How to Crush, Slice and Mince Garlic

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

How-To: Crush, Slice and Mince Garlic

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

Step 1: Remove Layers of Skin From the Garlic

Garlic comes wrapped in layers of papery skin. Take off some of these layers.

Step 2: 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. Tip: Only need a few cloves? Pull off a few and leave the head intact.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: Crushed Garlic

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. To crush 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.

Step 4: 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.

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: Practice

Practicing these techniques will also hone your knife skills so you can slice and dice your way to a more flavorful meal.