Learn how to peel garlic the quick and easy way with this amazing trick. Follow step by step instructions with bonus tips and alternatives from our readers.
Here’s the original ‘How to Peel Garlic” post:
OK, people, listen up. I need to know why this trick has been kept from me for so long and I need to know now! Why don’t we all know this? If you were in the dark about this too, it’s time to see the light. You may think you know how to peel garlic, but not like this. No more peeling a garlic clove with a little knife and getting the skins all stuck under your finger nails and having it take you 47 minutes before you have peeled garlic ready to cook with. If you have a recipe that calls for you to chop or mince garlic, for grated garlic, or for crushing it with a garlic press, this is essential information. You will be amazed.
How to Peel Garlic the Quick and Easy Way
My grandma sent me a link to this video from Martha Stewart cooking school the other day and I just had to try it for myself. I didn’t even have garlic on hand because I’ve pretty much given up on having the time and/or energy to cook a real (non-spaghetti or chili-based) meal and then fight my family into eating it lately, so I went to the store and bought a bunch of whole garlic bulbs just to experiment with.
Here’s the video:
Here’s how my experiment went:
Place a full head of raw garlic into a bowl.
Place another same-sized bowl over top of the unpeeled garlic.
Now, hold on to the two sides of the bowl/egg/spaceship that you’ve created and shake the dickens out of it. In Martha’s video she shakes it for about 17 seconds. I personally don’t have that kind of brute force available to me, so it took me a little longer. It was about 3 sets of 15 seconds with breaks in between. *update* I’ve been working out so I’ve definitely gotten better at this! 🙂 It also helps to put your garlic down on the counter and give it a good whack with the heel of your hand before shaking to get things started.
Here’s what happened! Really! It all just kind of fell apart and the skins fell off. Truthfully, there were a few cloves with the skin still on, but the skin was loosened enough that it just popped right off without much effort or added time on the clock.
*update* A few really smart people have come up with a method for this that is just so much smarter, I have to admit. The basic concept is still the same, but instead of the two bowls, you just use a mason jar! Much easier to hold on to, if you happen to have a clean jar available. Just make sure your jar is large enough to allow the garlic to move around quite freely so it really gets shaken up! Some people have also recommended a pressure cooker, which I think would be great for doing multiple heads of garlic, but may also be a little exhausting. 🙂
Another alternative to the garlic shaking is to put your garlic in the microwave for about 20 seconds and the skins should peel right off. I really think that cooking with the fresh garlic is a little bit better than having it half-cooked by the microwave, but the microwave trick definitely works in a pinch!
Try this recipe: Real Pesto Made With a Mortar and Pestle – Plant-Based Version
Now, who’s got a recipe for me that uses about a million perfectly peeled cloves of garlic?
Update – Thanks for the Recipes
*update* Thanks so much to everyone who’s shared their recipes with me! Keep them coming! It’s been a wonderfully garlic-filled last few years! 🙂 One of my favourite ways to use my fresh garlic is 12 Second Pasta Sauce (with a few extra cloves of garlic for good measure), so definitely check that one out if you really love the bite of fresh garlic!
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.