How to steam a potato

Steaming a potato is a good alternative to boiling, sometimes. Ideally you need a steamer, but it is possible to improvise by using a big steel cooking sieve across the top of a saucepan and the correct lid to seal it.

Steaming is a bit slower than boiling because the heat conduction isn't quite so good. The advantage is that if the potato is floury it won't fall apart quite so quickly as if you boiled it. Also, if it's a coloured potato like Salad Blue or Congo, it will keep its colour much better on cooking.

Some waxy potatoes don't steam too well. This doesn't matter; it just means they take a bit longer to cook.

The method - as for boiling, get your potatoes or potato pieces all the same size. Don't mix varieties (unless you know what you are doing). Fill the pan with water - say half full; put the steamer on the top, and turn on the heat. Put on the lid, and after 10 minutes push in the knife and see how they are doing. When it goes in easily - they're done. Turn off the heat and pour away most but not all of the water underneath. If you're serving them straight away, leave the lid OFF so they steam dry. If you're having to wait a few minutes for other things to cook, replace the lid so they keep hot.

How to boil a potato
How to steam a potato
How to mash a potato

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