The Easiest Way to Peel Garlic

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This is the Easiest Way to Peel Garlic--for now :). How do YOU peel garlic?
Garlic, garlic and more garlic...

I love the flavor of garlic and of course, everyone’s read about all of the great health benefits that garlic has.

What a great thing to be able to add something that tastes great and is great for you to your everyday meals!

But the peels – now that’s another thing.

I’ve tried cooking with garlic lots of ways:

  • peeling cloves with my fingers (ouch!)
  • peeling with a garlic peeler (those rubber rolls that look like toilet paper rolls [messy, messy, messy]).  My kids loved doing it (for awhile), but the novelty soon wore off and those little garlic peelings were all over the place :-(!
  • using pre-peeled garlic.  I’d buy a large container of pre-peeled garlic and would freeze it in small bags (to see the bags and clips that I use, check out my posts on  How and Why to Store Prepared Beans or 6 Super Tips for Cilantro).
  • Smashing cloves with the flat side of my knife (thanks to the reader who reminded me of this) – but the cloves easily slipped out from under my knife and I always felt like I was at risk of impaling myself — all for the love of garlic!
  • Using granulated garlic or garlic powder

Clearly the easiest method is to use the granulated garlic or garlic powder, but I felt so much better using whole garlic cloves due to the health benefits of garlic and the fresher taste, so I gravitated towards the frozen pre-peeled.

That is, however, until I did some research and talked with a garlic expert on the phone who told me that the nutritional benefits of garlic are almost nil once you freeze garlic.  Ugh!  Back to the drawing board!

So I got out my silly rubbery garlic peeler again and had those pesky garlic peelings all over the place again.

And I pretty much dreaded making any recipe that had garlic in it.!

Then – one day – I got an idea and I tried it.  And guess what?  My garlic peeling nightmares are over.  And now yours are too :-)!

Garlic Recipe

Well, there you have it!  Garlic peeling made simple and painless!

Need more tips?  Out of time as much as I am?  How about:

- The Easiest Way to Store Tomatoes
- The Easiest Way to Preserve Herbs
-
 The Easiest Way to Freeze and Store Berries
- Easiest Almond Milk Ever
- Easiest Coconut Milk
- Easiest Baby Wipes

How about you?  Do you have a great kitchen tip to share?

Or a kitchen conundrum that has you stumped?  Share away in the comments area and maybe I or another reader can help!

 

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Comments

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  1. Have you ever tried a garlic press? It will squeeze the garlic out right through the peel, so you don’t even have to fool with peeling it. It may leave a teeny bit of garlic that you would get if you peeled and minced it, but in my opinion it’s worth it for the ease of dealing with it. Love your idea too!

    • Yes, I have tried it. I thought about adding it to my post, but then I thought that it truly is a different “technique” made for when one wants a more intense garlic flavor. Also, I have to admit, I never liked cleaning my press :-).

      • Hmm–I never thought it made a big difference in the flavor–I use it all the time and it’s never too strong. It also takes away the threat of biting into a big chunk of garlic while you’re eating :) And mine has a rubber part that you can flip around backwards to get the clove out. Then I just stick it in the dishwasher and it gets clean enough.

        • I just have read in a number of places that a press is used for more intense garlic flavor. I can see what you mean about the large pieces of garlic for dishes when the garlic is raw. I kind of like it when I get a large piece and it is cooked.

          You are right about the dishwasher. I don’t do loads frequently enough for that to work for me, but it would certainly work if you do them daily. Thanks!

  2. Oh that is far too elegant…I just smash the clove with the side of my knife. I’ll have to try it this way.

  3. I could never get the hang of the knife thing either, so I just smash each clove with a can, works every time!

    • Hi Kelly! I think that sounds like a fun (albeit loud) idea! And you can get some aggressions out while you are at it! I would recommend washing the can first though. Never know where the bottom of that can has been :-)! Though now that I’ve learned a lot about what’s in our water, the water is sometimes gross too :(.

  4. I actually bought a garlic “peeler” that is a little rubber tube. My neighbor’s Dad made his own by using a bicycle tube. You just put the cloves inside and press down while you roll it on the counter. The peel comes right off.

    My Phillipino friend uses a large rock and just smashes the garlic on the counter, and then pulls off the peel. I know that works, but I really like my little rubber tube. :)

    • Yes, that “peeler” is exactly what I wrote about in my post. I have the hardest time w/ the peels ending up all over the place, and then they don’t come out easily so I am left with peels in my drawer :-(. And just a thought about the bicycle tube….I would recommend that they at least get a real “peeler” or try my method. Bicycle rubber tubing is not food safe. I don’t think I’d want that on my garlic.

  5. I use a garlic press. You don’t even have to peel the garlic cloves that way. =D That’s a great tip, though, if I need garlic pronto and my press is in the dishwasher. ;)

  6. You must know that the Gilroy Garlic Festival is this weekend….. I am a very lazy (former) Gilroyan though, I buy the minced garlic in a jar from Christopher Ranch. No mess. My brother in law says that I am a cheater.

  7. I love this! I usually smash the cloves with the smooth side of a meat pounder, but this seems easier. I had a nice garlic press that cleaned itself pretty good, but never had the strength to push the garlic through it. Even my husband hated it.

  8. Great tips. I really have a hard time with this. I found you from Ginger Snaps today.

    I am going to host a link up party on August 1 and the link will be open for awhile. I would love for you to link up because I think you would have some good recipes and ideas. The link will be called Meal-Planning Made Easy. My goal is for bloggers to link up recipes or tips to help meal planning easy for us in August.

    My blog has more details.

    Hope you join me. I’m following you now because I think you have some information that will help me as a mom. Leigh

  9. This is an excellent idea! I’ve always cut off the tips and then a thin slice down the skin, from end to end and it pops out pretty easily, but this is even better- it saves two extra cuts! Thanks.

  10. Great idea! I have tried microwaving the garlic for 5-7 seconds, the skins just pop off.

    • Nice idea, but we have gotten completely away from using our microwave. Thought I could never do it, but finally it’s done :-). It always seemed strange to me that we would “zap” our foods and consider it to be a healthy thing. I hope to do a post on it soon :-).

  11. I am amazed at how many different methods are listed here in the comments!

    You can add me to the list of those who hate cleaning the garlic press, so I just do mine by hand. But you’re right – the garlic tries to roll out from under the knife blade when you smash it. I will have to try your way!

  12. This is great! I can hot peppers and have to put 3 fresh garlic cloves in each pint. It takes me forever to peel them. I will be canning again in a couple weeks so I will give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thank you for joining the Frugal Tuesday Tip this week. I do the same thing you do for peeling garlic. It’s one of the easiest things to grow in the garden. http://juliecache.com/2011/07/26/frugal-tuesday-tip-27/.html

  14. I love this tip! I use fresh garlic several times a week and I do the whole smash with the knife routine and then pick the pieces of peel off with my fingers…this is way better!! So glad to discover your blog :)

  15. danielle b says:

    i smash the garlic w/a knife. i dont like to have a bunch of gdgets around. less clutter on the counters, less to wash in the dishwasher (or handwash). i make due w/what i hv. but thats me.

  16. I microwaved garlic , let it dry for 2 minutes. easy to peel off

  17. I love garlic. It’s the key ingredient to many of my dishes. I’m a garlic smasher. It makes the garlic easier to mince that way.

    Thanks for linking up every week at our Friday Food Fight. I hope you’ll join us again this week. :-)

    http://deniseisrundmt.com/2011/07/29/a-beautiful-thing/

  18. If you are going to be cooking the garlic, the best thing to do is add it to the pan/baking tray for a few minutes. After that, the skins just slip off! It probably has something to do with the moisture/heat. Often, if it is not necessary to infuse the dish with the flavor, I will just leave the garlic cloves in their skin — they come out so much milder, sweeter and more delicious than garlic cooked naked! And you can just squeeze them right out of the skins like garlic puree. SO worth it. Of course, if you need the garlic raw than this doesn’t help! Sometimes if I’m doing that I just run them under the tap. That seems to work almost as well.

  19. We enjoy onions AND garlic in our cooking. I have a garlic press made in Germany that is strong and sturdy. Your suggestion how to get the skin off is great! Thank you so much.

  20. I use a garlic press. Just put the clove in with the skin still on it and squeeze, and you have perfect minced garlic. I love it!

  21. I will try this idea however…… I love the smells of food on ya hands kinda makes ya feel part of the meal……..

    • Interesting perspective :-). You still need to peel the clove out of the peel a bit most of the time. It’s just loads easier than the other methods I’ve tried. I have another one I’m working on now though….

  22. What a great tutorial and one that so many can use! I love garlic, use it all the time, and have never tried this technique! Thanks! I would love for you to stop by and share this post at my Savvy HomeMade blog party at http://www.homesavvyatoz.com/2011/07/28/savvy-homemade-monday-party-1/

    I’m a new follower!

  23. Thanks so much for linking up! I was inspired to make pasta sauce for a late lunch just to use your technique right away! Thanks again!

    • Oh sure! I am actually working on another perhaps easier way. I need easier ways for everything. Too much going on here :-). I’m sure we’ll be in touch!

  24. Thanks for linking up today, but could you please add somewhere that you have linked up, and link back to my blog or tell people in another post. This is great information.

  25. I was just peeling a garlic and thinking to myself, “There’s got to be an easier way!” Thanks for the tip!

  26. Hi Adrienne,
    This is a great post with very helpful information. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon. Hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  27. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing your tip with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  28. Love getting new, easy ideas to help in the kitchen. And I HATE getting garlic smell all over my fingers, too. Thank you for sharing!

  29. A quick smash with the knife does it for me. Just enough to knock the peel loose and then I peel the rest of it off with my fingers. Cutting has the same effect but becomes a problem with smaller cloves.

  30. I became a follower of yours on facebook! :) Love your blog! Erin

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Branscoms/218064364877134

  31. AWESOME! This looks much easier than the smashing method I’ve been using (though I use a mallet, not a knife).

  32. I got this tip from a book… just take a clove of garlic and hold it end to end between your thumb and pointer finger and squeeze. The peel will pop and you can just peel it off. It accomplishes the same thing as smashing it with a knife without the knife. I use a garlic press a lot too but I don’t like to put the clove in there with the peel since it seems like it leaves a lot of garlic goodness in the press. Also if you do buy a press invest in a good solid metal one. I went through quite a few of the cheaper ones before I bought a more expensive heavy duty one. :)

    • I just tried this and while it didn’t pop out quite as easily as the method I posted about, it sure has potential. I am working on another one. Maybe I need to write a post on New Easiest Ways :-).

  33. I dont know if someone has posted this method and i missed it..

    toss cloves of garlic in a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds and the peel will come right off.

    Maybe not a perfect everyday method.. but if you’re cooking with boiling water or if you always have your tea kettle on the stove like my mom did it’ll do in a pinch! -especially of you like your cloves whole.

    • Sounds great – but doesn’t your tea water taste like garlic then?

      • Haha, yes it would.. I didn’t mean to use the water for tea, just if you always have the kettle handy you can put on few cloves in a cup and pour the water in for a quick fix.

        And what I meant when I said if you’re cooking with boiling water. ie: garlic mashed potatoes, pasta with a garlic sauce or making a reduction you can toss some cloves in boiling water and the garlic taste wont ruin your water or recipe.. in fact might add another layer of flavor.. but hey im a huge garlic fan :)

  34. I just found your blog and I LOVE it! You are a woman after my own heart. I saw this on pinterest the other day and it’s a GREAT way to peel garlic (the day I saw it changed my life as I bleed garlic). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ASPUApNH6c
    Thanks for all of your excellent contents!!

    • Hi Sarah. I saw a similar video a few days ago (it was a lot more dramatic and a LOT louder!). I am going to give it a run and one other peeling method. Maybe I’ll have to write another post :-).

  35. Ann-Maree says:

    I have been a Side of the Knife Blade peeler for several years now . Tips: make sure the garlic clove is lying on a flat side, rest the knife blade on the garlic, hit the blade with correct pressure (this took me a couple of tries to get right) & you’ll get whole, unsmashed, peeled cloves of garlic. I have recently tried the 2 bowl method. Awesome if you need a lot of garlic all at once. It works if you do it right: you need LARGE bowls, they need to be the same size as each other (yeah – I tried it with mismatched bowls), you need to do it for a full 10 secs. Peeled garlic keeps quite well in the fridge.

  36. birtrightrose says:

    I use my bright yellow rubber gloves that I wash the dished with to peel the garlic. Put them on, roll the garlic around in your hands and it’s easy as pie to get the skin off.

  37. Ugh, I wish I had seen this post a few hours earlier. I just spent 20 minutes peeling garlic for dinner. Your way is so much better!

  38. Ha! This is one of those “I canNOT believe I didn’t think of that!” tips. Thank you so much for sharing that. I stand over the trash can several nights per week smacking garlic with my knife and peeling it with my finger nails. Takes forever.

  39. Your post/idea is FANTASTIC! My teenagers will be jumping for joy because I usually stick them with the job! LOL I have them peel several bulbs worth, and then we freeze them in a baggie for quick use.

  40. Great tip! Thanks for sharing and linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

  41. Great post Adrienne! Like you, I’ve been through the options and ended up using the same method! Really is amazing how easy it is!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  42. Well, I would say that’s pretty brilliant! I also must add that I have a brilliant method too that never fails and is super easy: I make my husband do it. ;0)

    Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

    • What a riot. I was speaking at a foodie meeting last night and it was mentioned that having others cook for you is the ultimate in time saving. It wasn’t my tip, but it was a good idea and I’ll have to start working w/ my oldest son….but he is special needs so I’m more likely to have it work with my husband and youngest. We’ll see :).

  43. That is so neat! :)

  44. Great tip! I love garlic. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that if a recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, it must be a typo and mean 4 :)

  45. I use the press now … I’ll have to give this a shot! Thanks for sharing with us at Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday!

  46. Hi Adrienne,
    This is great information for us! Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  47. WOW this is so helpful!! Thank you so much for publishing! I LOVE garlic so much, but I do hate preparing it!! I really love the concept of your blog.

  48. Put a head in 2 stainless bowls and shake. Much easier!

  49. I didn’t real through all the comments, so forgive me if these have been shared already, but I have a few garlic peeling suggestions to share.

    1 – gently squish the clove of garlic against the counter or cutting board with the heel of your hand (or the flat side of a knife blade) – skin should remove easily from the glove.

    2 – nuke the clove for a few seconds in the microwave – squeeze the clove out of the skin.

    3 – to peel lots of garlic, place many loose cloves in a bowl, cover tightly and shake, shake, shake – when you open the bowl, all the skins will be removed from the garlic cloves.

    I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Happy cooking!

  50. Great idea! I always used to dread trying to chop garlic finely too, so now I grate it into recipes. It works really well.

  51. My husband and I just found this video…
    and we didn’t believe it, but then we tried it…
    AND IT WORKED!!!
    peeling garlic in ten seconds flat!

    Basically, you take the head of garlic and smash it with your hand…
    Wipe the whole mess into a bowl. Take another bowl and shake the heck out of the garlic pieces..
    When you open the bowl…most if not all of the cloves will be peeled.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504784_162-20114011-10391705.html

  52. I’ve tried all of those gadgets too….I dislike the way the garlic press squeezes the oils out and I don’t like cleaning it either. I do just what you do!

  53. after 78 comments, what on earth could i tell you about garlic other than it is best to grow your own.. and then use a wide spatula to smash it…

    anyhow, since you build this whole conversations around it… Do come share it at our linky party at http://www.finecraftguild.com/party-35/ !

  54. For me, I find that using the side of a wide knife is the quickest and easiest. Hands down. And trust me, I use a lot of garlic. I then use a garlic press (re-pressing the remnants to try to get as much of the garlic). The key is using a wide enough knife (mine is approx. 1 1/2″). The wider the better. It’s the easiest thing in the world. I simply cut the tough end off with sharp knife and with that same knife, I lay the knife flat atop of the clove and whack it with the heal of my hand with just enough force to slightly split it. This releases the skin. Viola. I do all cloves for my recipe and then press all into a ramekin then set aside (covered) to prep the rest of my ingred. I’m all about prepping my ingred. (measuring, pressing, cutting, slicing) before hand for any recipe I make (unless it’s very simple and there’s no need for prepping). Using this method for your garlic, you really can’t hurt (impale) yourself. :)

  55. …um, that would be “heel” of my hand. Not “heal!” Oy veey. (lol)

  56. try the best garlic press – very inexpensive and works better than any one I have tried, and I have tried quite a few. The best garlic press is from IKEA! Easy to use and super easy to clean…

  57. Microwave Garlic for 30 seconds to a minute & bulbs will peel away & pop right out when squeezed

  58. Nora Kovach says:

    Pampered Chef makes a garlic peeler that smashes the garlic out and leaves the peel inside the crusher. Then you are need to use a pointy knife or toothpick to flick out the peel.
    I find it pretty easy to use and no smelly fingers ! lol

  59. April M. Ramos says:

    Have you ever used the prechopped garlic in a jar? I wondered if the health benefits were lost with that garlic also.

  60. I’m embarrassed that a solution so easy never came to mind. Thanks so much for the awesome garlic tip!

  61. Allen Berry says:

    Have tried your garlic tip several times. Can not believe how great it works. Also can’t believe all the cook books don’t give you this tip. I love garlic, always double or triple the amount in recipes, so this is one of the best kitchen tips I’ve ever gotten.
    On another note. I just brought my pressure cooker out of retirement. I’ve cooked 3 meals this week and they were great. Do you have any thoughts on pressure cooker cooking and/or any recipes. I’m especially interested in split pea with ham soup.
    Thanks,
    Allen Berry