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Mar 14, 2011 12:49 PM

Is it yummy to steam butternut squash? And does it take forever?

I love to roast my butternut squashes, but I thought I'd try steamed chunks of it tonight instead. I have a little metal steamer basket, I wonder if all the water will evaporate before it can cook proberly? I'm terrified of this now because I used to steam my sweet potatoes and I had to continuously refill the water, and once I checked the water content (it was still there) and I accidentally spilled the semi-boiling water on my legs....

But anyways, if you steamed it what seasoning would you add, if any?

Thank you

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  1. Forgive me for asking the obvious - when steaming your sweet potatoes did you have a lid on the pot ? If you have a good-fitting lid you shouldn't run out of water before they are done.

    6 Replies
    1. re: TwoDogsDad

      Well in that particular incident I was using a bamboo steamer in a wok so no lid. But before I had the bamboo steamer I was using a pout with a lid and it always evaporated and even burned the bottom of the pot once. I don't know if the lid was tight or not (it's Revereware?)

      1. re: MarleneDietrich

        Perhaps if they made the legs on the steamer basket longer I could add more water and it wouldn't be a problem....

        1. re: MarleneDietrich

          You might have left the heat on too high during steaming. One of those baskets should be good for at least 20 minutes, even 30 minutes of steaming without having to add water.

          1. re: paulj

            Oh I never really thought of that... I normally have it on the higest temp possible. Thanks

            1. re: MarleneDietrich

              wow, it really should not be at the highest temp possible. even a medium temperature setting will be a rolling boil once you bring it to 100 C.

            2. re: paulj

              You might think of getting a two-part metal steamer. I have an aluminum one my brother gave me over 30 years ago and it gets used at least once a month. It has a lower and upper pot, and I put the stuff to be steamed in the upper part, while bringing the water in the lower part to a boil. Then I set the upper part in place and 15-20 minutes later I have food. I generally prefer the flavors of roasted or braised vegetables these days, but sometimes a lighter flavor is what the meal calls for. I also like to steam summer squash, like a mix of zucchini, crookneck and pattypan sliced up and salted lightly, and put a small handful of dried rosemary down in the steaming water. This infuses the squash with a lovely flavor, IF you like rosemary.

              A while back I was in an Asian market and bought a much larger metal steamer, this one in enameled steel with an aluminum insert. It's large enough to steam small chickens or several midsize fish, and I think it was around $25 or less.

        2. They steam nicely if you cut them in half, and place them in a covered dish, face down with a little water, cover them and microwave them until they are tender. I steam a lot of vegetables in the MW, usually on an automatic setting. The time will depend on their size and your particular oven, but once you get accustomed to it, it becomes the ideal tool for cooking veggies really easily and without making them soggy.

          Btw, because the microwave cooks so quickly, it uses a fraction of the energy cooking on the stovetop or in the oven would.

          2 Replies
          1. re: junescook

            I think the MW works great for this. But then I go on with stuffing and baking.

            1. re: junescook

              Agreed, and with butternut and acorn, cut in half, place straight down on a plate and cover was all I needed to do, I did not add additional water, nor did I find I needed to do so. Since butternut and acorn do have thick skins, I did prick them with a strong fork or knife all over, not alot more like 10 well placed.

              Spaghetti squash also can be done in the MW, SO fast, SO easy!

            2. You can steam it, but IMHO it's not as good, because the roasting add some carmelization and brings out the sweetness. However, one alternative if you'd prefer to use the stovetop is to cut it into small chunks and saute it. I tried this a while back and it worked really well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I agree that roasting, or even baking halved, cut side down, concentrates flavor better than steaming.

                I have several pieces of steaming equipment. One is shaped like a shallow, lidded saucepan, with handle, and of course the bottom is perforated. The bottom edge is "terraced", for lack of a better term, so that the steamer fits snugly on pots of varying diameters.

              2. Thanks for you advice everyone. I ended up sauteeing with garlic and coconut oil, and spicing it lightly with salt, curry powder, cayenne and Italian parsley. It was very yummy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: MarleneDietrich

                  That does sound yummy! I'm glad you tried the sauteeing idea.

                2. I too steam it in the microwave. I seed and cut up the squash in chunks with the peel on and once it's done and cooled a little the peel comes off easily. I've steamed it in a saucepan with the little steamer basket too and I add water right up to the bottom of the basket. I've never had problems with the water evaporating, buy I keep an eye on it. I love it mashed with butter, salt & pepper and a little nutmeg.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: noodlepoodle

                    My wife goes the saucepan with a steamer shelf route as well. Seems to work fine.