Garlic lovers around the world don’t let its stink issues get in the way of using this nature’s bounty. Garlic is one of the most revered medicinal plants across the globe. If difficulty peeling fresh garlic is keeping you from joining the garlic brigade, read on for some foolproof solutions.
A pro at fighting infections, keeping gas and bloating at bay and detoxing your body, garlic is one ingredient you should always keep stocked in your kitchen. It is also a well-loved condiment among foodies. You can give a host of recipes a boost just by adding a few garlic cloves.
But peeling garlic can be quite tedious, messy and time consuming. Its papery skin refuses to let go of the clove without persistent effort. And when you finally manage to pull the skin loose from the flesh, it tends to scurry every which way, creating a mess in your well-kept kitchen.
You can leave the horrors of peeling garlic behind using some simple hacks. With no additional expense involved, you can easily cut down on the time and mess involved in peeling garlic.
Here are four simple methods to peel garlic quickly, like a pro.
- Method 1: Water
- Method 2: Microwave
- Method 3: Mason Jar
- Method 4: Chef’s Knife
Method 1: Water
A little soaking time in hot water is the best way to peel garlic quickly. The hot water breaks the bond between the skin and the flesh. Moist garlic skins also cut down on the mess compared to dry, papery skins and easily slip off the cloves.
Step 1. Chop off the root of the garlic
- Cut off the root end of the garlic bulb with a knife.
Step 2. Soak the garlic cloves in hot water
- Fill a bowl with hot water.
- Separate the cloves of the garlic bulb, dropping them in the water as you go.
- Let them soak for 5 minutes.
Step 3. Peel off the moist skin
- Peel off the moist garlic skin for a mess-free result.
Method 2: Microwave
Nuking fresh garlic is a great way of cutting down the time and mess when you need to peel lots of garlic. A short time in microwave allows the garlic to heat up, generating enough steam to break the bond between the papery skin and the flesh. This is even easier than baking potatoes in a microwave.
Step 1. Microwave the garlic for 20 to 30 seconds
- Chop off the root of the garlic bulbs with a knife.
- Pop the garlic bulbs into the microwave for about 20 seconds on high power. You can microwave 2 or 3 medium-sized garlic bulbs at one time. If you’re nuking 4 or 5 bulbs, you may need to heat them for about 30 seconds.
- Take the garlic out of the microwave, and let it stand for about 1 minute.
Step 2. Squeeze the garlic out of its slippery skin
- Simply hold a garlic bulb from the shoot side and squeeze it to make the cloves pop out of their skins. It’s as easy as that!
- Repeat the same with each bulb.
Method 3: Mason Jar
This is probably the most fun way to peel garlic quickly. You can use any lidded jar for this purpose. In a pinch, a bowl with a lid or two bowls held together will also do.
Be sure to pick a container with a hard surface like hard plastic, ceramic or glass. The cloves need to knock against the surface to crack open their papery skins.
Crushing the bulbs before shaking them in a jar helps cut down on time and labor. When crushing the bulb, force should be evenly distributed. This helps crack open the garlic skin but prevents the garlic from getting smashed.
Things you’ll need:
- Mason jar
Step 1. Crush the garlic cloves
- Remove the outer skin of the bulb to separate the cloves.
- Crush the cloves with the base of a hard bowl or plate.
Step 2. Shake the cloves in a Mason jar
- Put the crushed garlic cloves into a Mason jar.
- Screw on the lid and shake the jar vigorously for about 15 seconds to separate the skin from the garlic.
Step 3. Pick out the cloves from the separated skin
- Pour the garlic cloves out of the jar.
- Pick out the peeled cloves from the heap of papery skins.
Method 4: Chef’s Knife
This method, while not as fancy as the others, should do well to speed up the peeling process. However, be careful while smacking down the chef’s knife to avoid any potential injury. If you’re considered clumsy and accident-prone, you better stick to the other methods.
Things you’ll need:
- Chef’s knife
Step 1. Crush the garlic bulb with the flat end of the chef’s knife
- Place the garlic bulb on a flat surface with its shoot side facing upward.
- Place the wide, flat end of the chef’s knife over the garlic, so that it is closer to the handle than the tip of the knife.
- Smack it down with the heel of your palm or your fist to smash the knife’s flat side against the garlic bulb to tear open the outer skin. This should also crack open the skin of the cloves.
Step 2. Remove the remaining skin from the cloves
- Peel off the remaining skin from the cloves. The cracked, papery skin should be very easy to remove.
- Choose the method that fits your needs to peel garlic quickly. For example, nuking may not be ideal for sauces, salads and chutneys that require raw garlic.
- Too much time in the microwave will not only cook the garlic, but the sticky juices will also make it difficult to peel off the skin.
- In the microwave method, test the temperature of the garlic before attempting to squeeze the cloves out of their skins.
- If you’re shaking the garlic in a jar, you can have your kids help out and learn a little bit about working with raw garlic. Just be sure to use a nonbreakable container with a screw-on lid.