How Do I Get Crispy Roasted Cauliflower Steaks? – 3 Easy Methods to Try

I can’t be the only one who’s asking, “How do I get crispy roasted cauliflower steaks?”

I like cauliflower, and when I found out you could slice it and roast it as steaks, I was intrigued.

However, cauliflower has quite a bit of water, and I was skeptical it would come out crispy.

Maybe you are having the same thoughts as I did.

So, let’s see what happened when I made it for the first time.

And why I wanted to try other ways.

How Do I Get Crispy Roasted Cauliflower Steaks?

The best way to get crispy roasted cauliflower steaks is under the broiler. It’s quick and easy. However, other methods will work too. You can roast them in the oven or sear them as you would a piece of meat. The trick is to use a small amount of oil and salt and pepper. Other spices can be added as desired. And don’t overcrowd the pan.

1. My First Time Making It in the Oven

I found a fantastic recipe that I wanted to try. Here it is:

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sour Cream (optional)

Directions 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F (218°C)
  2. Combine the oil, salt, pepper, and spices in a bowl, whisk together.
  3. Cut the cauliflower cross-wise into 1/2-inch slices, and place in a cast iron skillet.
  4. Brush one side of the cauliflower steaks with the oil mixture, turn over and brush the other side.
  5. Put the steaks in the oven for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.

What I would do differently:

  • Pre-heat my pan
  • Not forget half the ingredients. In fact, I forgot all the spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper). I didn’t even realize I had forgotten them until I wrote out the recipe for this article.   

The problem is, the cauliflower steaks continually leaked water and kept it from browning.

It tasted delicious, but I still wanted it to get crispy (would the spices have helped?)

I placed the rest back in the oven for another 20 minutes, turning it halfway through.

There were lots of crispy bits by then, but the steak itself was still not crispy. Though it had browned more, as you can see.

However, would another method work better? I went on a search to find out.

It would have to include a cast iron skillet, though.

Making It a Second Time

Before trying a different method, I made the recipe a second time with the spices. I didn’t have enough cauliflower to make a steak. So, I made it in pieces.  

It indeed turned out better–no water leaking, and there was a slight crunch to the outside. The spices gave the cauliflower a kick, maybe a bit too much for my liking because I don’t like spicy.

Plus, I didn’t have all the spices it called for. So I substituted Ginger for Tumeric and Cumin for Coriander.

Since there was no water the second time, I wonder if I crowded the pan the first time.

I would make this recipe again, but only use this method if I was making pieces instead of steak. Or at the very least, not overcrowd the pan.

2. Using the Broiler

On a forum, one person said they put their cauliflower on the highest oven rack and under the broiler for about 10 minutes (it was a guess).

They seasoned it with salt and pepper and coated it with olive oil.

So, that’s what I did too. Except mine was ready in less time. I did 8 minutes on the first side and only 6 minutes after turning it over.  

It turned out delicious, and just the amount of crispy I wanted.

Once again, though, I didn’t have enough cauliflower to make a steak. I only had pieces.

But I think it would work with steaks too.

Just make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan.

If you are looking for a way to get a crispy outside and tender inside, I recommend this way.

Cauliflower Steak Recipe

3. Searing Cauliflower Like a Steak

I had one other way I wanted to try. And that was to make the cauliflower the same way you sear a steak.

Salt and pepper the cauliflower.

Heat the oil (I used Avacado) to almost smoking, and add the steak to the pan.  

Let it cook for a while before turning to give it time to get a good crust.

Turn and cook the other side until crispy and tender. I cooked each side for approximately 4 minutes.

How did it turn out?

Okay, but not as good as the broiler method.

The inside wasn’t as tender, and the outside wasn’t as crispy. Maybe cooking each side 5-6 minutes would have been better.

Or if I had watched the video first, I would have known it took longer. Plus, the guy in the video also put his in the oven for 20 minutes.

However, I will not use this method again. Not because it doesn’t work, but because I like the broiler method better.

What I will do, though, is make cauliflower steaks (instead of pieces) under the broiler, using the recipe above (though I might still substitute the spices as I did the second time I made it.)

Furthermore, I could see myself searing a beef steak with broiled cauliflower steaks. That would make a fabulous meal.

RELATED > > > > > How to Sear Steak – 9 Simple Rules to Follow

Final Thoughts

How do I get crispy roasted cauliflower steaks?

As you can see, you can get the crispy outside and tender inside whichever method you use. All three work.

However, I had a favorite way, and that’s because it was the quickest. It also turned out the best, in my opinion.

You might like a different way better, though.

Whether you make cauliflower steaks in the oven, under the broiler, or searing them on the stovetop, do not overcrowd the pan.

The only time my cauliflower didn’t get crispy was when I filled the pan.

I do recommend the recipe, though. I might tweak the amount of spice to suit my taste, but the flavor was excellent overall.

If you would like to find this recipe and hundreds of others for cast iron cooking, see my review on Rachael Narin’s cookbook, Cast Iron: The Ultimate Cookbook.

2 thoughts on “How Do I Get Crispy Roasted Cauliflower Steaks? – 3 Easy Methods to Try”

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience how it turned out when making it the first and second time. I have only used a boiler, so far. But I am not pleased with the results. So, I will try your suggestions. I once saw a chef on a show searing cauliflower as if it were a steak. And reading it here has encouraged me to give it a try too!

    Reply
    • That’s great, Ann. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out. Like I said, mine turned out okay, and I had no trouble eating it, but I still enjoyed the one under the broiler (and from Rachael Narin’s cookbook) the best. But it’s good to know other methods may work better for other people. In the video, the guy both sears it in a grill pan and roasts it in the oven. I didn’t try that, but I bet that would be good too.

      Lynn

      Reply

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