Broccoli is highly nutritious and can be added to just about any meal on the planet. It is versatile, healthy, and relatively easy to prepare. But there is a major downside to using broccoli that makes it unappealing to some: the smell.
If you eat broccoli on a regular basis, you may begin to notice an unpleasant smell permeating your kitchen. It can smell a little bit like flatulence, farts for the layman. That gas-like smell is not a pleasant one to have just hanging around the kitchen or your house.
So, if you like to eat broccoli on a regular basis, there needs to be something to get rid of the smell. Otherwise, the smell may be enough to turn off some people from cooking broccoli again.
Cleaning Out the Broccoli Smell From the Fridge
One of the most common areas in the home to have that broccoli smell is in the fridge. This only makes sense given everything that gets stored in the fridge’s main shelving or in the crisper drawer. The first thing that you need to do is take any potentially spoiled broccoli out of the fridge.
Broccoli can have a very strong smell to it, even if it is properly sealed in a container. If you leave leftovers that have broccoli in them in your fridge for a while, that is the most likely culprit. Dispose of that as soon as you can.
Next, take a look around the area where the broccoli was sitting to look for any leaks. Liquid that has broccoli flavoring in it can embed itself in different areas of the fridge and really bring out that particularly strong odor. Make sure that you locate those areas and wipe up any potential spills using a wet paper towel.
It’s a good idea to take everything out of the fridge and remove the shelving entirely if at all possible. Wash down the refrigerator shelving with a combination of hot, soapy water using just a few drops of the liquid dish soap that you have in your house.
Make sure that you rinse off the shelving thoroughly when you’re finished; you don’t want soap suds sitting on the shelving.
While the shelving units are removed, create a cleaning mixture that is part water and part white vinegar. Put it into a spray bottle and then spray thoroughly onto the walls and other areas of the fridge.
Give it a couple of minutes to work and then wipe down completely. The smell of vinegar is a strong one, so make sure that you wipe the fridge down completely.
When you’re ready to put the shelving back into the fridge, make sure that you put a small bowl of baking soda in the fridge. Baking soda has odor-absorption abilities to it. If there is any leftover odor from the broccoli, the baking soda should be able to pull it out.
If, after an overnight session, the smell is still strong, try replacing the bowl of baking soda with dry, used coffee grounds instead.
Getting the Smell of Broccoli Out While Cooking
The fridge is not the only place where the smell of broccoli can permeate. When you cook, it can fill your house with the strong stench of broccoli.
Thankfully, there is something that can be done to help mitigate that smell as you cook so that you don’t have to smell broccoli after preparing a meal.
Keep some undiluted white vinegar in a small bowl and set it nearby while you are cooking the broccoli. The white vinegar actually helps to deodorize the broccoli smell from the air as it cooks.
Make sure that you refrigerate any leftovers as soon as you’re done with them to help keep the smell of broccoli from spreading throughout your home.
Another interesting technique is to use a piece of sandwich bread. You can cut it into quarters or rip it; whatever you choose can be put into the bottom of your cooking pot. Bread is great at absorbing both liquids and odors, making it ideal to reduce those strong broccoli smells.
You can then put a steamer basket into the bottom of the pot and add just enough water to it so that the bottom edge of the basket is just barely wet. All you need is an inch or two of water to properly steam any vegetables.
Turn the burner on high and bring that inch or two of water to a slight, rolling bowl. Cut your broccoli into smaller pieces and separate out the larger bunches of the broccoli florets before placing the broccoli into the bottom of the steamer basket.
Finally, cover up the pot and allow your vegetables to steam. They only need to do so for three or four minutes. When you overcook broccoli, it can be the biggest reason that you smell that unpleasant broccoli smell after you’ve finished cooking.
When the vegetables have steamed properly, take off the cover. Keep a close eye on the broccoli because if it smells like it is done before it has completely cooked, that strong odor can start to get into the air.
Other Tips for Getting Rid of Cooking Smells
A good way to help minimize strong cooking smells throughout your home is to close any doors in the immediate area. Fabrics can be quite absorbent when it comes to odors and grease and they can’t be cleaned easily with a quick wipe like hard surfaces can.
Close off any bedrooms or closet doors before you start cooking. That will keep all of the cooking odors contained within a relatively small area, keeping them from getting into bedrooms and the fabrics within.
While we all love certain cooking smells, we don’t necessarily want them soaking into the fabrics we sleep on.
Ventilation is always key for keeping strong odors out of your home. In some high-end kitchens, you may notice large ventilation hoods. Being able to properly whisk the odors from cooking not only out of the kitchen but out of the home entirely can be the best method.
Most stoves will have some kind of ventilation in them. There are also above-stove microwave units that come with built-in fans as well. Turn them on to help disperse those strong odors as you cook.
If you don’t have any kind of fan built into your kitchen, you can make up for that with a regular fan and some open windows.
Angle the fan so that it will push the odors out through the open window as you cook. That will allow you to cook delicious, fragrant meals without having to worry about those strong smells staying around.
Quick cleanup is another thing that you can do to minimize smell. It is very easy to just toss the preparation dishes off to the side and get to it after you’re done eating. But if you clean up as you go, it can be a great way to mitigate the stronger smells that can feel impossible to get rid of.
Wipe down the countertops and stove as soon as spills happen. Not only will this help to keep the smells from becoming ingrained, it can be a great way to prevent stains from taking hold on the countertops and stove.
As easy as it is to just drop the dishes in the sink and let them soak before handling them later on, take the time to rinse them off and at least put them in the dishwasher. It will minimize the cleaning efforts after you’ve finished the meal and also keep those stronger smells from building up and lasting longer in the kitchen (and other parts of the house).
It can also be a good idea to combat those strong smells with more pleasant smells. So, if you don’t want to smell broccoli or grease floating in the air, try going with some more pleasant-smelling spices.
Something such as citrus peels, cloves, or cinnamon sticks can be simmered on the stove in some water. This will provide an all-natural, fresh smell that can help to mask any of those strong smells as you cook on the stove.
Finally, you can leave a bowl of baking soda, coffee grounds, or vinegar on the counter overnight. All three of these things have odor-reducing properties. Baking soda in particular soaks in some of those strong odors, neutralizing them over time.
You can also keep a bowl of any one of those things sitting out as you cook. The goal is to mitigate those smells as quickly as possible. It is always easier to prevent those smells than to get rid of them after they’ve had time to sit.
There are plenty of things that you can do to get rid of that strong smell over time or as you cook. It all depends on what you want to do in the moment and just how much you like smelling broccoli in your home.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.