How to Clean Cauliflower




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Cauliflower, among the mix of the vegetables, is essential to be cleaned as it is known to host worms. It is because it has many nooks and crannies for impurities to hide. Thus, it is difficult to clean.

Due to the growing population, vegetables are being mass-produced. They use chemicals to preserve and pesticides to ensure their crops are safe from being destroyed.

Unfortunately, even after the thorough job pesticides do, some worms reside in the cauliflowers. All of these pests and chemicals are detrimental to health when consumed. As a result, all the vegetables have to be adequately cleaned.

But how to clean cauliflower?

There are quite a few methods that can eradicate any impurities or pests. We have discussed five such practical approaches. Keep on reading to find out more!

How to Clean Cauliflower?

Here, we will explain the different methods that you apply to clean cauliflowers.

Method 1: Boiling and Cooling

This method is thorough, rigorous, and the most effective one.  If you follow this method, it will take some time, but it can guarantee you a very clean cauliflower that is safe for consumption.

  • Step 1: Chop and Rinse

A vital step is to chop your cauliflower. First, you have to isolate the stem from the cauliflower as the branch collects dirt and impurities. Then wash off the cauliflower with running water.

how to prepare cauliflower

Since there are many corners in a cauliflower, consider cutting the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Cutting them into smaller pieces will allow you to get rid of any impurities as you can examine more of the area of the cauliflower. After you have cut the cauliflower, run it under some water to get rid of any dust particles.

The strong current of the flowing water will also force pests out of any corners they inhabit.

  • Step 2: Prepare a Bowl with Boiling Water and Salt

Take a bowl of water that could potentially tower over the cauliflower. Then boil the water. To the boiling water, measure a tablespoon of salt and add that spoonful to the water. That will make the solution salty and uninhabitable for the pests.

how to wash and cut cauliflower

You need not put the cauliflower in the saline solution yet. The purpose of these saline solutions is to kill off any bacteria, pests, and impurities. After some time, we will immerse the cauliflower fully in a solution that is salty and acidic. You can make the solution acidic by adding lemon to the solution.

  • Step 3: Prepare an Ice Bath with Lemon

While you bring a bowl of water to boil, you should prepare another bowl that should contain very cold water. To make the cold bath, you can simply add ice to the water container.

how to clean cauliflower with vinegar

To prepare an ice lemon bath, simply immerse ice cubes in another container of water. After that, add half a cup of lemon juice. The goal is to eliminate any semblance of impurities. The hot and acidic solution will help you achieve just that.

  • Step 4: Boil Cauliflower for Two Minutes

We recommend adding cauliflower to the boiling water and letting it sit in the boiling water for 2 minutes.

After that, immediately immerse the cooked cauliflower in the cold lemon bath for some time.

If you are worried about cooking your cauliflower in the process of boiling it, then you need not worry at all. It takes more time and spices to cook a flavorful cauliflower. Boiling it for two minutes will just boil the cauliflower. It won’t cook it!

how long to clean cauliflower

Now, if you had followed the previous instruction and chopped the cauliflower into smaller pieces, your cauliflower would not cook in those two minutes.

  • Step 5: Soak the Cauliflower in the Lemon-Iced Bath

After the cauliflower has boiled for two hot minutes, immediately soak it in an icy lemon bath.

Even after boiling, the cauliflower remains hot. That means it can still be cooking. To completely eliminate any further scope of cooking, you should immerse the cauliflower in a cold bath made of ice.

How to Clean Cauliflower

Another benefit of immersing it in a cold bath is that the temperature change will eliminate any bacteria residing in the corners of the cauliflower. Living organisms like pests and bacteria cannot tolerate such rapid temperature change of going from hot to cold.

The lemon provides the acidic element, which is an inexpensive and safe way to disinfect any vegetables.

  • Step 6: Strain the Water

You should not use the pest-infected water that the cauliflower was resting in. It is unhygienic and dirty with the pests and impurities that come off from cleaning a cauliflower. Instead, separate the cauliflower from the dirty water by straining it with a filter.

Once you have strained the cauliflower, it is ready to be cooked. You can bring out your favorite cookbook to make an amazing cauliflower dish.

Method 2: Using Cornmeal

This age-old method of removing any pests from the cauliflower is pretty simple. Also, it is a favorite among your grandparents. Just ask them if you want to learn this method or go through the easy-to-follow steps that will show exactly how you can achieve it.

how to wash and cut cauliflower

Although, be aware that the resulting solution is not pretty and can be considered gross too.

Step 1: Wash the cauliflower with water and scrub it thoroughly to remove any dirt.

Step 2: Sprinkle some cornmeal over them.

Step 3: Let the cornmeal sit for a few minutes. The insects will eat the cornmeal and swell. After swelling, they will die.

Although this process is not for the faint-hearted, it is a very effective one.

Method 3: Using Turmeric

Here’s another effective method that you can try out.

  • Step 1: Cut the Cauliflower and Wash It

Separate the stem from the cauliflower and cut it into smaller pieces. After that, you should clean the cauliflower by scrubbing it with your bare or gloved hand.

Moreover, cutting your cauliflower before boiling is beneficial as you can spot worms while cutting. It increases your chance of finding any pests and ensuring that your cauliflower is insect-free.

how to wash and cut cauliflower

  • Step 2: Soak the Cauliflower in a Hot Turmeric Bath.

Boil enough water that could cover the cauliflower, then add 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric powder. Stir the solution with a spoon to mix the turmeric well. After that, add the cut cauliflower pieces to the water and leave it there for half an hour.

How to wash Cauliflower

  • Step 3: Strain and Rinse

By using the filter, drain the turmeric water mix. Then rinse the cauliflower again to remove any of the remaining turmeric water.

Once you have done that, your cauliflower is ready to be cooked as it is now disinfected.

  • Method 4: Using Vinegar

This is the easiest and most recommended method that you will find. It can be achieved in just two easy steps demonstrated below.

how to clean cauliflower with vinegar

Step 1: Immerse your cauliflower into a diluted vinegar solution for 10-20 minutes.

Step 2: Drain the vinegar solution and rinse the cauliflower with water.

Although this step is not as thorough and does not guarantee to kill off any pests, it is an easy and quick way to disinfect.


Vegetables and fruits are often known to have worms and insects that hide in between the crevices. Moreover, you can always find residue of harmful preservatives and pesticides lingering in the cauliflowers after buying.

So, you must learn how to clean cauliflower the right way. You can choose between any of the easy-to-follow methods to achieve a clean cauliflower that is safe to consume.

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