Photo by Christina XuCreative Commons License.

Steaming works by boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam. The steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. The food is kept separate from the boiling water but has direct contact with the steam, resulting in a moist texture to the food (Wikipedia, nd).


Difficulty to learn: Easy/Medium

Some Thoughts For You:

Steaming is a rather simple preparation method, and is a healthier way to prepare foods such as vegetables or rice!

Think about what happens when you boil water. After a bit of time steam will start to rise from your pot. You can actually harness this steam to cook delicate foods. Steaming will be a go-to preparation method once you’ve mastered it.

What You Will Need:

All you need to steam food is a pot to boil water in and a metal “steamer” to hold your food above the water. A metal steamer looks like a strainer with less holes. It usually comes with a glass lid with a hole in it to allow for escaping steam.

You can also buy an electrical steamer, but those can be rather pricey.

Basic Steps:

You only have to remember two things when steaming foods such as vegetables: Do not steam your food for too long, and cut the food up into bite sized pieces ahead of time.

  1. Cut your food up into smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly they will cook
  2. Fill your pan with an inch or two of water. Place it on the stove and turn up the heat until the water begins to boil.
  3. Add the vegetables (in the steamer) to the pot and cover with a lid. Reduce heat on the stove to medium.
  4. Steam for no more than a few minutes. Harder vegetables, such as carrots, will take longer to completely cook.
  5. You know your food is done when the pieces are tender.

Tips For You:

  • Over-steaming your food can cause it to turn too mushy. Remember, most foods only take a few minutes to fully steam!
  • Remember steam is hot, so use proper hand protection when inserting and removing your food.

Some Links To Help With Preparation: