how to use a food steamer

Do you know how to use a food steamer correctly?

Steaming is an excellent way to cook your food without compromising taste, nutrient quality, or calorie levels. One of the healthiest ways to change your diet, for instance, could be to decide to steam vegetables for your dinners throughout the week.

However, you must first understand how the cooking process differs in order to understand the benefits offered to those who steam their food. Whether you’re using an electric steamer or a standard steamer basket, you should know a few tips and tricks.

Today, we will introduce you to everything you need to know, from steaming vegetables like green beans, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli to steaming meats, such as chicken, fish, or pork, at home to discover all the advantages of steamed food for yourself.

How Do You Cook With a Steamer?

steamed veggies

Cooking with steam is a relatively straightforward process. You need to boil water and allow the steam to rise from the water to cook your veggies, herbs, and other foods. Of course, there are a few additional complexities to consider too.

You might make a few mistakes with your steaming adventures initially as you learn the difference between too much and too little water in the pot, how to leverage a loose-fitting lid on your pan, and how to use multiple tiers of steaming tools correctly.

The first step in cooking with a steamer will be figuring out what kind of steaming utensil you will be using.

How to Use a Vegetable Steamer: The Steamer Basket

The most traditional way to cook vegetables and other food with steam is using a steamer basket. You can place this metallic utensil on top of the pot or pan you’re using to boil water. Cooking with a basket is similar to placing a lid on top of a pot or pan to which you can add your potatoes, fish, and other foods.

The metal basket comes with many holes so the steam can easily access the food you want to cook. You’ll also be able to close the lid of most steamers to control how much heat energy escapes from the pot or pan.

One good thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to check the steamer to see if your food is ready when you’re cooking with it. Although steamers often include advice on how long to steam your food on medium-low or high heat, keep in mind that different vegetables can cook differently. Therefore, you’ll need to experiment with how you steam veggies until you find the ideal method that works for you.

How to Use an Electric Steamer

An electric steamer is a slightly different and more convenient tool for steaming vegetables. Instead of using your stove as a heat source, this product will use electricity. The standalone food steamer appliance will cook food according to your desired tenderness with ease. You don’t have to constantly check the pot to make sure it doesn’t start boiling over, either.

Like a traditional steamer, it can take a while to learn how to cook correctly with an all-in-one steamer pot. For example, larger vegetables can often take a bit to get to the perfect level in terms of cooking time. This is why it’s worth noting how much water you add with most veggies and whether you end up with overly soggy vegetables.

Remember, overcooking your vegetables during the steaming process can lead to the loss of valuable vitamins. However, if you don’t steam for long enough, you could end up with veggies that still seem raw. But fret not. Your new steamer insert within the box should contain instructions on cooking time.

All you have to do is follow the instructions provided by your electric steamer when cooking vegetables and meat. Meats will often take more than 10 minutes to be fully cooked. So make sure your food is cooked through correctly before you eat it.

Tips and Tricks When Steaming Vegetables and Meats

Learning how to use a food steamer does take a little patience. Steam cooking demands regular experimentation and testing, whether using electric steamers or a stainless steel steamer. Some foods will take just a few minutes, while others will have a much longer cooking time before reaching the right texture for your final dish. Here are some essential things to remember when steam cooking.

Tip 1: Don’t Add Too Much Water

Boiling water is the key to great steamed vegetables. However, too much water can quickly make your vegetables taste bland and soggy. Follow the instructions for your steamer and try not to add too much water.

Tip 2: Boil the Water First

Usually, it’s better to wait until the water boils to add your brussels sprouts and other veggies into the steam basket. The less time your vegetables have to cook in the steaming pot, the less likely they become soggy.

Tip 3: Don’t Steam for Too Long

Just as it’s important not to add too much water to your steamer, it’s crucial not to let your food steam for too long. A steamer can make food taste bland and lifeless when you continue cooking for longer than necessary.

Tip 4: Experiment With Your Steamer

Depending on the steamer you’re using, you can always experiment with your cooking by adding various stocks, herbs, and flavours into the water. Adding a stockpot to boiling water can give your steam-cooked meat extra flavours. You can also consider dill sprigs, rosemary sprigs, olive oil, and sliced garlic to make your meat and veggies taste unique.

Tip 5: Get the Seal Right

Remember, for your meat and vegetables to cook when you’re steaming, there can’t be any loose fit with the lid. You’ll need a tight seal to ensure as much steam heat interacts with the meat or vegetables. A loose fit could mean cooking takes longer, and you’ll waste extra energy.

FAQ About Steamed Food

If you haven’t cooked with steaming utensils before, it can be unusual to get used to cooking. Fortunately, once you get the hang of it, steaming food like veggies and meats can be fun and great for improving your nutrition. Here are some quick questions and answers to help you get started on the right track.

Where Do You Put the Water in a Food Steamer?

The location of the water for your steaming process will depend on the kind of steamer you’re using. If you’re cooking on a stove with a pot and a stainless steel basket, you’ll place the water in the pan. If you’re steaming water in a kitchen appliance, the instructions on the machine should be able to tell you where to put the water. Keep a tea towel nearby to mop up any spills.

How Do You Use a 3-Tier Steamer?

A three-tier steamer is a kind of food steamer that uses multiple levels to direct steaming water to different pieces of food simultaneously. Usually, you’ll be steaming the main portion of your food on the bottom level, such as potatoes or pasta. The middle level holds your protein, such as fish or chicken breasts, and the veggies go at the very top.

Can You Cook Anything in a Steamer?

Once you’ve experienced your first steamed meal, you’ll be keen to try steaming other foods and recipes. If you’re using an electric steamer, you’ll be able to find guidance on what you can and can’t cook in your steaming utensil within the instructions. However, avoid steaming anything that might not be appropriate for your steamers, such as steaks or large amounts of meat that need more than a steaming process to cook correctly.

Use Your Food Steamer Correctly

a woman preparing food

Steaming your food is one of the best ways to transform your recipes and get more nutrients into your day-to-day meals, like steamed vegetables or some pasta for the kids. So if you’re doubting if a food steamer is worth getting, let us tell you that a suitable food steamer is an excellent investment for a family looking to eat healthily.

Another thing, you don’t even need to spend a fortune on an electric steamer if you’re happy to experiment with something simple, like a steaming basket. Just make sure you learn how to use a food steamer correctly before cooking.

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