Why Does Broccoli Smell? (And How to Cook it Without Smell?)

There’s this popular advice that says you should never judge a book by its cover. Many of us have heard about it and are applying it in different areas of our lives. Though this is used mostly in the literature world, it equally applies when you think of Broccoli.

If you have ever come close to where Broccoli is being cooked, what will mostly make you hit a pause or drive you away is the annoying smell. But this does not define its taste. If you are courageous enough to take a further step to taste the Broccoli, one sure thing is that you will wish for more.

How Broccoli combines these two features is a topic for another day. For now, let’s try to solve the problem of wanting to enjoy the taste of Broccoli by avoiding the annoying smell.

If you think about it, there’s always a way around almost everything. This is why this post will introduce you to different means of cooking your Broccoli without the smell in your kitchen. But first, let’s consider the reason broccoli smells. If you are ready, let’s dive into it.

Reasons Why Broccoli Smell

You might have seen vegetables like carrots and leeks, which look like Broccoli but do not even produce an offensive smell. So, here you are wondering why Broccoli should be different.

You need to know that Broccoli, though a vegetable, is not the same as leeks and carrots. Broccoli smells because it is classified as a cruciferous vegetable. Vegetables of this type contain sulfurous compounds and release glucosinolates which make them smell, research has found. Broccoli is not the only vegetable in this category that smells. There are others like kale, cauliflowers, and brussel sprout.

Though this compound makes Broccoli smell, they are part of what increases the health benefits of Broccoli.

In all, though it might be smelly, Broccoli produces great taste and benefits your health in different ways.

Because of this, Broccoli seems like one of the healthy foods you should add to your regular food consumption list. But then, you are afraid if you do, you might have to battle foul smell from time to time. And since you don’t want this for your kitchen, you are here seeking the methods you can adopt while cooking your Broccoli without making it smell.

Well, we are glad to tell you that we have different foolproof ways of cooking your Broccoli without having to battle the annoying smell at home. Below, you will find all that you are looking for.

Methods To Cook Broccoli Without the Smell at Home

Yes, Broccoli is sweet, but the smell is what you don’t like. Well, you don’t have to worry too much about that anymore; we have got you covered. Below are ways to cook your Broccoli without the smell in your kitchen.

1. Don’t Overcook

Generally, the things you overcook are often not giving their best taste, features, or appearance out to you. With Broccolli, when you overcook, you get the annoying smell. This is because of the sulfurous compounds that release glucosinolates which in turn produce an annoying smell.

As you cook, the compounds begin to burn little by little. You can tell that the sulfurous compound will completely burn and release all the foul smell in the air by overcooking.

You get the reason now, and the easiest way to escape this is to cook as shortly as possible so that you don’t give enough room for the compounds to burn and release the foul smell. For Broccoli, it’s okay to sauté or boil it. If this does not give the tenderizing effect you want, it still does not mean you should begin to overcook it.

Besides, if you think about it, vegetables don’t exactly need you cooking them for an extended period. Since they are easily tenderized, you have to watch over them and stop cooking once they are fit enough to be eaten.

Aside from this, overcooking makes Broccoli lose its nutrients and irresistible taste. With Broccoli, the less time you spend cooking it, the better the atmosphere around your kitchen.

The good thing about this method is that you will get double the benefits. The first, and probably most important to you, is that your kitchen does not smell foul because of a meal. The second benefit is that you are eating Broccoli with more nutrients. Recall that overcooking vegetables make them lose their nutrients. If you stop overcooking, you get to keep more nutrients.

So, that’s it. Stop your Broccoli from producing that foul smell by not overcooking it.

2. Use Some Bread

This may sound confusing to you. You probably are wondering how bread entered the equation. Besides, this is a post about Broccoli, not about making a toast where you will need bread. Well, you are right. But then, keep calm. Bread has a great way of helping you keep that foul smell out of your kitchen.

One thing you should know about bread is that it is a highly absorbent food. It can soak up things without any difficulties. Because of this feature, bread becomes useful when cooking Broccoli. How does this come to play, though?

When you cook Broccoli, it burns compounds and releases materials that produce that foul smell. To avoid the situation where these materials begin to produce those foul smells when released into the air, you need something to absorb them. When absorbed, these materials lose their potency to produce those foul smells.

When you think of what to use to absorb these materials in Broccoli that would not mess up the taste or look or nutrient of your Broccoli, bread comes to mind. Using bread as an absorbent in Broccoli is a great way to go.

Put the bread at the pot’s bottom so that it can fully absorb the released materials of the Broccoli before it begins to smell. You don’t have to worry about the weight of your pot. Bread is very lightweight. They will just do fine in the pot and help you absorb the foul smell that would have made your kitchen stink.

3. Put Some Lemon Juice

If you don’t already know, lemon juice has a great way of helping to mask things’ odor. Because of these features, it qualifies as something you can use to mask the odor of your Broccoli and prevent it from releasing that foul smell in your kitchen.

What you have to do is to pour some lemon juice into your Broccoli as you cook. This will help you neutralize the foul smell that would have been produced by the breaking down of compounds in the Broccoli.

Because lemon juice is a natural food, it is perfectly safe for you to put in your Broccoli, and you don’t have to worry about any health risks whatsoever. However, lemon juice is also capable of ruining your Broccoli if you are not careful with it. If you add too much of it to your Broccoli, it can change the taste and reduce the nutrient.

In all, be careful of how much lemon juice you pour in your Broccoli. All you need is just a little that will help you mask the foul smell of the Broccoli.

4. Put Some Vinegar

If you are the type that cooks often, you should be able to speak for a minute or two about the usefulness of vinegar for different things in the kitchen and the home generally.

In most cases where you need to get rid of a stubborn stain or offensive odor, vinegar usually comes handy. The good news is that this same vinegar can help out when it comes to Broccoli.

Since vinegar can help eliminate unpleasant odor, you can add some of it to your broccoli meal. By doing this, even if the compounds break down, there won’t be the usual offensive smell because the vinegar is helping to neutralize it.

Same with lemon juice, vinegar is safe for your health. However, you should be careful about the quantity you add to your Broccoli. It can also ruin the taste and nutrients of your Broccoli. So, all you need for it is a quantity that will just be enough to get rid of the foul smell that would have been released in the air.

5. Consider The Water

Of course, Broccoli needs water to cook, but you can still use water to mask that offensive smell. This is a cheap and natural way to get rid of the foul smell of Broccoli. But then, you have to get everything right before this happens.

In using water to get rid of Broccoli’s foul smell, you should add some masking agents like vanilla extract and hazelnut into the water. These masking agents would ensure that the foul smell of Broccoli is either gotten rid of or contained in the cooking ware you are using.

Since what you are using for this method is water, there are no health risks associated. However, you have to be careful not to allow the water to make the Broccoli lose its taste. Remember that all things are bad when they are applied in excess.

So, keep the water you use in such a way that it doesn’t ruin the taste of your Broccoli. Lastly, you should be careful about the amount of masking agent you add to the water. This is also important so that it won’t mask your taste as well.

6. Stay Away From Aluminum & Covered Pots

Stopping your Broccoli from smelling while cooking also boils down to the kind of cookware you are using. In most cases, aluminum & covered pots are not the kind of cookware that helps your Broccoli.

Aluminum & covered pots have a way of trapping the foul smell of Broccoli. The result of this is felt great when you open the pots’ lid. In this instance, the trapped smell comes gushing out and filling the air in your kitchen. This is not something you want. So, always avoid aluminum & covered pots.

An alternative is a steamer basket. This can help you ventilate the Broccoli as you cook it, thereby preventing the foul smell from getting trapped and bouncing out when the lid is opened. The steamer basket will help release the vapor while ensuring that the taste and heat remain in the pot.


You need to know that if you are not proactive enough with your Broccoli, you might not be able to get rid of the foul smell. Getting proactive doesn’t start when coking. It goes way before that.

When you want to buy, ensure that you are paying for fresh Broccoli. Make it important that you store it well and act quickly when you notice any rot in the Broccoli. All these, coupled with the ways above, will help you achieve a broccoli meal without the usual foul smell.




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