Difference Between Boiling and Steaming

There are several ways of preparing food, and dishes made with each one end up smelling, feeling, and tasting different.


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Boiling vs Steaming

The difference between boiling and steaming is that, in boiling, the ingredients are totally submerged in boiling water. On the other hand, during steaming, the raw ingredients are lifted over the boiling water. They are then covered with a lid to be cooked via steam.

Boiling vs Steaming

Boiling is a moist way of preparing food where ingredients are immersed in some liquid, either brought or maintained to the boiling point. Heat is conducted via vessel surfaces to the liquid in it.

Steaming is a procedure for making food that needs moist heat. This heat gets produced via boiling water which converts into steam. This steam provides warmth to the ingredients and cooks them.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison  BoilingSteaming
Manner of cookingUses direct exposure to liquid to cookVaporized boiling liquid used to cook
Oxalate removal87%       53%
FlavorsFlavors can be infusedFlavors can’t be infused
Vessel requirementCould be done in any potNeed additional vessel like a tray or insert
Breakage of ingredientsFood ingredients might break or become sturdy because of direct exposure to water             Raw ingredients don’t break 

What is Boiling?

Boiling is a vital cooking procedure used to make dishes from eggs, vegetables, and other meals. It is utilized in kitchens all over the globe and requires just a saucepan or heavy-bottomed pot to make the dish.

Boiling in the kitchen is done at a high temperature of around 100°C, in some base liquid or water. When the liquid involved boils, bubbles produced by water vapor moves towards the liquid’s surface and pops.

The ingredients are sink into the water for proper distribution of heat in the food. Boiling could be fast or slow in nature.

Usually, the raw ingredients are put into the liquid at a boiling stage but sometimes are lead to the simmering phase until the entire cooking finishes.


What is Steaming?

Steaming is a procedure of cooking that involves moist heating. The warmth gets produced via boiling water which converts into steam. This steam gets heat to the meal and prepares it.

To steam food, you only need to have two simple equipment pieces on your stovetop: a steamer basket and a pot. The pot is filled with liquid which leads to a simmer.

The hot steam flows in the pot and prepares the ingredients in it very quickly. The process is also known by the name compartment steaming.

Steaming could be done via high pressure as well. This sort of cooking will need specialized utensils. But, the basket-pot method works almost for all the steamed cooked dishes.


Main Differences Between Boiling and Steaming

  1. Boiling helps in killing more microorganisms due to higher temperatures. But while steaming, fewer microorganisms are removed if compared to boiling.
  2. Boiling might take away food flavors. On the other hand, steaming is likely to maintain food flavors to the utmost level.
Difference Between Boiling and Steaming


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643820307362
  2. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/42989519.pdf
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