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Do you wash Brussels sprouts?

I've read posts about washing vegetables, but did not come across anything specifically about Brussels sprouts. Once you peel off a few of the outer leaves, is there any reason to wash Brussels sprouts?

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  1. Dunno whether there's absolute need to wash them. But I do - but then I wash all veg.

    1 Reply
      1. Depends.....if boiling in water, then no.....but if roasting, then yes.

        1. Yes, since I grow them I've seen dirt/mud splash up on them as they grow and have experienced grit between the outer leaves since they are not as tight as the inner leaves. Since my garden is organic I've also seen critters like caterpillars crawl on them as I've had to pick them off (ewww....) so washing is a must to me.

          1. I let them soak in some water with salt - only because I feel if there are any little wormies, they will come floating to the top, rather than burying themselves deeper into the tender area.

            1. Wash vegetables before working with them. It is always a good idea.

              1. I don't wash them. I cut off the stem, peel off a few outer leaves and roast them.

                12 Replies
                1. re: valerie

                  That's exactly what I do valerie. Guess we're the only two wild ones. :)

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    And we're still alive to talk (write?) about it!

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      What good does it do to wash them once you've peeled off a couple of outer layers? Given the tightness of a lot of the sprouts, how much water gets into and out of them well enough to carry away any dirt, pesticides (more often than not, I buy organic ones at farmers markets) or creatures out? I'm not being snide, I'm really wondering this. I used to wash, usually still do rinse in a bowl of water after peeling outer layers, but sometimes, find this to be a formality more than anything else.

                      1. re: maigre

                        At the very least, soaking in water, the sprouts will absorb some water by getting in between those leaves. The trapped water will aid in the cooking in the oven while roasting.....similar to how fresh corn is soaked in their husks before grilling or roasting.

                          1. re: maigre

                            No me. Having water in them will aid in steaming them, not roasting them.

                            But then again, I don't soak corn in the husk before grilling....I trim the unruly top end throw it on the grill. No water needed.

                            1. re: valerie

                              But roasting in the husk also steams the corn. I strip it naked and throw it on the grill until it blisters and chars. Delicious.

                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                Nah, I take a few pieces from the outer husk. No water involved and the corn gets a little charred, but not too much...

                                1. re: valerie

                                  I would think the water inherent in the husk and the corn would steam it. But you say it gets a little charred so maybe not. I like it well charred though so that's why I strip off all the husk. :)

                      1. re: dmjordan

                        I think we are part of a rogue minority dmjordan. I'm going to get a t-shirt made that says "I don't wash Brussels sprouts before I cook them and live to wear this t-shirt!" :)

                    2. I have been buying the whole stalks of brussels sprouts at my local Kroger store for a few months now - they are 2 feet long and the challenge is getting them through the checkout without contact with other hands and conveyors. I put a plastic produce bag on both ends and it still has an exposed midriff (?). I don't let the clerk touch it - I lean over and scan it. Later, I rinse the whole thing, snip off the sprouts, halve them lengthwise, toss them with melted duck fat and sea salt, roast @ 350 for 28 minutes.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Veggo

                        Ohhh ... you had me at duck fat.

                      2. w-out reading responses, I do just out of habit.
                        you never know what environment they've been in.

                        1. They've been sprayed with some kind of water-soluble (I hope) pesticide(s) to keep away invasive critters. Seems like a good idea to get rid of that before cooking.

                          1. I laughed when I saw this post because I never wash them but I wonder if I should every single time I prepare them. Especially because they feel a little powdery. But, like many here, I trim the stem and peel a few outer leaves off.

                            1. I'm totally on a Brussles Sprouts kick right now for the first time in my entire life. I learned from another site (Food network?) that you should let them steep in cold water mixed with a healthy dose of vinegar to kill any insects, microbes, etc. Anywho - that is what I have been doing ....but I haven't been discarding the outer leaves with this process, though. I have been probably let them bathe in the water/vinegar mixture for at least 6 hours before pan frying them in butter and sea salt (as you see, I am in to healthy preparation for my B Sprouts).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Tehama

                                I love that idea and thought Tehama.
                                I never discard the outer leaves, no need to since I rinse them.
                                Our family loves a good Brussels Sprouts side dish-always been a favorite of ours.
                                They are de-dishous

                              2. I wash everything. Even mushrooms. Even meat and fish. Yes I know it's probably kind of stupid but I always do it.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                  Nothing wrong with washing mushrooms. Myth.

                                2. Nah, I take off a few layers, cut 'em in half and roast them.

                                  1. Unless you know exactly how your vegetables are grown, I think it's always a good idea to wash them to get rid of any dirt or pesticides that may be on them.

                                    1. Well, it's been a month since I posted this and have eaten Brussels sprouts a few times since then without washing them and live to post again. I wash many other vegetables but do not see any merit in washing a Brussel sprout after I have peeled off the outer layer of leaves. If I do happen to get sick or die from an unwashed sprout, I will post again to let you all know. :)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I give them a little rinse after trimming stems and pulling off old leaves.

                                        My MIL went into a diatribe once about why she washes bananas: because "the men who pick them don't have bathrooms out in the field and they have to pee right there and they don't wash their hands after touching their 'bananas' and then they touch your bunch of bananas".

                                        I don't spend as much time thinking about it as she does. I'm more concerned about gritty soil and pesticides.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: DuchessNukem

                                          Pity the poor fellow who applies the pesticides, perhaps unable to wash up either before or after peeing.

                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                            "and they don't wash their hands after touching their 'bananas' "

                                            Men are notorious for that! :)

                                            1. re: DuchessNukem

                                              Does your MIL eat bananas, peel & all? Otherwise, what diff does it make?

                                              Put me in the camp of not washing sprouts. I trim the stems, take off the outer leaves, and off to the oven they go. Still alive and kickin'.