How To Remove Bitterness From Brussels Sprouts


I absolutely love Brussels sprouts and their health benefits. What I can’t stand is how they can be bitter even after cooking them. In this post, I’m going to share my methods for reducing the bitterness in Brussels sprouts.


Why are they so bitter in the first place.

Brussels sprouts, along with kale, broccoli, collards, and others, are a cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain chemical compounds called glucosinolates. The crazy thing about these compounds is that some people can taste it, while others can’t. So it’s pretty much your own fault if you think Brussels sprouts are gross.

So now that we know why we hate Brussels sprouts, let me share some of my simple methods for removing the bitter taste from my mouth, so to speak.

Bigger isn’t always better.

When shopping for fresh sprouts, try getting a batch that are small, tight leafed, and green. When I say small, I mean around 1 inch in diameter. I always use to pick the larger sprouts thinking I was getting more bang for my buck.

I like to soak my Brussels sprouts in vinegar water for a few hours prior to cooking. If I’m cooking a pound of sprouts, I typically pour about ¼ cup of vinegar in the water. This also helps with reducing the toughness of the sprouts. If possible, soak the sprouts overnight.


It’s HOW you cook it.

Brussels sprouts contain an acidic compound called thiocyanates that are released when the sprouts reach high temperatures [during cooking]. To aid with releasing this compound, halving the sprouts prior to cooking is a must.


I typically roast or sauté my sprouts. Roasting produces less of a bitter taste, and the most tender results. One solution to the bitterness is to steam the halved sprouts for 7 minutes before throwing them in the skillet or in the oven. Research shows that steaming is better than, say, boiling the sprouts because it doesn’t decrease the amount of beneficial nutrients.


If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I urge you to try these methods and give them another chance. If you have any additional tips, please feel free to share!


Thanks for reading!