Artichokes are a delicious and healthy vegetable that tastes especially good when steamed.
Knowing how long to steam them for is important as it ensures your artichoke tastes wonderful and has all of those healthy nutrients locked in.
On average, artichokes take around 30 minutes to steam. In this article, we will look at steaming artichokes in more detail and give you some tips on how long to steam artichokes.
How Long Do Artichokes Take To Steam?
The length of time it takes to steam an artichoke depends on the method you are using.
Remember, if you’re steaming multiple artichokes at once, then these times will be longer. This is the case regardless of whether you are using a stovetop or a microwave.
In general, however, it will take around 30 minutes to steam an artichoke in a pot on a stovetop.
They should be steamed in either water or a broth and make sure you cover the pot as they are steaming. Leave them on low heat and check after 30 minutes.
You can also steam artichokes in a microwave. This is a quicker process than using a steamer on a stovetop and can take around 15 to 18 minutes.
How Can You Tell When Artichokes Are Done Steaming?
Although we said that artichokes take 30 minutes to steam, that is just a general guideline. You may find that some artichokes need longer than others, so how do you tell when they are finished?
One of the easiest ways to check if an artichoke has finished steaming is by poking it with a knife. If your knife can slide into the artichoke easily, then it will be cooked and can be removed from the pot.
However, if your knife feels any resistance and doesn’t easily slide into the artichoke, it will need to steam for a little longer.
In this case, check again in five minutes and every five minutes after until the knife slides in easily.
It is also a good idea to start checking your artichokes before the 30-minute mark. We would advise checking them at 20 minutes and 25 minutes.
Not only do some artichokes need longer than 30 minutes, but some need less time than that.
What Happens If Artichokes Are Steamed For Too Long?
If you steam your artichokes for too long, then the parts of the artichoke will lose their firmness and texture. Instead, you will get mushy artichokes that have soggy hearts and leaves.
The taste will be different and you won’t have that wonderful crunchy texture that artichokes are known for. This is why you mustn’t let your artichokes steam for longer than they should.
Preparing An Artichoke For Steaming
Knowing how to prepare your artichoke is key to steaming them correctly and getting delicious results.
If your artichoke’s leaves have little thorns on their ends, you should remove these. This is easily done with some kitchen scissors.
This is mainly done for aesthetic reasons as these thorns pose no threat to human safety, but it will make the artichokes easier to handle, also.
Next, slice off the top of the artichoke. You should aim to slice about three-quarters of an inch from the top of the artichoke.
Any sharp knife can do this but serrated bread knives are especially effective.
You should cut off any excess stem on the artichoke and remove any small leaves that are on the stem and at the base of the artichoke.
Leave about an inch of stem on the artichoke. Some people love to eat the stem of the artichoke but they can be too bitter for others.
If you do like the stem you can leave it intact, just cut the very end and peel the tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler.
Give your artichoke a rinse and try to open up the leaves a little so that you can get the water inside. If you didn’t cut off the thorns earlier on, you may start regretting it at this step!
Your artichoke is now ready to be steamed.
How To Choose The Best Artichokes
Making the most delicious steamed artichokes possible begins with getting the best artichokes you can.
Even if you steam your artichokes to perfection, they won’t taste as good as they could if they were poor quality to begin with.
Here are a few tips for picking the perfect artichoke.
Pick up the artichoke and make sure that it feels heavy. If the artichoke feels lighter than it should for its size, this could be a sign that it’s dried out.
Light artichokes might not be as meaty as they should be, so when given the choice, opt for an artichoke that is a similar size but heavier.
When you pick up an artichoke to check its weight, you should also squeeze it gently.
Fresh artichokes will make a squeaking noise so if this noise isn’t present, it’s another sign that the artichoke isn’t as fresh as it should be.
Artichokes are very similar to flower buds. Both artichokes and flowers start with their leaves or petals closed and slowly open as they age.
An artichoke that has its leaves flayed wide open is probably a little older and won’t be as fresh as one that has its leaves more tightly together.
You don’t need to look for an artichoke that is completely closed but look for one that has only a little separation between the leaves.
Don’t be deterred by an artichoke that looks ‘frost kissed.’
This isn’t a sign that the artichoke is old or damaged in any way and artichokes with some frost on the leaves can often taste better than those without it.
You may also find that frost-touched artichokes are more expensive for this reason.
Steaming an artichoke on a stovetop takes around 30 minutes, with microwaves being a little quicker. Whichever method you choose, we hope your artichokes taste delicious!