How to Peel a Garlic Clove


The zip and zing fresh garlic adds to savory dishes makes the effort you spend peeling garlic cloves worth every minute. The peeling technique you use to separate the inner clove from the outer peel depends upon how you will prepare the fresh garlic. Whether you use garlic you grow yourself or garlic you purchase from the produce department, once you see the simplicity of the peeling process and enjoy the taste of fresh garlic, using anything other than real garlic cloves in your cooking may seem like using inferior ingredients.

Peeling Garlic for Minced Garlic

Step 1

Set a garlic clove onto the cutting board.

Step 2

Use the butt end of the chef's knife to crush the garlic clove. As you crush the clove, the papery peel will split along the sides of the garlic clove.

Step 3

Peel away the outer peel from the crushed inner peel and discard the peel.

Step 4

Dice the crushed garlic clove with the chef's knife to finish mincing it.

Peeling a Whole Garlic Clove

Step 1

Find the rounded end of the garlic clove (one end has a point and the other end is rounded).

Step 2

Insert the tip of your fingernail (or the tip of a sharp knife) just inside the area where the outer peel originates on the rounded end of the garlic clove.

Step 3

Pull the papery peel away from the inner garlic clove with your fingers. Continue pulling the peel away until you expose the entire inner garlic clove. It will appear cream-colored and it will feel slightly sticky.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife


  • University of California: Garlic
Keywords: peeling garlic cloves, fresh garlic, real garlic cloves

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.