How To Easily Peel Garlic With A Paring Knife

Here at Kitchen Knife Planet, garlic is one of our favorite ingredients, it must go in 80% of the meals we cook! But it can be a fiddly little thing to peel. We’ve tried loads of different ways but everything seems to have its own drawback; you can crush it under your knife but you’ll be left with little sticky pieces of peel to get rid of. You can drop it in warm water, the peel will slip right off, but it’s a bit of an elaborate process just to peel some garlic!

Thankfully, we’ve discovered a super-easy way to peel garlic which you can do using just a little paring knife. It’s so simple and it’s going to save you loads of time in the kitchen, so let’s dive into the detail.

To easily peel garlic with a paring knife first grab the whole garlic bulb and with a sharp paring knife severe the root of each bulb, moving around the central root of the bulb in a circle. Once the roots have been severed you will be able to stick the knife into a single clove of garlic, twist and remove the garlic clove easily. 

Firstly, what is a paring knife

A paring knife is a small utility knife which is pretty common in most kitchens. Typically it will have a blade around 3 to 4 inches in length. It’s ideal for small tasks such as peeling vegetables, chopping small food items, piercing sausages and trimming the excess off pie pastry; all that good stuff!

What it’s not so good for is chopping larger items; like carrots and onions. We see people using paring knives for these jobs all the time and it is a tremendous waste of energy to do so!

Those kinds of larger tasks are soo much easier and quicker using a proper chef’s knife, but anyway, back to the subject of peeling garlic… Which a paring knife is perfect for 🙂

Make sure your knife is sharp

Ok so, if you have read any of our other articles you’ll probably know that we are always chundering on about keeping your knife sharp, but in this case, in particular, it is really important.

A paring knife is too small to have much leverage, and so cutting through anything is going to be really difficult if it’s not sharp, so make sure you have a good sharp knife to start with.

Prepare your bulb of garlic

Grab a full bulb of garlic, untouched and unpeeled from the moment you picked it from the supermarket shelf.

Look on the underside and you will see a darker, harder circle of the blub. This is the root, and it is what connects all the individual garlic cloves to the blub. What we are going to do is slice through that connection, making each clove easy to remove.

With the tip of your knife resting just outside the circle of the root pierce through the base of one of the garlic cloves. Then slowly slice around the bulb, effectively cutting a circle into the base of the bulb, slightly larger than the circle of the root we described above.

This will severe the connection between the garlic cloves and the root ready for the final step.

Peeling the garlic

You now have a full bulb of garlic ready to peel whenever you need it. The next bit is so easy and this is where the magic happens.

When you need a fresh clove of garlic stick the end of your paring knife blade into the clove.

Once the blade is in, twist the knife, this will twist the garlic clove with it and you’ll notice that the peel just comes away from the clove.

With no root to keep the garlic clove attached to the bulb, you should be able to simply move the knife away and have the garlic clove come with it.

You’ll now have a fully peeled piece of garlic, not fiddly bits or clean up required.

Watch and learn

Check out this video which shows the technique in full:

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