Less dangerous than using a knife, but equally problematic is soaking a clove of garlic in a bowl of water. But it is very poor way to easily peel garlic that’s been used often while distasteful results. The big downside is, and even worse than the knife smash method is that soaking garlic can really impact its taste because the garlic clove absorbs the water into itself very fast.
On top of that, some of the beneficial elements of garlic leech out while it is soaking, and also degrades in water (hot water basically cooks the garlic, which is the worst, so that’s why the water has to be cold). Even if you can get the timing just right, the clove doesn’t absorb too much water, not too much of the good stuff breaks down, and you will still notice the taste difference. We want the fastest, easiest way to peel garlic cloves too, but this method defeats the whole point. Soaking garlic in water kills the taste and benefits of garlic completely. The Garlic Shaker® on the other hand preserves the taste and health benefits of garlic completely.
If you are currently expediting your garlic peeling by nuking your cloves, let us save you some time and frustration: this is one of the worst ways! At some point, a hyper-observant chef (our guess is a late-night, bleary-eyed college kid) realized that microwaving a clove of garlic for 5-10 seconds also breaks down the sticky bond between the garlic peel and the meat of the clove within. What they didn't realize is the full nutritional and taste impact of this technique.
A microwave oven sends energy beams (microwaves) bouncing around that excite (heat up) water molecules in everything inside the box. That means a microwave creates micro-boiling points wherever the energy beams hit inside your food, but the catch is that it does so unevenly. That’s why all modern microwaves have a plate or some other part that rotates the food relative to the energy source so that it roughly averages out. At a fundamental level, the problem with the microwave is that you're literally zapping out all the nutrition and flavor in places and ways that the human eye can't see. We believe we have created a better way to quickly peel garlic that wouldn't impact its taste, health benefits, or storability. The Garlic Shaker® takes out all the guess work and you get quick whole peeled garlic every single time!
This is always a crowd favorite at gatherings and dinner parties, especially for the kitchen showoff who bangs the knife with gusto to make a loud bang every time they peel a clove of garlic. Even without the scene, the nature of mature garlic is that creating pressure on the outside wall releases and breaks the sticky bond with the garlic peel and is much faster and easier than doing it without loosening up the clove.
To that end, squishing is the extreme of the “peel garlic quickly” choice of techniques. Because peeling and smashing garlic are not what a knife was designed to do, the problems with this method are numerous including: a high risk of cutting yourself and needing stitches, damage to your knife, and unless you really wanted smashed garlic then using this method guarantees you have immediately damaged the clove.
Using a knife as a garlic peeler is very dangerous! It is the most dangerous method you can use. Another major downside to using a knife to peel garlic, or peeling the garlic clove with any tool that applies too much pressure, is that you change the taste (and beauty!) of the clove. When a clove is squeezed too hard, it breaks the outside wall, releases drops of garlic juice, and starts the oxidation process. That area will brown, and ultimately mold, much more quickly than better peeled garlic, so this option is only relevant if you are using the exact amount you smashed right away.
This very slow method of can only peel small amounts of garlic at a time, so unless you only need a tiny amount, and you are willing to risk a visit to the emergency room we don’t recommend it to anyone ever. There is no safer or productive tool in your kitchen for peeling garlic than the Garlic Shaker®.