How to Crush Garlic

You walk into the kitchen ready to start cooking and the recipe calls for crushed garlic. But you don’t have a garlic press and realized you aren’t quite sure how to crush garlic properly with just a knife. No worries, we’ve all been there. Crushing garlic can seem tricky at first, but have no fear, you’ll be mincing the aromatic bulb like a pro in no time. With just a few simple kitchen tools and techniques, you’ll learn the easiest methods for getting crushed garlic for any recipe. From using the flat side of a knife to crush cloves or giving them a good whack with a pan, we’ll cover all the basics. So get ready to dive in and become a garlic crushing expert!

Multiple Methods for Crushing Garlic

Garlic presses are popular, but there are a couple other simple ways to crush garlic cloves at home.

Using a knife

The old-fashioned way is to crush garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. Place the clove on a cutting board and use the heel of your palm to press down on the knife until the clove splits open. Remove the papery skin, then continue smashing until the garlic reaches your desired consistency.

Mortar and pestle

If you want crushed garlic with a rustic, chunky texture, a mortar and pestle is perfect. Throw the peeled cloves into the mortar and grind away with the pestle until pulverized. The stone mortar and pestle duo lasts forever and doubles as a decorative kitchen accent.

Garlic roller

A garlic roller or mincer has small spikes that pierce and crush the cloves as you roll it over them. This works well if you want crushed garlic with a smoother, paste-like texture. For easy cleanup, look for a roller with spikes that are removable.

Any of these simple tools will get the job done and help you whip up delicious homemade garlic bread, pasta sauce, hummus, or whatever recipe calls for crushed garlic. The method you choose just depends on how much elbow grease you want to put in and the specific texture of crushed garlic you need. So grab some fresh garlic bulbs and get crushing!

How to Peel Garlic Quickly and Easily

The paper-thin skin on garlic cloves can be tricky to peel off, but there are a couple shortcuts to make the job quicker and easier.

First, smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen the skin. Place the clove on a cutting board and lay the knife flat over it. Give the knife a firm whack with your fist to split the skin. The skin will now slip right off.

Another method is to soak the cloves in warm water for 15-20 minutes. The skin will soften and loosen its grip, allowing you to just pop the cloves out of their skins with your fingers.

### Pro Tip:

Save time by peeling a whole head of garlic at once. Simply break up the head into individual cloves and soak them in warm water. The skins will slide off effortlessly and your garlic will be prepped and ready to use. Store the peeled cloves in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Whether you’re making homemade hummus, pasta sauce, or salad dressing, pre-peeled garlic will make your cooking projects that much more enjoyable. No more fumbling with stubborn skins or ending up with garlic stench on your fingertips that lingers for hours. With these simple tricks, you’ll be cruising through garlic peeling and spending more time creating delicious meals.

FAQ: Your Guide on Crushing and Peeling Garlic

Have questions about how to crush garlic? We’ve got answers. Here’s your quick guide to peeling and crushing garlic like a pro:

How do I crush garlic?

The easiest way to crush garlic is using a garlic press. Place an unpeeled clove in the press and squeeze firmly. The crushed garlic will come out of the holes in the bottom. For larger amounts of garlic, you can also use a mortar and pestle. Place the unpeeled cloves in the mortar and grind them with the pestle until crushed to your desired consistency.

Do I have to peel the garlic first?

Nope, crushing garlic with the peel on is perfectly fine and actually helps make the crushing process easier. The peel will get crushed along with the clove. Just pick out any large pieces of peel after crushing. The peel adds a negligible amount of bitterness that most people don’t even notice in the final dish.

What’s the best way to peel garlic?

If you do want to peel the garlic first, here are a couple easy methods:

  • Use the smash and peel method. Take a knife and firmly smash the clove to loosen the peel. The peel will then slip right off.

  • Soak the cloves in warm water for 15 minutes. The peel will loosen and become easy to slip off with your fingers.

  • Use a silicone garlic peeler. Place an unpeeled clove inside and roll it around. The peel comes right off.

  • Peel under running water. The water helps rinse away the papery peel as you pull it off the clove with your fingers.

Whether you peel your garlic or not comes down to personal preference. Crushing unpeeled garlic will save you time but peeling does produce a slightly milder flavor. Try both ways and see which you like best!


So there you have it – some easy tips and tricks for crushing garlic like a pro. Whether you’re using a garlic press, mortar and pestle, knife skills, or getting your hands dirty, crushing garlic doesn’t have to be a pain. Just remember to remove the skin first, watch your fingers, and don’t overdo it. Crushed garlic is more pungent and flavorful than minced garlic, so a little goes a long way. Experiment with these techniques to find what works for you. With practice, you’ll be crushing garlic cloves smoothly and seamlessly in no time. Now go make something delicious using your perfectly crushed garlic! You’ve got this.