The Battle Between Boiling Or Steaming Your Vegetables

Cooking is not an exact science, and, some might argue, nor should it be. If everybody followed the same steps to make identical dishes there would never be any culinary innovation, surely resulting in the end of cookery competitions and endless TikTok hacks. But where there's room for interpretation, there will be different ideas of the best method for any process, and where there are different ideas, there will be debate. The kitchen, therefore, is a battleground — and few debates are more intense than whether you should boil or steam vegetables.

Generally, steaming vegetables is considered to be superior. This is because steaming is more likely to preserve the nutrients contained within vegetables that can then benefit the body. So you get filled up with a healthy boost — it's a win-win. Steaming can also reduce cooking time and cut costs, especially if you are using a steamer with multiple layers (because the energy used to heat the vegetables is focused on one part of the stove, rather than several).

However, boiling vegetables still has its advocates.

Boiling vegetables can be beneficial

Even though boiling may not be seen as the optimum method for cooking vegetables, in terms of texture or nutritional value, it is not entirely dismissed by experts. Some people are simply most comfortable sticking with what they know, and many of us were raised with the vegetable-boiling method. Plus, although nutrients from vegetables are lost to the water during boiling (due to a process called leaching) if they are boiled in the minimum amount of water required then the remaining liquid could be used in a sauce, taking nutrients and flavor with it.

A third competitor in the vegetable-cooking battle is perhaps more of an outsider, but is popular with many cooks. Roasting vegetables can be a quick and easy cooking method because they can essentially just be thrown in alongside whatever else is being heated up, so there's no need to spend time organizing additional pots and pans. Roasted veggies may taste sweeter because the vegetables caramelize. Although they will lose some nutrients, they will still contain enough to be of benefit. And the better they taste, the more you'll eat, so when it comes to cooking vegetables, you really can't go wrong.