How to Cook Beets: Steam whole beets (with skins, roots, stem ends, and all) until just tender (the skins will blister a little bit and they will pierce fairly easily with a fork or knife). Depending on size (I cut the large ones in half) they will take about 25-30 minutes to cook. Test one beet by running it under cold water and removing the skins. The skin should easily slide off. If not, cook the beets a little longer (be sure there is enough water in there so they do not scorch). When done, remove the skins from all the beets and cut off the root and stem ends. 2 lbs of beets will make about 4 cups of cooked beets.