I have always aspired to the texture a restaurant can achieve with a sprout. soft throughout the middle, crunch/crispy outer leaves. Usually what I end up with is pretty solidly toothsome in the middle, with charred brown going on black outer leaves. Something is clearly lacking in my method. I usually oven roast (prob 400) halfed or quartered sprouts. Some oil but not too much. Some stirring. Any ideas on how to achieve the sprout nirvana I’m looking for?
I think a lot of restaurants actually fry them …
Yes. Or grilled.
The restaurant sprouts you’re describing are almost always deep fried.
To get close at home you need to up the oil and roast at higher temp - I use 450/475 with convection.
They don’t stay crisp long, so timing them for right when you’re going to eat also makes a difference.
I halve them, so they cook but don’t overcook in the time it takes to crisp/char the outer leaves.
I agree with all these … I am surprised that the OP feels their sprouts are still undercooked on the inside but burnt on the outside at 400 … I’m not sure what is going on there. I’m a little stumped by that.
Hot oven, tent with foil 1/2 the time, uncovered the rest.
Agree, the right amount of olive oil is key. I also cook down balsamic vinegar while they roast and drizzle on straight out of the oven.
This is key. They will never get soft in the middle if you don’t give them a little steam at the beginning. Luckily the steam doesn’t prevent the exterior leaves from getting crispy if you use enough oil (or bacon fat). I toss halved sprouts in plenty of fat and then arrange them all cut side down on a tray. Cover and roast at 425 for 15 mins, then uncover and continue to cook another 20 minutes or so without stirring until the outer leaves are brown and crispy. Not stirring ensures that the cut sides will be perfectly browned as well.
Obviously deep frying will give you fabulous sprouts as well, but if you want to do them in the oven, the tricks above work very well!
Thanks team. I will try the tent foil method, and up the heat a little. I’m guessing you’re right about the perfect resto ones being deep fried. I just don’t think I have enough skill or the right apparatus to replicate that.
We have them with romesco or a spicy relative.
FWIW I never cover mine - the risk when they are halved has been more to overcooking (than not) by the time the outer leaves get crisp/charred (to restaurant level).
For me, the key is using enough fat, either olive oil or bacon fat… Plus everything everyone else said except I have never done the foil tent thing. I halve or quarter, toss with oo, kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, spread on large baking sheet cut side down, roast at 425 or 450 for about 20 min, flip & another 15+/- min… Yummy!
Yep, same here. Oil, temp and convection are all important but personally the single biggest factor is the size of the brussels so you can make sure they’re cooking evenly and quickly enough (that’ll help with the doneness issues too - if you’ve got monster sized ones, definitely cut in half). It was a lot of trial and error to figure out the right size to cut to bake for my temp/method.
I have a much more simple approach.
using fresh brussel sprouts, cut them in half.
cook in salted already boiling water 7 minutes.
drain, allow to cool.
when cooled, strip any wayward outer leaves.
place cut side down in a hot fry pan with some oil.
when the cut faces are seared to your preference, shake the pan.
the sprouts roll around, the round back sides get a char to your preference.
I wonder if microwaving them for a few minutes before they do into the oven wold help? I’m thinking they’d soften from the inside out. I often par-cook my roasted vegetables before they go in the oven. Then I’ll broil them as I think I have better control how they brown up.
Rinsed, then halved while still wet and arranged cut side down on a lightly greased sheet pan. Preferably bacon grease. Sprinkled with your choice of dry seasoning, sprayed lightly with cooking spray (Pam). Uncovered in 375° oven for 30 minutes on average. Shorter or longer depending on their size. No turning/flipping needed.
That’s an interesting idea to spray the top of the sprouts with Pam. I never really thought about giving the food a spray to promote more browning. The spray certainly would get into the nooks and crannies better than oil might. That idea might require some testing. And not just for sprouts!
I often use an olive oil spray when roasting veggies. When I use regular oil I usually end up with too much or a very uneven distribution.
I’m going to try grilling brussel sprouts tonight. I think @MsBean 's suggestion to microwave them a bit beforehand is super smart. I do this when I grill broccoli too. 2ish minutes in the microwave gets them just a little more tender before grilling.
Ok - now that several of you have said - use enough fat - what is enough? I’m not trying to kill anyone over here. Approximately how much oil per lb, say?