Steaming is an excellent way to cook food without sacrificing nutritional value or flavor. It’s also one of the most straightforward ways to prepare vegetables after a long day at the office.
Despite the nutritional benefits of steamed vegetables, many home chefs are stumped as to how to use a food steamer in their day-to-day routines.
The solution is straightforward: boil some water and allow the steam to cook the food.
While it may appear to be simple and self-explanatory, mastering this style of cooking requires patience and practice. Don’t let the fact that you’ll make some mistakes and probably ruin a few dishes deter you. You’ll quickly notice that your vegetables taste better as you learn to cook with steam, and the process will become simple.
Let’s take a closer look at different types of food steamer, as well as some of our favorite tips and tricks for learning how to steam your veggies like a pro, to get you started.
Select Your Food Steamer: Electric vs. Stove-top
Before you learn how to use a food steamer, you must first have a general understanding of the type of steamer you are using. Here is a quick summary of two food steamers that you will most likely be using.
The most common method of steaming vegetables is with a steamer basket. This basic kitchen item is inserted directly into a pot or pan and then cooked on the stove or in the microwave.
The concept is simple: simply pour a little water into the pot, place your vegetables in the basket, and cover the pot with the lid. As you bring the water to a boil, the steam will condense and cook your vegetables.
The total cooking time for vegetables varies depending on the type and amount being cooked. Ideally, the vegetables should be soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork but firm enough to hold their shape. Vegetables that are soggy are a sign that they have been cooked for too long.
It’s a little more difficult to steam meat. When the fish is done, the thickest part should begin to flake away. Always make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.
The concept of an electric steamer is similar to that of a steam basket, but it’s a stand-alone cooking appliance that’s designed to do the work for you right on your counter.
You fill the pot halfway with water, add the vegetables you want to steam, close and lock the lid, and then select the appropriate setting on your appliance. That is all there is to it.
There are many different types of best electric food steamers to choose from, just like there are many different types of small cooking appliances. Some food steamers have multiple tiers that allow you to cook your entire meal all at once in one appliance.
Others are smaller and can only prepare one dish. An electric rice cooker is the most common example.
Food steamers come in a variety of styles, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Before purchasing any home appliance, it is always a good idea to read customer reviews.
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Steaming is a simple way to cook, especially once you know how to use a food steamer. Like any new appliance, it may take a little bit of experimenting to learn. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to whip up a flavorful bowl of veggies or a juicy chicken breast without breaking a sweat, all while retaining the full nutrient profile of your food.