The Biggest Mistake You're Making When Roasting Brussels Sprouts

There are plenty of good ways to prepare Brussels sprouts, but one of the undeniably best options is to roast them in the oven. A quick bake can easily turn these tough green little orbs into crispy and savory delights that will convert even the pickiest vegetable eater.

The most important thing is to make sure that your sprouts are prepared for caramelization. To do this, start with the smallest Brussels sprouts you can find. According to White On Rice Couple, smaller sprouts will have a sweeter, milder flavor that the cooking process will elevate.

Next, trim them properly. Home Cook Basics says to take just enough of the stem off that you aren't left with a chewy stump on every bite, but not enough that your sprouts are falling apart. The next step is to cut them into halves. According to Serious Eats, cutting them in half exposes the Brussels sprouts' dense leaves, which helps them to cook quicker and more evenly. This is hugely important when it comes to roasting because high heat and quick cooking is the key to the perfect roast Brussels sprouts.

Avoid mushy Brussels sprouts by making the most of your heat

The most important thing is to make the most of your heat. This will help you avoid the biggest failure possible: mushy and unappetizing sprouts. Cooking your Brussels sprouts quickly will prevent them from releasing their characteristically foul odor and also ensure that they crisp up instead of turning mushy (via Kitchn). One way to do this is to also preheat your baking tray. Put an empty tray in the oven when you first start preheating it, and once it's sizzling hot, load it up with your trimmed and halved sprouts, per Kitchn.

According to Kitchn, the most crucial thing when you load up that baking sheet is to make sure that you're placing your sprouts with their cut sides down. Many people make the mistake of never considering this; Well Plated says that this step makes for the absolutely crispiest Brussels sprouts. That extra surface area will almost instantly char up on your baking tray, while the leaves on the outside will also be left to crisp up on their own. This ensures that your sprouts are cooked through completely and is going to maximize their flavor once they're ready to hit the dinner table. So whether you're roasting them as an appetizer, side, or main course, make sure you're bringing only the best out of your sprouts.