Black Garlic is often referred to as fermented, however, the process is more like slow-roasting. Whole cloves of garlic are kept at a temperature of 140 F degrees for 2 to 6 weeks. The natural sugars are slowly caramelized and the garlic turns brown, then black. Meanwhile, the garlic cloves ferment and develop beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut.
The flavor of black garlic is less pungent than raw garlic, Black garlic develops a sweetness similar to an aged balsamic with sweet and sour notes. Some people find it a little bitter. The flavor depends on the type of garlic used, how long the garlic is roasted, and the aging process.
What Are the Health Benefits of Black Garlic?
Black garlic has the health benefits of regular garlic, plus a few more. It is also easier to eat than raw garlic, for some people. To receive the maximum benefits, black garlic should be consumed daily and used generously in cooking. Here are just a few of the reasons to consume black garlic:
- Black garlic has 10 times more antioxidants than raw garlic;
- Strong antiviral effects;
- Strong anti-tumor effects;
- Potent anti-inflammatory;
- Increases “good” HDL cholesterol for a healthy heart;
- Decreases or prevents an allergic response;
- Benefits liver and reduces liver damage from alcohol;
- It helps prevent colon cancer.
Related: 9 Natural Remedies To Heal Wounds Faster
How to Make Black Garlic
You can make black garlic in several different ways. The important thing is to keep the garlic reliably at 140 F for a long period. It can be done in a crockpot if you can maintain it at 140 F. In the beginning, I used my crockpot with a temperature regulator that I had made for Sous Vide cooking, But after a bit of experimenting and testing, I discovered that a rice cooker stays at 140 F on the warm setting, so I now use that. The only downside is that it ties up the rice cooker for a long time.
Here are the steps I use to make black garlic in the rice cooker:
#1. Choose fresh, healthy-looking cloves of garlic. Pearly garlic or single clove garlic works well. I like the flavor of purple streaked garlic. Do not use any cloves that are dried out, splitting, or that have begun to sprout.
#2. Clean the garlic, removing any loose papery skin and all visible dirt. You can use a damp cloth to wipe the garlic, but do not put it under running water. We want it dry on the outside and naturally moist on the inside.
#3. Put the garlic in the rice cooker. I place it in a baking bag or a crockpot liner and tie it up. This keeps in moisture and prevents the garlic from drying out. It also keeps in most of the smell. If you don’t use the bag you’ll want to place the cooker in the garage or an out of the way spot to control the strong garlic smell.#4. Close the rice cooker and set it to “Keep Warm.” Do not touch the “cook” button. Leave it on warm for 2 to 3 weeks. Check it periodically to make sure it is still on, but do not open it. Some cookers will automatically cut off after a set period, so check your manual.#5. At the 2- to 3-week point, I check the garlic. If it is nice and black, I remove it. Sometimes it will be more of a brown color and I let it go longer. Anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks is appropriate. The garlic texture and flavor will change as it continues to roast. At 2 weeks the texture is like a soft fruit. After 3 weeks, it will be chewy and it continues to soften as more time passes. The flavor also evolves, becoming more like molasses the longer it goes.
#6. At this stage, you can eat the black garlic or store it in a sealed container for up to 6 months at room temperature or in the freezer for up to 1 year. Commercial black garlic is aged at 70 F and high humidity. Aging from 10 to 45 days is usual. I prefer to store the garlic at room temperature and let aging take care of itself since the humidity is almost always high in Florida anyway.
How to Use Black Garlic
For the best health benefits, you need to consume black garlic daily, so it makes sense to learn to use it in cooking. It can be substituted wherever regular garlic is called for, but the flavor is sweeter and less pungent. You may want to add both raw and black garlic, or a larger portion of black garlic, depending on the desired end flavor.
In addition to cooking, I add dehydrated black garlic to capsules and take it daily as a supplement.
Related: How To Prepare Medicinal Pickled Garlic
Dehydrating Black Garlic for Future Use
I make black garlic in batches of 12 to 14 large cloves at a time and then dehydrate some for use as a powdered seasoning. The cloves are soft and come out of their paper skin easily. I usually mash them slightly into a thin layer on a solid dehydrating sheet (if you don’t have a solid sheet, cover the mesh in plastic.) Once the black garlic is dry, I give it a whirl in my blender until a fine black garlic powder is created. Use black garlic powder instead of, or in addition to regular garlic powder.
When dehydrating, it shrinks down a lot, so you don’t end up with as much as you might have expected. If you are tempted to make a larger batch, it may take longer to get the same results. Having a lot of garlic in the rice cooker seems to lower the temperature a little.
You’ll find other methods for making black garlic on the internet. I expect they will all work as long as you can keep the temperature reliably at 140 F or slightly above. Some methods use higher temperatures, but a higher temperature gives a more bitter flavor and it may lose some of the healthy properties. But this is only my observations, with no scientific proof, so you can decide for yourself.
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Six weeks of continuous electric use. Wonder how much money is spent on electric. I did look up buying black garlic. One was selling for 1.33 per ounce (not labeled as organic), and another for over 5 bucks per ounce(labeled organic). So this seems strictly as a culinary delicacy. Like fine aged wine. Don’t know if it is worth the time.
Time is irrelevant compared to one’s mortal existence numbnutz, Tisk, Tisk @ Wannabe, obviously another fine by-product of the Public Fool System, let’s review shall we?
the stated cure time above was, quote,
“…Anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks is appropriate..”
I’ve got it done in 3 weeks,with quality garlic
You’re also obviously a j00, or an ignorant tightwad, Wannabe would rather pinch pennies than to improve his and his family’s immune system to super hero status to fight the up & coming new nasty’s they’re planning on releasing on We, The People. Look for the checkerboard criss-cross chem-trails in a neighborhood near you NOW!! …And that phony, fiat “currency” made up of worthless Fed Resrv paper notes is coming crashing down everywhere here shortly….yes you DemonRat bastiche libtards will go that far to get rid of Trumpty-Dumpty…. nobody wins, and again, We, The People will be the Losers… now go slo-bake some garlic ya tight-ass, be a hero…
My Mom always said, you don’t have to make sense if all you want to be is rude.
HwOOd, you can just kiss my ass. And if you said it to my face you would not like my response you disrespectful punk.
the virus is here now. waiting 6 weeks we could be dead by then. why in hell did you come you with this after the fact . . . We need something that can be prepared fast as in less than one day. get it yet.
You can get it already “made” on Amazon
Raw garlic for now will do.
Plus all the rest – zinc, vitamn D, Quercetin maybe?
Hey everybody! Check it out! This prick thinks he’s commenting on YouTube!
Counting yourself among “We, the People” is not enough reason to be an asshole….
Awesome with Blackened Mozz Pizza ;)~
3 weeks to 25 days been working for me 😉
I bought some black garlic last year at a local craft fair, and loved it so much I found an actual garlic fermenter (called it a Christmas gift to self!) It takes about 2 weeks–slightly longer for single cloves (which I found came out quite dry and crunchy, would work well for the powder) than for the whole multi-clove bulb, which came out nicely chewy.
I raise a lot of garlic anyway, but planted half again as much this fall. “Music” variety comes out very sweet–healthy “candy,” who knew! I tried a batch of whatever organic variety the grocery store had–that was more smoky/savory with just a hint of sweet as well as the mentioned hint of bitter, probably better for cooking.
I eat at least a full bulb a day (and by the way–it doesn’t come out on the breath). Can’t tell you yet if it does all the things claimed for heath, but I guarantee it’s a tasty home-grown treat.
I bought a black garlic maker a couple of years ago and began eating a bulb a day. I had to have three stents in my coronary arteries back in 2009. Last year, my cardiologist looked puzzled. The anomaly in the right side of my heart had disappeared. I told him about the black garlic and he shrugged it off. Even so, I’m convinced that it has had a positive effect on my health.
Raw garlic, cooked in milk, is reputed (at least it is in central Europe) to be an effective remedy agaiinst tapeworm (Tenia). I wonder whether black garlic would be as effective for this purpose.
I was really scared of black garlic; it looks GROSS! But after reading all the health benefits I wanted to try it. I found a good organic brand on Amazon, and I was just astounded at how yummy it is! However, as for making it, doesn’t sound to easy. I mean, to keep something at a constant temperature for that long, sounds nigh onto impossible. I mean, what if your electrics go out for a few hours? Is the whole batch ruined or what? Also, they gave amount of time for using frozen or room temperature sealed garlic. It didn’t even mention how long if it is refrigerated. But I mean seriously! Garlic is one of the best foods for you anyway. But fermented??? And then, that wonderful taste? Fermented garlic is like a super superfood that even tastes great!
Think of it this way–you wouldn’t decide not to have a freezer, or even a refrigerator, just because the power might go out for a few hours (or heck, days–even two weeks–that’s happened here!) I’m guessing that if it was only a few hours, putting the garlic fermenter or whatever you are using in some kind of insulation would probably be enough. Wrap it in a few blankets, set it in a cooler, something like that, and start it up again once power comes on again. If it’s automatic like mine, you’d probably have to subtract the number of hours/days already done and check it then.
If it went without power for more than a day, well, yes, then I’d wonder how it’s going to come out. Might still be worth trying to re-start if it’s only a few days, though. Or else take the partially fermented garlic and cook it, pickle it, dry it, or otherwise use it anyway.
I wonder how garlic was fermented before convenient electric devices like slow cookers and automatic fermenters. Surely it isn’t a recent invention!
” I mean, to keep something at a constant temperature for that long, sounds nigh onto impossible.”
Actually, this is some sort of alchemical process (although you might not suspect it if you weren’t told).
This sounds excellent, but I’m with @Wannabe on the length of time using an electric appliance cost wise, as well as have concerns about the safety of leaving such an appliance on for such a length of time.
I know there are other ways to ferment garlic.
I have roasted garlic before, at highvr temp, can’t help but wondvr if similar temp for longer time would yield a similar result. Or if perhaps using a smoker might not be more practical.
And that idiot in Wannabe’s response above should go troll somewhere else, IMHO! 😉
I don’t have a rice cooker but one of my crockpots has a “warm” function- would that work? Thank you.
I’m going to build a dedicated black garlic making box out of plywood, around 12″ × 12″ × 6″, insulate it with silver reflective bubble wrap, and heat it using a small night light bulb or two, to reach the 140 degree mark. I’ll drill a small hole in the side for a meat thermometer for checking the inside temperature. The top of my refrigerator is constantly slightly warm to the touch, and that’s where I’ll keep it. I’ll have to fiddle with whether or not if I need to insulate the bottom, or what material I may use that the garlic will be sitting on in order to use the slight warmth coming up from the top of the fridge for hitting the 140 degree mark.
Those small night light bulbs barely draw any juice, and in a small insulated box like the one I’m going to build should heat it to that temperature. I may have to do some adjusting on the insulation inside. Maybe remove some of the insulation inside to hit the consistent 140 degree mark. Now I’m on another mission!