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Cooking raw broccoli can be done by steaming or boiling it though the best way to pack it with extra flavour and crunch is to roast it in the oven. While it is possible to do this without softening the stem and crumbly florets beforehand, it can leave the tops vulnerable to burning – without being properly cooked. However, according to one professional chef, Kelly Scott, all you need is some tin foil to avoid this common kitchen dilemma.
In a recent video on her TikTok profile (@kellysclean kitchen), professional chef and culinary instructor Kelly Scott shared an easy hack to evenly cook raw broccoli every time.
She said: “So it’s really tricky to get oven-roasted broccoli right? But this is the hack I use every, single time and it comes out perfectly.”
As with most roasting techniques, preheating the oven is essential to ensure it is hot enough from the moment you put the vegetables in to cook.
To do this, Kelly recommended setting the appliance to around 200C while you make a start on preparing the green florets.
After chopping the raw broccoli into smaller pieces with the stems and heads intact, Kelly placed the small chunks into a large metal bowl.
To add extra flavour to the plain-tasting vegetable, she added some olive oil, salt and pepper, though any dry seasonings would work.
The chef then lined a large baking tray with parchment paper and spread the seasoned florets out. But before placing them in the oven, she added one last layer.
Kelly said: “Then we cover with foil. This is the hack.”
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She explained that this reflective layer should stay on top of the broccoli for the first 20 minutes of cooking before removing it.
She added: “This is so important. The foil almost steams it for the first 20 minutes, cooking the hard part of the broccoli and making sure the tops won’t burn.”
After removing the tin foil 20 minutes into cooking, the chef placed the tray of green florets back into the oven for a further 10 minutes “to crisp up”.
Kelly noted that the technique produces “the perfect broccoli” that’s evenly cooked the whole way through.
Showing off the colourful yet crispy results, the chef said: “Whenever you roast it without the foil it just kind of burns on the outside and then the middle part is too hard to eat.”
The cooking hack was a hit with the chef’s followers, prompting many TikTok users to share their own tips.
One person commented that they use the same hack with the help of a microwave to speed up the process.
They explained that they microwave the raw, seasoned florets for just three minutes before roasting them for 10 minutes as it “essentially foes the steaming”.
Another wrote they that had tried the technique with frozen broccoli, to which Kelly noted that the timings would be a little different.
She noted that they “definitely don’t need as much steaming”, so you can reduce the initial 20 minutes of covered roasting to around half the time.
Cauliflower can be an excellent broccoli substitute so you can use the same hack interchangeably for similar results. If you want to roast larger quantities at once, broccoli will keep well in the fridge and can be reheated when you go to finish the leftovers.
Keep cooked broccoli in a shallow, airtight container, or securely wrap it in foil before storing it in the fridge. Properly stored, cooked broccoli will keep for three to five days.
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