The Simple Trick Restaurants Use To Instantly Peel Garlic

Garlic is a kitchen essential, especially the fresh cloves, which become irresistibly savory and almost paste-like when roasted (you might just want to lick them off a spoon). The majority of the world's garlic is grown in Asia, but it's consumed all over the world — used to flavor everything from Neapolitan pizza to stir fry to steak. Used raw, pickled, caramelized, and in many other ways, garlic is a star ingredient, but there is a pretty big problem everyone has with it: It is particularly difficult to peel. 

The tissue paper-thin skin clings to the garlic's flesh quite determinedly — to the point that you're practically wrestling it to get a single clove. It is inconvenient, time-consuming, and, at times, even humiliating to fight a bulb every time you need to use it for a recipe. Despite the multitude of peeling you have to do, garlic is a really wonderful plant that has a long history of being utilized not only for cooking but also as a cure for a multitude of ills, according to research from Pharmacognosy Reviews. Though people have been using it for millennia, the eternal question remains: What is the best and easiest way to peel garlic?

For the love of garlic

There are a lot of methods for peeling garlic, including the traditional approach that involves crushing each clove under the flat of a knife blade to break the seal of the skin (via Alphafoodie). Another way is to cut the whole bulb in half and press the cloves out. You could also try shaking garlic cloves aggressively in a jar until friction removes the skins for you. All of these are feasible methods, but a simple trick used in the restaurant industry might be the best way yet.

Nicholas Poulmentis, executive chef of NOEMA in New York, shared a garlic-peeling tip from his kitchen with Food Network. Instead of shaking, slicing, and smashing, the chef leaves garlic cloves to soak in water overnight. According to him, by doing so, you'll be able to easily shuck the skin off without any struggle or tools.

Poulmentis is not the only one who likes to use water to remove the most stubborn garlic peels. The Organic Kitchen also recommends soaking garlic cloves but adds that they should be placed in warm water. This helps the skins become ready for removal after at least 30 minutes, making a good soak the perfect method to use if you like to prepare meals ahead of time.