Master chopping this tiny ingredient.

June 14, 2018
Melinda Josie

For such a common ingredient, there is a lot of mystery around the right way to peel and chop garlic. Should you roll it in a rubber tube? Smash it in an expensive press? There’s a vast marketplace full of unnecessary tools for this single food alone. Gadgets exist for everything from peeling to slicing to chopping, but the solution is as easy as a simple, straightforward method.

The truth is, to both peel and prep garlic efficiently, all you need is a knife and a cutting board. With these three actions, you can prep a clove in no time. Once you've got the hang of it, the next step is (obviously) garlic bread.

Trim: Use the tip of a chef's knife to slice off the hard root of each clove.

Crush: Place a clove under the flat side of the knife, with the blade facing away from you. Press the heel of your palm or your fist down on the knife until you feel the clove give way. Discard the skin.

Chop: Gather together the peeled cloves, hold your knife by the handle, and place your other, nondominant hand on top of the blade. Rock the knife up and down through the cloves. (The tip stays on the cutting board.) Chop until the garlic is the size you desire.