Boiling is one of the easiest ways to cook carrots, especially if you’re trying to avoid added fats. Learn how to boil carrots perfectly with these easy instructions.
While I must admit my personal preference is to roast carrots, there is something nice about the simplicity of boiled carrots when done right.
Here are the tried and true tips that I follow when making boiled carrots. If you keep these in mind, you’ll end up with a much better result.
First, be sure to cut the carrots into uniform pieces, so that they will cook at the same rate. Smaller pieces will finish faster.
Second, always add salt to the water. We’ve all heard about how this affects the speed and temperature at which water boils; the truth is that salted water simply enhances the flavor of whatever you’re cooking.
Third, don’t overfill the pot. Water takes a long time to heat because of its high heat capacity. You’ll save time and money by using just enough water.
Note: It’s recommended that you add root vegetables to cold water, but wait for a boil with others. Remember, if it grows below ground, put it in before the boil; if it grows above ground, add it after the boil.
How To Boil Carrots
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to boil carrots:
Prep the carrots: Peel and trim the ends, then chop to the desired size. A mandolin makes quick work of any slicing and chopping.
Prep the pot: Add enough water to the pot so that your carrots are fully covered with a half inch to spare. Add a few pinches of salt, then cover and set it over high heat.
Reduce heat: Once the water comes to a boil, turn the burner down. You will get the best results if you boil vegetables with a simmer.
If the water level gets too low, I add water from my electric kettle (you can just use hot water from the faucet, too). This keeps the temperature from dropping.
Strain the water: Once the carrots are finished, drain the water from the pot with a strainer or colander. If you turn off the burner, but leave them sitting in hot water, they will continue to cook.
How Long To Boil Carrots
Wondering how long to boil carrots? It will depend on how large the pieces are, how soft you want them to be, etc.
You can expect it to take anywhere from 3-5 minutes for 1/4″ slices or a bit longer for whole carrots. Check them frequently to make sure you get the level of tenderness you want.
I like my carrots to be tender-crisp, with just a bit of crunch in the center. You can check them by poking them with a knife tip.
I can’t overstate the importance of testing with a fork and also tasting the vegetables when trying new cooking methods.
We prefer our vegetables more firm than soft, with a solid bite to them. If you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more cooked, just add a minute or two to the provided cooking times. It’s always better to err on the side of undercooked versus overdone.
Keep in mind that cooking times are estimates and adjust them to be exactly what you like best.
How to Boil Carrots
- 1 pound carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust to taste
- Add carrots to a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Simmer for 3-5minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain off the water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.