My normal cooking method for Brussels sprouts is to steam them in a microwave steamer like this:

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I usually get a bag of the pre-cut sprouts, but this year I bought a stalk and I have some very large sprouts in the mix, so I'm concerned that they won't cook evenly throughout: either they'll be raw in the center, or they—and the smaller ones—will be overcooked on the outside.

Is there a better method I can use? Or could it be as simple as halving or quartering the large ones and cooking them as normal?

3 Answers 3


Steaming is my favorite way to cook them, keeps the flavor in. I'd halve the really big ones and leave it at that, there's no need to get over-complicated with it. Some will be a bit more done but that's ok.

If you really want to jazz them up do a quick fry with them with a bit of butter, oil and slivered almonds and pine nuts. Yummy!

  • 2
    Since I had some time to spare on the morning of Thanksgiving, I steamed some halved and some with a deep X like @Erik suggested. Both types came out pretty much the same as far as doneness, but it's easier to do one cut all the way through than two cuts partway through.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 0:06
  • Thanks for posting your results @NiallC., it's always good to have follow-up information! I've never tried the double-score method but I might if I want to preserve the look of the sprouts.
    – GdD
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 9:29
  • I always pan fry mine in olive oil with some kosher salt. I also halve the large ones and use the small ones as-is.
    – Caleb
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 23:53

No personal experience with this, but I've heard of people making deep crosswise incisions in the base of the big sprouts in order to fix this. The incisions should be deep enough to reach into the heart of the sprout, so that the sprouts can open up a little bit on the base side as they steam. The steam and heat then reach the inside of the sprouts more easily and they cook more evenly.

(Googling for incisions base sprout confirms that there are lots of people out there who think this is true. Would love to hear from people with personal experience.)

  • Good answer, Erik. Your description of what the cut does to the sprout as it steams is very informative. Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 17:46
  • 1
    Or just cut the really big ones in half :-)
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 22:14
  • 1
    I always do this - even with the small ones get a small "x" cut into the stem, but the big ones get a deeper cut. It's what I was taught to do at my mother's knee! I can't STAND overcooked sprouts (or overcooked veg in general really) and this definitely helps the even cooking.
    – Vicky
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 15:26

I just suggested this in another thread... You could use the larger ones in a completely different way... Brussel Sprout Chips!

  • Preheat the oven to moderate oven 180°C/350°F.

  • Remove the leaves of the brussels sprouts. This is tedious work, but it can be done. You want as many leaves as possible, and you may need to keep cutting away the stem as you get deeper into the sprout.

  • Place the leaves on a baking sheet and drizzle generously with olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with the sea salt/wasabi/whatever dry flavours.

  • Bake, turning every 5 to 7 minutes, until browned and crunchy, almost burnt, but not burnt.

  • 1
    Would you then use the inner part together with the smaller ones?
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 20:59

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