Black Garlic

Source: Brod & Taylor

  • Prep
    15 minutes
  • Yields
    Varies with pot size


"Black garlic is soft, slightly sticky, and has a rich flavor that's intensely sweet. It's quite different from fresh garlic! Black garlic is tasty in lamb, beef, and poultry dishes, in seafood, on pizza, or in pasta, risotto, aioli, eggs and even in desserts! The flavor of black garlic is nearly indescribable and the culinary possibilities with it are endless. It's been described as similar in flavor to dark caramel or chocolate, with hints of balsamic vinegar and molasses, and its aroma as fruity with hints of vanilla."


  • Garlic bulbs


  1. 1. Choose a pot with a lid that fits inside the proofer. The Proofer easily holds a 6 quart stock pot (11.5” diameter by 8.75” high with lid). As garlic ages in the proofer there's 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. Make sure the bottom of the pot has full contact with the aluminum heating plate in the proofer.
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. Transfer to pot: Place all of the foil wrapped bulbs inside the pot and place the lid on the pot.
  5. 5. 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 garlic 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 .
  6. 6. 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.

Author's Notes

The garlic turns black from a common chemical reaction involving sugars and amino acids; it's called the Maillard reaction. When onions are sautéed, steak is seared, bread is toasted and coffee is roasted, the Maillard reaction occurs, turning the food dark and imparting a deep, rich flavor. The reaction produces flavor-enhancing compounds that give black garlic its unique flavor. 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 a year. Recipe is used with permission by Brod & Taylor