the bento packing, lunch cooking, photo taking, dog loving blog

Tip: Peeling Garlic

Yesterday, I shared my new kitchen gadget for mincing garlic.  Sarah asked how I peeled my garlic.  She mentioned she smashes hers.  I used to give mine a good whack with the flat end of my santoku knife.  I never really liked doing that though.  I’m a kitchen klutz.  I had horrific visions of losing the grip on the knife while smacking the garlic.  Not to mention the odd clove that would go flying off the chopping board after whacking.  I was also worried about the potential damage to my truly beloved knife.

There’s a product sold by some kitchen stores that looks like a tube.  It’s flexible and looks to be made of silicone.  You place cloves of garlic inside, roll it against a hard surface (like a countertop), and presto, your garlic is peeled.  It retails for about $8.  While a quite neat little invention, I figured my silicone potholder might do the trick.  That’s how I peel my garlic now.  Here, I’ll show you.


Here are my three little cloves of garlic just waitin’ to get nekkid. That blue silicone potholder is going to oblige them.


All you have to do is fold the potholder around the cloves of garlic.


Press down on the cloves and move your hand back and forth.


You’ll feel and hear the cloves shedding their outer, flaky layers. Look there’s one now, nekkid and ready to be used in some great recipe.


Lookie there! All three are ready. Woohoo! Let’s cook. Wait, I don’t have a recipe to try. And I’ve already eaten dinner……Bummer, dude.

One note – It does work best one to two cloves at a time. Three or more is a bit much to try with this method at once. It goes quickly though.

Well Sarah, I hope that answers your question and gives you another alternative to smashing the cloves.


  1. Thien-Kim says:

    You can also whack it really had with the bottom a pan or skillet. That’s fun. There also some trick if you have to peel alot of garlic. You put all the loose garlic cloves in a bowl, turn another bowl upside down on top of it and shake like mad. Apparently all that garlic love rubbing against each other peels them. I’ve never tried it as I’ve never had a need for gazillion cloves of garlic.

  2. Yvo says:

    I was going to get mad at you if you bought the tube thing. Uni-taskers! The bane of a small-kitchen cook’s existence! Oh wait, you don’t have a small kitchen (not by my standards, anyway). :) That’s pretty ingenius of you. I like smashing them. It helps sometimes when I’m pissed off or whatever…
    BTW, another tip you might like now that you have the Garlic Zipper thingee, my sister has a chopper thing that she’ll use to chop a lot of garlic on say, Sunday, and puts it in a jar with enough olive oil to cover. They go through a lot of garlic in their household – not sure if you do as well. (I think you do, but I could be wrong?)

  3. Cathy L says:

    I have a Pampared Chef Garlic Press and you don’t even have to peel it, just throw the whole clove in and press. Minced Garlic and the peel is still in the press, just pick it out with the little tool that comes with it !

    I love it

  4. Sarah says:

    That’s brilliant! Great tip! I was just thinking of replacing my crappy old potholders, so it’s perfect, I’ll get some silicone ones.

    I use the santoku knife, but I lean on it instead of smacking down. I’m scared of hurting myself. i’m a natural klutz.

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