Boiling is one of the easiest ways to cook broccoli, especially if you’re trying to cut down on fats. Follow these simple directions on how to boil broccoli and you’ll get delicious florets every time!
There’s no denying the mouthwatering appeal of the vibrant green, tender-crisp florets that you get from boiling.
Here are the tips I use when making boiled broccoli. Keep this in mind, and you’ll consistently deliver the best boiled broccoli around.
First, fresh, high quality produce is always going to taste better. Inspect broccoli for any brown spots, and test the stems. They should be springy and not limp.
Second, always add salt to the water! Salt will enrich the flavors of anything you boil.
Third, don’t overfill the pot. Water takes a long time to boil because it has a high heat capacity. Save yourself some time and money by using just enough water.
Note: It’s recommended that you add root vegetables to cold water, but wait for a boil with others. Remember, if it grows below ground, put it in before the boil; if it grows above ground, add it after the boil.
How to Boil Broccoli
Here are the step-by-step directions on how to boil broccoli:
Prep the broccoli: rinse the broccoli crown and pat it dry. Cut the florets to a uniform size. My favorite paring knife makes quick work of this task. This helps them to cook evenly.
You can leave a bit of stalk on them when paring them down. It is loaded with the same healthy nutrients. I actually prefer broccoli this way.
Prep the pot: Fill a pot halfway with water (use more or less, depending on the amount of broccoli you plan to boil). Throw in a few pinches of salt, then cover and set it over high heat.
Reduce heat: Once the water comes to a boil, carefully add the broccoli. Then turn the burner down. You will get the best results if you boil your vegetables with a simmer.
If the water gets low enough that the broccoli is not fully submerged, I use my electric kettle to add boiling water (you can use hot water from the faucet, too). This keeps the temperature from dropping.
Strain the water: Once the broccoli finishes, drain the water from the pot using a strainer or colander. If you leave the florets sitting in hot water, they will continue to cook.
How Long to Boil Broccoli
Wondering how long to boil broccoli? It should take 3 to 5 minutes to boil broccoli to perfection with these instructions.
I can’t overstate the importance of testing with a fork and also tasting the vegetables when trying new cooking methods.
We prefer our vegetables more firm than soft, with a solid bite to them. If you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more cooked, just add a minute or two to the provided cooking times. It’s always better to err on the side of undercooked versus overdone.
Keep in mind that cooking times are estimates and adjust them to be exactly what you like best.
Taste one of the florets at the 3-minute mark, and every 30 to 60 seconds after. They should be tender-crisp (soft with just a slight crunch in the middle) when finished.
Boiled broccoli is delicious with nothing more than salt and pepper. Many people also like to squeeze lemon juice onto it. The neutral taste of the broccoli makes it easy to pair with a lot of different flavors!
How to Boil Broccoli
- 2 pounds broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust to taste
- Bring water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add broccoli and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain off the water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.