When I was growing up, we didn't have those fancy garlic presses to crush garlic. We used what we had on hand, whether it be a can or even a good pound with a fist to crush garlic. To this day, I still have never used a garlic press. I am sure it is a handy kitchen tool, but just not a necessary one.
To crush garlic without a press, take a clove and wrap it in a paper towel. You can then take the flat part of a wide knife and apply pressure to the wrapped clove. The essential garlic oils will be released and the skin will come off with no problems.
You can also use a soup can. Wrap the cloves and Bam! - crush it with the can. This is a great method for kids to get involved in the kitchen safely. Be careful of little fingers getting mashed.
Another effective way of crushing garlic is with a mortar and pestle. I only recommend this if you own a porcelain mortar and pestle. Wood and stone versions often absorb the scent of garlic and can compromise the flavor of anything else your crush in it. <br><br>Of course, if you feel more comfortable with a garlic press, it is still an effective means of crushing garlic.