Easy ways to Peel Garlic & How to get rid of the Smell!

I love garlic.  It’s very good for you, with antioxidants and several vitamins.  Recently some studies have shown garlic can help with high blood pressure, colds and flu, cardiovascular disease, to aid in lowering blood pressure.  It may even assist in preventing dementia and cancer!  Good enough, for me, let’s throw it in every thing!

I do not, however, like peeling it, or chopping it.  So here’s a couple things I do.

To peel:

  • smash with the flat side of a knife.  this helps loosen the paper peels so they come off fairly easily.
  • cut the root end off.  This helps even more.
  • for a hands off approach, put the cloves in a jar and shake it really hard for 20-30 seconds.   Amazingly, the peels will loosen.  Not all will fall off at once, and you may have to repeat.  I find the inner smaller cloves hold onto skins tighter.


peeling garlic with a jar

after shaking hard, the paper peels come off garlic


Why chop or mince garlic?

Chopping, smashing, or mincing garlic ahead of time, and letting it sit, will increase the antioxidant properties, as an enzyme reaction takes place at room temperature after being exposed to air. So I make it a practice to do this before adding it to anything I am cooking. 10 minutes is good, 15 minutes even better.

You can use a garlic press to mince up garlic, or follow my advice to grate garlic rather than mince it.  Or just use a good sharp knife to chop or mince into tiny pieces.  You can even make a paste of it with the knife and a bit of salt.

Obliterating the garlic smell

Lastly, how to get rid of garlic smell…off our hands, the knife, cutting board

  • rub your hands on stainless steel – this Stainless Steel Odor eliminating bar will remove garlic/onion smell from your hands.  It evens works on fish odor!
  • Use mouthwash or toothpaste on your hands – yep, they will dispel the garlic compounds causing odor
  • wear thin latex or rubber gloves to protect hands
  • rub your hands in coffee – whole beans or ground are said to make odor dissipate
  • rub your hands or knife with lemon – just be sure you do not have any nicks or cuts on your hands, or else you will feel the acid sting!

What tricks do you have?