You Can Make Your Own Black Garlic, But You Probably Shouldn't

While the flavor of garlic is quite pungent and strong, plenty of self-proclaimed garlic lovers out there will gladly double garlic in almost any recipe. Fresh garlic's spicy and nutty flavor profile is great for grating into nearly any savory dish and will elevate any meal. However, even the biggest garlic fans may have never heard of black garlic.

Black garlic is not a different variety from the classic garlic you pick up at your local grocery store or farmer's market. Instead, it is simply fresh garlic that has been fermented. This often weeks-long fermentation process creates cloves with a smooth texture, dark brown color, and a complex flavor that benefits many dishes. Black garlic has a unique taste that many can't quite pinpoint. It often exhibits a sweet and sour taste, with sometimes smoky elements, and is often compared to balsamic vinegar and chocolate flavors.

Black garlic is often used similarly to roasted garlic, whether spread over toast or mixed into an aioli. And, since this is just black garlic that can be made with any regular garlic bulb, almost anyone can make their own black garlic at home. However, several roadblocks when making black garlic may even turn the most die-hard garlic lovers off from making it.

Making black garlic is a long and smelly process

You may claim to love garlic, but can you accept your home smelling like the vegetable for weeks at a time? A big commitment is involved when deciding to create black garlic at home. To make it, most garlic bulbs will have to sit in a slow cooker at a low temperature to cure for a few weeks at a time, usually taking over a month. 

As the black garlic cooks, your home will continually smell strongly of garlic for about the first two weeks. While this may sound like a dream for some, others will find the lingering smell too strong and overwhelming. However, putting your slow cooker in a separate, well-ventilated room can somewhat solve this problem.

You will also have to check on your garlic every few days. Some slow cookers will turn off after a certain time, and you will likely have to mark your calendars to ensure you can keep the cooker at a consistently low temperature. Another obvious obstacle will be sacrificing using your trusty slow cooker for other recipes during this month-long endeavor. 

While these reasons may have turned you off from making black garlic at home, you can still include it in many recipes. Black garlic is usually easy to find in health food stores and sometimes at farmer's markets.