Learn how to peel garlic fast with this easy life hack. The shake method will become your new favorite way to peel the entire clove of garlic for a variety of meals!
It is such a common kitchen staple that you probably don’t even think about it very often! Garlic appears as an aromatic seasoning in cuisines from all over the world. Did you know that garlic was originally native to Central Asia, particularly northern Iran, then known as Persia? As various empires from all over the world interacted with Persia, and then with each other, garlic became common elsewhere, eventually extending worldwide. With its strong taste, delicious smell, and wide availability, is it any wonder that you can find garlic in pretty much any restaurant?
Many people also use garlic in most recipes to this day, from the humblest home cook to Michelin starred chefs. It’s great whether it’s crushed, sliced, diced, minced, or ground up with a mortar and pestle. You can even use it to make garlic butter, a great way to take your steaks from good to great.
Of course, there are as many ways to peel garlic as there are recipes that use garlic. Peeling the shell can be time-consuming, particularly if you’re a big fan of the garlicky flavor. Peeling garlic can be laborious and time-consuming, but fortunately for you we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to preparing garlic en masse. After all, think about all the restaurants that go through tonnes of garlic. They can’t be peeling all of it by hand, can they?
The Best Way To Peel Lots of Garlic Fast
Our favorite garlic peeling method is one that works best when you have a lot of garlic to get through. You’ll want at least four cloves, if not more. This is great for highly aromatic, flavorsome recipes, especially those from the Mediterranean area. Think Greek, Italian, Portuguese, or North African food and you’ll know the awesome garlic taste we’re going for.
What You'll Need
All you need is a decent-sized bowl and a plate that fits over the top. Alternatively, you can use a couple of mason jars that fit together nicely, or cover the top of a pint glass with your hand.
How To Pick Garlic
First of all, you’ll want to pick out the best garlic you can. Fresh garlic is always better. Avoid shriveled, dry looking bulbs. Avoid any with discolorations or brown spots. And when you’ve got your perfectly-picked garlic home, keep it in a dark, cool place in an open container. A bowl is perfect.
If you’ve ever had a conversation with somebody who just ate a kebab, you’ll know that garlic has a strong odor. For that reason, keep your garlic separate from other foods that you don’t want to smell like garlic breath. A basket with onions is a perfect place for your garlic to live.
Don’t bother refrigerating garlic, either! This is a common mistake that actually makes your garlic go bad faster than simply leaving it at room temperature. Never refrigerate your whole head of garlic.
How to Peel Garlic Fast
- Once you’re ready to use your garlic, the first step is to separate out the individual cloves from the bulb. To do this, push down on the garlic bulb with your hand, separating the cloves from the root. You might have more luck with the root end facing upwards. If you’re not getting results, try using both hands for some more force.
- Next, take your unpeeled cloves and move them into a bowl or other hard container. The important thing is that the container has hard sides and you can create a seal - that will become obvious in a moment.
- You’ll need the container to be significantly larger than the volume of garlic you have inside, too. A mason jar with a lid, a big bowl with a plate to seal it, or even a tupperware container with the lid on will do nicely. Sometimes, we even take a big glass, put the garlic in, and cover the top with a hand. This works best if you have larger hands, but it gets results.
- Holding your seal firmly in place, shake the container containing the garlic for about thirty seconds. Twenty should be enough, but thirty ought to shake off any particularly stubborn bits of garlic shell. If you, like us, love listening to music as you cook, shaking the garlic for the length of a verse or a verse and chorus should do the trick. Plus, you can practice your maraca skills by shaking the garlic in time to the music!
- The garlic skin at this point ought to be loosely hanging to the flesh, if at all. If this is not the case, give it another shake. Discard your garlic peel, remove any stubborn pieces of shell still clinging to the garlic flesh, and get ready to cook at a leisurely pace with all the time you saved not peeling the garlic.
You’ll find different degrees of peeling success with different shaking implements. Some people have more luck with a large bowl, while others prefer using a tupperware container. Bowls made of different materials may have different results, too, and you may find your results vary between a glass bowl and a metal one, for example. Try a few different ways of doing it and be sure to use quality garlic every time. With practice, this will become a tried-and-true time saver in the kitchen.
Another way of doing this is the “equator” method. Take your whole bulb of garlic, and slice it in half through the middle of the clove. This will be like the equator on a globe. Next, take your two halves, place them garlic side down, and use the side of a nice wide knife to firmly push down on the garlic. This should, ideally, release the cloves, which will then come loose from the skin. This is a good method if you have a wide knife and another knife sharp enough to cut through an entire bulb of garlic.
Recipes with Garlic
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