A food steamer is a small kitchen appliance that cooks food with steam, which means you don’t need to add any additional oil. The advantage of knowing how to use a steamer is that it generally requires less time and energy than boiling, and much more flavor can be retained because there’s no contact with water.
But how do you use one?
In this article, we will cover how to use the best type of food steamers for your needs and how long each cooking method takes so you know when it’s done.
How to use a food steamer, and what does it do?
A food steamer is an electric or stovetop kitchen appliance used to cook food by steaming it. It consists of a cooking pot with a perforated metal bottom that sits atop a boiling water bath. The hot vapor from the boiling water heats, cooks, and flavors the food.
Steaming is a form of cooking that uses steam to cook food. As a result, burning foods retain nutrients and flavor compared with other methods like boiling and frying.
The most crucial point about steaming is how the process can be adjusted according to what kind of food you want to cook. You can cook any type of vegetable in a pan over
Electric or stovetop steamer?
There are two types of steamers: stovetop and electric.
Electric food steamers have the advantage that you can preset how long it should cook for, how hot the water bath should be, how many trays you want to use, and how many portions will fit in the steamer.
If you’re cooking different meals, then an electric steamer is ideal as re-heating up a meal after it’s cooked takes just minutes – perfect if everyone wants something different!
In fact, with some models of electric cookers from brands like Sage & Tupperware, you can even set the delay timer so your meal can start cooking at a preset time.
Benefits of using a food steamer
The most significant benefit of using a food steamer is how it can help to reduce the level of fat that you consume.
According to a Harvard study, steaming vegetable concentrates the flavors and vitamins; however, steaming also removes some nutrients if one does not use enough water, but how much is needed has yet to be determined.
Then there’s the issue with how vegetables cooked in steamers may harbor fewer carcinogenic substances than other methods like boiling or frying. Also, how long vegetables should be cooked depends on how dense they are and what temperature cooking takes place.
Another plus for using steam cookers is that they allow you to cook foods without moving them around so harmful bacteria won’t get onto your plate.
7 Tips on using a food steamer
There are a few tricks to using the best food steamers. Here are seven tips to ensure you get the most from your steaming appliances.
1. Steamer trays – how big do they need to be?
The size of food you’re cooking will determine how many steamers or how much capacity you’ll need. For instance, how much food you can fit in the steamer depends on how large the holes are in the tray. The larger and more open space is, the more food you’ll be able to cook.
2. Food safety – how long do I need to boil?
Food cooked at a lower temperature for longer will retain its flavor, while those nutrients destroyed by high temperatures will be preserved at lower heat.
3. Different vegetables take different amounts of time to cook
It’s vital that you know how long it takes to steam each type of vegetable so you can choose how much time an individual food item needs. For instance, broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables, and it only takes about 4 minutes to cook in a steamer.
4. Steamers can overcook food, so how long should I steam?
The question of how much time you need to set your steamer depends on how large the vegetables are and how dense they are. A good rule is that vegetables like broccoli and carrots only take 3-4 minutes to cook. If its density is very high, how long you should cook will depend on how large the vegetable is. For example, tomatoes and peppers are denser vegetables, and they take about 6-7 minutes to cook.
5. Steamers need a fair bit of water – how do I calculate how much?
The amount of water needed to steam can vary depending on how much food you’re cooking and how long you want to cook it. Each electric food steamer will also have a maximum water level marked in the device.
6. How do I get the flavor into my vegetables?
Braising in a small amount of water, oil, or stock will lend extra flavor to your vegetables when they are steamed. This may be more desirable for some people who want the flavor to penetrate more deeply into a food item.
7. The inside of my steamer has a funny smell – how do I clean it?
It’s essential that you clean your steaming jars well after each use, and how well they’re cleaned will influence how much your next meal tastes!
Now you know how to use a food steamer, food steaming is an excellent way to cook your meal without using any oil or butter. The best food steamers will allow you to keep all the flavor and nutrients of the ingredients while removing excess fat, calories, and sodium from your dish.
What are you going to make next in your food steamer?