Following this black garlic tutorial and in reference to this SA question, I would like to try making myself black garlic, and to try fermenting the garlic to different time to test out difference in flavor

The tutorial suggest that garlic has to be fermented for 40 days continuously to become black garlic. It would be difficult to leave my oven, slow cooker, or a rice cooker unused for other cooking for a month. So my question is: can I ferment it intermittently - take out the garlic, use the cooker for something else, then restore the garlic and resume the heating.

Would that still give me black garlic?

  • If you have two of the appliances in question, and you don't need to use both at the same time for a month, you might be set!
    – Cascabel
    Feb 10, 2012 at 21:38

3 Answers 3


YES. Yes, you can. I just did.

My first attempt in my rice cooker had uncovered garlic heads in it for 10 continuous days-- the result was black but dried hard as rocks (and the process stank up the entire house the whole time).

My second attempt involved wrapping each head in two layers of foil, then putting the garlic in a much lower temperature warming oven (no thermostat at all, just a light bulb) for 10 days, which resulted in beige garlic. I then switched it over to the rice cooker for 2 days, turned it off, checked them, then another 2 days, turned it off, forgot about it for a day, checked them... another 2 days, turned it off, checked them... and found DELICIOUSNESS.

It needs more time, I think, it's not as sweet as I'd like yet and could be a little darker. I've seen some Koreans mention finishing the batch by just hanging the garlic in a bag for a week, so that's what I'm going to do.


Simply put: No.

Step 3 on eHow:

Just be sure that the temperature remains at about 130 to 150 degrees

Thinking of beer fermenting, specific temperature ranges are required because that's what keeps the yeast happy. Not sure about the function in this case, but it follows that it's probably temperature-sensitive as well. A food dehydrator would probably be a better bet than the oven.

  • 1
    Please be careful about linking to eHow - the information there can on the whole be very unreliable. This article looks reasonable, as does the bit you quote, but I'm not an authority. Do you have other knowledge supporting this claim?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 10, 2012 at 21:37
  • I was hesitant, so point taken. However, as you note, a) that particular one looks legit b) it is scientifically sound. I have been looking around, but don't yet have anything on the precise subject of black garlic.
    – zanlok
    Feb 10, 2012 at 21:55
  • Okay, cool. I wanted to be extra careful since it's potentially a safety concern, but since the answer is "no", I suppose it can't actually add risk!
    – Cascabel
    Feb 10, 2012 at 22:16
  • can I, for example, move the garlic from the slow cooker to a rice cooker (very short time in between) to continue the heating? Or, is it, straightly, a NO? I have not fermented anything - but in the middle of fermented some vegetables (not garlic) it's ok to open the jar, have a check before closing it to continue. Also for black garlic?
    – KMC
    Feb 11, 2012 at 5:58
  • @KMC: I'm fairly certain that'd be fine. If you have the second one warm before you do, it's just like moving something between pans on the stove. It stays at the right temperature, and it was never in a completely sealed environment, so I don't see what could go wrong.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 11, 2012 at 15:53

Short answer: yes, you can take as long as you'd like.

The "fermentation" of black garlic is a misnomer, as the process has nothing to do with bacteria or yeast. Rather, what transforms garlic into black garlic is a very long and slow caramelization - the Maillard reaction. While I haven't personally tried "fermenting" garlic intermittently, there is nothing about the process that couldn't be suspended for a little while so you can use the appliance in question. It will certainly slow the already long process, but that all depends on how often it is interrupted.

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