The Easiest Way to Peel Garlic

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission. Learn more in our disclosure.

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

All true garlic lovers need an easy way to peel garlic.

I love the flavor of garlic and of course, everyone’s read about all of the great health benefits that garlic has, but it’s a pain to peel.

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.

For years I’ve been flustered about how to peel garlic without ending up wanting to pull my hair out. Or worse.

I’ve tried cooking with garlic in 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 (or homemade garlic powder)

Clearly, the easiest method is to use 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 :-)!

So if you’ve been wondering how to peel garlic without losing your mind, you are in the right place.

Want to Save This Post?

Enter your email & I'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, you'll get healthy living updates too.

Save Recipe

Does Garlic Lose Health Benefits When Cooked?

This is an important fact to know and a tip that can help you retain garlic’s benefits in your cooked dishes.

Garlic is loaded with tons of health benefits, but heat will destroy them.

Letting the cut or chopped garlic sit for 10-15 minutes before eating or adding to a dish will maximize the benefits. The cutting or chopping breaks the garlic cells and releases enzymes from the cells that react with oxygen in the air. That reaction triggers healthy sulfide compounds, such as allicin (the most well known beneficial component of garlic), to form.

However, it’s important to not cook garlic for too long or you will destroy some of those benefits. It’s best to add garlic to your hot dish near the end of cooking. Of course it will taste a lot stronger, however, so that’s the trade off.

Some sources say that letting the garlic sit for 10-15 minutes prior to cooking makes the allicin form and that it’s pretty heat stable, but that seems to be up for debate.

garlic cloves in bowl on top of natural placemat with text saying the easiest way to peel garlic.
peeled garlic in glass bowl on natural woven placemat

Easiest Way to Peel Garlic

Once you try this easiest way to peel garlic, you'll never go back to messy presses and garlic rollers again!
Print Pin Rate


  • Remove one clove from the garlic head.
  • Cut clove in half, through the peel.
  • At this point, typically each half clove will come out easily from the peel.  Sometimes, like in this photo, the halves just fall out of the peel on their own!  (Occasionally, a half clove will prove to be a bit stubborn and you will have to cut off the thick end of the clove that is adhered to the peel.  Just slice through it quickly with your knife.)
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!
Garlic Recipe

Well, there you have it!  An easy way to peel garlic–simple and painless!

Need more kitchen 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 do you usually peel garlic?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating



  1. Over the years, I have purchased garlic presses, garlic silicon sleeves, and many other tools to remove garlic from the peels. Finally, I found the best way:
    Chopped garlic, whole garlic, doesn’t matter what style I want, I simply put the clove on the cutting board and use the flat part of a knife to press down and smoosh it. It will usually break the peel and I can remove it easily. From there, I either chop it or leave it ‘whole’ (sometimes it cracks it but usually stays whole). No special tools, no frustration about how to remove all of the garlic goodness from the press, etc.

    1. Hi Carol! I used to do that myself. I really want to revisit this post and edit it, but I did find doing that method that it caused some issues for me – I mention them in the post. Have you not had those thing happen to you? Thanks! (And yes, the presses are a pain! I do understand that they make the garlic flavor stronger, however, so there’s that….)

      1. Nope, never had one slip up and almost cut myself. I use the FLAT side of a knife, but I’m sure that a butter knife would work just as well…..
        Put the clove down with as much of a flat side as possible, put the knifes center (usually a larger area to press on) on the clove, put my hand over the knife and press down hard.
        Then make sure I leave the clove(s) sit for several minutes (10 I think) to allow the beneficial stuff to become available

        1. I’m glad you haven’t! I had it happen a number of times. Maybe I’ll have to try it again. I think a butter knife would be too narrow to work – you think it would?
          I just added some information about the 10 minute issue. Thanks for reminding me about that. That post is really old and needs to be edited. I have found conflicting information about cooking garlic and the benefits, however–it’s hard to know!

  2. I tried all the above methods as well, and here is how I have found it easiest to peel garlic: take all the heads of garlic you want for your recipe or for storing in the fridge, and put it into a plastic bag. It works best if you use two bags and double up like you’re bringing groceries home. Then you step on the garlic somewhat gently depending on your weight and comfort level with trying this method (it almost feels like a foot massage). you might come away with a few smashed cloves, but it works quickly like the garlic peeler off of Amazon, without all the peelings going everywhere. Hope that helps! That’s the best way I’ve found.

  3. An easy way to peel garlic. Just put a few in a pan and shake, shake, shake and they will peel themselves.

  4. I’ve been doing that exact same thing, but lately, the garlic (or should I say the quality of the garlic) has made it more difficult…. so lately, I find just smashing them with my flat wooden spoon is the easiest of all.

  5. I have no problem peeling cloves, just take a sharp knife, n e a r l y cut off one end pulling the peel off on one side at the same time, then repeat at the other end.

    Another tip: If you want to eat garlic the night before you go on a job interview ;), cut the clove down the middle like you show above and, with the point of a knife, pop out the inner thingy that’s inside. That’s where most of the “stinky” stuff is, but it doesn’t affect the taste! It also helps to take a good soapy shower before going to bed and again in the morning as the scent is emitted through the pores of the skin.

      1. S o m e times a “good” job interview can be even healthier… 😉
        But you’re right, now that I no longer have to go to work and I can stink up my own home as much as I like, I don’t bother removing the root anymore either.

  6. 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.
    Allen Berry