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The Best Way to Cook Carrots

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2008

There's a misnomer that carrots are dull and bland. Use these tips to maximize their flavor.

Shopping Notes

Avoid extra-large carrots, which are often woody and bitter. Baby carrots are fine for roasting, but too thick for glazing.

Preparation

Peel regular carrots and slice on bias.

Basic Cooking Methods

Roasting intensifies sweetness without requiring other ingredients. Toss 1 pound baby carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil in broiler-pan bottom and roast in 475-degree oven for 20 minutes, shaking pan several times to promote even browning. Glazing makes carrots even sweeter but requires more prep. Cook 1 pound sliced carrots with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 cup chicken broth in covered 12-inch nonstick skillet for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid reduces to 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and an additional 2 tablespoons sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are tender and evenly glazed, about 3 minutes.

Cut carrots on bias into pieces 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches long.