Articles / Steamy Summer Nights

Steamy Summer Nights

Published May 22, 2023

Why the most versatile — and neglected — cooking technique is the absolute best for the hot months

By day three of the fluke Pacific Northwest heat wave last week, I had it up to here with raw vegetables. No matter how hot the kitchen is, a cook’s gotta cook. Does anyone really eat salad for dinner all summer? Of course not. Nor do you want the oven or stove on for hours, or to eat all your meals off grill grates.

Enter steaming, perhaps the most misunderstood of all cooking methods. As with its evil stepsisters boiling (good for little more than pasta, stock, and certain seafood celebrations) and poaching (acceptable for eggs, salmon, and chicken if you know your way around a slotted spatula or spoon), the heat delivery system is water.