Want to know how to use a microwave steamer at home? Steaming is one of the fastest ways of preparing vegetables without sacrificing nutrient quality. Compared to dry heat cooking, steaming prevents the loss of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. As such, you don’t need to add oil or salt.
While it sounds simple, many people do not know how to use a microwave steamer. Learning how to steam using a microwave steamer requires time to master the skill. Once you know how to steam food, your vegetables will start to taste better.
Follow the steps below to learn how to cook food with a microwave steamer. Keep reading!
How to Use a Microwave Steamer
The following steps will teach you how to steam food with a microwave steamer.
Step One – Wash and Cut Your Vegetables
According to the FDA, wash vegetables very well before you cut, peel, and cook them. Washing your veggies reduces the bacteria present in fruits and vegetables. Foodborne outbreaks related to produce can cause vomiting and diarrhoea lasting one to seven days. Other symptoms of foodborne illness include fever, fatigue, nausea, and abdominal cramps.
To keep your fresh produce safe, wash your hands with hot soapy water. Clean your countertop, and cutting board before peeling, cutting, or chopping your produce. Bacteria on raw produce can get inside your veggies when it’s peeled or cut. Do not wash your fresh produce with detergents and soaps.
For produce with thick skin, use a vegetable brush to wash away the microbes. Vegetables with lots of crannies and nooks such as broccoli and cauliflower, soak for 1 to 2 minutes in clean cold water. Place any fragile produce in a colander and spray with clean water.
Step Two – Add Water
Add about one to two inches of water to the container. If the water goes above the steamer basket, you will ruin your veggies. Again, you don’t want to add too little water. This could lead to you burning the pot. The key is to add the right amount of water.
You can also add flavorings such as lemon juice and soy sauce for extra flavor. Make sure that there is enough moisture in the container or food.
In our example of how to use a microwave steamer, we will use the Sistema 3.2 liter large steamer. Designed for cooking poultry, vegetables, and fish, it features easy-lift tabs and a removable steamer basket.
The Sistema Klip It steam release vent provides splatter-free heating while the middle stack stays cool. This makes it easy for you to lift it out when your food is cooked.
Step Three – Microwave Your Food
Cover the Sistema microwave steamer with its lid. Place it in your smallest microwave oven. This prevents food splatters. Keep the vent open as this will release steam during cooking.
Set your convection microwave on medium heat. Cooking times will vary depending on the type of vegetable, poultry, and fish. It also depends upon the size and amount of food. Avoid cooking on high as this will lead to overcooking.
One of the most difficult tasks that many people face when steaming food is to get everything on the table at the same time. Steamed veggies take a few minutes to cook, but fish and poultry take longer. There are times you may find that your veggies or other food are already cooked before you are ready for them.
If steaming a variety of vegetables, arrange the “hard” veggies such as carrots towards the outside of the container. For the tender vegetables, place them close to the center. This will ensure that they finish cooking at the same time.
Step Four – Check the Water Level
You can always stop your countertop convection microwave to monitor your cooking. To know if your veggies or other food are ready, test with a fork. They should be a little crisp.
If steaming fish with your Sistema microwave steamer, use your fork at an angle at the thickest point. Twist it gently, and if your fish is ready, it will flake easily. It will also lose its raw or translucent appearance if well cooked.
Before steaming fish, make sure it is about an inch thick. To ensure your fish or poultry is fully and evenly cooked, cut in uniform sizes. Make sure there is space between food to help steam circulate. Remember, adjust the water level and timing according to food type.
Step Five – Ensure Seal Is Airtight
For your food to cook properly, the steam must circulate around and also touch the food. If you’ve a loose-fitting lid, then steam will escape. This will take longer to cook your food.
In the majority of instances, the process of steaming your food will lengthen. This may alter how the food tastes. In severe cases, you may undercook your poultry. We recommend buying a meat thermometer. This is the best way to ensure you don’t serve undercooked poultry.
It’s dangerous to eat undercooked chicken. This is due to the presence of bacteria such as campylobacter and salmonella. When infected by salmonella, you’ll experience enteric fever, food poisoning, and typhoid fever.
Step Six – Removing the Steamer From Your Microwave
After steaming your food, remove the microwave steamer from your microwave. Using pot holders, remove the lid with care after microwaving. To avoid hot steam burning your face or hands, open the lid away from you. Use the easy-lift tabs on the lid.
Allow the microwave steamer to stand for 1 to 3 minutes after cooking. This will also enable the microwave steamer to release steam and prevent burns.
Step Seven – Serving Food
Avoid cutting food inside the microwave steamer with sharp utensils. Using sharp utensils will scratch the insides of the container. Instead, serve the food onto ceramic, stone, or glass plates.
There you have it. An informative guide on how to use a microwave steamer at home. The Sistema microwave steamer is dishwasher safe. After serving food, place it on the top rack. To avoid blistering or staining, avoid steaming curries, beetroot, and foods high in sugar or fat content. Remember, do not use the microwave steamer in a conventional oven, hot plate, or stove.