Sliced black garlic bulb and peeled cloves

Black Garlic: How to Make it 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 NOT fermented

The black color results from a common chemical reaction involving sugars called the Maillard process. This is what causes browning in many foods such as sauteed onions, seared steak, toast, pretzels, and even roasted coffee beans. The reaction produces hundreds of flavor-making compounds giving black garlic its unique taste. Fermentation is unrelated to black garlic.

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. Maintaining garlic at 140 °F / 60 °C for about 4 weeks (while ensuring that the garlic does not dry out) will produce excellent results. 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:

Full black garlic bulbs and peeled cloves

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.


Ingredients: Garlic bulbs
Equipment: Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer & Slow Cooker, metal pot with snug lid

Determine how many bulbs will fit into your metal pot. The pot should be paired with its original fitted lid or one that is snug. The Proofer will easily hold a 6 quart / 6 L stock pot. As garlic ages in the Proofer there is a noticeable aroma of garlic emitted. The greater the number of bulbs you age, the more intense the aroma. One solution to reducing the garlic smell is to wrap the entire pot and lid on the outside thoroughly and tightly with heavy aluminum foil before placing it in the Proofer. Just make sure the bottom of the pot fully contacts the aluminum heater plate in the proofer.

Prepare garlic bulbs: If necessary, clip any long roots off the bulb. If the stalk on the bulb is long, trim it to about ½ inch. If the outer papery skin of the bulb has soil or debris, remove just enough to expose clean skin.

Note: Trying to clean after you’ve made black garlic is difficult because each interior clove will become very soft and they can be smashed with handling. Garlic purchased in most grocery stores is ready to wrap with foil. Select fresh and firm bulbs for best results.

Wrap in foil: Cover each bulb with a generous sheet of aluminum foil. Press the foil tightly against the bulb to ensure it is completely wrapped with no exposed surfaces. If there is a tear in the foil, use another piece to cover the tear. This will prevent the bulb from drying out by retaining the bulbs’ natural moisture.

Transfer to pot: Place all of the foil wrapped bulbs inside the pot and place the lid on the pot.

Prepare Proofer: Set the Folding Proofer on a surface which will tolerate about 140 °F / 60 °C temperatures. Natural wood surfaces such as butcher block can expand and contract with fluctuations in heat. Marble, granite, ceramic tile, concrete, or plastic composite (such as Formica) countertops work well. Remove the water tray and wire rack from the bottom of the Proofer. Place the lidded pot containing the bulbs directly in the center of the Proofer and on the metal surface in the base of the Proofer. Close the lid of the Proofer. Select Slow Cook Mode, using no rack or water tray. Set the Proofer to 140 °F / 60 °C and allow it to remain on for 3-4 weeks.

Note: To use the original Folding Proofer Model FP-101 or FP-201, set the Proofer to 102 °F / 39 °C and allow it to remain on for 3-4 weeks. At a setting of 102 °F / 39 °C, the aluminum heating plate reaches 140 °F / 60 °C .

Check garlic: After 3 weeks remove one bulb from the pot and gently peel back the aluminum. Using a small knife, separate one clove and peel it open to expose the interior. It should be a very dark brown or black in color. If the bulb is not dark enough, place it back in the Proofer and allow it to remain in the Proofer for approximately 1 more week.

Storage: To store black garlic, the bulbs can be separated into individual cloves, left in their skins, wrapped in air tight plastic bags, and stored in the freezer for at least 1 year.

How to use: Black garlic has a soft, slightly sticky, intensely sweet and savory very rich flavor which is quite different from normal fresh garlic. It can be used in lamb, beef, poultry, seafood, pizzas, pastas, risottos, aioli, eggs, and even dessert dishes. One simple option is to make a delicious flavored butter that will elevate any dish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Black Garlic fermented?
No, black garlic is not fermented.

Why is black garlic black?
The black color results from a common chemical reaction involving sugars called the Maillard process. This is what causes browning in many foods such as sauteed onions, seared steak, toast, pretzels, and even roasted coffee beans. The reaction produces hundreds of flavor-making compounds giving black garlic its unique taste. Fermentation is the result of bacterial action and unrelated to black garlic.

What does black garlic taste like?
Black garlic has a chewy texture with a sweet, savory flavor and a mix of subtle flavors including molasses, licorice and dates.

After setting the Folding Proofer at 102F / 39C and checking the garlic at 3 weeks the garlic temperature reads 115F / 46C. Why is my metal pot not warm enough inside?
The pot should be wrapped in foil to seal tightly and placed directly on the aluminum heating base plate of the Proofer. Be certain you removed both the metal water tray and the wire rack. If the pot is not resting directly on the metal base of the Proofer the temperature will not reach 140F / 60C.Note: The newer model Folding Proofer & Slow Cooker should be set on Proofer Mode at 140F / 60C

I need to use my Folding Proofer for another task. Is it OK to stop the Maillard process for a few hours and continue later?
Ideally the Proofer should be left undisturbed for 3-4 weeks. Home kitchens are not equipped with an oven which can hold 140F / 60C for an extended length of time. Home “proofing drawers or ovens” often are 200F/ 93C which is too warm to make black garlic.

How should I store black garlic?
Black Garlic can be stored for up to 3 weeks at room temperature. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and wrapped in air tight containers to store in the freezer for 1 year.

Black Garlic & Orange Glazed Salmon

2-4 Salmon Fillets
1 clove Black Garlic
4T Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 tsp Red Pepper
2 tsp Honey
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Ghee
1 sprig Rosemary
4T Orange Juice
Salt & Pepper-to season fillets

Ingredients for black garlic glazed salmon

Season salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in skillet, add remaining ingredients to skillet except ghee and cook until slightly thickened. Remove rosemary and whisk in ghee. Bake salmon for about 10-15 min at 350 °F / 175 °C and pour glaze over salmon before serving.

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