I have tried smashing the garlic with a knife and even bought a fancy garlic peeler once. Smashing with a knife has the downside of deforming the garlic which is not always desirable. The garlic peeler was still slower then smashing with the knife and had the down side of shooting the garlic across the table if one was not careful. Is there anything else I can do?
- Take two large bowls.
- Put the garlic cloves into one of the bowls.
- Place the second bowl upside down on top of the bowl with the cloves.
- Shake the hell out of it.
- In about 10 seconds, all cloves are peeled and you can fish them out of the bowls.
For a more visual explanation;
Instead of using the two bowls, @KellyThomas suggests using a plastic container like a lunchbox (or the 1L plastic container used by @KellyThomas).
- Smash the garlic with a bowl
- Put it into a container, close the lid and shake them well.
- Take out the garlic skins from the garlic easily.
Here is a popular method that is also explained on WikiHow:
Soak the garlic cloves in a bowl of water for 5 minutes before peeling, the WikiHow article says that it is advisable to have the whole garlic clove underwater. After soaking for the allotted time remove the garlic, cut both ends off and then peel the Garlic. The Garlic should be easier to peel because the water loosened the seal between the garlic and the peels.
- Take an empty clean glass jar (I find that a 1 litre empty honey jar works best, but you may prefer smaller jars).
- Place the garlic clove(s) in the jar, and close the lid tightly.
- Employing vigorous up/down movements on the jar, let the cloves bounce off its lid/bottom.
- After a few repetitions of step (3), the clove(s) will be peeled (either completely or to a degree that you can peel them like you'd peel a banana).
- That's it.