should skip the mincing altogether even if a recipe calls for it.
Smashing or slicing garlic will break down the cells inside the clove which starts a chemical reaction. This reaction is what gives a stronger flavor, so finely minced garlic will be more pungent than smashed cloves. However, minced garlic will also burn easier and often taste bitter if overcooked.
Skip mincing garlic for soups, stews and braises. A stew will cook slowly, so there’s no need to mince garlic. The broth will break down the cloves. Maximize flavor by smashing the cloves before tossing them into the pot.
Slice garlic for pastas and sautés. Cooking sliced garlic in olive oil or butter will caramelize, adding to the flavor of the base dish. Try frying the garlic in oil and use the oil to sauté vegetables. Minced garlic with these methods could easily burn, leaving a bitter taste.
Grate for dressings and marinades. You can mimic the flavor of minced garlic by simply grating it on a fine grater. This is easy to overcook so save it for salad dressings and marinades.
Source: The Kitchn