Why Steam Food & Tips for Doing it Right


Why steam meals? As a result of steaming is a quick, straightforward, and clear method to cook dinner.

It’s additionally a moist cooking method, splendid for cooking delicate objects like seafood and greens.

Just like an air fryer, which makes use of the magic of scorching air to crisp up meals with little or no oil (yay, more healthy fries!), steaming makes use of the vapors of boiling water to cook dinner meals.

Nevertheless, not like air-frying, steaming is even easier and requires minimal gear (though you may also use fancy home equipment).

Steaming retains meals moist and juicy whereas including no further energy or fats.

It’s a health-conscious cooking technique, however there are some ideas and methods to steaming meals so the tip result’s tasty and tender — not mushy.

Vegetable steamer on a gas stove.

What Sorts of Meals Can You Steam?

Steaming is a far more versatile cooking approach than you might notice — and it isn’t restricted to only veggies.

“Steaming meals is a wholesome and lean method to cook dinner meals, whether or not it’s greens, fish, poultry, and even dumplings,” explains Emily Sullivan, R.D., L.D. “Whenever you steam meals, it very gently cooks the meals, making it tender.”

That goes for hearty root vegetables like sweet potatoes, that are a yummy various to hash browns with scrambled egg whites for brunch.

Steaming attracts out implausible taste and texture, says Dr. Christen Cupples Cooper, Ed.D., R.D.N., founding director and chair of diet and dietetics at Tempo College, Faculty of Well being Professions.

The Advantages of Steaming Meals

Not like different cooking strategies, resembling boiling and frying, your meals isn’t submerged in oil or water, which has some stunning advantages.

Together with not including something further to your meal, you’re additionally not losing as many nutrients and minerals.

“Steaming greens is a method to retain water-soluble vitamins since steaming prevents these particular vitamins from seeping out into water in the event that they have been boiled,” explains Sullivan.

Vitamin C is an example of a water-soluble vitamin.

“Since meals is trapped in a container with steam circulating round it, it cooks very evenly,” she provides.

Freshly steamed green broccoli in pot.

Are There Any Downsides to Steaming Meals?

The one actual issues with steaming meals are taste and overcooking. Nevertheless, there are many methods to jazz up steamed meals:

  • Steam meals in broth or inventory
  • Serve with a drizzle of sauce
  • Sprinkle dietary yeast
  • Add contemporary or dried herbs or spices

The trick for retaining steamed meals wholesome is drizzling versus drenching, dipping versus soaking, and sprinkling versus piling on.

You management how a lot fats or further energy you’re including.

Be aware of how a lot dressing, dipping sauce, and seasonings you set in your steamed meals, as these could add up with further energy, added salt, and extra sugar.

In case you steam greens for too lengthy, they’ll turn into limp and soggy.

Steaming cooks meals comparatively rapidly, however it varies based mostly on what you’re making and private desire.

“Broccoli, for instance, cooks in about 5 minutes, whereas fish takes about 4 to eight minutes to cook dinner,” explains Elizabeth Gunner, R.D.N.

All the time make sure to observe USDA security tips when cooking poultry or seafood.

In terms of greens, doneness is as much as you. Crisp-tender is often splendid however if you happen to like veggies a little bit softer or firmer, experiment with timing to get your good outcome.

One final caveat: Steam will get scorching, so watch out to get too shut.

Freshly steamed vegetables on wooden table

Find out how to Steam Meals

Steaming meals makes use of vapors from boiling water to cook dinner meals. Water boils at 212 levels Fahrenheit, or 100 levels Celsius, in most locations (elevation can really change the boiling point of water) to present you an concept how scorching it will get.

On probably the most primary stage steaming requires:

  • Boiling water
  • Some sort of basket or tray to carry the meals above the water
  • A lid or protecting to lure within the steam

“Steam from the boiling water supplies warmth, which is immediately transferred to the meals permitting it to cook dinner,” says Gummer. “Concurrently, when the steam is available in contact with the meals, water droplets kind and supply moisture.”

Steam additionally performs a giant half in how your pressure cooker works.

There are lots of instruments you need to use to steam meals in your stovetop, in your oven, in your microwave, and even home equipment designed for steaming or multicookers.

Listed here are some widespread choices:

  • A steel steamer basket in a lined pot in your stovetop
  • A bamboo steamer basket in a wok
  • A microwave-safe bowl lined with plastic wrap leaving a vent or a lid
  • An Instantaneous Pot (utilizing the steam perform)
  • In your oven with parchment paper packets


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