Cooking cubed beets

One of vendors at a nearby’s farmer’s market has cubed raw beets (they also have whole beets). The cubes are a little over 1 cm in each direction.

I tried roasting the beets, and the outer surface basically charred by the time the inner portion was relatively soft. I liked roasted beets. Should I try boiling or steaming them b/f roasting them so that I don’t burn them?

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Perhaps lowering your roasting temperature would work - like a reverse sear.


Not roasted, but. . . . we buy the cubed beets at the farmers market and do a slow sauté on the stovetop, covered part of the time to get them to soften up. They’re so so good in salads.


Ohhhhh… Okay, that makes sense. Maybe I’ll try 3250 deg next time…

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m using them for! Partner was wondering if a sauté would work. Do you use medium heat? Do you cover them at the start or at the end?

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I would just boil them starting in cold water like you do potatoes just add a bit of vinegar to the water.

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Did you roast them tightly wrapped in foil?

I’d steam.

If you like roasted beets, buy whole ones.

No, I didn’t. Even if they’re already cubed, I can just wrap them tightly in foil?

Might work, I don’t know. Similar to steaming. I’d buy cubes to make borscht.

I love beets . Whole beets sous vide. Nothing added . It’s the only way I’ll cook them . Flavorful and tender.

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I think our Instant Pot can sorta/kinda do sous vide. What temp/duration do you use?

I don’t think we ever had vinegar when we boil potatoes! Is it just for taste, or does the acid do something to aid w/ the cooking?

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I vacuum seal the beets . Then into the sous vide. 185 degrees for three hours . They come out perfect.

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Helps to keep the color nice. It’s pretty old fashioned but it works. Steaming works great too but if you’re not really watching it you could turn them into mush, heck if you wanted to you could confit them in oil (then save the oil for next time)

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I believe @aaqjr was referring to starting the potatoes and beets in cold water as they are hard root vegetables and if you start them in boiling water the outside will overcook before the inside is done. Vinegar added to beets

If you add it to potatoes, which I don’t think @aaqjr is advocating, it keeps them from falling apart as in Kenji’s great french fry recipe, Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries Recipe.


you’ll see older recipes in witch beets were cooked in OJ sometimes with vinegar, you don’t need to go that far but the cooking liquid did taste delicious afterwards lol.

@ebethsdad is right the acid firms up the outside a bit too which is why when you are cooking beans for example you want to avoid adding anything acidic before they are fully cooked (like tomatoes for example)

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Had to ask bf who’s the chief beet cook. Medium heat. Cover towards the end. Stir occasionally so they’ll get caramelized but not burnt.

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Okay, so I’ve never sous vide’d anything in my life b/f, so I thought I would try this method in our Instant Pot. The cubed beets come vacuumed sealed from the farmer, so I just put the bag into the Instant Pot and set it for 185 deg for 1.5 hrs (read on-line that cubed beets don’t need as much time).

The beets still seemed quite firm at the end of 1.5 hrs, and I noticed that the bag had puffed up considerably (meaning that not all of the contents were submerged). I put a glass lid and a stainless steel/glass lid in the pot to get the content submerged and did another 50 mins. Beets still felt a bit firm, but I decided to cut open the bag and try some.

The contents smelled delicious, the beets look gorgeous, and they were just a touch firm but not at all crunchy. And totally evenly cooked all the way through, as far as I can tell, so it looks like the random lid technique worked to submerge the contents. I think the beets will be great in my salads this wk. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the technique, @Emglow101!

Is there anything particularly interesting to do w/ beet juice?