Thanks to the folks at Bar Tartine, in San Francisco, I had to try making black garlic. Black garlic, according to Nicolaus & Cortney, is black as tar and has lost all of the sharpness and has a molasses-like sweetness and a slight anise aroma. They also use black garlic dried, in a powder form, to add complexity to various dishes.
Black Garlic by Bar Tartine
- Heads of garlic
- Hold the whole, unpeeled garlic heads at a constant temperature of 130 degrees F for 2 to 3 weeks until the garlic is soft and black as tar.
- Store the blackened garlic in an airtight container at room temperature for a month, or in the refrigerator for 3-6 months.
- Optionally, dry the black garlic by peeling the cloves, then slicing thinly. Dehydrate at 125 deg F until brittle, about 12 hours. Grind the dried slices into coarse flakes, then return to the dehydrator for another 8-12 hours - you want the flakes to powder without clumping when ground.
- Store black garlic powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot.
Other ways they suggest to "cook" the garlic is a food dehydrator or a rice warmer, but if using the dehydrator, make sure to securely wrap the head in plastic wrap then foil to keep them from drying out. Adapted from Bar Tartine Techniques & Recipes
Black Garlic by Evan Hanczor
- Garlic - whole unpeeled heads (as many as you can fit into pan)
- Damp hay or similar material (optional)
- Food dehydrator
- Pan - a third pan or half-hotel pan
- Plastic wrap
- Take some whole heads of garlic - as many as you'd like, but since this recipe takes a while I'd recommend doing as many as possible.
- Put them in the pan and cover the container all around in a few layers of plastic wrap, to ensure no moisture can escape.
- Add a little damp hay or similar material before wrapping, to help prevent the garlic from drying out.
- Once the container is completely sealed with plastic wrap, cover once with a layer of foil. Set your dehydrator to 140 degrees F. If you have multiple shelves in the dehydrator, set your black garlic on the bottom shelf. Feel free to use the dehydrator, if space allows, for other purposes while the black garlic is working.
- Be prepared for the wait! The author has found the process to take between 26-35 days, depending on how often the dehydrator is used for other projects, the size of the bulbs, and the moisture content. A noticeable color change may not begin to occur until 15-18 or so days into the process, so don't worry if nothing seems to be happening.
- You'll know the garlic is ready by its deeply browned color and sweet, captivating aroma when you unwrap the container.
- Store the black garlic in an airtight container until using, and be sure to throw the garlic skins into stocks, soups, and sauces to utilize their flavor as well.
Since my slow cooker wasn’t quite cutout for the job of making black garlic, I purchased an instant pot to try again. Turns out that the Instant Pot is awesome for more than making black garlic! I bought the smart one that can be controlled from my iPhone. It’s well-worth the expense and space of having yet another kitchen gadget. Rice, stock, slow-cooking, yogurt, and pressure-cooking are all done in this thing.