Alton Brown's Tool-Free Method For Peeling Garlic

When it comes to kitchen gadgets, there's a general consensus surrounding the kitchen tools every cook should have. A Microplane grater, utility knife, and cast-iron skillet are among the essentials, but when it comes down to it, you've only got so much space in your kitchen, right? Since there's a knick-knack for making nearly every kitchen task a bit easier, you've got to prioritize what's deserving of space among your arsenal of kitchen tools and what you can go without.

Many of us have a garlic press on hand for crushing cloves into perfectly uniform minced pieces, but first, you have to go through the arduous process of peeling the cloves before tossing them into the press and incorporating them into your recipe. While there are many tricks to peeling garlic (including Ina Garten's secret blanching method), chef and television personality Alton Brown has perhaps the quickest hack up his sleeve for peeled garlic in seconds — no extra kitchen tools required.

Just use your hands

Brown's secret to peeling garlic in a pinch? He rubs a clove back and forth in between his hands to remove the peel, per YouTube. In the video, Brown notes that he loves the lingering smell of garlic on his hands, but if you don't quite concur, don't worry. Try this tried-and-true tip from The Kitchn for removing garlic odor from your hands after peeling and chopping — pour one teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of baking soda into your hands, then add enough water to create a paste. Rub your hands together vigorously for about 30 seconds, then wash your hands with soap and water. 

Using this method, the baking soda should neutralize any lingering odor on your hands while the salt works to exfoliate your skin. Now that your garlic is peeled and you're ready to get cooking, try incorporating your peeled garlic into this simple oven-roasted garlic recipe or this one for homemade garlic bread.