Quickly Peel A Head Of Garlic With A Cutting Board

Photo: Claire Lower

There are many "clever" ways to peel garlic, but I have always been a fan of crushing the clove with the flat of my knife rather than trying to hold two bowls together while flailing about, even if I have a whole head to peel. I wasn't particularly looking to improve upon the method, until I eyed a spatula whilst making red sauce.

I only had about five cloves of garlic left to peel but, given the larger surface area, I figured I could get it done just a little faster with the spatula. I was correct. Instead of having to press down on my blade five separate times, I just had to press down once to free all five cloves from their sticky skin.

Photo: Claire Lower

But why stop there? Why not increase the size of the smashing object once more, and peel whole heads at a time? I grabbed another head of garlic and another cutting board - you need one for the garlic to sit on and another to smash with - and brought the board down on the allium with a decent amount of force. This loosened up the outer paper, which I removed.

Photo: Claire Lower

I then smashed the board down a second time, loosening the peel around each clove.

Photo: Claire Lower

Only a couple of peels didn't immediately come free, which was easily remedied with my trusty knife. All in all, using a larger heavier object did make the removal of the peels much faster, without requiring two bowls or a cocktail shaker. (What did I do with all those peels? I threw them in my stock bag, duh.)


    Wow thanks for the post. I’m really loving what you guys write about. I grow garlic and ive just planted 4 rows for next year’s crop and I have heaps left over to preserve. This will help :-)

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