If you want to keep the health benefits of your food, especially your vegetables, knowing how to use a steamer for food can definitely do the trick. It is also a quick way to enjoy fresh food if you don’t feel like cooking a complex meal. Busy parents or professionals can use this technique to save cooking time and preparation.
But you might be asking, how to use a steamer for food? Well, the answer is quite straightforward. Boil water and let the steam cook the food for you. However, if it’s your first time to steam food, check our tips and tricks below to avoid under or over steaming your food.
Proper Use of Food Steamer
The idea behind how to use a steamer for food is quite simple to follow. However, using it properly and correctly will ensure you’ll have a dish you’re sure to enjoy after. Here are the things you need to keep in mind when using your food steamer:
Add the right amount of water.
Steaming is cooking using boiling water. By how much do you need? The general tip is, don’t add too much. Too much water can overdo your food, making it too bland when eaten. One or two inches of water when using a stovetop steamer is enough to have your food ready.
Excess water can cause your pan to rust easily, while too little can burn the pan and undercook the food.
Bring the water to a boil first.
There is a better way on how to use a steamer for food rather than just tossing everything in the pan. Waiting for the water to boil first before putting in your vegetables and other food will result in a better-tasting dish. You can also adjust the temperature of your stove depending on how cook you want your food to be.
Steaming should not take long.
If you opt to use your steamer for veggies, make sure not to steam for too long. Vegetables are quick to cook. So make sure to take them out before they become soggy. Even if you turn off the stove or heat source, the steam will still continue to cook your food. One technique to keep vegetables crispy and fresh is you put them in a bowl with ice water after steaming.
Use stocks or herbs to improve the overall taste.
Yes, steaming uses water. However, do not limit yourself to using just water. If you want to improve the taste of your food, without overpowering its natural flavor, use chicken or vegetable stock as an alternative to water. A pinch of salt or lemon can also make your dish tastier. If you want to improve the aroma, add some herbs like rosemary or lemongrass. However, the time it will take to cook your food might also vary since preparing will take a little longer.
Ensure your steamer has an air-tight seal.
Remember, steam is the one responsible for cooking your food. So if the steamer is not sealed well, steam will escape, making it difficult to fully cook your food. It will also make a much longer time to finish. So make sure to check if any steam is let out when cooking.
This also becomes more troublesome when cooking more complex food like chicken. An unsealed lid can cause undercooking, delaying mealtime. Or worst, you might need to recook it again.
Prepare your food prior to steaming.
Preparation is everything. Even how to use a steamer for food, it is important to prepare your ingredients beforehand. If you want to steam veggies, rather than just tossing them in, brush them first with olive oil and roll them into a mixture of different herbs. For chicken or fish, marinate them prior to steaming for a burst of flavors. Know more about how to use appliances.
If you’re looking for a quick and healthy way to cook your favorite dishes, try learning how to use a steamer for food. Using this appliance is pretty simple, and you can also do so much. The best thing about using a steamer is it keeps all nutrients intact. However, do not limit yourself and try to explore other ways to improve your steamed food. Since healthy does not always mean bland, right?