To the home cook, having the right pots and pans is essential for a properly functioning kitchen. You may be wondering what the best pot for vegetables is. We have thoroughly looked into this question and have some answers.
The best pot to use for cooking vegetables will depend on your chosen method and the type of vegetables you want to cook. The following pots offer the most convenience for preparing vegetable dishes:
- To steam nonstarchy vegetables, use a steamer pot
- Boil potatoes in a stockpot
- Use a pressure cooker or slow cooker for vegetable soups and root vegetables
- To blanch leafy vegetables, use a short wide-mouth pot
Vegetables are an important part of any complete meal. Knowing the best way to cook them can be an essential kitchen skill. Keep reading as we break down the different methods for cooking vegetables in a pot. We'll discuss other ways you can cook your vegetables and what types of pans you can use.
How To Choose A Pot For Cooking Vegetables
When choosing a pot for cooking your vegetables, you'll want to consider the quality of the pot and what vegetables you want to cook.
Vegetables that require long boiling times and take up more room should be cooked in pots with higher walls. Vegetables that are steamed or blanched are usually cooked for shorter times in wide-mouthed pots with low walls.
You may also consider the healthiest method of cooking your vegetables and choose your pot based on that criteria.
To Steam Nonstarchy Vegetables, Use A Steamer Pot
Steaming vegetables is a popular way to prepare vegetables. A steamer pot can either be electrical or stovetop. It will come in multiple parts. One-pot with at least one strainer tray and a lid.
It is possible to get a steamer pot with multiple levels to steam different types of vegetables at once, layering bigger, more fibrous vegetables on the bottom to the most delicate vegetables on the top layer.
As the water boils in the bottom of the steamer, the vegetables cook in a tray above via steam that comes through holes. Steam vegetables until fork tender. Typical steaming time ranges from 3 minutes for delicate items like leafy greens or peas to around 8 to 10 minutes for carrots or brussels sprouts.
Though you can steam harder vegetables, whole potatoes, squash, or tougher fiber items like celeriac are usually not steamed due to the extended time it would take to prepare.
Boil Potatoes In A Large Stockpot
To cook a family-sized serving of potatoes, you'll want to boil them in a large stockpot with high walls. Even if you plan to roast or fry your potatoes, boiling them in a pot first can improve the texture of your finished dish.
Potatoes have a wide range of cooking times depending on how big the pieces are and what type. In most cases, you'll want to boil them until they are fork-tender.
Use A Pressure Cooker Or Slow Cooker For Vegetable Soups And Root Vegetables
The best type of pot for root vegetables may be a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker greatly cuts down cooking time and can provide tender potatoes and carrots in under 15 minutes. Pressure cookers can either be stovetop or use an electric one for the best and most convenient experience.
You may consider using a slow cooker to develop complex flavors and turn out fragrant and hearty vegetable soups and stews. These are popular due to the convenience of being able to set and forget. This pressure cooker can be used to saute, pressure cook, and slow cook, making it a great pot to cook your vegetables in.
To Blanch Leafy Vegetables, Use A Short Wide Mouth Pot
Blanching vegetables is the process of lightly cooking vegetables for a few seconds to a few minutes. The high temperature quickly kills bacteria and keeps vegetables from spoiling. Blanching is usually used to prepare vegetables for storing in the freezer or fridge.
This method is also a great way to tenderize collard, spinach, and cabbage leaves to make wraps.
The best pot for blanching vegetables will be one with a wide mouth that is easy to reach down into. You'll want to remove vegetables without having to tip the spoon or pot since blanching is usually used for cooking vegetables in batches, so we recommend a soup pot with shorter walls.
To blanch your vegetables, salt at least 4 cups of water or 6 inches high of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add your vegetables in batches small enough that the water remains at a rapid boil. To prepare leaves for making wraps or rolls, blanch one at a time.
Most vegetables blanch in 2 minutes or less. Collard greens may take 3 minutes or more to be tender.
What Is the Healthiest Type Of Pot To Cook In?
There have been many studies over the best way to cook vegetables. To lose the least amount of nutrients, it has long been thought that vegetables should be steamed. Lower cooking times also preserve nutrients.
With the innovation of electric pressure cookers, some researchers are now saying to get the benefits of low cooking times combined with the steaming method, use a pressure cooker with a steam rack tray.
The low cooking time combats the high heat and retains the most nutrients for most nonstarchy and green vegetables. Read our article on nutrient loss while frying vegetables here.
What is the Best Type Of Pan To Roast Or Saute Vegetables
To roast your vegetables, you'll want a pan that allows air to circulate. This ensures an even cook and the best texture. This pan has a rack that has holes in to allow circulation. They are small enough that smaller vegetables can be roasted together with larger vegetables.
For best results, lay your vegetables out in a single layer. This type of pan needs little to no oil. Be sure to cut your vegetables into uniform, same-size pieces.
Is Cast Iron Good For Roasting Vegetables?
Cast iron pans are good conductors of heat, which will allow the vegetables to roast evenly. Cooking in cast iron can also be a great way to increase iron levels in your diet.
Cast iron is significantly heavier than other materials. When roasting vegetables with glazes that cast iron, keep in mind that you will need more than the usual amount of oil to keep vegetables from sticking.
Can You Saute Veggies In A Cast-Iron Skillet?
Cast iron skillets are a clear favorite for sauteing vegetables. As noted above, the added boost of iron leaked into the vegetables can make this method a healthier option for cooking vegetables. Since cast iron is such a good conductor of heat, results are quick and even.
The weight of this type of skillet is a benefit since it handles high temperatures well and keeps food warm. The weight also keeps the pan from moving around while the chef flips and rotates the vegetables.
Can I Roast Vegetables In Pyrex?
Pyrex is another popular choice for roasting vegetables. The glass-like material is lighter than cast iron and is durable.
To use pyrex to roast your vegetables, cover the dish with cooking spray or about a tablespoon of oil. If you don't have cooking spray or a brush to apply the oil, use a clean paper towel to apply the minimal amount of oil needed to keep your roasting vegetables from sticking.
Use An Air Fryer To Roast Vegetables
Air fryers have recently become popular for quickly roasting vegetables. They work exceptionally well for frozen produce since the water collects at the bottom, allowing the vegetables to dry roast. Since air fryers use a timer, it's possible to get crispy vegetables without monitoring your pan.
Choose Your Cooking Pots Wisely
Now that you know what the best pots are for cooking vegetables and how to make the most of them choose wisely! Factor in cost, materials, and ease of use so that you'll have the right pots to cook in for a long time to come! The best pot for vegetables will be the one you use the most.
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