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Easy Ways To Peel Garlic
Question: What's the best way to peel garlic? How do you remove the smell from your hands afterward?
Answer from: Maggie Gilbert, cooking expert
Peeling garlic is fun when you know what you're doing. Removing the odor from your hands after you're done is easier than you may think.
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Meet Maggie Gilbert, Cooking Expert
Answering your questions about healthy cooking
Maggie Gilbert is a lifetime cooking expert who has spent more than 25 years in corporate test kitchens. She has a degree in home economics and education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a certificate from the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London. She has catered and taught cooking classes. As a mother, she is also experienced at cooking for and feeding kids.
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I got a question about garlic and what’s the best way to peel it and then how do you deal with the stinky hands to get after you’ve chopped it. So, let’s first talk about garlic. This is how you buy it and of course it is available everywhere. This is called a head of garlic and the individual pieces that pop off are the cloves. There is a papery kind of coating on the whole thing that you just kind of take off and then you just take your fingers in there and start grabbing the little cloves right off. They are pretty easy to get out. Sometimes you have to work a little. So that is the first thing. These individual cloves are also papery. So, you need to get that off. So, let me show the real easy way to do it. You lay a clove down, I’ll just use this one here, and take a big knife like this and lay it right on top of the clove with the sharp side down so that you don’t hurt yourself. Then you are just going to pop it with your fist. Boom! Just like that. That’s going to squish it. It will sort of get it partially chopped for you and the paper will just fall right off. So you can just pull the clove right out. There is the paper; there is the clove. It’s really, really easy. So, if you are doing a lot of garlic and you don’t want to do this method, another idea is to separate it into cloves and put it in water and just soak them for a little while. That tends to loosen the skin and you should be able to peel those off too after it has soaked for a while. So, try that method as well. So, then you can just chop it up however, or slice it, depending on what recipe you are using it in. I also like a garlic press once in a while. This is and old one that I’ve used for years. You can just pop your peeled clove right in and press it like this. I want to do it so it doesn’t go flying and you get a really, really nicely, very finely chopped garlic. So, that’s another way just scrape it off with a knife. See, I’ve got very finely chopped for recipes that I don’t want any little pieces in there. So, it’s really easy to deal with. You want to store garlic in a dry, cool place. You will know if it’s still good if it’s nice and firm. If it dries out a little bit; you probably don’t’ want to use it anymore or if it’s been near too much moisture it might get a little mushy and you’ll know right away if it’s not good. Okay, let’s talk about the smell. Your hands do get kind of stinky when you deal with garlic. There’s a couple of ways to deal with that. One is really fun. If you rub your hands on stainless steel f or whatever reason that tends to take the smell out. You can rub it in the stainless steel sink. If you bowls that are stainless steel those might work. There are also products that look kind of like a bar of soap but they are stainless steel and you can keep those by your sink and rub. I would wash my hands first then I would go rub them on the stainless steel and for some reason that pulls the smell out. Another way is to squeeze a piece of lemon and squeeze the juice over your hands and kind of rub that it. That tends to; the acid tends to help with the smell too. So those are a couple of things to try. But anyway, garlic is fabulous. It’s used in so many dishes it’s fun to do, and easy to find. So, I hope you give it a try if you haven’t and good luck with getting the smell off and chop some garlic!