Started Making Black Garlic Today & I Got A Method To Remove The Strong Garlicky Smell

HH88 Black Garlic Preparation

Hi there, dear friends 😀

I was very excited when Master atan posted his black garlic recipe , but I couldn’t start making some right away because I was very worried about the strong garlicky smell that will be produced for the first few days of garlic fermentation/curing. 

I didn’t want the garlic smell to disturb my neighbours, and I didn’t want to have garlic smell inside my house continuously for a few days. 

Last night, a light bulb went off my head and I thought of a technique to absorb the garlic smells! Yay! 

With this method, those of you that stay in apartments can now make garlic without having to worry about its strong smell.

This is what I have done :-

HH88 Black Garlic Smell Absorbed By Baking Soda

You will need  :-

  1. a microwave food cover that has a tiny vent on top
  2. a dish of baking soda (I used half a cup)
  3. clingfilm
  4. cellophane or packing tape

Method :-

After you had filled your rice cooker with garlic bulbs :-

  1. place a dish of baking soda on top of the rice cooker, making sure that the cooker’s air vent is not obstructed.
  2. Tape the bottom of the dish to the top of the rice cooker, to prevent it from sliding off, just in case. 
  3. Place the microwave cover over the rice cooker, making sure that the cooker air vent is covered.
  4. Wrap clingfilm around the microwave cover, making sure that all gaps between that and the rice cooker are sealed.
  5. Secure clingfilm with tape.
  6. Tape also the tiny gap between the body of the rice cooker and the rice cooker lid. 
  7. Turn on the rice cooker at the “Keep Warm” function. 

It has now been 5 hours since I turned on the rice cooker and I have yet to smell any garlic odours. So, the baking soda must be working very well to absorb the garlic smells!

Master atan said the garlic smell should be very strong by now. Some people have even described the intensity of the garlic smell as  “angry” like the Incredible Hulk! Lol! 

So, with this “garlic smell absorbent technique,” I hope it will encourage you to make your own black garlic for its superfood health benefits! 

Do feel free to share your experiences with making black garlic here, or to ask any questions that you may have. I will be posting updates below, so be sure to subscribe to the comments below to follow my updates.

With best wishes for good health to you,

choesf 😀  

A blurry picture of my fresh garlic all set to go

Starting point – a blurry picture of my fresh garlic all set to go

Day 1 ... 11 hours on...

Some moisture has built up under the microwave food cover. (Click on picture to enlarge) 

Update – Day 1 … 11 hours later ===>

So far so good, there is no garlic smell in my house, but I can discern a very faint garlic smell when I put my nose near the air vent –  it smells like fried brown garlic. I realised that I had made the mistake of aligning the air vent of the mircrowave food cover directly above the rice cooker’s air vent – I should have made sure that the air vents are in opposite directions so that the garlic smell goes past the dish of baking soda for better absorption.

I have moved the rice cooker from a table at my kitchen window (I was worried the smell would be too intense), to the centre of my kitchen floor. I am worried about a fire hazard as the rice cooker is being kept warm continuously for 12 to 28 days. So, in case there may be a fire, I made sure that there is nothing flammable near the rice cooker. 

All the windows and doors in my house will be closed for the night and tomorrow morning, I will update here on the how well the baking soda has been doing to prevent my whole house from smelling of fried garlic.  

Update – Day 5 pictures ===>

Added a scented tealight candle to mask some of the garlic smell

Added a scented tealight candle to mask some of the garlic smell

The garlic bulbs have darkened in colour and I will be rotating their placements (top to bottom and vice-versa) today

The garlic bulbs have darkened in colour and I will be rotating their placements (top to bottom and vice-versa) today


12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Note 💡

    For those of you who have a food dehydrator, you can use that to make black garlic instead of having to buy a new rice cooker. The instructions for using a food dehydrator can be found HERE.


  2. 2

    11 hours later on Day 1 – there is some moisture buildup seen under the microwave food cover (see picture posted above), and so far, the baking soda is working very well. 😀


  3. 3

    Jennifer lim said,

    Hi happy homemaker, I am so thankful to you for posting the making of black garlics, was very keen to try it for all my body pains, which none seems to helps in relieving my pains, daily relying on strong painkillers for relieve. The prices are very steep, and I definitely cannot afford them, it was a joy when I read your postings, could not find big garlics, but small ones, I started making them 2 days ago, according to instructions given by you in your posting. I have made some mistakes, because I rubbed away the skins, exposting the bulbs of the garlics individually, anyway, I try, put them all in the pot and switched the switch in to warm, keeping it there, about 5 or 6 hours later, the whole house is filled with a very strong garlicky smell, no amount of freshener can masked the smell away, at last, 2nights later, I discovered that by putting moth balls all around the house could get rid of the strong garlicky smell, and at the same time give some fragrance from the moth balls, yes, I manage to overcome the garlicky smell to fragrancel sweet fragrance in the house, where the moth balls is being placed. Try it and discover the secret of moth balls.


    • 4

      Good morning, Jennifer 😀

      Thank you for sharing your tip on using moth balls to mask the strong garlic smells – so, moth balls work as well! 💡

      I am glad that you are making black garlic to help with your chronic body pains. Yesterday, I posted somewhere at my blog about what Master atan said about one woman who was limping for years in his area who took black garlic and her legs became normal after just taking 2 to 3 cloves of black garlic for 1 week! The healing effects and high antioxidant levels of black garlic are just amazing. It is okay if you have peeled the outer skins away. I saw some people do it that way at some websites.

      I will post here some special instructions from Master atan on Day 12 – his garlic is fermenting and he providing tips as the fermenting goes along. He is worried about this present batch of fermenting garlic because there was an interruption of electricity for 3 hours each for two days in his area already.

      I used to wake up with aching body joints and a stiff, painful left arm…since taking black garlic (BG) for 3 weeks already, I noticed that the pains and stiffness are going away. For me, I am taking the BG to lower my cholesterol and to see if it can keep my neck thyroid cyst away – I have read that BG can heal tumours and cancers. I still have a residual lump at my neck, which could be the sac of the cyst. Also, my hospital doctor said I could have a relapse of that growth.

      A few years ago, I wanted to use moth balls to place around my house to deter my dog from marking all over the place. When I researched online on the safety of mothballs with pets, I found out that it is toxic to our lungs if inhaled a lot. So, I didn’t place the mothballs in the open areas. 😦

      Take care and I hope you will be pain free soon and need not rely on painkillers.

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


  4. 7

    Update for Day 2 – 26 hours later … 💡

    This morning, there was some garlic smell (though not very strong) wafting through my top floor and some in my kitchen. All the windows and doors were closed for 9 hours.

    Because Master atan said I should be careful of the moisture buildup under the microwave food cover, I decided to change the baking soda, wipe off the moisture condensation and tape back the cover.

    Wow, when I cut away the clingfilm and tape from the rice cooker/food cover, the intense and strong garlic smell almost knocked me over! So, that was how strong that smell was! But after opening my doors and windows again, my house does not smell of garlic anymore.

    Verdict 💡 – the baking soda certainly did a very good job in minimising the very intense garlic smell.

    So, what I am going to do is :-

    1) during the day when I am home, I will place the rice cooker next to the window

    2) during the night and when I am away (all doors and windows are closed), I will put the rice cooker on the floor in the centre of my kitchen. There will be some garlic smell, but it is not as strong as when it was not being absorbed by the baking soda.

    The garlic smell will only last a few days and it is a small price to pay considering the amazing health benefits black garlic can provide.

    ** Note – don’t throw away the used baking soda! Mix it with some vinegar to wash bathrooms, or mop floors, or clean dirty ovens! 😉


  5. 8

    Update – Day 5 💡 ===>

    The smell from the fermenting garlic has lessened somewhat and I have removed the microwave food cover from my rice cooker. There is sill some garlic smell coming out and I have placed a scented candle next to the rice cooker (see picture above). 💡

    I think I would add a piece of charcoal to the baking soda and test the odour absorbing capabilities of those when I make the next batch of black garlic next month.

    I estimated that I will need about 15 bulbs of black garlic supply monthly for my husband and I to take.

    Today, I will be taking out the garlic to rotate their placements (top goes to bottom, and vice versa)


  6. 9

    P.S. Although I am a garlic lover (I can eat lots of fresh garlic and not worry about having garlic breath!), I must admit that I am very tired of the fermenting garlic smell that has been going on for the past 5 days 🙄

    Even my husband has started complaining about the smell! Sigh….

    However, the taste of the black garlic is not as bad as the fermenting smells – there is no garlic breath nor body odour from eating black garlic 😀


  7. 11

    Janet said,

    Hi, read your post. I am very interested to try. My only concern is the safety of on-ing the rice cooker for so many days . Is it safe?


    • 12

      Hi there, Janet 😀

      I, too, was worried about leaving the rice cooker on at the “Keep Warm” function continuously for so many days. So far so good, my rice cooker was okay. Make sure the brand of rice cooker that we use is a good, reliable one. Mine is Panasonic.

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


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