The Broccoli Chopping Hack So Obvious You'll Be Mad We Had To Tell You

High in nutrients and fiber, and low in calories, broccoli is officially classified as a superfood. It's also quite versatile and can be eaten raw, steamed, baked, roasted, or stir-fried. The stems can even be cooked with lardo. But, if you've ever been left with a chopping board littered with little green bits, as well as unevenly-sized florets, you know that broccoli is also not always the easiest vegetable to prepare. 

But now, a hack that has gone viral on TikTok shows that there's another brilliant way to cut the tree, and it just might blow your mind that you didn't think of it before. According to the TikTok video, don't chop broccoli before you boil it — and if you're planning to heat it up anyway, cooking it first will make it quicker and easier to chop, reducing the prep time as well as the mess. That big tip will surely come as good news to the more than one-third of Americans who have called broccoli the tastiest vegetable.

Chop your broccoli after you cook it – not before

If you are "today-years-old" realizing that the easiest way to prep broccoli is to add it to the pot whole and then cut, you're not alone. Even better, once it's been boiled for a bit, it's so easy to remove all the florets with just a single slice of a knife.


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♬ original sound – sidneyraz

To try this tip yourself, place the whole broccoli head, floret side down, in a large pan of boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the head from the pot using a pair of tongs, and put it on a chopping board. You'll notice the broccoli florets are already starting to fall away from the stem when the cooking time is up, and the rest can simply be removed with one single chop.

However, although it's undoubtedly a fast and easy way to prepare broccoli, it's worth noting that some nutritionists believe that boiling the vegetable might not be the best way to retain all its vitamins, when compared to other cooking methods such as blanching, grilling, or baking. Research has even shown that chopping broccoli into small pieces and then waiting before cooking increases the concentration of sulforaphane, a chemical compound that has been shown to be beneficial for our health (via Newsweek).

Other ways to prepare and cook broccoli, according to chefs

While this TikTok-favorite method for preparing broccoli can be a time-saving hack, some chefs like to prepare broccoli in a variety of different and more traditional ways, with a number of delicious recipes showing just how versatile the cruciferous vegetable can be.

Alton Brown believes that pan steaming is "the easiest and fastest way to cook broccoli. Period," as he shares on his website. His technique takes just six minutes, and also utilizes the stalk of the broccoli, which contains more fiber than the florets, making it possibly even more beneficial. Another of his recipes mixes broccoli with an additional nutritional powerhouse, quinoa, for a gluten-free casserole.

Ina Garten likes to serve her broccoli roasted until it's browned and tender, and then tosses it with Parmesan and lemon, while Nigella Lawson uses frozen broccoli florets to make a convenient but flavorful soup with punchy Stilton cheese. 

However it's prepared, there's no doubt that eating more broccoli is never a bad thing — and cooking it first may well prove to be a valuable tip, whether it helps you with balanced meal prep, or whipping up an easy weeknight family dinner.