How to Steam Red Potatoes in an Electric Steamer

by Christopher Godwin

Steaming red potatoes is a healthy, easy way to cook potatoes that keeps nutrients intact more than other cooking methods. Steaming is also convenient for busy cooks, as you can simply set the controls and prepare another dish or the main course at the same time. Serve steamed red potatoes as is, mashed with or without skins or cooled in cold recipes like potato salad. When steaming red potatoes, use potatoes of similar size to ensure they are equally cooked.

Scrub the potatoes gently under cold running water with a wire brush that you use only for food. Allow the potatoes to drain in a colander in the sink for five to 10 minutes before patting them dry with paper towels to remove any excess debris.

Fill the bottom of the steamer with 1 cup of cold water, vegetable or chicken broth or stock or a mixture of chicken broth and white wine and any fresh or dried herbs or spices you want to use.

Place the potatoes in the steamer basket or on the steamer tray and put the top on the steamer.

Set the time and allow the potatoes to steam for 20 minutes without checking them. When the potatoes are finished cooking, they will gently break apart when you poke them with a fork.

Season the potatoes to taste with sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Serve the potatoes immediately while hot or allow them to cool to room temperature or in the refrigerator for salads and cold dishes.


  • Very large red potatoes might require up to 30 minutes to cook properly. If you intend to mash the potatoes, steam them for an additional five minutes.

    Some steamers have a place for herbs and spices to flavor the food. However, you can add fresh or dried herbs and spices directly to the steaming liquid or brush them on the outside of the potatoes with extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter.

    Common herbs to use on red potatoes include dill, thyme and rosemary.


  • "Cooking with Steam"; Stephanie Lyness; 1996

Photo Credits

  • Victoria1988/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."