The Roasted Garlic Express is one of those fun appliances that, despite being a “unitasker” that takes up valuable counter space, somehow tempt even the savviest consumer.

In the right household, though, this tool is more than just a novelty because the one task it does is make perfect roasted garlic in half the time in would take in the oven. The delectable creation, with its spreadable texture, mellow flavor and tinge of caramelization, is so tempting and versatile that you might find yourself pulling out this appliance on an unexpectedly regular basis.

The first time you use a Roasted Garlic Express after taking it out of the box, give it a good wash to remove any dust or debris. Open the machine and remove the inner roasting cup. Wash the cup in hot, soapy water. Also wipe down the inside and outside of the rest of the machine with a sponge soaked in soapy water. Dry all the surfaces before continuing.

Use the Roasted Garlic Express to roast one to three whole bulbs of garlic. You might be able to fit four bulbs in the machine if they’re small. Prepare the garlic as follows:

Remove the outermost layers of papery skin from the bulb by gently rubbing it in your hands. Any skin that doesn’t come off easily should stay in place.

Turn the garlic bulb on its side on a chopping board. Slice off the very top of the bulb using a sharp knife, exposing the garlic cloves. Aim to cut off just the tips of the cloves.

Examine the sliced bulb. If any shorter garlic cloves remain concealed, slice off their tops individually.

The Roasted Garlic Express comes in four models, and all of them work the same way. They are programmed to roast garlic for 27 minutes, after which the machine turns off automatically. This roasting time, compared to the 45 minutes to an hour that it takes to roast garlic in the oven, is one of the main benefits of the appliance. It’s a good idea to read the instruction manual provided with the Roasted Garlic Express, but the process is simple.

Open the Roasted Garlic Express. Remove the roasting cup and locate the terra-cotta ring insert that sits in the center of the interior base.

Remove the terra-cotta ring and run it under water until it’s damp. Put the dampened ring back in place inside the machine.

Add approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil — or any other cooking oil — to the bottom of the roasting cup. Optionally, add salt and pepper, or any other seasoning blends you like.

Place the prepared garlic bulbs cut-side down in the roasting cup. Set the cup back inside the machine, and close the lid.

Press the “Start” button on the front of the machine. Do not open the machine until the light goes off, indicating that the 27-minute roasting time is complete.

Open the lid and attach the provided handle to the roasting cup. Remove the cup and place it on a heatproof surface, such as a stove top or trivet.

Tips

The cut side of the roasted garlic should be a dark golden color and somewhat sticky around the edges. If the garlic doesn’t look roasted enough, return the roasting cup to the machine and press Start again. Roast the garlic for an additional 10 to 15 minutes before checking it.

When all the machine’s parts have cooled, either wash the roasting cup by hand or put it in the dishwasher. Only the roasting pan is dishwasher safe. Wipe away any visible residue on the rest of the machine with a sponge soaked in hot soapy water. Store the cord underneath the unit.

When the roasted garlic bulbs are cool enough to handle, extract the individual cloves by gently squeezing them out of their skins. They should pop right out. You can also use the tip of a paring knife to pluck out the cloves.

Tips

If you’re not ready to use the garlic, wrap the whole bulb in foil or plastic wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator, or store the extracted cloves in a covered container in the fridge. It will keep for longer if you cover the garlic with olive oil.

  • Mash roasted garlic cloves with a fork and smear them on crusty bread, or blend them with butter or olive oil to use as a garlic bread spread. 
  • Blend roasted garlic into mayonnaise or mustard for a tasty sandwich spread. 
  • Use roasted garlic as a sweeter substitute for regular garlic in any recipe that calls for it, such as salad dressings, hummus, gravies and pasta sauces. 
  • Mix roasted garlic into ground meat for burgers or any veggie burger mix. 
  • Smear it over corn on the cob. 
  • Roasted garlic is especially good blended into mashed potatoes.