If you’re looking for a kitchen appliance that’s both versatile and easy to use, then a food steamer might be the perfect option.
We all know that an electric food steamer is a great way to cook healthy food. But what can you cook in a steamer?
If you don’t know what a food steamer is, check out this article on What Does a Food Steamer Do?
In this article, we will talk about the different foods that are best cooked in a steamer for food and how they turn out when done.
Things You Can Cook with a Food Steamer
The first thing you can cook in a food steamer is vegetables.
There are many kinds of veggies that go well with steam cooking because it preserves the vitamins and nutrients better than boiling or microwaving them.
You can cook leafy vegetables such as kale, and spinach or Cruciferous ones such as broccoli.
The second thing people usually think to steam is fish (and seafood).
Fish cooks quickly when steamed, so prepare your fish in advance if you want it to be done when the rest of the meal is.
Next up are root veggies like carrots and potatoes.
If using a food steamer for these types of foods, cook them until they’re fork-tender before serving because that means they will have absorbed all the flavors in the steamer.
Root vegetables take longer to cook in a steamer compared to other vegetables.
You can steam meat and achieve a tender and well-seasoned meal.
It is also a great way to prepare meat for stews and soups because it tenderizes.
Once the meat has been cooked in the food steamer, you can use it with other foods or make broth for your soup or stew.
The meat you can steam is not limited to beef. Lamb, pork, and goat meat do well in the appliance.
Depending on the size and texture, you may have to cut the meat into cubes and pieces for better results.
Eggs can be steamed too – especially if you’re looking to make hard-boiled eggs.
Poultry can also be steamed, but it will take a little longer than the other food because bird meat is tougher.
You may also need a bigger steamer to accommodate the food, especially when steaming the bird whole.
Rice can be cooked in your electric food steamer too.
The advantage of a steamer when cooking rice is that you won’t have to worry about boiling over on your stovetop while your food cooks.
All you have to watch is the water levels to ensure the rice is well cooked.
You can put your rice right in the bowl of the steamer, and add some water or broth to it (about an inch).
Cover it up with a lid so that all the steam is trapped inside, then let everything cook for about 20 minutes until you see small holes on top of the rice.
And finally, one of the quickest things that anyone can steam is pasta.
If using a multi-level food steamer for this purpose, cook your noodles until they are al dente so they don’t get mushy.
You can even steam fruit like apples and pears to make your own healthy, delicious desserts.
Just slice the fruits up thinly before steaming them for about three minutes or until they’re soft enough that you can mash them with a fork.
Different Ways of Using a Food Steamer
There are other uses of a food steamer apart from cooking. The kitchen appliances come in handy for the home.
Here are other food steamer uses in your home:
Steaming to Sterilize
Utilize a food steamer for steaming baby bottles to sterilize them.
Using a food steamer to steam baby bottles is the best way to sterilize them because it uses no harsh chemicals (such as bleach).
You can also use a food steamer to defrost food from the freezer before cooking.
Defrosting frozen food is a great way to save cooking time and conserve energy.
Another great use for a food steamer is to warm up leftovers from the fridge or freezer.
It’s also good for warming up baby bottles and utensils as well as hot water if you want tea, soup, etc.
The steamer basket makes it easy to remove your food and can be used as a colander for draining your veggies after they’re done cooking too.
How Do You Steam If You Don’t Have a Food Steamer?
There are many ways you can steam your food if you don’t have a steamer. You can use a pot, saucepan, or even an electric frying pan with the lid removed.
You can also opt to use a fine mesh sleeve. If you’re using a pot, make sure the bottom of the mesh sleeve is above (but close to) boiling water.
You can also use your microwave steamer for this purpose.
The goal is to cook the food in liquid so that it absorbs some of the liquid and becomes tender.
If you’re looking to own a food steamer, check out our review of the Hamilton Beach Electric Steamer.
There are several meals you can prepare food using an electric food steamer.
The above are just a few of the items you can make in your food steamer, but there are many other things.
Aside from cooking you can use the steamer to sterilize baby bottles, warm, and strain food.
The next time you’re at the grocery store or farmers market be sure to pick up some fresh produce and head home to try it out with your new cooking appliance.
Steaming your foods will keep them healthy and tasty while saving time on your cooking and cleaning.
Be sure to let us know how you make use of your food steamer! We’d recommend the Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer.