We Tried Julia Child’s Method for Peeling Garlic—Here’s What We Thought

We love Julia Child and take her tips to heart—we just tried her technique for peeling garlic the easy way. Find out how it worked!

Taste of Home

When it comes to good advice, I like to turn to the French chef—Julia Child. She advocated everything I love about cooking—wine, butter and not taking yourself too seriously. So it’s no wonder that whenever I come across a cooking tip from her, I like to give it a try. Recently I found out that Julia had a preferred method for peeling garlic. As a garlic-lover and a fan of kitchen shortcuts, I decided to give it a whirl.

Julia Child’s Methodology

Now, I‘ve tried my fair share of garlic-peeling tricks in the past, but I’ve never heard of one like this before. To peel the cloves more easily, Julia would toss them into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds or so. Once strained, the skins supposedly slip right off. That sounded like a pretty simple shortcut to me, so I gave it a shot.

Prepping the Cloves

To tackle this simple trick, I started with a whole bulb of garlic and pulled off a few cloves. If you’re like me, you add four cloves with the recipe calls for two (psst… you can find tasty garlic-filled recipes here), so I made sure to grab a good handful. Then, I just popped these into a saucepan filled with a few cups of boiling water. I let them hang out in there for 30-40 seconds and strained them.

How Did it Turn Out?

Taking the garlic cloves out of the water, they definitely looked a little wrinkly and were pretty darn soggy. I crossed my fingers hoping that the cloves would slip right out of the husk as promised. I grabbed a larger clove and while the garlic didn’t just pop right out, the skin did peel away pretty easily. The smaller, inner cloves from the bulb, weren’t quite as easy to peel—I definitely had to pick away a bit more to get those ones clean. After peeling a dozen cloves, I noticed that overall they were pretty easy to peel but that they also felt a bit water-logged. I don’t think this would impact any recipes in a significant way, but they did have a bit of a strange squish to them that I wasn’t a big fan of.

In the end, I’m not sure that this method was any simpler or quicker than my standard technique—smashing a clove with the side of a knife and pulling away the papery exterior—but it still did the job. If you’re planning on living like Julia for a week, definitely give this trick a go, otherwise I recommend that you keep working with the method you find the simplest. No matter how you slice it (or mince it, since we’re talking garlic), you’re sure to end up with cloves perfect for stirring into your favorite Italian dishes.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.