Steaming - Boil

how to add salinity when steaming potatoes | Family Cuisine

Add salt to the water when steaming potatoes.

Steamed potatoes with butter and herbs.

Steamed potatoes. Don’t they sound…kind of boring? I’d never really thought about steamed potatoes.

For my friend’s birthday party, her husband made an incredible clam steam. Along with the clams, sausages, and corn, there were, you guessed it, steamed potatoes. At first I thought I’d give the steamed potatoes a pass. I mean, they were just potatoes! Better to save tummy room for those clams, right?

Well, after I’d eaten my share of clams, I still had a wee bit of room-perfect for half a potato. Since these were large white potatoes, I asked my husband to share with me. (Spoiler: This does not end well for Greg.) I cut the potato in half, poured some melted butter on it and gave it a generous sprinkle of salt.

Oh my! This potato was so good! It’s flesh was creamy while the skin remained almost “snappy” without being tough. When Greg decided to nab his share of the potato, I, um, decided I didn’t feel like sharing!

I wondered if I loved the potatoes so much because they steamed above clams and sausages or if perhaps steamed potatoes were just that good. After making several batches this summer, I can affirm: they are just that good.

Here’s how to make them. (You’ll need a steamer basket to make the potatoes. That’s it!)

Rinsing potatoes under running water in a calendar.

Wash potatoes. You can steam any size potato but I think small ones are best. I picked these up at the farmers’ market.

Pot of water for Steamed Potatoes.

Add about one-inch of water to the bottom of a large pot.

Small potatoes with a smiley face.

Look for the smiling potato. (Okay, you don’t have to do this. But, seriously, how cute is that potato?!?)

Potatoes in steamer basket.

Place potatoes in the steamer basket. Arrange the largest potatoes on the bottom of the basket and the tiny guys on top.

Steamed Potatoes in pot with glass lid.

Cover. This is important! You can’t steam potatoes in an open pot!

Steamed Potatoes in pot.

After about 30 minutes of cooking over medium heat, it’s time to check the potatoes. If you really tiny potatoes, check them after 20 minutes. For big potatoes, wait 40 minutes.

Checking doneness of steamed potato with a knife.

You want your knife to slide easily into the potatoes. (I always check a few just to be sure they are all ready.)

Butter in measuring cup for steamed potatoes.

Melt two tablespoons of butter.

Pouring melted butter on steamed potatoes.

Pour over potatoes.

Stirring steamed potatoes and melted butter with a rubber spatula.


Steamed Potatoes with kosher salt in a red bowl.

Add a generous sprinkling of kosher salt.

Steamed potatoes in a red bowl with butter and herbs.

And herbs. You can use dried or fresh. I love (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) Penzey’s Parisien Bonnes Herbes. But use whatever you love. Dill, basil, and chives are especially nice.

Stirring steamed potatoes with melted butter, salt, and herbs.


Steamed Potatoes with butter and herbs. And serve. The finished potatoes are creamy with an intense and lovely potato flavor.

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