Cooking Basics Lesson IV: Vegetable Cooking Guide

Remember the nice oven baked seasoned carrots you were planning on eating? You imagined they would to be very tender and still crunchy. However the results were a disgrace because they were a bit overcooked? Yeah, I remember that as well. It is some of the many experiences in the kitchen with vegetables. With that said, Welcome to the fourth Cooking Basics Session!

Today the topic is Vegetable Cooking Guide. This came to mind when one day I was asked how long it took to cook carrots. It took me some time to say the answer because when I cook them I use a knife to check the readiness. Most of us grab the vegetables and boil/fry/bake/grill them. The notion that there is a time for cooking such beauties is a bit unknown to some of us. I have good news for you. A guide was done for you for a much better understand of the time to cook vegetables.

One thing to keep in mind when dealing with most food including vegetables is if you are planning to season them, do it some minutes prior to cooking them. Around 30 minutes so your seasoning penetrates the vegetables. This will present good results, believe me. You can now focus on the method and the duration of cooking.

Traditionally most vegetables are cooked in a pan/pot/oven/grill. I will restrain myself from presenting anything related to microwave at this time because the beauty in the culinary world is on the process it takes to make it. Microwave saves too much time, and the food taste weird to me. So the traditional methods will be your friends this time.

The duration of cooking will vary depending on the size and age of the vegetables. The reasoning behind the size is clear. The age is mentioned here because if the vegetables were freshly bought today, they take less time to cook.

We all go through some crazy moments in which we do not know how to go about something. The table is here to guide you in lost cooking times.

Vegetable Boil Steam  Bake at 180 °C
Artichokes, whole 25 – 40 30 – 60 30
Artichokes, hearts 10 -12 10 – 15
Asparagus 5 – 12 8 – 10 12 – 20
Beans, Green 10 – 20 10 – 12 15 – 20
Beets 25 – 40 40 – 55 60
Broccoli 4 – 8 10 – 12 15 – 25
Brussel Sprouts, whole 6 – 10 8 – 12
Cabbages, wedges 10 – 15 6 – 9
Carrots, whole 15 – 20 10 – 15 30
Cauliflowers, whole 8 – 12 15 – 20 20
Corn, cob 6 – 10 4 – 7 45
Eggplants, whole 10 – 15 15 – 25 30
Greens, Collard/Mustard/Turnip 30 – 50
Greens, Kale/Beet 5 – 10 4 – 6
Leeks 8 – 12 10 – 12
Mushrooms 5 5
Onions, whole 20 – 30 20 – 25
Parsnips 5 – 10 8 – 12 30
Peas, Sweet 3 – 6 8 – 12
Peppers 2 – 4 3 – 5
Potatoes, whole 20 – 30 15 – 30 45 – 60
Spinach 5 – 10 4 – 6
Squash, whole 15 – 20 20 – 25
Tomatoes, whole 2 – 4 10 – 15
Turnips, whole 15 – 20 20 – 25
Zucchini, whole 5 – 10 5 – 10 25 – 35

There are other ways of checking if the vegetables are cooked, and one of them is by using a knife/fork to stab on the vegetables. If it goes easily, your vegetable is cooked. Once it goes fully in and the vegetables starts to fall apart, it means your vegetable overcooked. Although this is a good method, once you start timing your vegetables it will be easier to know at which point you should remove them from the heat.

A nice tip to keep your vegetables crunchy once you remove them from the heat is to put them in iced water. However this only applies if your vegetable has no seasoning. Otherwise you would be removing the wonderful taste that was infused before during the marinate.

I hope this table is going to guide you to some pretty nice vegetables experiences. Please share any tips with us if you have anything interesting to add. Sharing is caring, and there is nothing nicer than that.

Until next time, Hungry People.

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