If you use garlic as much as I do in meals, then you’re all too familiar with the hassle it is to peel said garlic. Sure, you could buy garlic powder or minced garlic in a jar, but I think we all know the fresh stuff is best. That being said, there are few things more time-consuming than peeling lots of little garlic cloves. Surely there has to be an easier way, right? Plenty of people have asked that very same question, thus giving us plenty of garlic “hacks” that supposedly make the process easier. Let’s take a look at the most viral methods of peeling garlic, and the practicality of each one.
This hack has blown up the internet lately, and it’s easy to see why. It looks super cool to stab a clove of garlic, twist, and have the whole thing pop right out. Not only do you get your garlic in an epic way, but you get to stab something with a big knife. Win-win, right? Not so much. Despite the many videos showcasing this method, it doesn’t quite work the same way in real life. you’ll have to cut the clove off at the root before stabbing it, and even then, it may take a couple of tries to get the right spot and enough leverage to twist it off. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that it only works for the outer cloves, so you’ll have to try one of the methods below to finish the job. The consensus: Looks cool, doesn’t work.
This one is pretty straight forward. Break the head of garlic up into individual cloves and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 20 seconds. During that time, you might be tempted to stop and pull the bowl out, seeing as the garlic cloves hiss and pop. But if you stay strong and wait out the timer, you’ll be rewarded with warm garlic cloves that slip right out of their skin. In theory, at least. The reality is that about half of the cloves are easy to peel, while the other half remains as annoying as ever. Silly, stubborn garlic. It’s almost like there isn’t really a hack that will make everything easy peasy. Weird.
This method has been around for a while and gained such popularity that celebrity chefs like Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart tried it out. They make it look easy, of course, but you may find that results vary when trying it out for yourself. You’ll place the garlic cloves in a metal bowl and top it off with another metal bowl, creating a metal cage of sorts. Then, shake it like a Polaroid picture! Keep shaking until your forearms are sore and you break out in a sweat. Then, take a ten-minute breather and continue shaking. This method requires a surprising amount of strength to work, but it will eventually peel the garlic. As a bonus, you can skip arm day at the gym!
If you only need a few cloves of garlic, this is a great method. Take the clove and simply roll it back and forth in your hands. You;ll have to press it firmly as you roll, but the skin comes off in a relatively short period of time. The downside? Your hands will smell extremely garlicky and it’s really only useful if you’re peeling two or three cloves. Any more than that and your hands will start to hurt.
Here’s a tried and true method used by many chefs around the world. Separate the garlic cloves and smash them with the flat side of a large knife. The skin cracks and peels right off, leaving you with a smashed garlic clove. This is great if you’re going for minced garlic in your recipe. Not so much if you want sliced garlic or diced garlic.
Bonus: Mincing Garlic
Speaking of minced garlic, here’s a hack that may be worth trying. Dice your garlic up and then sprinkle coarse sea salt over it. Smash and cut the garlic at a slight angle, using the sea salt to help grind and mash up the garlic.