How to Peel Garlic by Shaking
It sounds hacky, but it really works.
Step 1: Smash the head of garlic.
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Grab two bowls of similar size. Place the head of garlic in one bowl and smash with the bottom of the other bowl. You can also smash between two cutting boards.
Test Kitchen tip: Metal bowls work best because they are hard-sided, lightweight for easier shaking and won’t break if you lose your grip on the bowls.
Step 2: Shake!
Put the whole crushed bulb in one bowl with the other bowl on top. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds to separate the papery outer layer from the garlic clove.
Test Kitchen tips: You can also use a firm plastic food storage container with a lid—try any of these. A jar works, too, but the process will take longer. This can also be done with just a few garlic cloves rather than the whole bulb, but it will require more shaking to get the peels off.
Step 3: Separate cloves from the peel.
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Pull out the cloves and discard the skin. Now it’s time to cook!
How to Peel Garlic in the Microwave
A quick but slightly risky method for peeling garlic: Microwave it on high for 15-20 seconds and the skin will peel away without much effort. Be careful not to overcook, though, or you’ll end up with cloves that are unpleasantly squishy.
How to Peel Garlic with a Chef’s Knife
Taste of HomeA tried-and-true technique: Place a cove of garlic under the blade of a chef’s knife. Press down until you hear the peel pop apart. Pull it off.
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