How To Peel An Entire Head of Garlic in Seconds (With Video!)

Peeling garlic is never a fun task.  It’s right up there with picking parsley or tournéing potatoes. Wait, it’s not that bad, but it’s definitely not fun.

The skins end up sticking to everything in sight and it can leave your hands smelling like raw garlic for days.  Garlic is great, don’t get me wrong, but garlic hands are a different matter altogether.

What if I told you (in my best infomercial voice) that there is a really easy way to peel an entire head of garlic in seconds.  You’d probably think I was lying, but it’s true.  I can’t recall where I first heard of this method, but it is definitely one of the best kept secrets out there.

Hope this kitchen tip changes your life as much as it did mine!

How To Peel An Entire Head Of Garlic In Seconds:

  1. Using the palm of your hand, push down on the garlic bulb to separate the cloves from the root. Push aside any excess skin.
  2. Place the (unpeeled) cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Place another bowl (smaller or larger) upside-down on top of the first.  Hold the two bowls together tightly and shake like crazy.  Voila!

**Shaking time may vary, but shoot for 20-30 seconds.  Occasionally, there may be a clove or two that will have skin attached, but it should be very loose and come off extremely easily.

Chicken with forty cloves of garlic…here I come!

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38 Responses to “How To Peel An Entire Head of Garlic in Seconds (With Video!)”

  1. #
    Allison — November 30, -0001 @ 12:00 am

    This is amazing! I definitely had to watch the video to believe it :)

  2. #
    Laura — March 4, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

    This and the video on how to separate an egg yolk from the white with an empty water bottle are the two coolest kitchen tricks that I’ve learned through the internet.

  3. #
    Elle — March 4, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

    This and the video on how to separate an egg yolk from the white with an empty water bottle are the two coolest kitchen tricks that I’ve learned through the internet.

    • Laura replied: — March 4th, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

      Wow, thanks! :) Off to go check out that egg trick now…

  4. #
    Tasha — March 4, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

    So cool. Would Chef Patrice approve? LOL!

    • Laura replied: — March 4th, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

      He better, haha!! Definitely couldn’t help but think of all the time we could have saved. Sigh.

  5. #
    Stacy — March 4, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    Beautiful! From someone who peels about 30-40 heads at one time, this is a HUGE time saver. I’ve done similar with hard boiled eggs, but never thought of garlic. Thank you!

    • Laura replied: — March 4th, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

      Wow! That is a LOT of garlic to peel at any given time. I once had to de-germ an entire quart of garlic cloves, equally as tedious. Glad I could help!

  6. #
    Pippa@sundaysupperswithpippa — March 4, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    Wow, this is amazing! Where did you learn this?

  7. #
    Christie Ison — March 4, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    Oh my word! This doesn’t even look real. I’m gonna have to try it myself. Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura replied: — March 4th, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this post! :)

  8. #
    Jackie l — March 4, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    I cannot wait to try this! Thanks for sharing :)

    xo Jackie

  9. #
    Catherine — March 4, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

    Very nicely done, very impressed yet now it seems obvious, thank you

  10. #
    Erika — March 4, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

    Uh, this is amazing. Great video, thanks for sharing!

  11. #
    Ellie Southworth — March 4, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing. Now I’m much more excited about making this soup on Smitten Kitchen that needs 18 peeled cloves! Thanks for the super useful post!

    • Laura replied: — March 4th, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

      I love Smitten Kitchen–thanks for sending me that link, I hadn’t seen that soup yet! I know–I keep thinking of all these recipes that will be so much easier now, haha :) Thanks for visiting!

  12. #
    alyssa @ cogs and cupcakes — March 4, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

    This will make my life with my garlic-loving husband so much easier! :)

    • Laura replied: — March 5th, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

      Glad I could help! Thanks for visiting!

  13. #
    Li @ Words and Cake — March 5, 2013 @ 4:52 am

    Mind. Blown. I will definitely have to try this!

    And chicken with 40 cloves of garlic was exactly the first thing I thought of too when I saw this post! Thanks for the tip. (Also loving the pun in your blog name!)

    • Laura replied: — March 5th, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

      Thanks so much Li! Haha, I love that we both thought of the exact same dish.

  14. #
    Anne @The Cooking Campaign — March 5, 2013 @ 7:05 am

    My mind has been blown! It was like a magic trick and I loved every second.

  15. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — March 5, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

    I am AMAZED by this geniusness! Seriously, so awesome.

  16. #
    Tiffany D. — March 6, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    I have heard of this before but it sounded too good to be true. You just proved me wrong. And I am very grateful for that! :)

    • Laura replied: — March 6th, 2013 @ 2:11 am

      Glad I could convince you–I had to prove it myself, too :)

  17. #
    ashley @ baker by nature — March 7, 2013 @ 2:40 am

    Um, I love this! Off to get my garlic on.

  18. #
    Julia Carden — March 7, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    This is amazing- not to mention very helpful. I cook with tons of garlic on a regular basis, and this will help me out a great deal.

  19. #
    Miachel Pruett — March 11, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    Sweet! I can never get enough garlic in a savory dish.

  20. #
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health — March 14, 2013 @ 5:02 am

    Hi Laura, I just found your blog (love the name btw) and had to thank you for sharing this! I hate having stinky garlic fingers so this is an amazing tip! Love it!

  21. #
    Erica — March 16, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

    Omg, that’s the coolest way I’ve ever heard…

  22. #
    erin — March 16, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    It IS a cool trick, no doubt. But note that Saveur made a video demonstrating exactly this technique about 18 months ago.

    • Laura replied: — March 28th, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I actually did not watch that video before making this post. When you actually try to look for things related to this, there are actually many related videos–some of which are dated before Saveur’s. I always give credit where credit is due and I mentioned in the post that it was not an original idea. Granted, I don’t think that can ever be the case with food or cooking methods, in general…

  23. #
    catmom — March 31, 2013 @ 2:53 am

    If your hands smell of garlic or onion after peeling, rub them over your stainless steel faucet and the odor will be gone. Don’t have stainless steel faucets? Well, sucks to be you.

  24. #
    Arianna — April 1, 2013 @ 2:28 am

    WHAAAAT. Oh my goodness gracious, this is mind-blowing. If I had known this earlier, I would have saved weeks of my life. Awesome, thank you!

  25. #
    jeans102 — January 23, 2014 @ 5:59 am

    If you want to get the smell of garlic or onion from your hands just wet them and sprinkle with salt. Rub hands together and then rinse. Smell will be gone.

  26. #
    Imogen Michel — February 24, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    This is amazing! I’ve got to try this.

  27. #
    Renee — March 10, 2014 @ 8:08 am

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing. I am going a-peeling tonight! Whether the family needs garlic or not! :) :)

    • Laura replied: — March 10th, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

      Let me know how it works! :)

  28. #
    Beth — March 23, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

    this is so easy! Double darn. I’ve spent so many hours in my life peeling garlic. I am now, 60 years old, (60 is the new 40.) I’ve worked as a cook and then spent years cooking for my family! What a great IDEA!!!

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