How To Peel Garlic? [5 Most Easy Methods] - Garlic Store (2023)

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A fresh bulb of garlic is the starting point of countless savory recipes. From soups to pasta sauces to even roasted potatoes, garlic umps up the taste of your favorite dishes. Still, peeling garlic can be an annoying, sticky, and time-consuming mess. In fact, for some people, peeling garlic is the most difficult part of a recipe.

If you dread the thought of taking garlic peel off your cloves, chances are high that you’ve been doing it all wrong. This article will provide you with some simple ways to peel garlic cloves quickly and easily to make your life in the kitchen a bit easier.

What Is Garlic

Garlic is a bulbous plant that grows underground. Each bulb is made up of multiple sections known as cloves. All the cloves are encased in layers of papery skin. While you can buy pre-peeled garlic cloves in a jar, or pre-minced garlic, nothing beats the flavor of fresh garlic. Taking your time to free these little but pungent cloves from their jackets can make all the difference in the flavor of so many dishes.

Thankfully, when done right, peeling a clove of garlic is quite a simple task. Plus, there are more than one right ways to peel off the skin of garlic. But before we get to peeling garlic the right way, you must first know how to choose good garlic.

How To Pick Good Garlic

Always choose fat bulbs with dry skin. Avoid any bulbs that look shriveled, feel soft, or have brown spots. Once home, store your fresh garlic bulbs in a wire mesh basket or open brown in a cool, dark place. Remember to never refrigerate whole heads of garlic, as this drastically shortens their shelf life. With good garlic in your pantry, here are a few ways to peel it.

How To Peel Garlic By Hand

If you do not have access to a knife, microwave, or pre-peeled garlic, you can use your own bare hands to peel garlic. This is an easy method for peeling garlic that is ideal for preparing small amounts of whole garlic.

Cut off the root end, and your garlic is ready to use.

The Steps

  • To peel fresh garlic, start by separating the cloves from the garlic bulb. Remove as many cloves as needed for your recipe and set them aside.
  • Use a small paring knife to cut off the root end of each clove.
  • Grab the garlic clove at each end and gently twist it. If done right, you should hear a snap as the skin break apart and separates from the clove.
  • Working from the stem end, use your fingertips to peel away the skin.


This method is ideal for those who do not want to use a knife or any potential wound-inducing kitchen gadget. Plus, the clove remains unbruised. The main downside to this method is that you can only peel a few cloves at a time. Plus, it works best with long, thin cloves. So it might be harder if you’re working with short, plump cloves.

How To Peel Garlic By Smashing It

This is a classic and very satisfying technique for peeling fresh garlic that is popular amongst chefs across the world. Although this technique can be used to peel whole cloves, it works best if the root ends of the cloves are chopped off. This technique is ideal if you need some smashed whole cloves.

(Video) 5 easy ways to store garlic for long time/다섯가지 마늘 보관법:

The Steps

  • Place the clove on the chopping board or a flat surface.
  • Place the flat side of your broad-bladed knife over the clove. Ensure the sharp edge of the knife is facing away from you.
  • Smash the knife with the heel of your hand. Do not smash too hard that the garlic clove is completely crushed. Just press hard enough to loosen the skin from the garlic.
  • Peel and discard the skin.
  • Use a knife to cut the remaining root off the garlic clove.
  • Your garlic is now ready for chopping or mincing.

This technique achieves the triple effect of crushing the garlic, separating the skin, and relieving the unwanted tension.

Caution: If you do not want the clove completely rushed or are not comfortable with punching a sharp knife, this may not be the technique for you.


This method provides an effective way to peel garlic quickly. The only downside is that you can use this technique to peel just a few cloves. Otherwise, it becomes a long and tedious procedure quickly. This method also crushes the garlic, which s not ideal if you plan to use them whole.

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Cut The Garlic Bulbs In Half

Here is another effective way to peel whole bulbs of garlic in one go. This method is ideal for those who do not mind their cloves being sliced in half. Also, it is great if you plan on mincing, chopping, or slicing your cloves after peeling.

The Steps

  • Chop your bulb of garlic in half at the equator or the diameter of the cloves
  • Next, place each half with the freshly cut part facing the cutting board
  • Use the flat side of your broad knife over the bulb
  • Firmly smash down onto the garlic with the palm of your hand
  • This should release the skin from your cloves
  • Simply lift off the skin from your cloves


This method is great for those looking to peel multiple heads of garlic in one go and do not mind them being cut in half. Note, however, that this method requires a substantial amount of force to release the skin from the cloves.

The Mason Jar Method Or Shaking Method

This technique is ideal for peeling large amounts of garlic. To peel your garlic cloves with this trick, you need a container that you can cover. This can be anything from a jar, two bowls, a cutting board, or a saucepan.

The steps

  • Break apart your head of garlic and cut off the root end with a knife
  • Whatever your container, put in the cloves you want to peel and cover.
  • Ensure the container you’re using is substantially bigger than the amount of garlic want to peel. This gives the cloves of garlic plenty of room and surface to shake and bump.
  • Shake the container for about 30 seconds. Shake vigorously to create friction. The friction and slight bruising of the garlic will cause the peel to loosen and come off.
  • Pour the cloves onto your worktop.
  • On first inspection, your garlic cloves should appear naked in the shreds of their former skin.
  • If there are stubborn cloves, put them back in the container and repeat.


This method requires no technique or equipment. The only downside is that it can get a bit loud especially when using two metal bowls. Nevertheless, this is a great method for peeling many cloves.

The Microwave Method

Other than being an undeniably convenient way to heat food fast and make popcorn, microwaves are also a pretty convenient way to peel garlic. It provides an ideal for peeling an entire head of garlic in a matter of seconds. Plus, you do not have to use any sharp object or extra aggression. Actually, there are a few ways you can use a microwave to quickly peel garlic.

Method 1

This method is ideal for peeling whole heads of garlic

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The Steps

  • Remove any excess papery skin from the head
  • Take a thin slice of the top off to reveal the cloves
  • transfer the whole head to a microwave-safe container and put it in the microwave.
  • Heat it up for 20 seconds
  • let the head cool until you can easily handle it
  • pick up each clove and pop out the skin like you’re removing a jacket.

Method 2

This step involves the use of a damp paper towel

The Steps

  • Wrap the whole garlic bulb or individual cloves inside a damp paper towel
  • Put in microwave for about 20 seconds.
  • When the time is up, take them out of the microwave and let them cool.
  • Lightly rub the cloves against the paper towel. The skin should come off easily.

Method 3

This method involves the use of water

The steps

  • Put your garlic cloves in a microwave-safe bowl along
  • Pour in some cold water
  • Microwave for 30-60 seconds
  • The garlic skin should be able to peel off easily afterward


This garlic peeling method is quite effective and easy to do. It works for one clove to hundreds. Note, however, that there are a couple of downsides to using this method. But the most common is that microwaving garlic is essentially cooking it. This can reduce the pungency of your garlic.

How To Peel Garlic Using A Paring Knife

This is another popular garlic peeling method. for this method, you will need a sharp paring knife

The Steps

  • Hold a whole garlic head in your hands with the root side up
  • Using a sharp knife, pierce into a clove near the curved outer part
  • Firmly but carefully twist the knife. This will loosen the clove where it is attached to the bulb’s root
  • Gently shake the clove until you free it from its skin
  • The clove should emerge from the head skin-free

After removing the first clove, you should find it easier to unpeel the other cloves.


This garlic peeling method takes time to master. Just take your time to practice and learn the tricks to make it work for you.

A Silicone Garlic Peeler

This must-have garlic peeler is a simple cylinder made of silicone. This kitchen gadget instantly peels garlic removing all the fuss and mess that comes with peeling garlic.

The Steps

  • Place a single clove of garlic into the cylinder
  • Roll the peeler back and forth on the table
  • In a short time, your cloves should be freed from their skin


It is safe to say that this is one of the easiest and quickest ways to peel garlic. The only downside to this gadget is that it wears off pretty quickly and can only peel a couple of cloves at a time.

The Warm Water Method

Soaking garlic cloves in a bowl of warm water makes the papery skin swell, allowing you to slide the skin right off with your knife or even fingers. Just put the cloves into warm water for about 30 minutes or more before you start using them.

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The Step

  • Start by separating the head of garlic into individual cloves.
  • Put them in a small bowl and run warm water over the cloves.
  • Using a metal whisk, vigorously stir them.
  • The hot water will soften the garlic skin while the stirring will loosen it.
  • Now you can easily peel off the skin with a paring knife.


This is an easy way to peel garlic cloves but requires forethought. If you need to use them immediately, you can hot water.

The Blanching Method

You can also peel garlic with water by blanching.

The Steps

  • Put your unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling water
  • Let them sit in the water for a minute.
  • Drain the water and let the cloves cool.
  • Once cooled, the garlic skin should be easy to remove.


This method is excellent, especially if you are using many cloves and need to keep them whole for presentation. Consider leaving the cloves in the water, only taking them out one at a time. This way, if there are any stubborn cloves, they get the benefit of extra soaking time.

Outsource The Peeling

When all else fails, you can get someone else to do the peeling for you. You can also purchase pre-peeled garlic.

What To Do With Garlic Peels

Like many people, you probably discard garlic’s paper-like skin as soon as you are done peeling. But did you know garlic skin is something you can cook with and derive a lot of flavor out of? In addition, garlic skin has many health benefits. It contains a lot of vitamin A and C as well as anti-inflammatory phenylpropanoid antioxidants.

We highly recommend it for dishes or sauces that you’re going to strain. If you are mincing or chopping the garlic, put the garlic skin in a ziptop bag and freeze it. You can use it the next time you’re making stock.

How To Store Peeled Garlic

Peeled cloves can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days. Always check for signs of spoilage before use. For longer storage, spread the peeled garlic cloves on a sheet pan and freeze for an hour. Transfer the frozen garlic cloves to an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Note: freezing garlic can change the texture of the garlic.

So there you have it. No more struggling to peel garlic. Just choose any one of the handy methods mentioned herein and give one a try the next time you’re tasked with peeling a clove of garlic. Even better, try them all until you find the one that works best for you

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What is an easy way to peel garlic? ›

Garlic Peeling Method: Loosen in Hot Water

You bring a bit of water to a boil, remove the cloves from their head, and then cover the cloves with the boiling water in a bowl. After a minute in the boiling water, the cloves should slip right out of their papery skin.

What is the best way to store peeled garlic? ›

Whether you've separated and peeled the whole thing or you just a few exposed cloves, refrigeration is going to be your best bet. Seal it up in an airtight container or zip-top bag, then toss it in the fridge. Though it may start losing pungency after only a few days, it'll be fine to use for about a week.

What's the best way to store garlic? ›

The easiest way to store fresh garlic at home is at room temperature in mesh bags. Fresh garlic is best stored in dry, dark places. The ideal temperature to store garlic is about 60–65°F (15–18°C) in mild humidity.

How do you peel garlic quickly without a crush? ›

Here's an easy way to peel garlic without smashing the individual cloves: Just separate the cloves by firmly pressing and rocking the bulb against my countertop. Then place individual cloves into a bowl of cold water. After sitting for 20 minutes the papery skins peel right off.

What is the best container to store peeled garlic in? ›

A terra-cotta or ceramic container specifically designed for garlic storage is great, but so is a paper or mesh bag, a wire basket, or even just a simple bowl. The goal is to encourage the circulation of dry air, which is why a plastic bag is a no-no since it seals in moisture.

How do you preserve garlic for long term storage? ›

The home refrigerator (typically 40°F, or 4°C) is not suitable for optimal long-term storage of garlic because holding garlic at that temperature stimulates sprouting. Instead, store both hardneck and softneck garlic bulbs in a cool, dry, well- ventilated place in well-ventilated containers such as mesh bags.

Can I store peeled garlic in a Mason jar? ›

Once peeled add them to a sterilized mason jar. Pour avocado oil over the garlic cloves until they are completely submerged then add the lid. Date the top of the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

What is the best way to store garlic and onions? ›

Onions and garlic can last up to 3-6 months when stored properly. Keep onions and garlic in a basket or paper bag where air can circulate. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 3-6 months. Never keep these items in sealed plastic as it will quickly cause spoilage.

Does garlic last longer in the fridge or on the counter? ›

Garlic can be stored in the refrigerator, but it won't last as long. The refrigerated garlic will only last a few weeks, as opposed to months in a cool, dry cupboard. That being said, if you must store your garlic in the fridge, keep it in the main part of your fridge rather than the crisper drawer.

How do you store garlic for a year? ›

Put them in the oven at around 115 degrees with the door to the oven left slightly ajar. This slowly dries them out. Or you can use your dehydrator if you have one. Dried garlic can be stored for up to a year at room temperature in an airtight container.

How do you peel garlic all at once? ›

Wrap the entire garlic bulb or your individual cloves inside some damp paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds (15 for high-powered microwaves). Then remove it from the microwave, and rub lightly with the paper towel. The cloves should easily pop out of their skins.

How do you peel garlic easily with a knife? ›

1: Lay a clove of garlic on a cutting board and slice off the stem end. 2: Place the flat side of the knife on top of it, push down and apply pressure until you feel the clove smush. The skin will split apart around the clove of garlic. 3: Pluck the skin off the garlic — it'll come off in big, satisfying pieces.

How do you peel garlic with your hands? ›

Pinch your thumb and first finger together, bending the top and bottom of the garlic clove together. The skin on the flat surface of the clove will split under the pressure. You can then slip your finger into the split and quickly tug off the skin.

What is the 10 minute garlic rule? ›

Crush, chop or mince garlic and keep it away from heat for 10 minutes. During this time the maximum allicin is created and stays intact during cooking. You can then fry, saute, bake to your heart's content and still get all its medicine. THAT'S IT!

How long do you microwave garlic to peel it? ›

You can either microwave a few cloves of garlic at a time, or you can just go ahead and toss the whole head (the correct amount) in there. Zap your garlic for 20 seconds, and afterwards, that pesky husk will peel right off.

How do you peel garlic without touching it? ›

A great solution is to use small appliances to cut, chop and squeeze the garlic; in this way not only you'll peel the garlic without touching it but you will also cut, crush and chop it without getting your hands dirty and without having to run to cover the strong smell.

Does boiling water peel garlic? ›

To peel garlic, blanch the cloves in boiling water for a minute, then drain. Once cooled, the garlic skins are easily removed.

Can you peel garlic by shaking? ›

To peel a whole head of garlic, many professional chefs throw the head into a lipped metal bowl, top it with a second lipped bowl of the same size, pinch the bowls together, and shake vigorously. As the cloves knock about, their peels loosen and fall away.

How long does peeled garlic in a jar last? ›

But once you take the skin off, garlic starts to degrade more quickly. Individual peeled cloves will last up to a week in the fridge, and chopped garlic will last no more than a day unless stored covered in olive oil, in which case it will last two, maybe three days.

How long does peeled garlic last in a container? ›

To store PEELED garlic, keep it constantly refrigerated at cold temps - 32º to 37º is best. Under ideal conditions, it can stay fresh for up to 7 weeks from date of peeling, but look for the “best by” date on the bag when purchasing.

What oil is best for storing garlic? ›

"To keep fresh garlic on hand, you can store it submerged in olive (or vegetable) oil. Another perk for storing garlic this way is that you can also use the garlic flavored oil for cooking. Just remember to replenish the oil to keep your cloves submerged."

What happens if you put garlic in vinegar? ›

Garlic can turn blue or green if it is exposed for a long time to any acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity causes the reorganization of the molecules in the garlic cloves. This creates polypyrroles, molecules that give garlic cloves a green or blue colour.

What is the longest storing garlic? ›

Silverskin, Creole and Artichoke Garlics are the longest storing of all the garlic varieties. Under ideal conditions (56-58 degrees F with 45-50% humidity), these varieties may last for more than a year.

How do you increase the shelf life of peeled garlic? ›

Pre-treatments of garlic cloves in hot water and packaging in BOPP films or equivalent were given to maintain high humidity and modified atmosphere. The product has a minimum shelf life of 3 days at ambient temperature (approx. 28ºC), and up to 15-18 days at low temperature storage (8ºC).

How long does garlic last in a Mason jar? ›

Most of the time these best-by dates are accurate and should be followed. Typically, a prepared jar of chopped or minced garlic can last up to three months in the fridge.

Is storing garlic in oil safe? ›

ANSWER: The Food and Drug Administration says extreme caution must be taken when it comes to storing garlic in oil because of the threat of Clostridium botulinum, or botulism. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable and when stored in the oil under ideal conditions, it can support the growth of botulism.

Can you store whole garlic in a Mason jar? ›

Choose a jar large enough to fit the cloves and fill it up with the garlic cloves, leaving about an inch of headspace. Then pour pickling vinegar into the jar until all the cloves are covered in vinegar. 5. Place a lid on the jar and store the "pickled garlic" in the fridge.

Is there a hack for peeling garlic? ›

Microwave Your Garlic Bulbs

Just grab a few cloves, cut off the tops, pop 'em in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and take 'em out. The skin should pop off—and if not, wait for them to cool down, then peel. It might still take some work, but the skin should come off easier!

Does soaking garlic in water make it easier to peel? ›

The method: Soak garlic cloves in hot water for 5-10 minutes to make them easier to peel. Whisk the cloves after soaking to also help loosen the skins.

Does boiling garlic make it easier to peel? ›

Follow this simple tip to make your life a bit easier. To peel garlic, blanch the cloves in boiling water for a minute, then drain. Once cooled, the garlic skins are easily removed.

What happens if you microwave garlic? ›

Well, microwaving the garlic is akin to blanching it, which Sacks explains will partially inactivate some enzymes. "Since the pungent compound in garlic is formed enzymatically, once raw garlic is crushed or cut, it is likely that the resulting microwaved garlic will be less pungent than non-microwaved garlic."

Is eating microwaved garlic good? ›

Many of garlic's pharmacologically active compounds are heat sensitive-- independent of the preparation method. 99% of allicin is lost during the frying process, and just 60 seconds in the microwave has been shown to completely block the herb's anti-carcinogenic effects.

What is the Tik Tok trick for garlic? ›

The Knife Method

This new hack went viral on TikTok at the end of 2022. According to the video, the easiest way to peel garlic is to not actually peel it at all. Instead just stick a knife into a clove that's still attached to the bulb, pull, and it will come out completely clean.

What happens if you soak garlic in vinegar? ›

Garlic can turn blue or green if it is exposed for a long time to any acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity causes the reorganization of the molecules in the garlic cloves. This creates polypyrroles, molecules that give garlic cloves a green or blue colour.

What does soaking garlic in water do? ›

Drinking garlic water might benefit you in numerous ways. It could help prevent illness, support your mental well-being, and digestive health. This drink may also reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer, promote weight loss, and help protect your liver.

Why do you put garlic in water? ›

Benefits of drinking Garlic juice include detoxes the body, keeps blood glucose levels normal, helps patients with tuberculosis, helps reduce cough, asthma and common cold symptoms, helps reduce cholesterol, eye health, helps reduce urinary tract infections and kidney infections, helps boost your sex life, helps ...


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