How to Grow Your Own Black Garlic at Home

Take a quick black garlic internet tour and it is quickly clear. A lot of people are talking about black garlic and much of the information is conflicting. But one thing everyone agrees on: the flavor is nearly indescribable and the culinary possibilities endless. Descriptions include tastes of dark caramel, chocolate, hints of balsamic vinegar, molasses, fruity aroma, and hints of vanilla. No surprise black garlic is the new wonder ingredient for high-end chefs and cooking shows. Learn how to make black garlic at home. It is easy with a Folding Proofer.

Black garlic is a unique type of garlic that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Unlike regular garlic, black garlic goes through a process of slow heating and aging that gives it a sticky black color, soft tender texture, and sweet molasses-like flavor.

While black garlic can be purchased at some specialty stores, it’s actually quite easy and rewarding to make your own at home. Here’s a step-by-step guide to growing delicious black garlic with just a few simple supplies.

Choosing the Right Garlic for Aging

The first step is selecting high-quality garlic bulbs to age. Look for bulbs that are firm, smooth, and have tight papery skin. Avoid any with bruises, mold, or soft spots. Hardneck garlic varieties like Purple Stripe and Rocambole tend to produce the best black garlic, but softneck varieties can also be used.

For ideal results, choose fresh garlic that hasn’t been treated with any growth inhibitors. Organic garlic bought from a local farmer’s market is a great option. Plan to use about 2 pounds of garlic bulbs for a single batch of black garlic.

Cleaning the Garlic Bulbs

Before aging, the garlic bulbs need to be cleaned thoroughly. Gently remove any loose papery skin, but don’t peel off all of the skin as this protective outer layer helps retain moisture during the aging process

Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt clinging to the bulbs. Don’t wash the garlic or submerge it in water, as excess moisture can cause mold or bacteria growth. Make sure the bulbs are completely dry before moving to the next step.

Choosing the Right Appliance for Aging

To age garlic into black garlic, you’ll need an appliance that can maintain a consistent low temperature over several weeks The most commonly used appliances are

  • Slow cooker
  • Rice cooker
  • Bread proofing oven
  • Homemade incubator

A basic slow cooker or rice cooker is the easiest option for most home cooks. Choose a model with adjustable temperature controls. If using a slow cooker, make sure it can be set to temperatures as low as 100°F (38°C).

Setting Up the Aging Environment

Once you have your slow cooker or rice cooker ready, it’s time to create the right environment for aging the garlic. Follow these steps:

  • Set the appliance to the lowest temperature setting, around 100-120°F (38-49°C) Maintaining a steady low heat is crucial

  • Place a baking/cooling rack inside the slow cooker insert or rice cooker bowl. This will allow air circulation around the garlic bulbs.

  • Line the rack with cheesecloth, muslin, or perforated parchment paper. This helps retain moisture while still allowing airflow.

  • Optional: Place a bowl of water in the bottom of the appliance to provide humidity. Change the water daily.

Loading in the Garlic Bulbs

Arrange the cleaned garlic bulbs in a single layer atop the rack. Leave a little space around each bulb for air circulation.

If needed, you can place bulbs in a second layer, but the garlic on the bottom will age faster. Another option is to age garlic in batches using the racks from your appliance to double or triple capacity.

Once the bulbs are loaded in, put on the lid but don’t seal it completely airtight—a little airflow is beneficial.

Maintaining Ideal Conditions

Aging garlic into black garlic takes 2-3 weeks. During the process, be sure to:

  • Check appliance temperature daily and adjust as needed to maintain 100-120°F (38-49°C).

  • Monitor humidity and add water to the bowl (if using) to prevent cloves from drying out.

  • Lift the lid for a few minutes daily to refresh oxygen levels.

  • Change out any water in the humidity bowl to prevent bacterial growth.

Testing for Doneness

There’s no set time for when black garlic is done aging—it could take anywhere from 14 to 35 days. Begin checking bulbs at 2 weeks.

Signs bulbs are ready include:

  • Cloves feel very soft and squishy when pressed.

  • Papery skin has browned and cloves are jet black throughout.

  • Cloves have shrunk slightly and pull away from skin.

  • Sweet, molasses-like aroma.

The center cloves of a bulb will age faster than the outer ones. You can remove and enjoy fully aged cloves as they become ready.

Storing the Finished Black Garlic

Once bulbs are fully blackened and have a soft, spreadable texture inside, they are ready for storage and enjoyment!

Leave heads intact or break into individual cloves. To store:

  • Place in an airtight glass or plastic container.

  • Refrigerate for up to 3 months.

  • For longer storage, keep cloves in the freezer for up to 1 year.

Enjoying Your Homegrown Black Garlic

The unique flavor and smooth, jelly-like texture of black garlic makes it incredibly versatile in recipes. Here are some delicious ways to eat black garlic:

  • Spread on bread, pizza, sandwiches – mixes well with butter or olive oil.

  • Mash into dips, sauces, aioli.

  • Add to vinaigrettes, marinades, and salad dressings.

  • Mix into rice, quinoa, oatmeal.

  • Add to soups, stews, chili.

  • Rub on meat before roasting or grilling.

  • Make black garlic compound butter.

  • Add to chocolate baked goods like brownies and cookies.

  • Make black garlic olive oil or vinegar infusions.

  • Garnish finished dishes with black garlic puree.

The next time you’re cooking, reach for your homemade black garlic to add deep, sweet umami flavor. Making black garlic is easy and fun – all you need is a bit of patience as the bulbs slowly transform over weeks.

With a simple slow cooker or rice cooker setup, you’ll be growing jars of gourmet black garlic to enjoy for months to come!

Black garlic is easy to make

There is no mystery to the creation of black garlic. Just moderate heat and time will convert a fresh head of garlic into this creamy black concoction. Great results will come from keeping garlic at 140 °F/60 °C for about 4 weeks (while making sure it doesn’t dry out). Think of it as a extra long and slow roasting process. The Folding Proofer provides the ideal environment for making black garlic.

Find out what all the buzz is about with our simple directions below:

how to grow black garlic

Black garlic is more (and less) than you think.

Yield: Varies with pot size. Timing: 15 minutes set up and 3 to 4 weeks in the Proofer.

Black garlic is NOT fermented

The black color results from a common chemical reaction involving sugars called the Maillard process. This is what turns many foods brown, like onions in butter, steak in a pan, toast, pretzels, and even coffee beans that have been roasted. The reaction produces hundreds of flavor-making compounds giving black garlic its unique taste. Fermentation is unrelated to black garlic.

How To Make Black Garlic At Home, Easily


How to grow black garlic at home?

There is no mystery to the creation of black garlic. Just moderate heat and time will convert a fresh head of garlic into this creamy black concoction. Maintaining garlic at 140 °F / 60 °C for about 4 weeks (while ensuring that the garlic does not dry out) will produce excellent results.

Is black garlic naturally grown?

Since its garlic, you may be thinking about growing black garlic, but no, it doesn’t work that way. Black garlic is garlic that has been fermented for a period of time at high temperatures under a controlled humidity of 80 to 90%. During this process, the enzymes that give garlic its strong aroma and flavor break down.

How does garlic turn into black garlic?

To make black garlic, whole garlic cloves are cured in a hot, humid environment (155°F to 175°F and 70 to 90% humidity) for several weeks. During that time, the garlic cloves undergo enzymatic reactions, including the Maillard reaction, which is responsible for the browning and flavor changes in cooked foods.

What is the fastest way to make black garlic?

Place garlic in the rice cooker. Cover and cook on the Keep Warm setting for 2 weeks, without opening the lid. After 2 weeks, check garlic. It should be soft, fermented, and black in color.

How do you grow black garlic?

The process of growing black garlic involves transforming fresh garlic bulbs into a dark, tender, and sweet delicacy. While it may seem simple, it requires patience and careful attention to detail.

How do you grow garlic in a pot?

Choose a pot wide and deep enough to hold the garlic you wish to grow, and fill it with rich potting soil. If you are planting garlic in the ground, place the cloves in the prepared soil with the clove end facing up. Make rows about 2 inches deep, space 6-8 inches between cloves and 12-18 inches between rows. Plant the garlic cloves.

How do you plant garlic?

Plant the garlic cloves. Divide the bulb into individual cloves, keeping the papery skin intact. Plant the cloves 4 inches apart and about 2 inches deep. Make sure that the flat root side is pointing down and the tapered side is pointing up – otherwise the garlic will grow in the wrong direction.

Can You Make Your Own black garlic?

Some stores may also carry the whole black garlic bulbs on their shelves. It seems expensive to buy in all its forms. However, experts say vegetable gardeners can make their own. The process requires at least one piece of special equipment: either a rice cooker dedicated to the cooking or a special black garlic fermenter (also available online).

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