If you love cabbage but hate the smell, you will be happy to learn these simple tips to cook cabbage without the lingering odor. Cabbage is packed with vitamins and minerals, and also lowers cholesterol.
What’s not to love? The only downside of cooking cabbage is the sulfury smell that tends to linger long after dinner time. The solution is as close as your pantry and easier than you might think.
To cook cabbage without the smell, don’t overcook it. Cabbage contains sulfur that multiplies the longer it is exposed to heat. The addition of an acid, such as vinegar, or baking soda neutralizes the sulfur and eliminates the odor. Green pepper or Bay leaves added to the cabbage will also reduce the smell.
Cabbage is a wonderful source of fiber, vitamins B, C, and K as well as potassium, and manganese. It is low in fat and has been shown to help alleviate arthritis pain, improve skin conditions and contribute to liver health.
The main drawback to cabbage is the awful smell left behind after cooking. But there’s good news. You can enjoy cabbage more often and reap the health benefits without your home smelling like a rotten egg!
How to Cook Cabbage Without the Smell
There are a couple of ingredients that can be added to your cabbage dishes to reduce the noxious odor left behind as well as prevent gassy stomachs afterward. Certain methods of cooking can also help reduce the unwelcome scent.
Hydrogen sulfite is a gas that is released when cabbage is cooked for too long and is reminiscent of rotten eggs. Prevention is the best method of eliminating this stench and quick cooking is the key.
1 Bring water to a boil before adding the cabbage.
2 Quarter or slice it to reduce cooking time.
3 Removing the core, or separating the leaves will also help.
4 The cut pieces can be wrapped in a wet paper towel and placed in the microwave for one minute before adding them to the boiling water.
The result will be softer cabbage that will cook faster.
The addition of an acid such as vinegar or baking soda will combat the smell, although baking soda tends to strip the vegetable of some vitamins.
However, the best and most effective method to reduce the strong smell of cabbage is to add a piece of green bell pepper to the dish while it cooks. This is particularly effective if you’re cooking cabbage in an instant pot, pressure cooker, or slow cooker.
Cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that release sulfur when cooked or chewed. This contributes to flatulence and gas after eating them. A splash of milk in the water can help, or even a handful of capers.
How to Get Rid of Cabbage Odor in the House
So you’ve already cooked your cabbage and now the whole house reeks. Don’t despair. These tips will cleanse the air and remove all traces of your Cabbage Rolls.
A splatter screen placed on top of the pot reduces the odor before it escapes into your kitchen. Splatter screens are available online for about 20 dollars and some include a charcoal filter to further reduce emissions.
In a small saucepan, boil one cup of water and ½ cup of vinegar while you’re cooking. Turn on the vent fan if you have one.
Potpourri pots are great for freshening the air. Use orange, or lemon peels, cloves, or cinnamon sticks. If you don’t have an electric pot, use a small saucepan on the stovetop and simmer gently.
Small portable air purifiers work wonders for deodorizing the air before the smell spreads throughout the house. They also work in rooms that already smell bad. A bonus is that air purifiers will kill bacteria and mold and remove pet dander and other allergens from the air.
A bowl of baking soda nearby will absorb the odors, not just mask them. Baking soda is a neutralizing agent that balances the pH and reduces odors along the way. This method is effective for tomato dishes, fish, and vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli.
How Long does Cabbage Last?
Cabbage is one of the longest-lasting vegetables, and it can be frozen for up to one year! The best way to store it is to place it in a plastic bag, unwashed, and promptly refrigerate it.
Whole cabbage will last 1 or 2 days at room temperature but will stay fresh for 4-5 weeks in the refrigerator. Cut cabbage will only retain freshness for 2-3 hours on the counter, and 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
To store long-term, blanch first. Blanching involves a quick boil followed by a cold water rinse. Drain well before placing in freezer bags.
Whole or cut, cabbage will last for 9-12 months using this method. Cooked cabbage, in soups or casseroles, will last as long as the fastest-expiring ingredient. Cabbage soup, for instance, will be good for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator, or however long the tomatoes will last.
When cabbage is getting a little past its fresh date, you will notice some shrinking and shriveling. The cut edge may turn gray or black. These areas may be safely removed and the rest of the cabbage is still good.
Safe food handling is important, and we all want to reduce waste. Always promptly refrigerate leftovers and store food properly.
Benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage is a true superfood and can bring relief from headaches, skin disorders, and even scurvy. But that’s not even half of it!
Cabbage contributes to bone health and can prevent osteoporosis and other bone-weakening diseases. It contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium which also help keep teeth strong.
Potassium opens the blood vessels and keeps the blood flowing which reduces high blood pressure.
A good source of Vitamin K, cabbage is good for your brain and may increase concentration, and reduce the chances of dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Cabbage is a great way to detox your body. It can cleanse toxins, free radicals, and uric acid from the bloodstream. Vitamin C can relieve arthritis, rheumatism, eczema, and gout.
At just 33 calories per cup, cabbage is high in fiber and low in fat. It is a great addition to any diet, whether you are trying to lose weight or not.
For cancer prevention, cabbage can’t be beaten. It counteracts the effects of carcinogens that can cause cancer and degeneration in living tissue.
An anti-inflammatory, cabbage can relieve allergies, joint pain, fever, and mastitis. For a headache, crush a cabbage leaf, and place it on your forehead.
To heal mastitis, the infection of the breast in breastfeeding mothers, place a crushed leaf on the area.
To help dry out oily skin and treat acne, use a face mask of cabbage leaves. Eating cabbage keeps your hair shiny and your skin clear with antioxidants and vitamin C.
As good as carrots, cabbage, and leafy greens are good for your eyes.
Cabbage contains as much vitamin C as oranges and treats ulcers and depression. It also boosts your immune system, helps fight colds, and coughs, and speeds up the healing of wounds.
Tips, Tricks, and More
There are over 400 varieties of cabbage and it has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. As far back as 1000 BC, it has been used to treat baldness in China, and as a beauty aid for your skin, hair and nails.
Cabbage is inexpensive and nutritious. It can be prepared and enjoyed in hundreds of different ways. You can bake it or use an instant pot, air fryer, microwave, or stovetop. Put it in a skillet, braise it or grill it!
Boil quickly and add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to the water. Cut cabbage into ¼” slices, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Don’t boil.
If you prefer the softness of well-cooked cabbage, place the cabbage in the pot and add water and apple juice, red wine vinegar, or white vinegar enough to cover the cabbage. Simmer for an hour, or until liquid is absorbed.
In a heavy skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil and 3 cups of chopped cabbage on medium-high heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and cabbage is tender-crunchy.
Roast 1” slices in the oven for 45 minutes at 350°. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle slices with butter or olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Cook until slices begin to brown and the centers are tender.
Quarter a large head of cabbage and wrap in foil. Add butter, and seasonings and place directly on the grill. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes, turning once. Our family loves bacon wrapped cabbage, which our kids have lovingly nicknamed “Campfire Pig Greens“.
Saute chopped cabbage, onions, and sausage for a quick one-dish meal. Serve with steamed rice or your choice of potato.