Peeling Garlic

When you use fresh garlic in a recipe, there are a few tricks that will help make peeling it easier. This is a page about peeling garlic.


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Don't buy pre-peeled garlic or spend the time doing it yourself. Avoid the garlicky fingers by putting your garlic in a jar, screw the lid on, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. The first half the of the shaking will break the cloves off, and the second half will peel the skins right off the cloves. It's a great little workout, too! ;)

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Believe it or not, the easiest way to peel and store garlic is to simply put it in an air-tight bag or container and put it in the freezer, the whole head unpeeled!


I was given this tip 20 years ago from a beloved, elderly neighbor who was like a grandma to me. I needed to borrow some garlic from her and was surprised when she went to her freezer, pulled out a yellow margarine container and told me to take what I needed. Looking inside, I saw she had several heads of garlic in the tub.

I was really surprised, because back then, they said you should never freeze garlic. When I questioned her on this, she waved her hand and scoffed, saying "They don't know what they're talking about!". She said she'd been freezing garlic for many years, not only to preserve it, but to make it easier to peel.

She was right! Take as many cloves as you need from the bulb, let them sit on the counter for a couple of minutes before you need them. You cut the root end off, then holding the other end of the clove, give it a gentle squeeze and the clove slides right out! I was amazed! No more sticky, garlicky fingers or mess!

I've used this method ever since and shared it with others. Last summer, while visiting my mom in Arizona, a cousin was lamenting about not ever being able to use up the wonderful garlic she grew every year. When I shared my tip, she questioned it like I did so many years ago, but agreed to try it. When I saw her this summer, she said she couldn't thank me enough for the tip, as they were still enjoying garlic from the previous summer!

*Tip: I don't use frozen garlic if I'm going to be using it raw, such as salads. While it's still good, it is slightly yellowed and a bit softer, which might detract from eating it raw but doesn't make any difference once cooked.

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Peeling fresh garlic really slows you down when you're cooking dinner. Try this tip the next time you use fresh garlic! It works.

A bulb of fresh garlic with one peeled clove.

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October 13, 2010

If you have multiple cloves of garlic to peel, zap them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. Let them cool for a minute or two, since they get pretty hot. The skins will easily slip off.

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Peeling a garlic clove is very easy. No need to use a knife anymore or scrape it. Just smash it with your spoon and it's all done. It all peels off. Safe and easy.

Using the back of a spoon to crush garlic.

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To get a good start on peeling a whole head of garlic; separate it into individual cloves and put the cloves in a Mason jar (or any container with a tight-fitting lid). Then shake the Mason jar as hard as you can for about three minutes.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 3, 2011

The rubber grippers used to open jars are also used to peel garlic! I take a clove and sandwich it between two rubber openers, or fold one in half. Give it a few rubs on the counter and presto, the skins fall of easily!


By Suz from Dragoon, Az

Tips for peeling garlic. Post your ideas.


Peeling Garlic

Cut cloves in half and press down on them with the flat part of your knife. The peels will usually slide right off. (09/28/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Peeling Garlic

When peeling garlic, I found you can roll the clove between your hands the skins come off very easy and saves time using a knife.


By Annette

Peeling Garlic

While a friend and I visited together we peeled one half braid of garlic. First we broke the garlic down to cloves then we peeled. My friend was first to notice a stinging sensation on her finger tips and later so did I so we stopped half way through our intended job. It turns out we both got blisters from the acids in the garlic juice. Our recommendation is that you wear gloves, surgical gloves work very well, when you are peeling garlic. No sense finding out you are sensitive the hard way. :) (09/28/2005)


By Chris

Peeling Garlic

When I peel my garlic, I put them under running water rolling them in my hands.That way you are peeling them and washing them at the same time. (09/28/2005)

By Joyce

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