The Fastest Way to Cook Artichokes

published Apr 18, 2016
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(Image credit: Lilyana Vynogradova)

I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with steamed artichokes. I love the taste, but given the tedious preparation they require, I really hate cooking them at home … or at least I did, until I learned this speedy method.

To be fair, there’s nothing particularly difficult or fussy about steaming artichokes on the stovetop. Although, if it’s your first time tackling these green globes, it might feel that way. Really, it just takes time and patience. Steamed artichokes aren’t traditionally the kind of snack or appetizer you can make at the last minute.

Unless, of course, you get out your pressure cooker. As with most tasks, this handy appliance drastically reduces the time it takes to prepare artichokes.

Making Steamed Artichokes in the Pressure Cooker

Whether it’s a sinewy cut of meat or tough artichoke, cooking anything with tough, fibrous layers is where the pressure cooker really shines. Laura Pazzaglia of Hip Pressure Cooking, echoes that sentiment: “Artichokes are the darlings of the pressure cooker’s repertoire; it turns this seemingly unapproachable vegetable into a delightful appetizer in minutes.”

While steamed artichokes typically take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour on the stovetop or up to six hours in a slow cooker, expect them to cook in about 10 to 15 minutes in the pressure cooker. Talk about a time saver.

The total cook time will vary depending on the size of the artichokes. And this part is important to be mindful of. Just as with any other method, overcooked artichokes offer mushy, soggy, and unpleasant leaves.

We used the same pressure-cooking method that’s shared on Hip Pressure Cooking. Start by placing a steamer basket and about one cup of water in the bowl of an electric pressure cooker. Prepare the artichokes just as you would if cooking on the stovetop or in a slow cooker by trimming the stem, cutting off the top third of the artichoke, and trimming the sharp, thorny tips from the remaining leaves. Lastly, be sure to rub a cut lemon over the top and sides of the artichoke to prevent any oxidation. Add the artichokes to the pressure cooker stem-side down, and cook on high pressure for about 5 minutes for small artichokes, 10 minutes for medium, and about 15 minutes for larger ones. As is best with most vegetables, use rapid release release to bring the pressure down.

Serve with drizzled olive oil, fresh herbs, and salt, or whip up a quick aioli for dipping.

Have you made artichokes in a pressure cooker?