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Choosing a Vegetable Steamer, Steamer Pot or Adjustable Steamer Basket

Updated on February 12, 2015

If you do much cooking, one tool you will find invaluable is a steamer basket or a steamer pot.  This is a type of (generally metal) basket that fits in a boiler or pot and allows you to cook vegetables or other foods on the stove top using steam.  You will find that steaming vegetables is a great way to cook them as it is quick, and the vegetables retain more flavor and color than other methods.  You’ll find more about the benefits of steaming vegetables below. 

So, how do you steam using a steamer basket?  It’s really quite simple.  You must make sure you have a steamer basket that fits your boiler well.  There are many adjustable types of baskets or you may purchase one that fits with the exact boiler you own.  The choice is up to you.

Adjustable Steamers

An adjustable steamer basket fits in many different sized pots, which will allow you more flexibility in your cooking.  Additionally, these baskets usually fold down for easy storage.  You may want to read the reviews for these to see if they will work well with your particular cookware set.  There is nothing more frustrating than finding that the steamer you choose will not work with your boiler.

Steamer Pot Sets

A more durable choice is a steamer pot set.  This is a boiler or pot with a steamer that fits perfectly within the boiler itself.  The lid will also fit snugly.  If you do a lot of steaming this is likely what you want to purchase.  The boiler can also be used without the vegetable steamer for everyday cooking.  The steamer can be used separately also as a strainer to drain pasta or other foods.

Microwave Steamers

A new creation that has come about in the last few years is the microwaveable steamer.  This is a steamer pot that is used in the microwave to give you the benefits of steaming vegetables without having to deal with the stove top.  These come in a variety of sizes and shapes to meet your cooking needs.  This is great if you just want to steam a bit of asparagus or other vegetable for a side dish, or if you are cooking for one.

How to Use a Steamer Basket

Once you have chosen a steamer basket or steamer pot you are ready to try your hand at using it.  It’s really quite simple.  You put a small amount of water in the boiler, place your basket on top, and put a layer of your favorite vegetables inside.  Place the lid on top and boil on medium heat until your veggies have reached the desired consistency.  Many people prefer steaming to boiling because you can more easily control how well done the vegetables are cooked.

Benefits of Steaming Vegetables

The benefits of steaming are incredible.  You will find that your steamed vegetables are crisper, more colorful and retain more vitamins and flavor than those cooked in other methods.  A vegetable steamer is a must have for anyone who is on a diet or is for any reason trying to eat more healthily. 


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    • jeremytorres profile image

      jeremytorres 6 years ago

      Wonderful hub!