Here's Why You Should Never Boil Chopped Broccoli

Can I do nothing right? First, comes the news that I’m boiling my potatoes wrong for mashing; then, it turned out I’ve been using my colander wrong this entire time.

And recently, I spotted an Instagram reel that changed how I view boiling broccoli.

If you’re anything like me, you’re used to chopping your broccoli into florets and adding it either to a steamer or boiling water. But it turns out you don’t need to face those green crumbles all over your chopping board to begin with, and you might not even need to whip the board out at all.

Andrei Emelianov’s Instagram page andre_lifehack, which is filled with (you guessed it) life hacks, revealed in a video that a better way to boil broccoli is to impale the stem with a chopstick or skewer, turn the broccoli upside down so the head is submerged in your pot’s water, and then lay either side of the implement on the rim.

This keeps the veg in place as it cooks ― and when it’s done, you don’t need to drain it. Simply remove the entire head and chop off the florets you want, mess-free. 


Yep! Lots of commenters mentioned that it’s wasteful to discard the delicious (and fibre-rich) stem, but you don’t have to ― save it and chop it for a pasta bake or grate it for tasty fritters.

Of course, nutritionists say boiling broccoli means you lose a lot of nutrients in the water, so if you choose to steam it instead, simply trim the stem of the entire head so the whole veg can fit in your lidded steamer basket.
You can save the trimmed stem for later. And even if you’re not boiling or steaming your broccoli, you can use one of Andre’s other food tricks shown in the video; turn the broccoli head upside down and run the water through the florets that way when washing it, rather than using the less-effective floret-side-up approach.

Any other tips?

Yep! The reel is brimming with wisdom. 

For instance, you’re better off chopping a large veg (like squash) by placing a knife along the side of the gourd and rolling the whole vegetable. It makes the cut much easier. 

Also, you’re probably cracking pistachios open wrong ― rather than pulling two sides of the shell apart, try pushing them together until they snap for a simple release. 

Loosen grapes from their stalk by placing the whole bunch in a tea towel and gently rubbing the top half of the terrycloth parcel ― they’ll gradually evict themselves from their woody homes. 

And solidified, cakey spices that are stuck in a jar can be loosened by circling the base of another spice jar over the inverted bottom of the affected container. 

Lastly, you can cleanly remove flour from the bag by spinning a balloon whisk in the bag and lifting the filled utensil from the bag ― it’s amazingly mess-free. 

You can see the tricks for yourself here: