TargetWoman - Portal for Women

Food Steamer

TargetWoman is a portal dedicated to Women - Pages of lasting value on issues women care about.

Food Steamer
Cooking food with steam retains valuable nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Steamers are gaining popularity with people as the world has woken up to healthy eating habits. Learn more about electric food steamers, bamboo steamers and steamer pots.

Enjoy good food sans the fear of gaining calories - use a food steamer. Also known as steam cooker or cooking steamer, a food steamer helps cook lean and nutritious food utilizing steam as the agent for cooking. Cooking food with steam retains valuable nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Most foods lend themselves easily to steam cooking.


The good news about food steamer is that you don't have to get cooked in the kitchen while cooking your food. Food steamers do not heat the kitchen as much as ovens do. Steamers are gaining popularity with people as the world has woken up to healthy eating habits. Generally steamers are used to cook vegetables, but they can also be used to steam fish, shellfish, crab, rice and meats.


Benefits of a food steamer

Food steamers employ steam to cook food. They have trays with slots that can be placed over water in a pot. Once the water boils, the steam escapes through the holes in the tray to steam cook food.


  • Food steamers help retain the vital nutrients of food. Sautéing or boiling results in heavy loss of essential nutrients while steaming preserves the natural nutrients of the food.

  • Food steamers offer easy and swift cooking, fast cooking helps in preserving the essential nutrients of the food.

  • No fatty oils are required to steam food thus cutting down on calories consumed while holding back nutrients lost in the oil.

  • In general steamed food can not be overcooked, another important aspect in retraining the nutrients of the food.

  • Steamers consume negligible energy thus saving on your energy bills.

Types of food steamers

Bamboo steamers: Bamboo steamers can be used to cook any type of food though they are a popular choice for cooking Asian food. Bamboo steamers are very effective in steaming vegetables and rice. These steamers are easy and simple to use and are available in different sizes. Bamboo steamers are usually used with a wok or a pot. People who wish to cook food the natural way can use bamboo steamers. These steamers should be cleaned thoroughly and stored in a clean and dry place. These steamers should be washed with mild soap and warm water. They should be dried thoroughly before storing them.


  • Pour 1 or 2 cups of water into the wok or pan. Bring the water to a boil.

  • The steamer is placed into this wok or pan for steaming the food. Holes in the bamboo steamer pass the steam upwards to cook the food.

  • Food to be cooked should not be kept directly on the steamer surface as bamboo absorbs the flavor of the food and cleaning the surface also gets very difficult.

  • Parchment paper, lettuce or any fresh leaf can be used as a layer over the steamer surface; food to be cooked can be placed over this surface.

  • Food should be cooked in separate layers as bamboo tends to absorb the flavor of the food being cooked. E.g. fish, vegetables and meat have to be cooked in different and separate layers.

  • The extra moisture formed on the lid while steaming is absorbed by the bamboo thus preventing overcooking or sloppy food.

  • The stacking option available in bamboo steamers is unique and very useful. Multiple steam trays that are arranged one over the other help to cook different kinds of food simultaneously. A single burner can be employed to cook food stacked in multiple steamers. Two and three tier bamboo steamers are very common.

  • Both fresh and frozen food can be cooked using bamboo steamers

  • Food can also be re-heated using these steamers.

  • These steamers cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher.

  • Cleaning the steamer is a tedious process.

Electric food steamer: Electric food steamers are no doubt the quickest method of steaming. They consume very little time to cook your food. All electric food steamers are fitted with timers. Electric food steamers should be assembled as per the instructions provided by the manufacturer.


  • Pour 1 or 2 cups of water into the bottom compartment, bring to a boil.

  • Put the food to be cooked on the container with holes, set the timer as required.

  • The timer will beep once the food is cooked and ready. Each food item will need different cooking time based on the texture of the food.

  • At the bottom-most layer, put the food that requires to be steamed the most. On the top-most layer, put the food that requires the least steaming.

  • They are available in a variety of sizes and can be chosen as per requirement. Single tier, two tier, three tier and four tier steamers are common.

  • Fast and efficient cooking of food in multiple layers is the unique feature of this steamer. Thereby you save a lot of time.

  • These steamers are more expensive than other steamers.

Stove top steamers: Stove top steamers have a steamer tray on which the food to be cooked is kept. This tray is inserted into a pot that has water filled at the bottom. These steamers are available in different shapes and sizes. Stove top steamers are best for cooking vegetables and can steam small and large quantities. The cooking time required is a little longer when compared to electric steamers.


Food steamer inserts: Collapsible/expandable metal inserts can be used to steam food. The food can be placed on the open top portion of the steamer insert and the insert can be seated on the bottom of the saucepan. These inserts will be in an elevated position from the bottom; water is added to the bottom of the saucepan to facilitate steaming of the food. Food cooked should be checked repeatedly else it might get overcooked. These steamers are inexpensive and can be used in your existing pots or saucepans. The cooking time required is a little longer when compared to electric steamers.


Microwave steamers: Microwave steamers are a healthy and quick way of steaming vegetables. These steamers have a microwave safe bowl along with a steamer insert and lid. These steamers are dishwasher safe and are easy to clean too. These steamers are not used as much as other types of steamers. Microwave steamers are very useful for small families who don't require huge quantities of food to be steamed at the same time.


  • The bottom container is filled with water; food to be cooked is placed in the top container.

  • Place the lid and stack the containers in the microwave.

  • Steam rises up from the bottom container and cooks the food in the top container.

  • Food in microwaves get steamed within 5 minutes, time can be adjusted based on the texture of the food to be cooked. Two tier microwave steamers are also available.

Food Steamer Recipes

Quick rice cake

Milk 1 ½ cups
Sugar 1 cup
Bisquick 2 cups
Eggs 2
Vanilla 1 tsp
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Coconut 1 cup

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Pour into cup cake moulds. Steam for 15 or 20 minutes until done


Steamed vegetables

Cauliflower ½ head
Broccoli 1 or 2 bunches
Corn 1 can
Carrot 3

Chop all vegetables in even size and shape. Place them in the steamer container and steam until they get tender. Serve with butter


Steamed chicken with asparagus

Skinless and boneless chicken breast halves 2, large
Fresh asparagus 500 g, trimmed
Rosemary to taste
Thyme to taste
Garlic to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Add water to the steamer pot and bring it to boil. Rinse chicken; apply salt pepper, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Place the chicken and the asparagus next to each other on the steamer rack and lower it into the pot. Steam for about 10 to 15 minutes. The chicken should be just done and the asparagus crisp. Add salt and pepper to the asparagus. Serve with brown rice


Vegetable steamers

Vegetable steamers are available in a variety of designs. Popular ones include:


Pot shaped steamers with an insert similar to a colander is common. The insert is designed such that it fits into the top part of the pot. Water is filled in the pot while vegetables to be cooked are placed on the colander insert. The pot is placed on a range top or heating element. Water gets heated up gradually and the steam generated cooks the vegetable.


A steamer pot assembly has a pot, a steamer basket and a lid. The pot has a vertical projection at the top rim where the lid can be fit. A perforated steamer basket that fits inside the pot is used to hold the food to be steamed.


Few other vegetable steamers have an in-built heating element. These electric steamers are simple to use. Just plug in the vegetable steamer and set the timer as required. The timer beeps once the vegetables are cooked. This is a perfect option for steaming vegetables and to retain the original flavor.


Food steamer inserts

Collapsible/expandable metal inserts used to steam food are called steamer baskets or steamer inserts. The food can be placed on the open top portion of the steamer insert and the insert can be seated at the bottom of the saucepan. These inserts will be in an elevated position from the bottom; water is added to the bottom of the saucepan to facilitate steaming of the food.


Food cooked should be checked repeatedly else it might get overcooked. These steamers are inexpensive and can be used in your existing pots or saucepans. The cooking time required is a little longer when compared to electric steamers.



Top of the Page: Food Steamer
More on Home Improvement Home Improvement Home and Garden
Home Improvement Tips
Wood Furnace
Hardwood Floor
Bamboo Flooring
DIY Damp Proofing
Home Improvement Contractor
Handyman Services
House Painting Tip
Faux Painting
Exterior Wall Cladding
Elastomeric Paint
Waterproofing
Home Decor
Christmas Yard Decorations
Sliding French Door
Home Furnishing Idea
Vinyl Siding
Upgrade House Siding
Driveway Resurfacing
Closet Organizer
Linen Cabinet
Blown Glass Vase
Contemporary Credenza
Fish Tank Aquarium
Thanksgiving Cactus
Home Garden Design
Backyard Playhouse
Dining Room Design
Silk Floral Arrangement
Laundry Hamper
Antique Glassware
Fireplace Mantel
Indoor Fountain
Ceiling Texture
Recycling Facts


Cleaning
Seasonal Home Maintenance Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist
Cleaning Bathroom Tile Grout
Spring Cleaning Tips
Stain Removal
Odor Eliminator
Kitchen Garbage Disposal
How to Declutter


Windows Sliding French Door French Window
Casement Window
Bay Window
Replace Home Window
Retractable Awning
Curtain Valance
Silk Curtains


Lightings
Wrought iron chandeliers
Hybrid Solar Lighting
Motion Sensor Outdoor Lighting
Lamp Shade
Home Lighting Fixture
Chandelier Lighting
Foyer Lighting
Recessed Lighting Fixtures


Home Security
Burglar Alarm System
Video Surveillance Camera
Web Security Cameras
Security cameras
CCTV Cameras
Driveway Alarm

Home Electronics Home Electronics Patio Radiant Heaters
Solar Water Heater Systems
Driveway Gates
Vacuum Cleaner Review
Dehumidifier
Clothes Dryer
Integrated Dishwasher
RFID Technology - RFID Application
Lower Energy Bills
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Electronic Pest Control

Home Appliance Maintenance Home Appliance Maintenance Washing Machine Maintenance
Ionizer Air Purifier
Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance
Appliance Maintenance - Refrigerator
Dishwasher Maintenance
Do it yourself Home Improvement

Kitchen Appliances
Budget Kitchen Upgrade
Food Steamer
Waffle Iron
Garment Steamer
Crepe Maker
Kitchen Blender
Meat Grinder
Juicer
Gas Grill
Barbecue Smoker

Kitchen Improvement Kitchen Improvement Types of Cutlery
New Kitchen Countertops
Kitchen Cabinet
Kitchen Chimney Hoods
Kitchen Pantry
Kitchen Knife
Metal Bread Box
Kitchen Canister
Kitchen Remodeling Idea
Kitchen Furniture
Kitchen Faucet
Kitchen Lighting Idea
Custom Kitchen Island
Ceramic Kitchen Sink
Kitchen Backsplash Tile
Crockery
Barbecue Grilling Tip
Stainless Steel Tableware

Bath
Bathroom Sink Vanity
Shower Enclosures Kits
Shower Massage Panel
Bath Safety for Seniors
Inground Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool Maintenance
Replacing Bathroom Fixtures
Remodel Bathroom
Bath Tub Restoration
Jacuzzi Tub

Bedding
Organic Mattress
Memory Foam Mattress
Water Bed Mattress
Childrens Bunk Beds
Adjustable Bed
Neck Pillow
Luxury Bed linen

Furnitures Furnitures Writing Desk
Bedroom Furniture
Furniture Restoration
Bar Stool
Antique Furniture
Bedside Table Design
Picnic Table
Storage Ottoman
Kitchen Buffet Furniture
Contemporary Furniture Guide
Rustic Furniture
Space Saving Furniture
Wood Furniture Care

Top of the Page: Food Steamer