2.5 Effect of Cooking Method on Flavor and Other Attributes of Vegetables


  • To identify the effect of cooking methods on flavor of vegetables.
  • To recognize the characteristics of the various flavor categories of vegetables.
  • To determine the influences of a cover and of the amount of water during cooking on the flavor of vegetables.

Laboratory Problems

  • Determine the influence of the presence or absence of a lid and the amount of water on the flavor of vegetables.
  • Compare boiled, steamed and microwave-cooked vegetables.


  • Vegetable Pigments: Chlorophyll, Carotenoids, Anthocyanin, & Anthoxanthin
  • Flavor Categories: Mild, Brassica, Allium
  • Texture: Cellulose, Pectin, & Hemicellulose
  • Enzymatic Browning
  • Osmosis


Effect of cooking method on palatability of vegetables:

Prepare 1 cup fresh vegetables for each part of the assignment, you will need a total of 4 cups of vegetables. Keep vegetable pieces the same size for uniform cooking. See raw vegetable preparation. Cook, following specific assignment directions, to the appropriate degree of doneness for the assigned vegetable. Record cooking time.

  • Carrots and cabbage: Cook until crisp-tender.
  • Onions: Cook until the flavor is mild.
  1. Boiling In A Small Amount Of Water:
    • Use only enough water to prevent scorching the vegetables during cooking, approximately ¼ cup water for a one-quart saucepan. Add more if needed to prevent scorching.
    • Add vegetable to boiling water, cover pan, and bring back to a boil.
  1. Boiling In A Large Amount Of Water:
    • Boil enough water to cover vegetable.
    • Add vegetable to boiling water and bring water back to a boil. Do not cover pan.
  1. Microwave directions:
    • Use a 1-pint baking dish with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap appropriate for microwave. Add 2-4 tablespoons water. Cook on full power according to microwave oven manufacturer’s directions until done; stir once.
  1. Steamer directions:
    • Use enough water in the bottom part of a steamer so pan will not boil dry during the cooking period. When water in bottom part of steamer is boiling, place vegetable in top of steamer. Assemble steamer and cover. Cook vegetable in steam over rapidly boiling water until done.


Record cooking times and observations on flavor, texture, and appearance:

Vegetable Lid on, small amount of water Lid off, large amount of water Steamer Microwave
Mild flavor:


                   minutes                    minutes                    minutes                    minutes
Brassica sp.:


                   minutes                    minutes                    minutes                    minutes
Allium sp.:


                   minutes                    minutes                    minutes                    minutes


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