Garlic and Sous Vide: All You Need to Know (Explained)

Garlic is one of the best aromatics that you can put in a dish. In fact, some dishes will be significantly enhanced with a single clove of such. For this reason, it’s no wonder why it’s one of the usual aromatics that you’ll see in every kitchen. So now, if you’re learning about sous vide, you may wonder about garlic and if you can use it in this cooking method.

In general, garlic and sous vide can go hand in hand, but not the same way as traditional cooking work. Many people question the safety of food as raw garlic can cause health risks when cooked sous vide. Further, the flavor of garlic can be pretty different in sous vide than in traditional cooking.

In a way, sous vide can change the flavors that garlic brings, and it’s because of the process itself. So if you’re wondering about these differences and want to know the health risks, we suggest you keep reading.

This article will cover all the things you need to know about garlic and sous vide. This way, you can know if you will put garlic in sous vide, or find an alternative to doing so.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Garlic and Sous VidePin

Can you sous vide garlic?

Yes, you can sous vide garlic. Of course, like all other food, you can also cook garlic in sous vide. However, you may want to know that cooking garlic in sous vide can be pretty different.

You know it cooks at a low temperature for extended hours if you’re familiar with sous vide. But, unfortunately, such a cooking method doesn’t do great with releasing the flavors of garlic.

For instance, when you saute garlic, it releases unique flavors because you put it in high heat for a short moment. However, when you put it in sous vide, you use a low temperature, so you don’t cook garlic throughout that process.

As a result, the flavor it gives to your dish is entirely different, and you may not find it pleasing compared to sauteing and cooking it traditionally.

Now, it doesn’t mean you cannot sous vide garlic. On the contrary, you can always do so, but you should understand that it gives a different flavor.

Some people use garlic in sous vide, but they cook it traditionally before putting it in the bag. On the other hand, some people use garlic powder as a substitute. 

Also, you can add garlic to other components of your dish, such as the sauce. This way, they add the traditional garlic flavor to the meat while cooking sous vide.

Can you use fresh garlic in sous vide?

Yes, you can use fresh garlic in sous vide, but it won’t give the same flavor as when you cook it traditionally.

As mentioned earlier, sous vide cooks dishes at a low temperature. But, unfortunately, such a temperature is not enough to cook the garlic enough to release the flavors we love about it. 

As a result, raw garlic tends to give a completely different flavor, and it may even cause some potential health risks.

So if you are including raw garlic in your sous vide bag, you should be adding it as you would typically use raw garlic to finish a dish. 

Rather than raw garlic, most individuals use garlic powder in their sous vide cooking. If you want a more classic garlic flavor, you can sauté the garlic ahead of time and then put it in the bag, but many people just add the garlic after the sous vide procedure as part of a pan sauce or salsa. 

If you want a strong garlic taste, sauté a clove of garlic when sous-viding and then incorporate it in the final meal.

Should you sous vide garlic?

If you plan on cooking raw garlic sous vide, you shouldn’t. The two main reasons why you shouldn’t sous vide garlic is safety and taste. 

The first is that raw garlic can cause a potential health hazard since you’re putting it in a low temperature and a low oxygen environment. Garlic can have botulism bacteria which can thrive in such a kind of environment.

The following reason is that raw garlic can give an intense flavor and rawness if placed in sous vide water bath for a long time. However, the best flavors of garlic happen when you put it at a high temperature, which isn’t the case for sous vide.

Thus, if you include raw garlic in your sous vide bag, do it in the same way you would use raw garlic to complete a meal. As a result, it will have a harsh, intense flavor rather than the typically cooked garlic flavor. 

The flavor may be what you’re searching for, and if so, feel free to add it, but keep in mind that it will taste different than garlic used in more traditional cuisine.

How long can you sous vide garlic?

If you plan on cooking garlic sous vide, you’ll want to have around 190 degrees Fahrenheit to get the best out of your garlic. 

With such a temperature, you need to let your garlic in the water bath for at least one and a half hours. Such a temperature and cooking time will be enough to enjoy the garlic as you want it.


In a nutshell, garlic and sous vide can have their benefits, but they also have some downsides that you need to know. Technically, the traditional flavor that we want with garlic isn’t possible to achieve with the way sous vide works.

A low temperature gives any raw garlic a solid and intense flavor, something you should know if you want to try it. Now, you can have other alternatives, such as adding garlic powder or simply cooking garlic first before putting it in the water bath.

You can always work out sous vide and garlic, but you need to understand how they work to get an idea of how you can compromise their needs.



Image credits – Canva

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