After spending over 6 hours peeling our way through hundreds of bulbs of garlic we can safely say that the OXO Silicone Garlic Peeler is the quickest and most effective way to peel garlic in your kitchen. It quickly removes the skin from garlic cloves, washes easily and comes with it’s own storage case. The OXO Garlic Peeler really was in a league of its own.
It’s no secret that garlic is delicious. Not only does it add a unique flavor to your meal but delivers many health benefits. Some people even eat garlic raw to make sickness pass quicker.
But no matter how you use garlic, there is one thing you will have to do first. Peel away the papery skin.
While peeling may seem simple, the skin has a nasty habit of sticking to the garlic clove. Peeling garlic with your fingernails is slow and painful while squashing the clove with the flat of your knife only works 50% of the time.
Worse still, both of these methods leave you with a bad case of “garlic finger” brought on by the unavoidable sticky garlic juice. Regular soap won’t get rid of the smell. While rubbing your hands on stainless steel soap can help, the best way is to avoid garlic juice from coming into contact with your fingers altogether.
That’s where garlic peelers come in. Garlic peelers are an inexpensive tool that efficiently removes the skin from small to medium batches of garlic. While a garlic peeler won’t be able to peel enough garlic for a restaurant, they are more than suitable for at-home cooking.
But not all garlic peelers are created equal. While some are amazing, others are downright nasty. Fortunately for you, we have done the hard work in separating the best garlic peelers from the ones that downright suck.
But it takes more than a great garlic peeler to remove effectively peel your garlic. So before I get to our favorite garlic peelers I am going to show you the correct technique.
How to use a silicone garlic peeler
1. Separate your Garlic – Grab a bulb of garlic and separate it into cloves. It is important that you use garlic that has been stored dry. Garlic from the fridge has slightly damp skin and is difficult to remove even with a good quality garlic peeler.
2.Insert the cloves – Place the garlic cloves inside the garlic peeler sleeve. If your cloves of garlic are really big you may only fit one or two in at a time. If the garlic cloves are small you may get away with peeling three or four cloves at once. If you plan to peel multiple cloves at once then make sure they are similar in size for best results.
3. Roll it! – Place the garlic peeler down on a flat surface and roll the garlic peeler back and forth, applying light pressure with your palm. Light pressure is a must, you don’t want to bruise the garlic. About 10-20 back and forth motions should do it. You will hear a crunching sound as the papery skin falls off the garlic clove.
Tilt it! – If you tilt the garlic peeler your skinless garlic cloves should slide right out of the silicone tube. Occasionally a clove may come out with the skin still attached but this should come off with the lightest of touches.
Clean it – If you look inside your garlic peeler you will see the skin left behind. Shake the skin out over your trash can before peeling your next batch of garlic.
It is important to note that care must be taken when rolling. Too much pressure and the garlic cloves skin will bruise or burst, releasing garlic juice all over the inside of the roller. If this happens the skin will stick to the inside of the silicone tube and need to be rinsed out and left to dry. A wet silicone peeler doesn’t work well at removing garlic skin.
It is also worth mentioning that those impossibly small garlic cloves, the kind that is almost too small to use, are difficult to peel even with a top-performing garlic peeler.
Now that you know how to use a garlic peeler it’s time to take a closer look at the garlic peeler that edged out the competition both in performance and design.
Oxo Good Grips – Best Silicone Garlic Peeler
This one’s our favorite garlic peeler. While the OXO garlic peeler may look similar to other silicone tube style peelers on the market, it has one unique feature that gives it an edge – its shape!
If you look closely you will see that the tube has a rounded middle. This creates a lip on either end of the tube which helps keep the garlic inside the tube while rolling.
The BPA-free Silicone is thin yet sturdy, allowing you to easily apply pressure to the garlic as you roll. Despite being thin, the silicone is long lasting. One of the testers commented that this same garlic peeler had lasted her three years and was still going strong.
The OXO garlic peeler is top-rack dishwasher safe but we found the easiest way to clean it was to wash it in the sink under hot water.
The OXO was also the only garlic peeler to come with its own storage container, keeping the peeler clean and hygienic when not in use since silicone is good at attracting dust – great for germaphobes. If your all-purpose kitchen gadget drawer contains plenty of sharp objects then the case will offer some much-needed protection o the soft silicone surface of the peeler.
The following garlic peelers came close to our top pick but just fell short. While they may peel garlic just as well as our top pick, we felt that the OXO just edged them out in terms of design and value.
Zak Embossed E-Z-Roll Garlic Peeler (New Version)
The new and most current version of Zak Designs’ popular garlic peeler has ditched the thick plastic and serrated edges. Instead, Zak has opted for a thinner silicone that sees improved performance on larger cloves of garlic.
Zak also offers their garlic peeler in a range of different colors. If you wanted a garlic peeler that matches your other accessories then this may be the garlic peeler for you.
Kuhn Rikon Garlic Roller
Another garlic peeler that performs well. The barrel shape of the silicone tube helps prevent garlic from escaping as you roll.
The Kuhn Rikon Garlic Roller also comes with a hanging tab, allowing you to hang the peeler up if you so choose. A potentially useful feature that was not found on the other garlic peelers we tested.
Garlic peelers to avoid
But it was not all good news…
So we determined that thin silicone tubes worked best when it came to peeling garlic. Unfortunately, this does not give brands a whole lot of room to differentiate their product.
As you will see below, the brands that tried something different just didn’t perform as well.
Thicker Silicone Tubes
While thick silicone tubes were more gentle on the hand when it came to rolling, they failed to remove garlic skin as effectively as thinner silicone peelers.
Zak Designs E-Z-Roller (Original) – While Zak Designs’ older model garlic roller was a huge success, It’s thicker design came at the sacrifice of space inside the tube. We struggled to fit extra-large cloves of garlic inside the roller with some refusing to slide in altogether. The Flat design also saw peeled garlic skin fall out onto our kitchen counter.
Roll-Up Garlic Peelers
Some of the peelers we tested were essentially a square of silicone that rolled up into a tube. While the split may have made cleaning away garlic skin an easier task, they presented more problems than they solved.
Joseph Joseph Garlic – More expensive than our other picks, this flat garlic peeler rolls itself up into a tube. While it worked okay for single pieces of garlic, working multiple cloves saw garlic peel fall out the ends as we rolled, making a mess.
Norpro Garlic Peeler – The Norpro garlic peeler does not roll up in a tube. Instead, you fold it in half over your garlic and roll it back and forth and it would often unroll as you worked. While it was still capable of peeling garlic, it suitable for a just single bulb of garlic at a time. Garlic peel also fell out over the bench as we attempted to move the garlic skin to the trash can.
Over-complicated garlic peelers
As you have seen, simple is best when it comes to choosing a garlic peeler. Unfortunately, some brands chose to make the whole garlic peeling process a lot more complicated than it needed to be.
Chef’n Twist’n Peel Garlic Peeler – When it comes to complicated garlic peelers the Chef’n goes all out. Not only is it overly bulky for what is a single-use kitchen gadget but it just doesn’t work well. In addition to this, twisting the garlic peels off is difficult and if the cloves are not of an identical size the smaller of the cloves will not be peeled. When cleaning time comes around water is trapped under the silicone insert on the base and did not dry after two days.
Koopeh Designs Silicone Garlic Peeler – While the grooved exterior may make this garlic peeler easier to grip, it also traps dust and garlic skin and is difficult to remove even when washing under running water. The ribbed exterior also makes it difficult to apply pressure and space inside is barely large enough for a single clove of garlic.