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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

How To Peel Garlic 4 Different Ways

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Learn how to peel garlic 4 different ways to make your meal prep easy and quick! These four different methods include pressing, microwaving, boiling in water, and shaking in a jar. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to peel one clove or a whole bunch, these amazing hacks will give you all the tips and tricks to peel your garlic cloves in no time flat!

how to peel garlic easily - garlic peeling hack

I love fresh garlic, it’s one of my favorite ingredients – so it’s no surprise that I use a lot of garlic in my recipes! It is such an elemental and quintessential ingredient that creates a subtle undertone in soups, sauces, curries, chilies, stir-fries, and so much more. I even add it to my grilled cheese!

Peeling garlic can be one of those tedious tasks required for cooking, but if you’re looking for some tips on how to peel garlic cloves quickly, this is the guide for you! You won’t need any fancy equipment such as a garlic peeler – with these tips and tricks, peeling garlic will no longer be annoying, time consuming or cumbersome!

I prefer to peel a big batch of cloves at the same time, like a whole garlic bulb. My top tip is to store them in the refrigerator to retain their freshness. That way, I’ve got my garlic cloves ready to go whenever a recipe calls for it!

🎥 Video: How To Peel Garlic Easily (4 Ways)!

🧄 How To Choose The Best Garlic

Getting the best flavor from your garlic starts with choosing the best heads of garlic at the grocery store. Look for a bulb that is firm, large, and dry. Avoid ones with soft spots, ones that are starting to turn brown, or ones that have begun to dry out and shrivel.

❄️ How To Store Garlic

Garlic bulbs will last for quite some time when stored properly. If you haven’t yet peeled the entire bulb of garlic, keep it in a cool dry place (at room temperature) away from your other produce so that the odors are not absorbed. I recommend storing it in your pantry in a small open container. I keep mine with my onions.

If you have peeled your garlic already, I recommend storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

✔️ How To Peel Garlic Fast: 4 Simple Hacks

Choose any of the simple tricks below for a better way to peel garlic fast and easily!

🔪 The Press And Peel Method

Press with your hands: Take the garlic head, root side facing up, place on a chopping board. Using the heel of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart. Remove the cloves from the head.

pressing garlic with hands

Cut: Using a sharp knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root. 

removing ends

Press with your knife: Working one clove at a time; place the flat side of the knife blade on the clove, blade facing away from you, and press firmly with your free hand to break the skin away from the clove.

Finish Peeling: Using your fingers, remove clove from the outer layer. Repeat until all garlic has been peeled. Use your garlic press to easily mince your garlic.

how to peel garlic - peeling garlic skins

NOTES:

  • This is the most effective way to peel garlic when using a small amount of garlic, or individual cloves for cooking. By pressing on the clove with the heel of your palm, you’ll also flatten it slightly making it easier and quicker to chop and prepare for cooking.
peeled garlic in a bowl

♨️ The Microwave Method

Press: Take the whole head of garlic, root side facing up, place on a chopping board. Using the palm of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart. 

press garlic with hands

Remove cloves from head & cut: Using a chef’s knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root. Place the cloves into a microwave safe bowl.

remove ends and add to microwave safe bowl

Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

microwave garlic

When cool, remove garlic clove from the skin. Repeat with remaining cloves.

how to peel garlic - peeling skin when cool

NOTES:

  • Make sure to allow the garlic to cool before handling it. 
  • Possibly obvious tip, but do not use metal bowls in the microwave and be sure your bowl is microwave safe!
  • This process is great however it does slightly cook the garlic.

🥣 The Shaking Method

Press: Take the whole bulb of garlic, root side facing up, place on a cutting board. Using the palm of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart. Remove cloves from head.

pressing garlic with hands

Cut: Using a paring knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root. 

removing ends of cloves

Place the cloves into a mason jar with a lid (or any glass container) and vigorously shake until skins have loosened.

how to peel garlic - garlic peeling hack by shaking jar with cloves in it

Remove the cloves from the papery skin and repeat if any skins haven’t been removed.

peeled garlic on a cutting board

NOTES:

  • Great method for storing and keeping whole cloves of garlic, however the cloves may get a little bruised from being shaken around in the jar!
  • Tip: if you don’t have a mason jar, you can also use a cocktail shaker!
  • This is my favorite way to remove the skins from an entire head of garlic, and is great for home cooks because it’s the quickest way to get the entire bulb peeled at once!
peeled garlic in a bowl

💧The Boiling Water Method

Press: Take the head of garlic, root side facing up, place on a chopping board. Using the palm of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart. Remove cloves from head.

press with hands

Cut: Using a sharp knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root. 

cut with knife

Add to bowl: Place the cloves in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until skins start to come away from the cloves.

cloves added to bowl with water

Drain the water and let cool.

water removed from bowl

Once cool, remove the garlic skin.

how to peel garlic - skin removed ready to use

NOTES:

  • Similar to the microwave method, ensure the garlic has cool before handling it. 
  • This process is great however it does slightly soften the garlic cloves.

❓FAQs

How long does peeled garlic last in the refrigerator?

Transfer your peeled cloves of garlic to an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Can you freeze peeled garlic cloves?

Yes, you can freeze peeled garlic! Place the garlic cloves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for one hour, then transfer to a freezer safe bag and store together. Frozen garlic cloves will last for 2-3 months.

What is the easiest method to peel garlic?

The easiest garlic peeling method depends on whether you are peeling large amounts of garlic at once, or only need a single clove of garlic.
If you’re only in need one or two cloves, use the press and peel method.
However, if you are meal prepping and want to get a bunch of cloves done at the same time, use the shake, microwave, or boiling water method.
Essentially, choose the method you find works the best for what you need!

Does this garlic peeling hack really work?

Absolutely!! Any of these tricks for peeling garlic will work. You just have to decide which one is best suited to your needs. Personally, I like the jar hack for peeling garlic the best!

How do you avoid transferring the garlic smell to your hands?

The best way to remove the smell of garlic from your hands is to wash them thoroughly with soap and water, rub lemon juice over your hands and rinse off with fresh water. The lemon will ​​neutralize the smelly compounds of the garlic. (Just make sure you don’t have any cuts!)
Another effective method is to take baking soda, mix it with water until it forms a paste, and rub it all over your hands. Then rinse with soap and water.

how to peel garlic easily - garlic peeling hack

💭 More Cooking Tips!

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📋 Recipe Card

how to peel garlic easily - garlic peeling hack
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5 from 5 votes

How to Peel Garlic 4 Ways (Peel Garlic Easily!)

Learn how to peel garlic 4 different ways to make your meal prep easy and quick! These four different methods include pressing, microwaving, boiling in water, and shaking in a jar. Whether you're peeling one clove or a whole bunch, learn all the tips and tricks to peel your garlic cloves the easy way in no time!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 1kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic head

Instructions

Peel and Press

  • Take the garlic head, root side facing up, place on a chopping board. Using the heel of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart. Remove the cloves from the head.
  • Using a sharp knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root.
  • Working one clove at a time; place the flat side of the knife on the clove, blade facing away from you, and press firmly to break the skin away from the clove.
  • Using your fingers, remove clove from the outer layer. Repeat until all garlic has been peeled. Use your garlic press to easily mince your garlic.

Microwave

  • Take the whole head of garlic, root side facing up, place on a chopping board.  
  • Using the palm of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart.
  • Using a sharp knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root.
  • Place the cloves into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds.
  • Remove and allow to cool slightly. When cool, remove garlic clove from the skin. Repeat with remaining cloves.

Boiling Water

  • Take the head of garlic, root side facing up, place on a chopping board. Using the palm of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart.
  • Using a sharp knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root. 
  • Place the cloves in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until skins start to come away from the cloves.
  •  Drain the water and remove the garlic skin.

Shake in a Jar

  • Take the whole bulb of garlic, root side facing up, place on a cutting board.  
  • Using the palm of your hand press firmly to break the cloves apart.
  • Using a paring knife cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root.
  • Place the cloves into a mason jar with a lid and vigorously shake until skins have loosened.
  • Remove the cloves from the papery skin and repeat if any skins haven't been removed.

Notes

  • The Press and Peel Method is the most effective way to peel garlic when using individual cloves for cooking. By pressing on the clove you’ll also flatten it slightly making it easier and quicker to chop and prepare for cooking.
  • The Microwave Method: Make sure to allow the garlic to cool before handling it and make sure your bowl is microwave safe! Also, while the microwave method is great, keep in mind it does slightly cook the garlic.
  • Best way to remove the smell of garlic from your hands is to wash them thoroughly with soap and water, rub lemon juice over your hands and rinse off with fresh water. The lemon will ​​neutralize the smelly compounds of the garlic. (Just make sure you don’t have any cuts!)
  • The Shake Method: This is a great method for storing and keeping whole cloves of garlic, however the cloves may get a little bruised from being shaken around in the jar! This is my favorite way to remove the skins from an entire head of garlic.
  • The Boiling Water Method: Similar to the microwave method, ensure the garlic has cool before handling it. Keep in mind this process does slightly soften the garlic cloves.

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

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Following a special diet or cooking for someone who has one? I’ve got you covered! Try my gluten-freevegan, vegetarian, baby food, or kid-friendly recipes. They are all easy to adapt to fit your family’s needs – without sacrificing flavor or quality. Easy suggestions and swaps can help you create meals for everyone.

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8 responses to “How To Peel Garlic 4 Different Ways”

  1. Peeling garlic is one of my least favourite tasks. Thanks for your suggestions. I like the idea of shaking them in a mason jar.5 stars

  2. I’ve always done the press and peel method. It was good to learn some new tricks. Will try the shaking method next time I need to peel a bunch of garlic at once!5 stars

  3. Oh wow! Such great ways to save time when working with garlic. My kids would absolutely love shaking them in a jar.5 stars

  4. Peeling garlic is the bane of my existence, so these tips are super helpful. I never knew about the microwave or boiling water methods, but I definitely think I’m gonna give them a try to see what works best for me!5 stars

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