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Easy ways to peel garlic

Fine Cooking Issue 92
Photo: Scott Phillips
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If you’re thinking about making one of the recipes from our garlic story, don’t be put off by the prospect of peeling all that garlic—there are several ways to get the job done quickly and effortlessly. Start by separating the cloves and pulling off any loose, dry, papery skins. Then try one of the following methods. Each will break and loosen the skins enough to peel off easily.

  • Blanch the cloves in boiling water for about 15 seconds and then shock them in ice water.
  • Put a few cloves in the center of a silicone potholder. Fold the potholder in half and, keeping it on the counter, roll the potholder with the palms of your hands.
  • On a cutting board, position the broad side of a chef’s knife on a clove of garlic. Carefully and gently smack the knife with the heel of your hand. You will hear a quiet “crack” when the skin breaks open.
  • Put cloves in a bowl of very hot water and whisk briskly until the skins are loosened.
  • If the recipe calls for chopped or sliced garlic, cut the cloves in half and peel the skins from each half.
  • Put cloves in a small or medium lightweight mixing bowl and then invert another similar bowl over it. Firmly hold the two bowls together and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.


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