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How to Cook an Artichoke Without a Steamer

How to Cook an Artichoke Without a Steamer

To many, artichokes are one of the most intimidating-looking vegetables out there. Its long stem and tough outer leaves can make those who are newbies a bit uneasy with how to best prepare them. Cooking a whole artichoke may sound complicated, especially if you don’t have a steamer on hand, but it’s actually quite simple! Keep reading to learn how to cook an artichoke without a steamer.

There are a variety of ways you can cook fresh artichokes. And just because you don’t have a steamer basket doesn’t mean you can’t steam them! This recipe only requires a couple of common kitchen tools, making for an easy cooking method. Once you get your artichokes prepped and start cooking, you can basically set it and forget it until they’re done!

How to select the perfect artichoke

Our first order of business is selecting the perfect artichoke at your local grocery store. The most important thing to look for is the artichoke leaves or “bracts.” You want to pick an artichoke that has crisp, closed, or tightly packed leaves that are deep green in color.

Whether you want smaller artichokes or larger artichokes, the size of the artichoke doesn’t really matter. When you squeeze it, you hear a little squeak; that’s how you’ll know it’s fresh. On the other hand, if the artichoke feels squishy when you squeeze it, that’s how you’ll know when it’s overripe.

 

Can you cook artichokes without a steamer?

How to Cook an Artichoke Without a Steamer

Absolutely! If you wish to steam your artichokes, you can steam them in a few other ways that work just as well. You can also cook your artichokes in a pressure cooker, on the grill, in a pot to boil, or roast them in the oven — it really depends on what kind of results you are looking for.

Steaming artichokes is great for locking in the flavor and getting them nice and tender. Boiling will also get them super soft, but the water can wash away some of the artichoke flesh’s flavor. Roasting your artichokes will add a ton of flavor and give you caramelized edges, and grilling adds a subtle smokiness that is a real treat during cookout season!

 

Ways to cook artichoke without a steamer

  • Steam: To steam your artichokes, pour about an inch of water into a large pot and place a metal colander inside. Make sure the colander isn’t sitting in the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Place artichokes in the colander, cover the pot, and steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Grill: Before grilling artichokes, you must steam them or boil them until they are tender but not too soft. When your artichokes are ready, brush them with oil and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Grill until you see char grill marks on the stem.
  • Roast: To roast your artichokes, first trim, halve them, and spoon out the hairy choke. Toss them with oil, salt, and pepper, and roast cut side down in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil at 475º F for 25-30 minutes.
  • Boil: Place your artichoke base-side down in a pot of boiling water. Then lower the heat to a simmer and weigh down the tops of the artichokes with a dish or smaller pot lid that will fit into the pot to keep them submerged. Let the artichokes simmer for 20 to 40 minutes or until the base of the artichoke can be easily pierced with a knife.

 

Tips for cooking artichokes

Fresh artichokes

  • If you aren’t steaming your artichokes, be sure to cut them in half lengthwise and remove the fuzzy center called the “choke.” You’ll want to remove this completely; otherwise, it will make you, as the name suggests, choke.
  • To know when your artichokes are finished cooking, you should easily be able to pull out the tender inner leaves from the center of the artichoke. Another way to tell if they are done is to stick a knife into the center part of the artichoke. If the knife comes out easily, then they are ready to eat.
  • Before prepping your artichokes, fill a bowl with cool water and add lemon juice. Place your artichokes into the lemon water after cutting them as they wait to be cooked. This will prevent them from browning as artichokes can brown quickly after cutting.
  • If you’d like to stuff your artichokes, place them top-side down on a cutting board. Press the artichokes downward gently using the base of your palm to open up the leaves so you can fill them easily. With a spoon, fill the leaves with whatever filling you desire. Don’t be afraid of overflowing them!
  • The heart is the most delicious and edible part of an artichoke. There are so many things you can do with artichoke hearts, such as sauteeing them in olive oil with your favorite veggies, mixing them into salads, adding them to sandwiches, making them into a bruschetta, soup, or the ever-so-popular spinach and artichoke dip.

 

How to cook artichoke without a steamer

Fresh artichoke

Now that you know all the delicious ways you can cook artichokes, let me share with you my favorite way of cooking them.

This recipe uses a hybrid cooking method of boiling and steaming because your artichokes won’t be fully submerged in water, making them neither fully boiled nor steamed, but a bit of both!

Cooking your artichokes this way makes for less hassle and less cooking time. It’s one of the most simple methods that also tastes just as good—and maybe even better—than steamed!

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 artichokes
  • 2-4 cups of water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • First, cut the top of the artichoke off. The amount you cut off will vary depending on the size of your artichoke but aim to cut around 1/4 of the top off.
  • Once the top is cut, you then need to cut off the stem. This will create a flat bottom so that the artichoke can sit flat in the pan.
  • Snip off any remaining pointy ends until you are left with a few rows of whole leaves.
  • Snip the Remaining Pointy Ends. After, you should have a few rows left of whole leaves.
  • Now that your artichokes are prepped, gently pull the leaves outwards to widen them, so they cook more evenly.
  • Pour water into a pan until it is about 1/4 of the way full. Salt the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Using tongs, place your artichokes into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid.
  • Let your artichoke cook for 45 minutes. Most artichokes will need at least 30 minutes, but large artichokes take about 45-55 minutes to finish cooking.
  • Check that your artichokes are done by pulling the outer and middle leaves. If they pull off super easy, or you can easily pierce the bottom with a fork, they’re ready to eat. Enjoy!

How to cook artichoke without a steamer

Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes; Total time: 55 minutes; Servings: 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 artichokes
  • 2-4 cups of water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions
 

  • First, cut the top of the artichoke off. The amount you cut off will vary depending on the size of your artichoke but aim to cut around 1/4 of the top off.
  • Once the top is cut, you then need to cut off the stem. This will create a flat bottom so that the artichoke can sit flat in the pan.
  • Snip off any remaining pointy ends until you are left with a few rows of whole leaves.
  • Snip the Remaining Pointy Ends. After, you should have a few rows left of whole leaves.
  • Now that your artichokes are prepped, gently pull the leaves outwards to widen them so they cook more evenly.
  • Pour water into a pan until it is about 1/4 of the way full. Salt the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Using tongs, place your artichokes into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid.
  • Let your artichoke cook for 45 minutes. Most artichokes will need at least 30 minutes, but large artichokes take about 45-55 minutes to finish cooking.
  • Check that your artichokes are done by pulling the outer and middle leaves. If they pull off super easy, or you can easily pierce the bottom with a fork, they're ready to eat. Enjoy!

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