This Is the Easiest Way to Peel Garlic

Goodbye, garlicky fingers.

01_Garlic_You_Can_peel_a_whole_head_of_garlic_in_secondsistock/billnoll

It’s a question that plagues many a chef: How to peel garlic if you don’t have a garlic peeler or garlic press gadget? As if chopping garlic weren’t annoying enough, you have to deal with those stubborn little skins—and the smell. But why stink up your fingers scraping at those pesky peels when there’s an easier way to get those skins off? And if you do end up getting the garlic smell on your hands anyway, there’s a simple way to get rid of it.

When you just need one piece, this smashing hack works like a charm. Slice off each end of the clove, and then use the side of your knife to crush your garlic. The peel will slide right off. But if you’re using more than one clove, (and let’s be honest, everything tastes better with a heavy dose of garlic), that trick can get tiresome.

Luckily, there’s an even simpler solution for how to peel garlic. It’s a trick that everyone from Lifehacker to YouTuber DaveHax to Taste of Home food editor James Schend has recommended—and it’s quick as can be.

Step 1: Break the garlic into individual cloves.

Step 2: Put the cloves into a jar or container and cover it.

Step 3: Shake the container vigorously for 15 to 30 seconds.

Step 4: Remove the cloves and try to remove the outer layer; it should be easy (if the outer layer hasn’t been shaken off already).

Step 5: If the peels don’t come off, put the cloves back in the container and shake again.

So that’s how to peel garlic with ease! Use this quick and easy trick every time you want to reap all the health benefits of garlic.

Schend claims that it’s an especially helpful trick for recipes with sliced garlic. “If I’m going to end up slicing the garlic into thin sections for something like a salad, then I’ll shake the cloves so they stay intact,” he told RD.com.

No worries if you don’t have a big enough jar on hand. You can shake the garlic head around in any old bowl, as long as you keep the top covered with a cutting board. The only possible caveat is to try to avoid using a plastic container; the garlic could leave a lingering smell in plastic. Finally, YouTuber DaveHax recommends popping the entire untouched head of garlic in a jar, but you could also smash it with your hand first to get a head start.

Even if you won’t use the entire clove right away, this trick is a major time-saver. Pop the unused garlic in a plastic baggie and stash in the freezer. You’ll have cloves ready whenever you need them, without wasting money on those pre-peeled containers.

Watch DaveHax’s brilliant trick in action below:

Now that you know how to peel garlic the quick and easy way, read on for more brilliant kitchen hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.