I am quite fond of oven-roasted garlic, but I always spend ages getting the meat out of their skin. In addition my fingers get rather sticky when I follow the method described in the linked recipe, which is to "press on the bottom of a clove to push it out of its paper."

Are there any tips or tricks on how to easily get roasted garlic out of its skin, preferably without making too much of a mess?

  • 1
    I like the toss-the-skin-on-garlic-into-a-heated-skillet method, as that steams the cloves in-skin, which causes them to shrink. Not too hard to deskin them, afterwards. Probably not viable if you don't like blackened garlic.
    – thrig
    Mar 3, 2016 at 0:19
  • youtu.be/7fJ4qV6ujnI?t=3m24s Mar 3, 2016 at 4:29
  • Peel, then roast, works for me.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 28, 2016 at 17:47

5 Answers 5


You will find things much easier if you cut the garlic in half at it's widest point. If you cut the tops off like in the link provided then you are restricting the cloves from coming out of their wrappers. I think the point with cutting the tops off is to be able separate the cloves and use them as individual applicators, kind of like ketchup packets in a way. Cutting the whole thing in half means that the garlic should pop out with a gentle squeeze.

I have used the flat of a chef's knife to squeeze the garlic out rather than using my hands and it works pretty well. The garlic needs to be very done for this method or using your fingers work though.

  • I realize this tends towards a different question, but does the surface area of the cloves exposed to air influence the flavor of the garlic much?
    – eirikdaude
    Mar 3, 2016 at 8:06
  • I don't know @eirikdaude, I put the halves cut side down on an oiled tray so there is minimal oxygen exposure. If the cut side was up I'd be more worried about them drying out.
    – GdD
    Mar 3, 2016 at 8:16
  • Ok, thanks for your input. I'll leave the question open for a while longer to see if it attracts any other answers, but your solution certainly seems feasible!
    – eirikdaude
    Mar 3, 2016 at 8:20
  • @eirikdaude The other answer (suggesting basically the same thing) addresses the exposed to air part.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 3, 2016 at 12:47
  • @Jefromi Ah, I had missed that edit - that certainly improves the answer.
    – eirikdaude
    Mar 3, 2016 at 13:06

Cut the garlic head in half, add a little oil if you like, put halves back together, wrap in foil, roast, unwrap, cool, squeeze roasted garlic out of halves. The idea of cutting in half ensures that most, if not all of the cloves are cut open, making removal of roasted garlic easier. Placing the cloves back together, avoids the potential problem of a crust forming over the cut end, which also may make removal easier (though I've never tested this). You do need your hands, so one way to avoid stickiness, particularly if you are doing a lot, is to wear rubber gloves.

  • There are a couple differences - you're cutting in half instead of just taking the top off, and you're putting halves back together. Are you saying those are important differences here?
    – Cascabel
    Mar 3, 2016 at 0:59
  • sorry...the I somehow missed the link. However, I find that when I just cut the top off, several cloves remain uncut. If you aim lower on the clove, and attempt to cut as many as possible, removal after roasting is easier....editing my response.
    – moscafj
    Mar 3, 2016 at 12:41

Squeeze the roasted garlic between the MIDDLE of strong tongs. This also works for juicing citrus fruit.


I use a different method of roasting garlic, roasting it whole - it's really easy with this method to just peel the cloves and pop them out of their skin, they're soft and sticky, but a little drier and easier to handle. Oil can be added to whatever I'm using the garlic with, afterwards - it isn't needed in the roasting, it just adds some flavor, and some mess.

So, what I tend to do is just pop the garlic head in the hot oven, and bake it (turning once or twice) till I can see browning on the white papery peel and the head has been evenly turned. The head of garlic can store better this way, too, since it is still wrapped in its peel and hasn't been exposed to the air. When I want to use the garlic, it's easy to peel the skin off, and break individual cloves off the head. To peel, I just grab one of the bottom edges (there are ridges where the clove attached to the head), use my thumbnail to break the brittle dried skin, and yank upward, pulling the dry skin off one side easily. A clove will usually have a square or triangular base, but pulling the skin off two sides is usually enough to slip the roasted clove out of the peel - especially since the skin is usually stiff from the roasting, and the clove is soft and a little slippery.

I can understand the appeal of roasting the garlic with oil, the flavors go well together and will meld very well, I just usually don't find it necessary when oil can be added later - and since the peel is intact, i don't need foil either - and I'm attracted to the convenience of it. Depending on how long you roast (or how long you store the garlic) some of the smaller cloves might end up a bit dry, even sticky and chewy - it isn't something that bothered me - but the larger cloves were still soft and roasted and give good flavor, and they are much easier to peel this way.


Take the entire head(s) of garlic (can remove some of the outer skins first), put it on a pan, and roast it in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees F. Some recipes say to drizzle oil, but that is completely unnecessary.

Let it cool a bit. Then you pull off the softened garlic cloves from the head, and when you squeeze it the roasted paste will come out of the bottom of the clove, where it used to be attached to the bulb/head.

Still a little bit sticky, but not excessively messy.

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