How to Crush, Slice and Mince Garlic: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow this quick step-by-step guide and learn how to prepare garlic, a popular flavor base for countless recipes.

Garlic is a go-to ingredient in Italian cooking and many other cuisines. In a few minutes, learn how to prep it properly, no matter which recipe you're making.

Remove Layers of Skin from the Garlic
Garlic comes wrapped in layers of papery skin. Take off some of these layers.

Break Up the Cloves
Next, smash the head of garlic with the heel of your hand to loosen the cloves. Break up the cloves with your fingers. Only need a few cloves? Pull off a few and leave the head intact.

Peel the Cloves
To peel the clove, lay it flat on the cutting board and trim away the root end with the tip of your knife. Lay the flat side of your knife over the clove while holding the handle. With the heel of your other hand, carefully give your knife a good whack — this will separate the skin from the clove. Now that you've peeled the clove of garlic it can be used in several ways: crushed, sliced or minced.

Crushed Garlic
Lay your knife over the garlic again and smash it a little bit more. 
Tip: Use this preparation in long-cooking stews, soups or roasts.

Sliced Garlic
Take a peeled clove and lay it flat on the cutting board. Hold the garlic between the fingertips of one hand, curling them under just slightly. Using a rocking motion with your knife, make thin slices by moving the knife bit by bit across the clove.

Minced Garlic
First, crush a clove of garlic. Then, give it a rough chop. Next, hold your knife and lay the other hand flat across the tip. Use a rocking motion to chop the garlic until finely minced. 
Tip: Minced garlic distributes the flavor more fully in a dish and is great in sauces and marinades.

Practicing these techniques will also hone your knife skills so you can slice and dice your way to a more flavorful meal. Watch our how-to video for more.