How to Cook Cauliflower

How to cook cauliflowerI feel the same way about cooked cauliflower as I do about cooked broccoli …. I love to eat it, but don’t do so nearly as often as I’d like for one reason.  THE SMELL! Thus, this conundrum of how to cook cauliflower.

Cooking cauliflower produces a terrible odor, and it’s usually not worth it.  I love this vegetable, but don’t want that stench in my home.  

So I did a little research and found that there are several methods that dramatically reduce, and even eliminate, the cauliflower odors during cooking.

Now I can confidently prepare cooked cauliflower for myself, my family, and my friends.  The good news is that you can too.  I’ll show you how. Here are five methods that can apply whether you steam or boil it.

How to cook cauliflowerLet’s get started.

How to cook cauliflower

Make sure that your cauliflower is fresh. You can judge most varieties by how white they are. Avoid heads with browning or discolored spots. Then wash it, and cut the desired amount.

How to cook cauliflower

METHOD 1. ADD A TEASPOON OF VANILLA EXTRACT TO THE WATER
It will mask the cooking odor without affecting the taste.

How to cook cauliflower

METHOD 2. ADD A TEASPOON OF CIDER VINEGAR TO THE WATER
It will also mask the cooking odor without affecting the taste.
Don’t worry, the vinegar smell quickly dissipates, so you aren’t exchanging one stench for another.

How to cook cauliflower

METHOD 3. ADD A BAY LEAF TO THE POT WITH BOILING OR STEAMING CAULIFLOWER
The bay leaf will release a pleasant aroma that overcomes the cauliflower odor.

How to cook cauliflower

METHOD 4. ADD A SLICE OF WHITE BREAD TO THE POT WITH BOILING OR STEAMING
CAULIFLOWER
The porous bread soaks up the odor.

How to cook cauliflower

Just fish it out and discard right before draining cauliflower.

How to cook cauliflower

METHOD 5. DON’T COOK CAULIFLOWER ON THE STOVE. BAKE OR MICROWAVE IT
For the microwave: the shorter cooking time means less time for odors to be released. However, I still recommend using vinegar or vanilla to keep the inside of the microwave fresh.

Remember, whichever method you choose, don’t overcook the cauliflower.  The longer it cooks, the more odors it will release. Depending on how much you are cooking, it only needs 5 to 10 minutes.  Test for tenderness with a fork.

How to cook cauliflower

Enjoy!

 

 

 

  • Excellent tips…none of which I’ve ever heard before. I’m going to give the bay leaf a try tonight as I’m boiling up a combination of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. Thanks!

    • Good luck. Sounds delicious!