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There are a few ways to cook an artichoke, but steaming is a popular choice because it's easy and keeps the artichoke moist.

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Here's how to steam an artichoke:


  • Artichoke(s)
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)
  • Herbs or aromatics (optional, such as garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf)


  1. Prep the artichoke: Wash the artichoke under running water. Using a sharp knife, trim off about 1/2 inch from the top and snip off the pointy tips of the leaves with kitchen shears. You can also rub the cut end of the stem with lemon to prevent browning.

  2. Steam the artichoke: There are two ways to do this:

    • Stovetop steaming: Fill a large pot with a few inches of water (enough to just reach the bottom of your steamer basket). If using, add some lemon slices, salt, herbs, or aromatics to the water for extra flavor. Bring the water to a boil. Place the artichoke(s) stem-side up in a steamer basket and insert the basket into the pot. Cover and steam for 25-35 minutes, or until a leaf pulls out easily when tugged gently. You may need to add more water during steaming if it evaporates too much.

    • Steaming in a pot (without steamer basket): Fill a large pot with about an inch of water. Add some lemon wedges or other flavorings if desired. Place a plate or heat-resistant trivet in the bottom of the pot to keep the artichoke elevated above the water. Place the artichoke stem-side down in the pot and add enough water to reach about halfway up the sides of the artichoke. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until a leaf pulls out easily.

  3. Test for doneness: An artichoke is cooked when the outer leaves pull out easily and the stem is tender when pierced with a fork.

  4. Cool and serve: Let the artichoke cool slightly before eating. You can serve it whole or cut it in half lengthwise.

How to eat an artichoke:

Once the artichoke is cool enough to handle, pull off the leaves one at a time. Use your teeth to scrape the fleshy part off the base of each leaf. Discard the tough outer part of the leaf and the fuzzy choke in the center of the artichoke. The heart of the artichoke, located at the bottom, is the most tender and delicious part. You can enjoy it plain or dip the leaves in melted butter, vinaigrette, or your favorite sauce.

Here are some additional tips for cooking artichokes:

  • Look for artichokes that feel heavy for their size and have tight, green leaves.
  • You can also boil or roast artichokes, though steaming is generally considered the easiest and most reliable method.
  • Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the artichoke. Start checking for doneness a few minutes before the estimated time
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