How to Store Broccoli

Broccoli won’t stick around for long no matter what you do. However, if you properly moisturize and refrigerate it without washing, then you can add a few extra days’ worth of shelf-life to this wacky veggie.

Keeping the above in mind, we still want to point out that you’ll have a hard time keeping extra broccoli around for long stretches of time. While freezing will obviously be an option, some additional prep work is also required.

Naturally, we’ll explain everything you need to know on how to store broccoli in the next couple of sections. So, lean back and scroll on ahead – we’ve got this covered.

How to Store Broccoli

How to Store Broccoli Properly

In our experience, there are two ways to properly store broccoli to get the most mileage out of it. The first is the flower option, while the second is the paper towel option. Both are reasonably simple, though, and it’s up to you whichever you choose! Do note, however, that you may get better results with the flower method.

The basics are simple, granted. You need to ensure that your broccoli florets have enough moisture and that there’s some amount of air moving around it. Get too much of either, mind, and broccoli will spoil faster than it otherwise would.

It’s a bit of a balancing act, to be sure, but it’s not nearly as hard as it might sound at first.

Storing Broccoli Like Flowers

We’re being a bit cheeky here with the flower comparison, but this method is precisely what we use to store veggies such as leeks, asparagus, and – you’ve guessed it – flowers. Basically, you need to put your broccoli florets into a bowl of water, stem-down. Put the bowl into the fridge, and that’s it!

Of course, the hard part comes when it’s time to find an appropriate container for all the broccoli you have. We recommend using salad or pasta bowls like these filled with about two inches of water.

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Broccoli is particularly susceptible to spoilage when it’s not properly hydrated. This is a fast, easy, and reliable way of supplying this veggie with more than enough water for it to survive for several days at a time.

Storing Broccoli With Paper Towels

If the flower method sounds like too much trouble, though, you could also mist your broccoli with fresh water and then cover it with paper towels. Paper towels will soak in excess moisture from the mist and continue to slowly release it as time goes by.

Of course, you’ll still need to refrigerate this setup if you mean to keep your broccoli for days at a time, but it’s a good enough solution for short-term safe-keeping, we feel.

Can I Freeze Broccoli?

Thankfully, broccoli freezes remarkably well, and it won’t suffer much when it comes to taste once unfrozen. You will, however, need to cut, blanch, and thoroughly dry the florets before finally putting them into the freezer. Use regular freezer bags (recommendation) of your choice to do so.

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How to Store Broccoli

How Long Can Broccoli be Safely Stored?

Broccoli will spoil remarkably quickly if cut up and left out in the open. Expect it to go bad in 24-ish hours, if you don’t even refrigerate the veggie. If you store it in the fridge, though, and use the flower method, then you can expect to get between three and five days’ worth of shelf-life, instead.

If you opt to freeze broccoli florets, though, you may be thrilled to hear that they’ll stay safe and sound for a year or longer. This means that, in practice, you always have an option for long-term broccoli storage, which is more than could be said about many other fruits and veggies.

How to Tell if My Broccoli Has Already Gone Bad?

Interestingly, your first indication of broccoli going bad may well be its smell. If you notice your florets exuding a strong, musky smell with a rancid undertone, it’s definitely gone well past its prime.

Broccoli will also change color from bright green to sickly yellow (eventually brown and dark brown, too), and turn slightly limp when it’s about to go bad.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that it’s possible to slightly extend broccoli’s shelf life if you notice these signs of spoilage early on. Cooking or blanching broccoli at that point will still make it usable, though not for very long.

Broccoli Storage Mistakes We’ve All Made!

Washing broccoli is a bad idea unless you’re ready to use it immediately afterward. As you’ve surely noticed if you’ve ever handled this veg before, oftentimes just touching it will be enough to cause damage to its dainty little greens, and you want to avoid doing that if at all possible.

On a similar note, washing broccoli does more than just pose a risk of accidental damage, though. An excess of moisture encourages rapid mold growth in broccoli, which is obviously a bad thing if you intend to eat the little buggers.

Another big mistake we see people make often is that they moisturize the florets properly and refrigerate them well, but do not ensure that the veg has room to breathe. This may lead to spoilage and mold growth sooner, rather than later, so be careful when it comes to aeration.

Just avoid using plastic wrap and aluminum foil while storing broccoli, and you’ll do just fine.

Make Your Broccoli Stay Fresh Longer

While the tips and tricks we’ve provided will be a great boon to those of you who mean to keep broccoli around longer than you otherwise would, we do need to mention that the taste might not be the greatest after a few days of refrigeration.

Broccoli is best eaten fresh, and while freezing the florets will help if you want to have a handy supply of the good green stuff always at hand, don’t expect it to have the taste or texture of truly fresh veggies.

Having said that, soups, risottos, pasta, and salads don’t care much whether broccoli is fresh or not, and having it in will greatly enhance the flavor no matter what.