Ina Garten’s Mess-Free Tip for Cutting Cauliflower

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Cauliflower is huge right now. Sometimes it seems like we’re using cauliflower in everything. And cauliflower is generally very easy to cook: Just chop it up and toss it in a salad, pasta sauce, casserole, or whatever your recipe says to do. But Ina Garten recently received a question from a fan who wanted to know how to cut a cauliflower without getting little bits of it all over her kitchen. At first, she did not know what to make of it.

“Why does it get all over your kitchen?” Ina said. Ina did not get cauliflower all over her kitchen when she prepared it, and she couldn’t imagine what was causing the problem in the first place. Then she had an “a-ha!” moment, and realized her fan must be cutting the cauliflower by holding it stem-side down, and cutting straight through the top of the vegetable.

I’ve done that before, and it really does get tiny little flecks of broccoli or cauliflower all over the place, and in everything else you’re trying to cook. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know how exasperating it is.

Once she figured out the problem, Ina knew right away how to solve it, so she made a helpful video for Instagram.

“If you cut straight through the top, it gets all over your kitchen,” she explained. “So what you do is you turn it over the other way and you cut out the core, and I’ll show you what happens…”

She demonstrated, and sure enough, after she cut the big stem out of the middle of the cauliflower, she was able to pull the whole thing apart into perfect little florets with no mess or trouble.

“So what you do is you just cut through the stem and you pull the florets apart like this, and you have perfect florets with no mess,” she laughed. “How easy is that?”

It’s pretty easy! But something that was second nature to her, like turning the cauliflower over and taking out the stem, was big news to many of her followers, who said things like, “Game changer!” and “Thank you! I so needed help with this.”

So far, reactions have been divided between people who have been cutting cauliflower like this their whole lives and don’t see what the fuss is, and people who think Ina’s tip is brilliant, and who have presumably been making utter messes of their kitchens. So if you already cut your cauliflower that way, pat yourself on the back for doing things just like Ina. And if this is new information, get ready to enjoy a lot more cauliflower and broccoli.

What do you think of Ina’s cauliflower tip?