DIY Black Garlic in a Slow Cooker

Black garlic has its roots in ancient Korea around 2004 AD. It’s delicious with an amazing caramelized flavor. While many people (and Websites) claim it’s a fermented product, the reality is that it’s actually just slow cooked at 140f. At these temperatures, the cultures required for fermentation won’t survive. What you’re left with is the product of the milliard reaction which gives this its signature color.

Garlic while in the cooker

DIY Black Garlic in a Slow Cooker

Garlic while in the cooker


  • 4 Pounds Whole Garlic


  • Place in slow cooker.
  • Plug slow cooker into temperature controller with probe in the center of the crock and the slow cooker set to "Low".
  • Wrap slow cooker in plastic wrap.
  • Maintain temperature at ~140f for 30-40 days.
  • After the specified time, take the garlic out and let it air dry.
  • Store in a cool place (refrigerator) or freeze for long term storage.


Unless you enjoy the overwhelming aroma of garlic, operate this outside of your living space. Mine is running in the garage. Other webpages suggest wrapping the garlic in foil, that is absolutely unnecessary. My first batch was produced with the slow cooker on High but this was a mistake. The high temperature swings overcooked some of the cloves at the bottom of the crock. Be sure to use the Low setting.


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26 Thoughts to “DIY Black Garlic in a Slow Cooker”

  1. Kimoanh Le

    OMG, there are 7 times that I tried to make black garlic, but all are disappoint.
    This time I hope I’ll be sucess. Let’s see. Hope see you again. Respecfully,

  2. K

    This is a great idea for the shear satisfaction of having produced it, (untested so no idea if it has a satisfactory result or not), but for economic reasons, surely it would be cheaper to buy than the increased electricity bill!

    1. jm

      The cost of electricity for this would be about $5 over the time period.

  3. Mike Latoris

    “Black garlic has its roots in ancient Korea around 2004 AD.”

    Is that a joke?

    1. jm

      Yes, that’s a joke.

  4. Margo

    I checked the temp of slow cookers on low and it’s 180 to over 200. Warm is 140 to 175. Should I use warm or low? Thank you for sharing this.

    1. jm

      Try it without garlic with your slow cooker on low and keeping an eye on your temperature controller for at least two days. You want your slow cooker at the lowest possible setting. The heating elements are at the bottom and they’ll get warmer than the rest of the pot. Be patient and if at the end of the two days, you’re unable to maintain the temperature — turn it up another notch and try again. Enjoy!

    2. Red

      Use warm, for best results. Worked for me . Also use some bamboo at the bottom With some napkins and then cover the gloves with more napkins.

  5. Red

    Use warm, for best results. Worked for me . Also use some bamboo at the bottom With some napkins and then cover the gloves with more napkins.

  6. Chris

    Hi any links to where or how I can make and connect a temp controller to a slow cooker? I want it to automatically turn off and on when it gets too hot.

    1. Kelly

      Chris, look for a sou vide thermometer. It works with a traditional crock pot, not digital. Basically the thermometer is plugged in to the wall and the crock pot is plugged in to the thermometer. The thermometer sits in the crock pot and switches on and off the power to maintain temperature. This is why a newer digital crockpot won’t work, it won’t come back on when the power does. An old school one with a dial will automatically turn on when powered.

      1. james

        Can you supply a picture of this setup? I have a sous vide circulator. I looked on line for sous vide thermometer that accepts a plug. Any suggestions on where I can get one? Thanks.

        1. james

          Just read my own message. Let me clarify. I have a sous vide circulator and understand that process. But I have never, nor could find, a sous vide thermometer that accepts a plug. I cannot visualize the setup with the lid of a slow cooker in place. Thanks.

          1. jm

            Hi James, sorry for the slow reply.

            I made the controller myself. It’s a general purpose device that I’ve used to control propane turkey fryers, electric smokers and whatever else I’d like to plug in. You can find a decent off the shelf unit on amazon for about $30. They’re sold as temperature controllers, often for gardens. The cheaper ones only have P and I controls. The more expensive ones will give you D.

            – Jm

  7. Jamie

    Do you peel the Cloves first or put in the entire bulb with the skin on?

  8. Marina

    I have another recipe that calls for leaving in a rice cooker for 14 days. Has anyone tried a shorter amount of time?

    1. jm

      Rice cooker uses a higher temperature. The method on this page uses a temperature controller to let you dial it in.

  9. Becky

    2 weeks in and my humidity is gone. Can save them by adding moisture? The clove is dry.

  10. Michael Scuderi

    So, I tried the warm setting and 6 weeks later is was brown and hard like nutmeg

    Retried it in the low setting and two weeks in I pulled in and it’s black. But still hard. Did you try pulling one early to just see what the process was? I’m wondering if it will get soft or is it just burnt?

    1. jm

      Did you attach the slow cooker to a temperature controller? A $20 controller from amazon works fine.

  11. John Napier

    If your crock pot turns on when you plug it in, use a cheap timer for 15 min on, 15 min off.

    1. jm

      Excellent advice!

  12. SIMONE

    I cooked mine in a slow cooker on low for five days wrapped garlic bulbs in 3 layers of foil and it kept them moist. They went dark brown and tasted fine.

  13. Sue

    I heard an oven bag keeps moisture in, and flip bag at 7 days

    1. jm

      That’s really cool! Thanks for sharing.

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