We Tested the Internet's Hacks for Peeling Garlic To Find the Best One

We put the most recent viral TikTok garlic peeling hack to the test against other top favorites—find out which one we'll be using from now on.

Garlic is a building block of so many delicious recipes. However, there are few things more frustrating than trying to peel a clove of garlic when the papery skin just won't come off. You end up with skin all over your workspace and stuck to your fingers while you contemplate skipping the garlic altogether.

There has to be an easier way than just peeling with your fingers or shelling out money for a special garlic tool, right? Enter the internet. It's full of hacks that claim to save you time and make life easier—and that's true for garlic peeling hacks too. Just a quick scroll through TikTok and you'll find multiple videos of people claiming their hack is the best method for peeling garlic.

As with all internet hacks, sifting through the ones that actually work and the ones that don't means you have to try them all. That's why I tried the most popular garlic peeling hacks so you don't have to—and I found the one I'll be using for the rest of time. Trust me, it's so easy you'll ask yourself "how did I not think of this before?"

The Best Garlic Peeling Hacks, Ranked

4. The Classic Method

Peeling Garlic
Meredith

Probably the most common method for peeling garlic is where you place your knife over the clove and give the knife a sharp whack with your hand. This method is supposed to loosen up the skin so that it comes off easily.

However, sometimes I end up having to hit it a couple times for the skin to break (especially for smaller pieces) and other times I hit it too hard and my garlic gets smooshed. Sure, that's fine if you want minced garlic, but not a whole clove.

This is a classic method and one I frequently use, but it doesn't take the cake for easiest.

3. The Microwave Method

In this trick, you don't even need a knife, just your microwave. Simply pop the bulb or a clove into your microwave, cook for 20 seconds, then the skin will slide right off.

This trick did work to easily loosen the skin. However, if you're only peeling a few cloves, I would not recommend the full 20 seconds. My garlic began to cook and soften in the microwave, which made slicing and chopping it a little more challenging.

If you're going to give this a go, and don't want to peel the whole bulb, only microwave the cloves for about 10 seconds—and if you hear them popping, take them out!

2. The Knife Method

This new hack went viral on TikTok at the end of 2022. According to the video, the easiest way to peel garlic is to not actually peel it at all. Instead just stick a knife into a clove that's still attached to the bulb, pull, and it will come out completely clean.

I'm sure you are as skeptical as I was, but I tried it and to my surprise (and amazement) it worked...well sort of.

I had to try it a few different ways before I found the method I liked and actually worked for me. I saw some videos where TikTokers used a paring knife and some videos where they used a butter knife. I had the most success using a paring knife because the sharp point didn't break the garlic clove like the butter knife did.

I was able to pull the clove out cleanly and in one piece with a paring knife. Whereas, with the butter knife the clove would sometimes break and only half would come out clean and the other half would remain stuck to the bulb.

Additionally, I had more success when I peeled the first papery layer off the bulb. This ensured each clove was defined so I knew I was sticking the knife in the middle of the clove, which helped it come out cleaner and easier.

Note: a few of our other editors tried this trick and could not get it to work.

It's not 100% effective, but overall, it's still a good TikTok hack (and one to amaze your dinner guests...if you can get it to work).

1. The Container Method

This TikTok trick mimics a garlic peeler without actually having to buy one. Just break out any food storage container that has a lid—or you could even use two bowls held together to create a dome. Either way, all you do is add the separated garlic cloves to the container, put the lid on, and shake until the skins come off.

I really liked this hack for larger garlic cloves, which peeled themselves in about 20 seconds. For that reason, it will be the trick I use from now on.

However, it didn't really work for the smaller cloves—after a minute of shaking, it barely looked like I did anything to those cloves. You could probably keep shaking, but I just opted for peeling them using a different method because I thought it would be faster.

I do think that the more cloves in the container, the easier the skins will peel off because there are more things to bounce off of. It does work for one clove at a time but would work even better in bulk.

All in all, this hack is my favorite, plus it's a great multitasking tool: peel garlic and get an arm workout in.

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