Preparing garlic is a recurring task in all types of cuisine from Mediterranean to Asian, but can remain a fiddly chore until you learn some simple tricks for removing the papery skin from the deliciously aromatic clove within.

Things You'll Need

Smash Peeling

Remove the garlic cloves from the head and lay them flat on a chopping board.

Lay a heavy-bladed kitchen knife on each one and give a solid push with the heel of your hand. The pressure will burst the skin, which can then be easily removed in one piece.

Slice off the tough tip on each clove where it attaches to the head.

Chef’s Hack

Strike a head of garlic with the heel of your hand to release the cloves.

Gather the cloves and drop them into a large metal chef’s bowl.

Take another large metal bowl, invert it and place it over the top of the bowl containing the garlic.

Shake furiously for 10 to 15 seconds, taking care to keep a firm grip on the edges of the bowls.

Return the bowl to the counter and remove the covering bowl. The garlic inside will have been peeled by striking on the sides of the bowls.

Mincing with Finesse

Lay the peeled garlic on a chopping board, flat-side down. Plastic boards are better than wooden ones in this case, as they won’t absorb the garlic juices.

Remove any hard root tips that remain at either end.

Shred the garlic clove along its length with a sharp knife, taking care to keep your fingertips vertical to avoid injury.

Rotate the garlic clove 90 degrees and slice finely in the other direction.

Sprinkle the chopped garlic with a pinch of salt to reduce stickiness and work the knife back and forth over the garlic until it is minced. The tip of the knife should remain in contact with the chopping board, allowing you to rock the blade and heel rhythmically.