How to Peel Garlic Fast

4.99 from 857 votes

Learn how to peel garlic quickly with this easy hack. All you need is a large bowl and plate or a big mason jar and to peel an entire clove of garlic easily

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How do you peel garlic? This ingenious hack will have you peeling an entire head fast and easily. Important to know: it works best on multiple garlic cloves. To get started, you’ll need a big bowl with a plate that fits over its top. Also, an extra-large mason jar or two bowls that fit together work just as well.

cloves of garlic on a table
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Garlic is one of my most-used ingredients and an elemental flavor in so many of my favorite dishes like Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic. But scrapping the thin, papery skin off multiple cloves is a pain.

Follow the directions below for the best shortcut to peeling three or more cloves  – even a whole head! Once you’ve mastered this hack, you’ll be ready for cutting garlic and freezing garlic so you always have it on hand. Especially if you want to make Garlic Sauce. Can you tell we like garlic in my house?!

How to pick garlic

The first step is choosing the good garlic at the store. Pass over any bulbs that look shriveled or soft or have brown spots. Find fat bulbs with dry skin. Once home, store garlic in a dark, cool place in an open container (like a wire-mesh basket or open bowl).

Keep the garlic at a distance from other produce or food that might absorb its odors. I put mine in a basket with the onins. Remember, never refrigerate whole heads of garlic. They won’t last as long that way.

hand crushing a bulb of garlic

How to peel garlic fast

  • Begin by using the palm of your hand to push down on the garlic bulb and separate the cloves from the root. Go two-handed for more force.
two hands pressing down on a bulb of garlic
  • Now, place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a large bowl or other sealable hard-sided container, like a big mason jar with a lid. You want the container to be much larger than the amount of garlic that goes inside.
  • Next, put a plate (or a slightly smaller bowl) upside down on top of the bowl. Then, hold the two together tightly and shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds. Music helps. 😉
collage of garlic in a glass bowl
  • Ta-da! You are ready to take a look at the peeled garlic. At this point, the skins should be gone or hanging loosely. If not, shake some more.
  • Finally, discard all the garlic peel and remove any that might still be attached. They should come off very easily.
collage of garlic and peels in a glass bowl

Wow, look at those beautiful, peeled garlic cloves!

peeled garlic in a glass bowl

Obviously, I could not cook without garlic. So, having this fast and easy hack to peel garlic is a lifesaver for me.

Recipes with garlic

overhead shot of a crushed bulb of garlic

Frequently asked questions

How long will peeled garlic last in the refrigerator?

Optimally, tightly wrapped peeled garlic should last up to a week.

Does this hack really work?

It does! But because you have to dirty a bowl and a plate or a jar, I reserve it for when I need a lot of garlic fast.

Can I freeze garlic?

Yes! You can individually freeze cloves on a baking sheet then store in an airtight container or follow my instructions for making and freezing garlic paste.

side shot of garlic and cloves

For more cooking resources, check out:

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How to Peel Garlic Fast

Learn how to peel garlic quickly with this easy hack. All you need is a large bowl and plate or a big mason jar and to peel an entire clove of garlic easily
5 from 857 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Condiments
Calories 1
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 1 minute



  • 1 garlic head


  • Using the palm of your hand, push down on the garlic bulb to separate the cloves from the root.
  • Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a large bowl or sealable hard-sided container. You want it to be much larger than the garlic.
  • Place another bowl upside down on top of the first. You can also use a plate or a lid. Hold the two bowls together tightly and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  • Discard all the garlic peel and remove any that might still be attached. They should come off very easily.


Storage: Store any peeled garlic cloves, whether sliced, minced or crushed in a small airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-10 days.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen


Calories: 1kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 3mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Condiments

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Recipe Rating


  1. Use air. An air compressor with about 100psi, a blow tip and a cup with a plastic lid with a hole drilled into it. Place about 6 to 10 cloves in the cup, by thumb and middle finger hold the lid over the cup looseley. Place the blow tip into the drilled hole and blow for about 10 seconds and wa-la you have 6 to 10 peeled cloves

    1. Ugh your garlic must be super fresh and the peel must be stuck to the garlic well. Try soaking them in hot water first and then try it.

  2. Could not get this method to do anything to the garlic skins. One of my family members tried as well with nothing happening. Had to peel all one be one.

  3. I thought you might like to have a recipe for left over garlic and onions skins? I try not to waste anything, so after I’ve peeled a bag of onions and garlic, I dehydrate the skins, then grind them all up together, place in a glass jar, you now have onion and garlic spice. Great on just about anything. Enjoy 😊

  4. Ummm…not sure how that is supposed to work. It did absolutely nothing to get the individual cloves free of their peelings.

  5. I recently purchased garlic in a net bag of 3 small bulbs because the bulk garlic looked just awful. These small bulbs had the tiniest little cloves that were covered in the finest/thinnest skins which was taking me FOREVER to peel. Out of desperation I searched for another way…And here I am, to THANK YOU. This method saved me a half an hour at least. It is now going to be one of my favorite kitchen prep techniques going forward. :)))))