Hack 10 seconds to peel garlic with the microwave

Garlic-smelling breath is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, who could resist freshly baked garlic bread? However, the consequences of having to smell the strong scent of allium on your fingers for days on end may be enough to avoid cooking with the ingredient altogether.

We’ve made our point: We love eating garlic but don’t like peeling garlic as much as you do. Especially if a recipe calls for an excessive amount — 40 cloves, for example? Thankfully, we’ve discovered an easy way to peel garlic without damaging your shiny new nails, and it involves one household appliance: the microwave. Well, we’ve tried nearly every other garlic peeling trick in the sun, and this 10-second trick is sure to be a hit.

The best tip to peel garlic without a knife

This genius garlic clover trick doesn’t require the use of any sharp and potentially dangerous objects—just a microwave. In a recent TikTok video by @newdawnfields, a garlic farmer from northern Michigan said the best way to peel garlic is to give it a little heat.

@newdawnfields Just a little heat to get more paper. We are not trying to cook garlic. Just warm up. Try it before the silly hack! #garlic #garlicgirl #northernmichigan #michigan #womenwhofarm #growbysurvivors #kitchenhacks #garlicpeelinghack ♬ original sound – K-Roll

To demonstrate, she used the Georgia fire garlic variety, which is notoriously harder to peel than other varieties. She then simply microwaves the whole head of garlic for 10 to 20 seconds and then lets it cool for a few seconds before handling. (For those who don’t have a microwave, you can also bake the top at 250°F for about five minutes.) Once it cools, she can easily separate the completely peeled shrimp.

It really is that simple. Possibly the most shocking part: This procedure removes every last piece of skin—even a dirty film that would normally be impossible to remove without accidentally driving a nail or two into the flesh.

I tried the microwave garlic peeling trick to see if it really worked (…and it did!)

Like most other social media trends I encounter, my initial instinct was to ask myself: Is this too good to be true? In this case, the only way to find out is to test it. Luckily, I always have tons of garlic on hand to cook every meal. (IMO, you can never have too much garlic.) It also helps that this genius cooking tip comes from a professional garlic farmer — I was curious.

To test, I used a popular garlic called silver white garlic. But since my recipe only calls for three cloves of garlic, I just smashed the top to remove what was needed (leaving the skin on). Next, I microwave them for about 10 seconds and be careful—yeah, they get hot very quickly—take out the cloves after letting it sit for about 10 seconds once done. To my very pleasant surprise, the completely peeled cloves fell out of their shells like magic. Mind. blow.

It can be said that this hack is basically perfect, but there are a few things you might want to keep in mind before doing it. For starters, since I’ve only been spinning a few shrimps in the microwave (not the whole head), I can definitely heat them up in less time. Maybe about seven to eight seconds is fine. This can also vary widely depending on how powerful your microwave is (mine is at least a few decades old). I’ve also noticed that when I overheat my garlic, I’m essentially cooking them, which potentially alters the flavor of the garlic and lessens some of the raw spiciness of the garlic.

Finally, to really make sure my fingers were completely odorless, I used a handy vegetable slicer to finely chop the cloves. My pick is OXO’s Good Grips Vegetable Grinder (which acts as an arm workout); it’s the easiest way to make sure I can enjoy all the garlic in the world without stinking fingers.

A registered dietitian shares the benefits of eating garlic:

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