How to Make Black Garlic at Home


More and more people are looking to try black garlic with all the talk of the wonders it can do to dishes and your health.

Many now use the ingredient in a wide range of culinary applications including using it for pasta, scallops, and pizzas. Your imagination is the limit. Beyond the culinary benefits, it can also promote good health, which is the even more important reason why interest in it is growing so quickly.

How to make Black Garlic

Black garlic is commercially available. You can get it in specialty stores (don’t expect to find it in your local grocery store) and online.

But you can also make the ingredient at home if you are the do-it-yourself type. In this article, you’ll find tips on how you can go about doing just that as well as some health benefits the ingredient offers.

Steps for Making Black Garlic at Home

Patience will indeed be a good virtue when making this ingredient. Once you have that, it is pretty simple from then on. The only other things you need is a rice cooker and, of course, cloves of fresh garlic.

Below are the typical steps that you can follow to make this ingredient at home:

Step 1. Carefully Choose Your Garlic

The first thing you obviously want to do is select your fresh garlic. You can buy it at the store or use your own garden-grown garlic. Either way, though, you’ll want to be careful about the garlic that you use. Don’t just settle for any that you can lay your hands on. The particular bulbs of garlic you select will determine the quality of the final product. For example, garlic with higher sugar content tends to result in a sweeter black garlic end product.

It helps for the heads to be large and round. Make sure that these are intact and no cloves are coming off. If you notice any germination or rotting, throw that garlic away or cut around it and use it in another garlic recipe. It’s not ideal for making black garlic.

Step 2. Prepare the Garlic

Next, you want to make sure your fresh garlic is as clean as possible. It is a rather difficult and less effective task trying to get the final ingredient free of dirt. That’s because after passing through the production process, it becomes pulpy and you can easily squash it with your hands. Therefore, it’s best to make sure it’s clean enough to eat before you start the fermentation process.

Remove any long roots that may be on the bulb. Also, get rid of any debris on the skin. Some grocery stores do take care of these steps before selling the vegetable, but you’ll still want to wash it thoroughly.

Step 3. Wrap the Garlic in Foil

Get a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap bulbs of garlic in it – separately, that is. Make sure there is no tear in the foil you are using. Wrap the bulb tightly and completely, ensuring there are no exposed surfaces.

Although some argue that foiling is not necessary, this can be useful in preserving the moisture of the bulbs and ensuring that they do not dry out.

Step 4. Cook the Bulbs

Transfer all the garlic bulbs you wrapped in aluminum foil to your rice cooker. Plug the appliance into a socket and keep it in the “warm” mode. Do not press the button for rice cooking!

You may want to put some form of notice on the rice cooker to warn everyone else in your home not to unplug it or adjust the button for rice cooking.

The ideal temperature for making black garlic is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5. Put Your Patience to Work

After setting up the conditions for making the ingredient, you now have to exercise patience while the production process runs its full course. This will take three or four weeks, partly dependent on how enduring you are.

Don’t do anything at all. Just wait. We know this may be difficult for some. There is that curious part that may be pushing you to check what is taking place in there.

Just cool it and don’t interrupt the Maillard reaction that is occurring on the inside of that foil.

You may want to note the date you placed the bulbs in the cooker somewhere to better monitor how long they have been there.

It is supposedly possible to produce the ingredient in less than two weeks, especially when using a fermenting box. But note that if you remove the bulbs too early during the processing, it may still have a noticeable flavor of the fresh vegetable form.

How to Use Black Garlic

Your imagination is probably what will determine the number of ways you can make use of black garlic . While many use it to add flavor to dishes, you will hardly think twice before consuming it as is, unlike the fresh variety.

The ingredient can be found in puree, pizza toppings, mayonnaise, and soups. You might find it especially appealing for spicing up bland dishes, such as rice, risottos, dips, and pastas.

Black garlic goes well with vinegar and can be used for salad dressings and marinades. You can also spread it on bread, add it to chocolate, or even use it as a topping for ice cream! It’s your choice for what you want to do with it.

The ingredient is just like fresh garlic in terms of versatile applications, except that you are going to need a very high amount to have the same intense taste.

Health Benefits of Black Garlic

The savory flavor of this ingredient is not the only thing that is making it increasingly popular. There are certain health benefits that have been attributed to it.

Black garlic is believed to have very potent antioxidant properties. As you may be aware, antioxidants protect the body against a wide range of diseases. They can also help to slow down your aging clock.

This ingredient has double the antioxidant properties of fresh garlic, researchers say. This boosts its ability to promote good health even further.

Just like fresh garlic, it contains allicin, the secret behind the vegetable’s many benefits. The amount is lower, though.

A problem with allicin is that it is very unstable. It quickly gets broken down into several other sulfur-containing compounds. This happens within minutes of its conversion from alliin by the enzyme alliinase.

Black garlic boasts a higher concentration of S-Allyl cysteine, a derivative of the amino acid cysteine. This compound boosts the potency of the allicin. It helps to slow the breakdown of the active ingredient and so enhance its absorption.

Research suggests that the benefits you can get from black garlic include:

  • Reduction of cholesterol in the blood
  • Correction of erectile dysfunction
  • Improvement of sperm issues due to aging
  • Prevention or slowing of decline in cognitive function
  • Protection of the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation

It is believed that black garlic can help to lower blood cholesterol and to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Research findings also suggest that the ingredient may be beneficial to individuals with diabetes. It may reduce the risk of cancer as well.

Black garlic is easier on your digestive system than regular fresh garlic. Because it is easier to digest, it is less likely to cause indigestion, a common complaint of people eating the vegetable variety.

And yes, you don't have to worry about the dreaded garlic breath. It will be hard for many to detect that you’ve been eating this form of garlic.

How to Store Black Garlic

You should store this ingredient in air-tight jars or plastic containers after allowing it to cool at the end of the production process. You may want to separate the cloves without removing their skins so that you can store them in separate containers. That way, you won’t have to break the air-tight seal of the rest to get the cloves you need.

At room temperature, black garlic can remain in stable condition for several months - possibly up to six months - when you keep it in air-tight containers.

And it is possible to preserve it for longer when you place it in a cool environment. The end product can be safely kept in a freezer for up to a year.

Important Notes

As you can see black garlic is extremely popular for its health benefits, ease of storage, and ease of production. But while it is easy to make black garlic at home, you’ll need to be ready to deal with the odor while making it. Anything that air from the production area can reach will most likely reek of garlic. And remember, we are talking about a process that lasts for weeks. You need to keep your rice cooker plugged in for that long to allow the fermentation process to take place safely.

But while the garlic might stay sanitary, there is also the risk of bacteria increases in your home when producing black garlic. That’s because an environment that is warm and humid encourages these microorganisms to multiply in number.

You also want to make sure that your rice cooker can handle running continuously for weeks. It might be best to keep the cooker outside your home if there won’t be issues with your neighbors.

Buying Black Garlic

You may agree that it is easy to make black garlic. The main concerns are just the odors and possible promotion of bacteria growth. This is enough for some to want to consider shelving the idea of producing it at home.

If you prefer the option of buying it instead, you can get the ingredient from specialty spice stores. You may also find it at specialty grocery stores. It is not available at most grocery stores you walk into.

Black garlic is also seasonal. You can only find it during some months of the year in most places. But it is not entirely impossible to get it all year round as the shelf life can be prolonged through freezing.

If you can’t find it locally, you can buy it online any time of the year. Commercial growers around the world offer black garlic in whole, chopped, or powdered forms.

Featured Articles

Recent Articles

Featured Posts

Recent Posts