Does Steaming Cook Food Faster than Boiling?

No. But it does leave more of the nutrients inside the food.

When you steam food, a layer of tiny water droplets settle onto the food, this is called film condensate. This layer then insulates the food from the steam, thus slowing down the transfer of heat. Also, most produce has tiny pockets of air trapped in the tissue, just beneath the surface. The film condensate prevents these tiny air bubbles from escaping, which insulates the food even more, thus increasing cook times.

The advantages to steaming outweigh those of boiling. Boiling removes some of the natural sugars, salts, vitamins and color pigmentation. After all, we are in the midst of a slow food movement right? You can wait the extra 100 seconds for more delicious and healthier veggies.

Source: Modernist Cuisine Volume 2 by Nathan Myhrvold – p 70-73

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