Peeling Garlic

Typically I do the smash and mince method when cooking with garlic - which also makes it easy to get the skins off. But, what is the best way to skin a clove of garlic when the recipe calls for thinly sliced garlic which would not work with the smash and mince method? While skinning garlic last night I kept thinking there had to be an easier way then trying to peel it with my fingers...



davidpdx September 30, 2011
Found a video of totalkathy's method. Amazing!
Author Comment
After you get the cloves peeled you can use a mini mandoline slicer. I bought this tiny slicer/grater thinking it would be yet another kitchen gadget that would end up in the recycle bin, but I absolutely love it. It makes the tiniest, thinnest garlic slices. I love to slice up a bunch and fry them up all golden and crispy to top salads and soups. It's easy to use, about the size of a chef's knife, and all three parts come apart for easy dishwasher clean-up.
lacerise September 22, 2011
As Jacques Pepin says, once you cut off the dry end of the clove and exert light pressure w/your knife, the skin slips off pretty easily.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 22, 2011
I've done the soaking method for years and it's been a great way to go especially for the small cloves. It's such a time saver when you have to do a ton of them, as I do a pretty quick soak of just a minute. I've also found this a great way to peel shallots if I have a lot to do.
Butternut September 21, 2011
The rubber tube device is fantastic. Best $8 hostess gift ever. Pops into dishwasher for easy clean up, too. Just don't press too hard, or roll on a damp countertop. Any moisture, inside or out, is anathema to this ingenious invention.
Summer O. September 20, 2011
Felix is (gasp) right. Hate to admit it but this is what I usually do, about 5-10 seconds in the micro is all it takes. Also the tube thing Niknud mentions works OK as well as blanching each clove. I enjoy peeling garlic as much as I enjoy peeling shrimp or pumping gas or going to the dentist....
creamtea September 20, 2011
I cut off both ends, slice in half lengthwise, slide out the germ with the point of the knife and slip each half out of its peel.
chairmanhu September 20, 2011
I've heard that zapping them in the microwave (*gasp*) for a few seconds makes for easy peeling.
totalkathy September 20, 2011
Get 2 small stainless bowls, put garlic in one, cover with other bowl, dome side up, hold together, shake it like crazy. The banging, peals garlic like crazy! I have also put in a lidded plastic container and shook the heck out of it. The metal is more effective. They will be completely naked garlic cloves.
There'sAlwaysPie September 19, 2011
Helen's A-N-D, that's a great idea - including the thought of fresh garlic from the garden...I've never tried growing garlic here in Florida but if it worked I bet it would be delicious!
Helen's A. September 19, 2011
I store my fresh garlic from the garden in the freezer, it keeps from sprouting that way. It thaws in a minute or so on the counter. Trim off the root end & the skin pops right off. I tend to slice my garlic very thin rather than chopping. If you slice it while it's still semi frozen, it's much easier. Similar to slicing partially frozen meat...
ChefJune September 19, 2011
hmmm never heard of tat soaking method. I cut off the root end and then it's usually pretty easy to get the rest of the skin off. A few light taps with the side of your knife also helps loosen it.
There'sAlwaysPie September 19, 2011
Thanks for the great tips! Niknud - I'd always wondered if those things work - glad to hear that they do!
CarlaCooks September 19, 2011
You can still use the smash method, but use a lighter pressure on the knife so you don't smash too much. I've also used Droplet's method, though I find using hot water works better.
EmilyC September 19, 2011
I trim off both ends of the garlic. You still have to peel with your fingers, but cutting the ends off makes the cloves much easier to peel.
sdebrango September 19, 2011
Love that Droplet, I had the same issue last night with some garlic cloves. Great tip!
Niknud September 19, 2011
Have you ever tried one of those rubber tubes thingies? They sell them at williams-sonoma and you just put the clove inside the tube and roll it around. The skins stick to the rubber and you have a non-smashed, yet peeled clove of garlic! I keep one around for exactly that use - because normally I am a dedicated knife smash and mincer like you.

Here's a link:
Droplet September 19, 2011
Soak it in a small bowl of water for a while before peeling and the peel comes off very easily.
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