Can you steam broccoli via microwave? Apparently, you can. You can absolutely microwave a plate of broccoli for you or your kids to eat. More details are below. Keep on reading to find out the specifics.
Kids hate broccoli but it is good for them. Most people steam broccoli through the stovetop using a steamer attachment you put on top of a pot of water for boiling. However, the modern convenience of the last 50 to 70 years—the microwave—has also streamlined cooking or steaming broccoli.
So spoilers in regards to the question, “So can you microwave broccoli or not?” The answer? A resounding, “Yes!” Keep on reading to learn specifically how to go about it.
Can You Microwave Broccoli?
As spoiled above, yes. Yes, you can.
You’ll be amazed (or maybe not—we can’t read minds) at how easily and virtually foolproof you can get when steaming broccoli through this handy device. However, you shouldn’t just stick a package of broccoli into your microwave!
How to Steam Broccoli with Your Microwave
You need proper meal preparation so that you don’t undercook or overcook your package of broccoli. You shouldn’t microwave it while in its plastic packaging, while we’re at it. Instead, do the following.
- Cut the Broccoli Up: Cut the broccoli up into florets. Make it bite-sized for your eating convenience and your microwave’s steaming convenience. The bite-sized cuts allow the microwave to cook the vegetable more thoroughly.
- Put in a Microwave-Safe Bowl: Put your cut-up broccoli florets into a microwave-safe bowl first then add water. We specifically used a ceramic bowl, but a BPA-free plastic bowl with a microwave-safe label or a thick glass bowl will also do.
- How Much Water? If you’re cooking a pound of broccoli, you should put in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. A head of broccoli typically weighs a pound, by the way.
- Cover Tightly (Don’t Use Plastic Wrap): Cover the bowl tightly. Don’t use plastic wrap like Saran wrap over the container. If you’re not using a plastic microwaveable bowl with lid you can instead use a stoneware or ceramic plate as a lid.
- Microwave on the Highest Setting: Use regular power or the maximum setting when microwaving the cut-up florets of one head of broccoli for best results. Microwave it for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully Remove Lid: Hot steam should be contained within the container, so use a pot holder to remove the lid and keep yourself away from the ensuing release of hot steam. You can get your hands or face hurt badly by it.
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Other Methods of Steaming Broccoli with Your Microwave
There’s more than one way to skin a cat (Why would you do that though?) and there’s more than one way to cook broccoli by steaming it via microwave. Freshly steamed broccoli has a special flavor to it that’d make even meat lovers salivate.
Especially when you sprinkle salt and pepper on it as well as toss in a little butter or soy sauce to taste! You can also go for crispy oven-roasted or baked broccoli, but that’s for a separate article.
- Experiment with the Way Your Chop the Broccoli: If you wish to eat the stalks, cut the broccoli even smaller then take away the woody bits to allow even cooking. You can go even smaller than bite-sized since this only helps with the steaming process.
- Use a Steamer Instead of a Container: If you really wish to fully steam the broccoli, instead of putting water on it you could put in inside a microwave-safe steamer. You can buy such BPA-free plastic steamers on Amazon or kitchen supply stores at affordable prices.
- How Powerful Should the Microwave Be? The 3 to 4 minutes suggestion is based on 1 kilowatt microwaves. For 700 watt microwaves and below you have to wait up until 5 minutes. For 1.2 kilowatt microwaves and above, it’s a little bit faster than 3 minutes.
- The Resulting Broccoli: Depending on how strong your microwave is, you should get slightly crispy yet tender broccoli. If it’s mushy it’s probably too full of water. Try 2 minutes and 30 seconds first, check, then recover and microwave if they’re not cooked yet.
- Transfer to a Serving Dish: You can munch on the broccoli on the same dish if you’ve used the dish option instead of the steamer option. However, putting the broccoli on a separate dish allows it to cool down and let off some moisture easier.
- Add Butter or Soy Sauce to Taste: You can splash soy sauce or add butter to taste after the broccoli has been steamed or even before steaming to make sure the vegetable gets infused by the flavorful additives. We added salt and pepper after cooking our broccoli.
What’s the Appeal of Microwaved Broccoli
In our personal experience, microwaving broccoli serves as a surefire no-fail lazy-bones vegetable side recipe. Or it’s a fast-cook type of instant meal on the same tier as instant cup noodles or microwaved macaroni and cheese.
Most anyone could cook broccoli via microwave. As long as you use the 2-3 tablespoons of water for every pound of broccoli, you’re good to go.
If you wish to go for the stovetop method of cooking broccoli, just get a metal steamer, a pot of water, and a lid to cover the pound of broccoli you wish to eat. You also need to cut the broccoli up for the same reason as with the microwave—it cooks easier that way.
You also end up with ready-to-serve bite-sized broccoli when push comes to shove. The thing with microwaving broccoli that makes it feel different than steaming it via stovetop mostly has to do with convenience.
Yes, you can microwave broccoli. It’s among the easiest things you could do with a microwave, along with reheating leftovers or making your stone cold coffee piping hot in under 2 minutes. Microwave ovens work easily and quickly when it comes to cooking vegetables.
Heck, some of them even include a frozen vegetable button to allow for immediate vegetarian or vegan cooking on short notice! If you don’t wish to buy a pizza because you feel too lazy to cook a major meal for yourself, the 5-minute broccoli microwave trick should suit you just fine.