How to Make Black Garlic (four Options + Video Included)

The allium sativum species includes black garlic, which is not a separate species. Normal garlic undergoes a change in character when exposed to constant warm and humid conditions. The end product is a black garlic that is mild, earthy, funky, rich, and, yes, colored. Here I'll demonstrate how

The allium sativum species includes black garlic, which is not a separate species. Normal garlic undergoes a change in character when exposed to constant warm and humid conditions. The end product is a black garlic that is mild, earthy, funky, rich, and, yes, colored. Here I'll demonstrate how to ferment garlic at home using an Instant Pot, as well as provide instructions for doing so in a slow cooker, rice cooker, or food fermenter, and offer some suggestions for how to use your fermented garlic once it's ready.

a bowl of garlic bulbs.

Those with a passion for food, please read on Here is the ultimate recipe/science-fair-project for nerds. Forbidden Garlic

These garlic cloves have undergone a metamorphosis, becoming mellow and funky with a tangy molasses vibe instead of a sharp, eye-stinging allium. These are pliable and easy to spread, in contrast to raw garlic cloves.

Explain black garlic to me.

By exposing the allium sativum to a specific warm and humid environment for weeks (or months), a chemical reaction is triggered between the amino acids and sugars naturally present in the garlic.

Garlic that has turned black has not been fermented. In its place, it has undergone the browning process known as the Maillard reaction. It's what gives black garlic its signature flavor and transforms the cloves into something tangy, earthy, and rich that's so soft and sticky you can mash it with a fork.

See how easy it is to make black garlic in an Instant Pot by watching the video below.

I made a video showing you how I use an Instant Pot to make black garlic. (The numerous times I checked on the development of my garlic weren't included in the video.)

Black garlic, unlike fresh garlic, has lost its characteristic sting and sharpness, and its flavor is now sweet and tangy with a bit of umami richness and funk.

The flavor has been likened to tamarind, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. I find that the sour, umami taste of black garlic complements and enhances the flavor of other foods. It's amazing how much this one secret ingredient can improve even the simplest of recipes.

Exactly where did it start

Though its use dates back centuries in countries like Japan and China, it is generally accepted that black garlic was first developed in Korea.

how to wrap black garlic.
  • Several fresh garlic bulbs
  • Wrapping in plastic
  • Tin foil
  • A Food Fermenter, Slow Cooker, or Rice Cooker
  • A private space in the house, such as a bedroom, garage, or outdoor patio, that can be locked off when needed.
  • Patience You should expect this to take at least a few weeks, and probably closer to two months.

For this demonstration, I used an Instant Pot (not so instant for this recipe), but any of the other tools should work just as well.

A well-ventilated, weather-protected outdoor area, a garage, or a room that can be closed off from the rest of the house are all great places to set up your Instant Pot, slow cooker, rice cooker, or food fermenter.

Why The initial garlic smell can be quite potent and linger for up to two weeks.

I used an extra bedroom, cracked a window, and closed the door (but the smell of garlic still permeated the hallway) to cook in my Instant Pot. This space is now commonly referred to as "the garlic room," and it took some time (and Febreeze) for it to return to its original odorless state after the black garlic was prepared in here.

Set up your equipment outside or in a well-ventilated garage if you're extremely sensitive to odors.

foil wrapped bulbs.

The only real challenges in making black garlic are time and patience.

Because of the time involved, I suggest making a large quantity to ensure that you have enough for yourself and to share as gifts with your family and friends who enjoy good food.

With this batch, I produced 16 individual garlic heads. You can do more or less depending on your needs, but if I'm only fermenting a single head of garlic, it makes sense to make a large batch. There is no difference in aroma between using one or many.

Recipe for Instant Pot Fermented Garlic

  1. Fresh garlic bulbs should be wrapped in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.
  2. The bulbs should then be double-wrapped in tin foil.
  3. Use a rack to keep the garlic from touching the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  4. Wrap the garlic bulbs in foil and add them to the Instant Pot.
  5. Switch to the warm setting. ”
  6. After setting the timer for the maximum amount of time, 99 hours and 59 minutes, you can begin. Every four days, the Instant Pot will turn off, and you'll have to switch it back to warm mode.
  7. Mark your calendars three weeks from now. When that time comes, you'll begin inspecting each garlic head.
  • After a month, using the same bulb as your "official tester," begin inspecting the garlic for quality. ”
  • Take out a single garlic clove from its wrappings. To evaluate development, peel back the thin film of paper. (Mine turned out caramelized after about a month, but the garlic was still quite solid. )
  • Put the light bulb back in its packaging and let the Instant Pot cook for another week.
  • In another 5-6 weeks, you should check on the garlic once a week until it is a deep black color and soft, tender, and sticky. (The black garlic should look like in the picture below.)
cloves of fermented garlic, after breaking apart the head.

This recipe is equally at home in a slow cooker, rice cooker, or Instant Pot. Put a rack on the bottom of the vessel so the garlic isn't touching the bottom, cover the bulbs with plastic wrap and two layers of foil, and set the temperature to warm. ”

After four weeks, you should start inspecting your garlic for doneness. Wrap it up and let it sit for another week if it isn't supple and black.

Garlic can be "cooked" past the point where it turns completely black, so don't stop there! The longer it is left to dehydrate, the more concentrated the flavors become and the more layers of complexity it will have.

Food fermentation is used to create black garlic.

Do you want to save a few weeks of fermentation time? Incorporate a fermenter into your kitchen routine. The preparation time for black garlic cloves can be reduced by half using these tools. Though not cheap, these tools can be used to create everything from sweet rice to yogurt.

Do you recommend black garlic?

Yes Black garlic's complex taste is only matched by its health benefits, which include the lowering of blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The growth of colon cancer cells is slowed and the formation of free radicals is stymied. The anti-inflammatory properties of black garlic are beneficial to brain health and may aid in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and improve cognitive function.

It has been discovered to improve liver health and strengthen the immune system.

How long does black garlic keep?

Black garlic can be kept in a cool, dry, dark place like a pantry in glass jars or even small brown lunch bags. It's also suitable for cold storage or frozen consumption.

What is the shelf life of black garlic?

Black garlic can be stored for at least two months when left out of the fridge. If you're worried about germs, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a year and a half, or in the freezer for up to a year if you wrap it well.

Exactly how do we ensure that our food is safe to eat?

Soon after posting this article, Liz emailed me a comment about black garlic, and I think you should read it and make up your own mind.

Home preparation of black garlic carries inherent risks. Botulism and other toxins can be produced if the temperature is not controlled and monitored, and the ph levels are not optimal.

In the words of food safety expert Dr. Nummer, Brian, Ph.D. D what the literature on black garlic preparation

57 degrees Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher is required for "fermentation. Lack of attention to temperature control may result in the spread of food-borne diseases. Bacteria that cause food poisoning, such as Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum, begin to multiply at temperatures just below 57°C (135°F). The poison made by the bacteria C Botulinum toxin is the deadliest and most powerful poison discovered by humans. A temperature datalogger is thus highly recommended. ”


A traditional vegetable fermentation like sauerkraut (cabbage) or pickles (cucumbers) is very different from the black garlic fermentation. Natural (biota) lactic acid bacteria present in cabbage and cucumbers cause the sugars in the vegetables to ferment quickly in a salt brine at room temperature. Pathogens like C. difficile have their growth stymied by the high rate of fermentation. botulinum When the pH of the brine drops to 4, it becomes an acid. With a score of 6 or lower, C Growing botulinum is impossible. Whether or not the black garlic fermentation produces acid depends on a number of factors. ”

If you share Liz's skepticism, however, I recommend skipping this DIY and instead purchasing black garlic from a reputable source... affiliate link.

an individual clove of fermented garlic.

Black garlic, after its papery skins are removed, can be used as a spread on toast or as a "secret ingredient" in everything from stir fries to burgers. It goes wonderfully with pasta and steaks, and it adds a nice kick of flavor to steamed vegetables.

My favorite (and easiest) way to use black garlic is to make a paste by mashing it with good butter. I then spread this funkily umami spread on top of a grilled steak and finish it off with some chopped parsley. They'll be asking, "what's that flavor," because the garlic adds such a wonderful sweetness and tang. While coming back for another bite

Since you'll probably be making a lot of black garlic, it would be nice to share it with other foodies. A jar is an ideal gift for a hostess. Sure to be a hit with them

My mother, who I gave one to, was so curious that she opened it immediately to inhale the pungent odor of fermented garlic. She has ambitious plans for hers.

packing jars of black garlic for storage.
black garlic cloves.
Print Pin
Instant Pots make it simple to prepare black garlic, a gourmet specialty ingredient. It has an irresistible umami flavor and a tamarind-like funkiness. You can slather it on bread, top steaks with it, and toss it in salad dressings. You can now take your culinary creations to the next level with this
Restricted Dietary Options Vegan, vegetarian, and/or paleo diet friendly
Total Time 21 days 10 minutes
Servings 16 Snail Garlic Bulbs
  • Remove 16 pieces of tin foil, each measuring about 6 inches in width, from the roll. Use a pair of scissors to make a horizontal cut through the stack of foil. Set aside
  • To wrap a single head of garlic, tear off sections of plastic wrap (about 5" wide). One garlic head per piece of plastic wrap; set aside.
  • Garlic cloves should be individually wrapped in foil. Keep it aside after you've double-wrapped it in foil. Wrap each individual head of garlic in two layers of paper.
  • Put the wrapped garlic cloves on a rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Fasten the top and close the air vent. Prepare a 99-hour "Keep Warm" delay using the Instant Pot. A reminder to set the timer every 4 days until the garlic is ready.
  • Leave the garlic in a warm place for three weeks, checking in on it every so often and resetting the timer if necessary.
  • Black garlic should be stored in airtight containers at room temperature; after removing the foil and plastic wrap.
Calories: 4 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 1 g | Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol-Inducing Saturated Fat: 1 g | Fatty Acids, Polyunsaturated: 1 g | Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 1 g | Sodium: 1 mg | Potassium: 12 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 1 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 5 mg | Iron: 1 mg

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