How to Peel Garlic, The Absolute Easiest Way

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I used to think “there must be a better way” every time I worked through the layers of paper-thin garlic peel that is stuck to the outside of every clove. Well, I did some research on peeling garlic and found there is an easier way to peel fresh garlic than going for it with your fingernails. It’s possible to peel garlic quickly so you can move on to making delicious food!

How to Peel Garlic

If you don’t have a garlic peeler or a garlic press, you can still peel garlic. If you get your hands stinking like garlic (it’s unavoidable at times) when peeling garlic, there is an easy peasy way to get rid of the smell. Here is how to peel garlic — take a look!

The Smash Method

This garlic peeling method is great if you want to peel just a few cloves (at most, an entire garlic bulb):

  1. Separate each garlic clove you will be using and place each on a flat surface
  2. Place the flat side of a chef’s knife (or paring knife for small cloves) on the clove. Ensure that the sharp side of your blade is facing away from you to avoid accidents
  3. Press the knife down using your palm so that the clove is crushed. Do this quickly but carefully with a light blow to ensure you don’t crush the garlic completely. The goal is to separate the garlic from the skins
  4. Remove the knife and peel the skins, which are now lose using your hand. The peels will separate as a single unit, and then you can crush or chop your peeled cloves accordingly

This is the best garlic peeling hack someone ever shared with me. It’s a second job with excellent results. The downside, however, is the trick is efficient if you are peeling one or two cloves. Anything more than that will be time-consuming and tiring.

The Shaking Method

We can all agree that any dish always tastes better with a heavy dose of garlic — even an entire garlic bulb. Here is a trick to peel garlic fast and peel garlic easily, in quantity (one garlic head or more):

  1. Start by separating the cloves from the garlic bulbs, depending on how many you need. Separate the whole bulb into individual cloves.
  2. Put your fresh cloves into a jar with a lid and close it tightly. We recommend using a glass container such as a mason jar.
  3. You can also use two metal or ceramic bowls instead of a jar. When using containers, small to medium bowls work best as the cloves need to bang against each other.
  4. Shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds. Ensure you can hear the cloves banging against each other. It’s even better if you are using a transparent container to shake until you see the skins peel off.
  5. Open your jar and pour out the cloves. The skins should have peeled off or loosened so you can remove them easily using your hands.
  6. If some of the cloves still have garlic skin on them, put the cloves back in the container and continue shaking vigorously until all the papery skin peels separates from the cloves.

Easy, right? This trick is especially useful if you need to slice the garlic after removing the peels. Also, avoid using a plastic container if you have other uses for it because your peeled garlic will leave its strong scent behind. Again, we recommend using a mason jar:

Glass Regular Mouth Mason Jars, 16 oz Clear Glass Jars with Silver Metal Lids for Sealing, Canning Jars for Food Storage, Overnight Oats, Dry Food, Snacks, Candies, DIY Projects (4PACK)

How Do You Remove Garlic Smell From Your Hands?

If your peeled garlic cloves leave their strong smell on your fingers, use this tip to get rid of the smell. Wash your hands under cool running water. Rub your hands on anything made of stainless steel like a spoon, fork, or the kitchen sink, and there you have it — garlic peeling is easy!

How to Store Peeled Garlic Cloves

Store peeled garlic in an airtight container in the fridge for several days to use them later in cooking or fresh. Minced garlic can also be stored for several days in the same way. Frozen garlic, either peeled, unpeeled, or minced, lasts for several months.

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