How to Stop Broccoli from Smelling When Cooking

The bright green stalks and florets of a bunch of broccoli are bursting with nutrients, including vitamin C, protein, fiber and calcium. Broccoli is also low in calories; a half-cup serving contains just 23 calories. When cooking broccoli, you might notice a sulfur-like odor; this odor indicates that you may have purchased a less-than-fresh bunch of broccoli from your supermarket or local farm stand. Fortunately, you can use a few tips when cooking your broccoli to stop the vegetable from smelling as badly while retaining its vitamins and minerals.

A bowl of cooked broccoli.
Image Credit: zhekos/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Place a piece of sandwich bread, ripped or cut into quarters, into the bottom of a cooking pot. The bread helps absorb odors.

Step 2

Set a steamer basket into the pot and add just enough water that the bottom edge of the steamer basket is wet. You only need between 1 and 2 inches of water in order to steam vegetables.

Step 3

Turn the stove's burner to high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil.

Step 4

Cut the broccoli into small pieces, separating large bunches of florets.

Step 5

Place the broccoli into the steamer basket.

Step 6

Cover the pot and steam the vegetable for three to four minutes only. Overcooked broccoli can develop an unpleasant odor while it cooks.

Step 7

Remove the cover if the broccoli begins to smell before it has completely cooked to allow the odor to dissipate into the air.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot

  • Steamer basket

  • Knife

  • Cutting board

  • Bread

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