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How Long to Steam Artichokes?

How Long to Steam Artichokes?

Last Updated on 23rd April 2022 by

What happens if you overcook an artichoke or over-steam it? Parts of the artichoke become mushy and lose their texture when you do this. It won’t taste quite right, and the hearts and leaf tips turn soggy rather than having the crunchy texture they ought to have.

This happens with even experienced chefs, and it’s easy to steam the artichokes for too long. How long to steam artichokes to make sure they turn out perfectly? That’s what you need to know in order to get artichokes that have the proper flavor and texture. Whether you have been cooking artichokes for a while or you want to give them a try for the first time, it’s very important to know how long to steam artichokes whole or in pieces.

Of course, undercooking the artichokes or not steaming them for long enough can cause them to be too tough. The artichokes will not be very enjoyable to eat or be a chore to try to crunch through. Nobody wants that, so it’s important to understand exactly how long the artichoke should steam for and to not mess up on this crucial part of the cooking process.

How Long Do Artichokes Take to Steam?

Make sure you choose the right kind of artichokes too. Do you want something that is fresh and ready to eat rather than something that’s not quite ready or past the expiration date? With either of those extremes, you could end up with artichokes that don’t cook very well.

What should you look for in an artichoke? Make sure the leaves are tightly packed, because loose leaves indicate that your vegetable isn’t very fresh. You want something that is mostly green and not very brown, though a few brown spots are okay.

Before you start steaming and cooking the artichokes, you should prep them. Proper preparation ensures that they will steam as they should. Artichokes should be washed in cold running water before use. You want to make sure they’re cleaned up well, particularly cleaned of any dirt, bugs, or pesticides. Once they are clean, cut the stems off with a knife and be sure to cut close to the base so you’re not getting rid of good food.

Pick off the lower petals as well as you clean up the artichokes, as these tougher petals are not good to eat. Use kitchen shears to trim off the thorny tips on each of the petals.

There are a couple ways to help preserve the green color of the artichokes as they cook. You can either put the artichokes in acidulated water or cut off the top inch from the artichoke and rub the exposed area with half a lemon.

Now, let’s get to the question of how long does it take to steam artichokes. You should steam them in water or broth and cover the steamer pot as they cook. The artichokes in water on a low heat for about 30 minutes.

How Do You Tell when Artichokes Are Done Steaming?

There are multiple ways that you can steam artichokes, and I’ve covered how long you steam artichokes in a steamer. However, you ought to know how long does large artichokes or artichoke pieces and whether the artichokes are done.

You can’t always rely on the cooking time to tell you that they are done. That can be inconsistent, and there will be instances where the artichokes have steamed for 30 minutes but are not done cooking yet and will need some additional time.

So, how do you tell if they need to be steamed for longer? You can poke the artichoke with a knife and try to determine how much resistance you’re getting. If the knife is able to slide in softly and easily, the artichokes are done cooking. If there’s plenty of resistance and you struggle to push the knife in, then the artichokes need to steam for longer. You can steam them in increments of five minutes until they are done cooking and the knife slides in easily.

If you’re wondering how long do artichokes take to steam and how to get tell if they have been steamed enough, this is a simple and easy way to tell. If you have cooked artichokes before and you run into the problem of cooking them too long, then check them before the allotted 30 minutes steaming time is done. You can check them around 20 minutes and at 25 minutes, sliding the knife into the artichokes to determine if they are fully cooked. Some artichokes cook faster than 30 minutes, depending on the size and how high you have the heat.

I want to warn you about over-steaming the artichokes, as you can rob them of their texture and flavor, if you cook them for too long.     

How Long to Steam Artichokes in Microwave?

You can also steam artichokes in the microwave. You don’t have to steam them on the stove, and you can still get a decent taste and texture. I’ll walk you through this process so that there no mistakes.

Start by rinsing your artichokes off in cold running water and make sure they are clean completely before you start to cook them. Be sure to trim them as detailed above.

Use plastic wrap to wrap the artichokes, but don’t wrap them very tightly. Place them on a microwave safe plate and cook in the microwave for 15 to 18 minutes.

When you take the artichokes out of the microwave, be careful as they will be very hot. Make sure you unwrap them carefully as well, since steam will escape when you open them.

As you can see, the steaming time is different based on whether you’re steaming them on the stove, in a steamer or in the microwave. Don’t mix up the times when you steam them, as you can end up damaging your artichokes and robbing yourself of a delicious food.

If you’re steaming multiple artichokes, whether in the microwave or in a steamer, you will need to add a few more minutes to the steaming time. The more artichokes you’re cooking at once, the longer they will need to steam for. The times I’ve given you are for large artichokes to be steamed one at a time. For each additional artichoke, you can add about 5 minutes. It’s not a bad idea to check the artichokes at the end of the original steaming time I gave you, and then allow them to continue steaming if they need more time.

This short guide is helpful to anyone who is concerned about overcooking or undercooking their artichokes and who wants them to come out perfectly every time. If you have never tried to steam artichokes before, simply follow this guide carefully and you should be just fine.


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Pauline Loughlin
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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!