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I need help! I go out to restaurants and I can order absolutely succulent, crispy, crunchy, melt in your mouth brussel sprouts and I am completely incapable of reproducing them at home. I have tried to cook them just about every way I know how...I cut the bottoms off, remove any loose leaves, cut them in half lengthwise, toss them in light olive oil, sprinkle with salt and then roast in the oven at a lower temperature for a longer period of time (like 325 degree F for 45 minutes) or roast at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time (425 or even 480 degree F for ~30 minutes or less), roasted them cut side down and up, preheated the pan and not, I have broiled them at the top of my oven, sauteed them in a pan on the stove, I have even deep fried them and tried shaving them and I can NEVER get them crispy. I always end up with overcooked, soggy brussel sprouts and tossing them in a balsamic glaze (or something similar) always makes it even more soggy.

Please show me the light and give me the run down on how to make the best, crispy and flavorful brussel sprouts. Do I need to use small brussel sprouts over larger ones? Toss them in a different oil (perhaps canola)? Or perhaps just spray with oil to avoid putting too much oil on them? Do I need to pull apart the leaves to separate them before tossing with oil? Is oven roasting the way to go? If so, how hot and for how long? What internal temperature should the brussel sprouts be when I take them out so that they are not overcooked inside? Do I toss them in the oil and balsamic glaze first and then roast? Or oil first, then roast, then balsamic glaze and maybe broil to warm up the glaze and re-crisp? I need all the steps...no detail is too little! Help please!

Thank you, Michelle

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    What kind of 'crispy'? You mean truly like a fried crunch, or as I would imagine for something as delicate as sprouts, just a short steam to leave them 'under; ie al-dente?
    – unlisted
    Apr 19 '20 at 19:17
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The secret is to steam them partway. Sprouts are tough and dense, if you roast them the outside tends to dry out by the time the inside is done, even if you cut them down the middle. I steam them until a fork starts to want to go in, then I get them out and douse them in ice water to stop them cooking. I usually saute them in some olive oil and butter along with slivered almonds, but if you want a crispier outside I would use an oil with a higher smoke point and roast them in a hot oven.

Sauteing them can lead to some of the outer layers getting pulled off, roasting them leaves them more pristine looking, it's all about what look you are after.

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  • about how long is the steaming? 2 mins? 20 mins?
    – tedder42
    Apr 20 '20 at 22:20
  • It depends a lot on size and variety @tedder42, assuming halved I'd start checking small ones at 3-4 minutes probably, large ones a bit longer.
    – GdD
    Apr 21 '20 at 7:00
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Dan Souza has a great method where he puts them into a cold cast iron skillet cut in half, cut edge down, then puts in a five tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on medium heat for five minutes with a lid on the pan (to steam) then five minutes with the lid off (to crisp).

I also season mine (with kosher salt) after putting into the pan.

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