Boiling vs steaming

Some vegetables can be eaten raw. But most of them we need to cook. People employ different methods to cook vegetables.

Some cook it in water, others steam it, some just stir fry them and there are some that prefer to bake or grill them. If we look at boiling vs steaming the veggies, which method is better?

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Boiling vs steaming veggies

When we cook vegetables, one vital thing we want is that its nutrients, flavors, and colors remain preserved. And it should also taste good. Boiling vegetables in water or steaming them are two common methods that one uses in cooking.

Boiling means putting the vegetables in water in a container and applying heat to make it soft. The water boils, transmits the heat to the vegetable and cooks it.

Whereas in steaming, we place the veggies on a stand or container that is then placed inside a larger vessel. The outer vessel has water in it but the water level is below the stand containing the vegetables.

The vessel is closed and heated. The food cooks with the steam formed in this vessel and around the food or vegetables.

Boiling vs steaming
Boiling vs steaming: which do you prefer (Source: Love my salad)

Boiled vegetables and meat: pros and cons

When we boil the veggies, some nutrients come out and enter the water around it. There is less nutrients left in the vegetable per se. Most of it are in the water.

This is not an issue if you are going to retain the water in the food dish while eating it. But if you are going to only eat the boiled vegetable pieces and throw out the water, it would mean that you are eating vegetables with lesser nutrients.

Boiling also makes the veggies dull in appearance and they lose their flavor too. These vegetable pieces are also soggy and less tasty to eat.

Boiling vs steaming
Boiled vegetables lose nutrients, color, and flavor into the water (Source: Foods Guy)

But boiling also has some advantages. You do not need oil or greasing in it. It is an easy cooking method. It does not take most of your time.

There is no risk of overburning food. It makes the food tender, edible, and easily digestible. It also is good for large scale cooking. Its capacity to kill bacteria and viruses is more than steaming.

Steamed food: benefits?

When you steam food or vegetables, the nutrients do not leach out. Hence steamed veggies retain their nutrition and also flavor and color. Steaming also adds crispness to the food items and hence they become more tasty.

Read hereĀ French Fries in Air Fryer (fast-food-style)

The plus side of steaming is that such food dishes can never become overcooked. Almost any food item can be steamed to a soft consistency.

As in boiling, you do not need oil or greasing to cook the food. Hence intake of fats can be controlled well with steaming. Therefore, it is an ideal method of cooking for those who want to shed off their extra body fat.

It also preserves the food and vegetable texture. While steaming, you do not need to turn the food. This is because steam cooks all around and on all sides of the food evenly. Both methods take equal amount of time to get cooked.

Boiling vs steaming
Steaming has its benefits (Source: Dr. Well)

Having said that, no one method is universally good. Some foods are better when boiled and others are more tasty when steamed.

So there is no simple answer to which method is better: boiling vs steaming. You can choose which method you want for a particular dish.