Agave Roasting Tutorial

This ancestral, labor intensive practice uses an underground, rock-lined oven for agave plant roasting. Learn the steps — courtesy of Jesús García of Mission Garden — and get your hands dirty and give it a try! Don’t miss Live Demonstration: Agave Roasting & Fiber Crafts and the Agave Roasting Live Demonstration at Mission Garden this year!


1. Cut flowering stalk of selected agaves when they are 1 to 5 feet tall so that sugars will accumulate in the hearts.


2. Harvest agaves by removing the entire plants from the soil.


3. Cut off the leaves, leaving the center hearts, or piñas.


4. Set a fire in the roasting pit and burn for several hours to create a bed of coals and heat the rocks lining the pit until they turn white.


5. When the flames subside, place the agave hearts in the pit, on top of the coals.


6. Cover the roasting pit and use dirt to seal it completely and trap the heat. Leave for at least 24 hours before uncovering.


7. Remove the roasted hearts, which should have darkened to a caramelized color.


8. Separate the sections of the base of the leaves, slice into pieces, and enjoy by chewing the sweetness and discarding the fibers.

Jeaninne Kaufer