What’s the Fastest Way to Peel a Bunch of Garlic?

Step 2: Cloves in the Bowl

Put the cloves in the bowl. If you need a lot of cloves to be peeled you might want to separate it into batches

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How to Peel Garlic

1. Peel the garlic cloves from the bulb. It may help to roll and press the bulb with your palm to loosen the individual cloves first or to carefully use the tip of the knife to pop the cloves off. Interestingly, in other countries, the garlic bulb is called a garlic foot. That said, remove as many garlic toes as needed for your recipe, and set them aside.

100849184_Peeling Garlic_Photo by Meredith Photo by Meredith

2. Then, place the flat side of the knife on the garlic clove. With a quick and somewhat firm chop, hit the knife with your palm. Do not press so hard that the garlic is completely crushed. Only whack hard enough so the skin is loosened from the garlic and easy to remove. The clove should maintain its shape. Crushing the garlic completely will cause it to not only be more difficult to work with (and sticky) but it will also oxidize more quickly and may take on a bitter flavor.

102046989_Peeling Garlic_Photo by Meredith Photo by Meredith

3. Peel and discard the skin. Then, use a knife to cut the remaining root off of the garlic clove. This garlic is now perfect for chopping, pressing, or throwing into a recipe whole.

102046990_Peeling Garlic_Photo by Meredith Credit: Meredith

There are also other quick hacks for peeling garlic — like microwaving the entire bulb for 20 seconds so that the skins almost slip off the cloves. Or placing the cloves in a bowl, covering with another bowl or a plate, and shaking vigorously for 20 seconds. This hack works better with larger quantities of cloves.

Of course, there are gadgets you can pick up, like silicone rollers and stainless-steel or wooden crushers, though the knife trick is hard to beat for ease and simplicity.

What if The Peel Doesn’t Come Off?

Sometimes it happens, usually when your garlic is on the older side and isn’t plump and resilient. For those times, or if you only have a paring knife, here’s an alternate method.

Grip the clove of garlic so the tip points toward your cutting board. Then cut the clove in half lengthwise and pop the halved clove out of the peel.

If this reveals a green sprout in the center of the clove, it’s a good idea to dig that out with the tip of your knife and discard it; it can make your food taste bitter.

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