Need Garlic Cloves? 6 Easy Kitchen Hacks To Peel It Properly
Image Credit: Unsplash

Mince it, roast it, turn it into a paste or a dip, or eat it whole to lower your cholesterol levels—there are many culinary and health uses of the humble garlic. Packed with flavour and loads of minerals and antioxidants, garlic is an essential part of all of our kitchens. Scientifically known as Allium sativum, garlic is known for its strong and pungent aroma, sharp taste and ability to enhance the flavours of any dish you add it to. Consumed for thousands of years, garlic is used across the world. 

And yet, one of the most unpopular things about the popular garlic is that peeling it is quite a hassle. Garlic basically comes in the shape of a whole bulb and is broken down into separate cloves, which then have to be peeled to be used in most dishes—unless you are making Champaran Mutton or a braised meat dish, which can be made with the whole garlic bulb intact. Peeling garlic is quite difficult because each clove needs to be shelled properly to get rid of the sticky peel which doesn’t have any signature flavour of its own. 

So, how can you ever get beyond this issue and peel garlic with ease? Hassle-free garlic peeling is in fact possible, thanks to the many innovators around the world who have come up with many techniques and tips to quickly get rid of garlic peels. These unnamed, unknown heroes have made using peeled garlic quite easy for all of us around the world. Here are some of the kitchen hacks you need to peel garlic quickly and properly.  

Video Credit: YouTube/Hermann

Paring Knife Method 

This method went viral a while back because it is one of the simplest ways to get rid of garlic peels very quickly. All you need to do is insert a sharp paring knife into the top side of a garlic clove, give the knife a slight twist and pull out the peeled garlic clove with utter ease. However, it is important to note that this method is not for those who are beginners at handling knives. Plus, you can only use this method with aged garlic with hardened peels. 

Smash-And-Peel Method 

Another method that gained a lot of popularity on the internet, this method can be accomplished using a knife or any kitchen utensil with a broad base. Place a garlic clove on a flat surface, place the knife or utensil’s flat side on top of the garlic clove and gently apply pressure to smash the clove. This loosens up the skin of the garlic and all you need to know then is remove the skin and enjoy the peeled garlic cloves. 

Microwave Method 

Microwaves had been invented to make our lives in the kitchen easier, and it certainly does so with this simple garlic peeling method. All you need to do is place a whole garlic clove in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave it for 10-15 seconds. Doing this loosens the skin of the garlic, making it very easy to peel when you are in a hurry. If you are afraid of the cloves drying up, you can also add a bit of water to the microwave bowl to retain the moisture. 

Jar Shake Method 

Another method that went viral a couple of years back, this one can be used even with a tin or aluminium jar or box if you don’t have a glass jar. What you need to do is place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small glass jar and close its lid. Shake the jar vigorously for a few seconds. The friction induced by the vigorous shaking will separate the garlic peels from the cloves. All you need to do then is separate the peels and cloves carefully and use as per your requirements. 

Blanch-And-Shock Method 

This one is popular among commercial kitchen chefs as it can be used to peel garlic cloves in bulk. All you need to do is boil water in a pot, then add the garlic cloves into the water for up to a minute. Meanwhile, keep a bowl of iced water ready. Remove the blanched garlic and place it in the iced water for a minute. What this does is shock the garlic skin into separating from the garlic clove, making it much easier to peel off. 

Freeze And Squeeze 

One of the lesser-known methods of peeling garlic, this hack can be used only when you are not rushed for time or want to peel garlic in bulk. What you need to do is place unpeeled garlic cloves in a sealable bag and freeze it for a couple of hours. Just like roasting garlic cloves, freezing them makes the skin harder and the clove softer. All you need to do when you need garlic cloves is to take the frozen ones out and squeeze them. The clove will automatically separate from the peel.