How To Use A Steamer Basket? 11 Questions Answers!

A steamer basket is magnificent and straightforward cookware whose concept preserves the nutritional quality of your food. The basket is made of mesh and is a standard method for preparing veggies.

Vegetables lose their nutritional value quickly and become soggy if you don’t check the overall cooking time. With a steamer basket, you add little water in a pot, place the basket with the veggies on top, and then fix the lid in position. At the right cook-time, your veggies will be soft and firm but not overcooked.

But it’s not only vegetables that you can cook with a steamer basket. If you love steamed fish or chicken, you can give it a trial, but with a few tricks in place. Otherwise, the thickest parts of your food will not cook adequately. Your fish may also flake and become soggy.

If you are trying out steaming for the first time, take your time to go through this guide to learn more about the steamer basket. We have got several of this cookware in the market, including bamboo, metal, silicon, and even electric ones, but the principle is the same.

1. How To Use A Metal Steamer Basket?

The metal steamer basket is primarily stainless steel, known for its sturdiness, rustproof, durability, and easy maintenance. A metal steamer basket will last in your kitchen for ages. It is the simplest to use, as in this YouTube video 

But in case you didn’t capture all the details, here’s the easiest way to use a metal steamer basket;

Step One:

The first step will be to pick a metal steamer basket depending on the amount of food you need to coo. That means you can have several steamers of different sizes in your kitchen. Some come in tiers, while others are single.

You can even steam several foods simultaneously. Standard steamer baskets are about 10 to 12 inches or 25 to 30 cm, but commercial ones measure up to 30 inches or 76 cm. The choice is entirely yours.

Step Two:

Add two inches of water to your pot and boil. Measuring the correct amount of water is paramount when steaming food.

The right level makes sure that water does not get into the steamer or too little to burn the pan. Additionally, boiling water first gives you a better outcome than throwing everything in place simultaneously.

Step Three:

Rest the basket steamer on top of the pot and arrange your food neatly inside. Don’t mix meats and vegetables if your steamer is tiered and you want to steam different foods. Steam vegetables separately as the cook times vary. In addition, the steam from other foods can alter the taste.

Step four:

Cover your pot with its lid. Minimize the heat to medium (if the pot has a temperature setting). If there is no heat setting on your pan, cover and turn the heat on the stove to medium. Follow the cooking time for specific foods to ensure that the food cooks properly. Most vegetables will take 5 to 7 minutes on average.


Steaming meat takes 25 to 30 minutes, while fish is about 10 to 15 to cook thoroughly. But you can keep on checking with a fork whether your dish is tender.

Your pot’s lid should fit snugly over the pot to ensure no steam escapes; otherwise, your food will not cook thoroughly. 

2. How To Use Bamboo Steamer Basket

Bamboo cookware is gaining popularity due to its environmentally friendly nature. This material is organic, non-toxic, durable, easy to use, and easy to maintain. It consists of interlocked baskets stacked on top of each other. The bamboo steamer is a set that comes with a basket for placing the food. 

The baskets come with a lid on the top. When you place the baskets over a pot of simmering water, the steam rises through the mesh in each basket. Food then cooks on time and to your liking.  

This steamer basket can cook buns, dumplings, bread, rice, vegetables, cakes, and desserts. Unlike the metal and other types of steamer baskets, bamboo steamers do not collect moisture (condensation) from your food. That means this invention preserves your food texture, taste, and appearance. 

But if you have no idea how to use a bamboo steamer basket, we have the steps. First, you will pick a size that fits your situation.

Step one:

Boil water in a wok, pot, or pan, big enough to hold your bamboo basket steamer. 

Step Two

Line your steamer’s bottom with a parchment steamer liner, lettuce, or cabbages leaf. The liner prevents the base from staining and sticking.  

Step Three:

Arrange your food on the liner carefully without crumbling or overfilling your bamboo steamer basket. You can tier different food types, but we recommend the same foods because of cook times. 

Step Four:

Rest your bamboo basket inside the steamer in a way that it won’t move around or tip over in the pot. A slopy pan will keep your basket elevated on the base. You can place the bamboo steamer inside such that the water covers an inch above the bottom.

Step Five:

Cover the pot and wait for the food to cook thoroughly to your desire. 


 A bamboo steamer basket works better with a wok because it has a broad base that can fit various sizes. It is also thin, thus more accessible for water to boil and regulate the temperature constantly.

Keep checking the water level on the wok as it evaporates much faster than on a pot. Whenever the levels are low, add hot water to keep the heat constant.

Read More: How To Clean And Use A Silicone Steamer Basket?

3. How Do You Open A Steamer Basket?

A steamer basket can be collapsible or non-collapsible. The non-collapsible look like a large strainer and are straightforward to use.

The collapsible ones look like a flower petal and require you to open them before use. It is easy to slip your finger on top of the steamer and pull it to open.

4. How Do You Open A Metal Steamer Basket?

Most metal steamer baskets are collapsible for easy storage. They have folds that may challenge you when opening if you are new to the cookware. With this short YouTube video, you can effortlessly open your steamer basket depending on the brand. 

Watch The Video

When your food is properly cooked, you have to open the hot metal steamer basket to remove the food for serving. But the heat from the hot food below will not allow you to do so in peace. You need to be extra careful, or else you get severe scolds. 

A hot metal steamer basket is more dangerous than a bamboo or silicon one. Put off the stove and use your gloves to hold the steamer basket as you lift it from the pot.

Transfer your vegetables into a serving bowl and pour the water into the drain. Clean your basket, steam, dry it on a rack and keep it safely for the next steaming session.

5. How Long Does It Take For A Steamer To Start Steaming?

Prior preparations before steaming are ideal for the successful cooking of your food. One of the recommendations from experienced gourmets is to boil water and lower your steamer basket when the water is already bubbling.

The hot steamy water sets the steaming process to begin immediately. If you use cold water, steaming will start when the water starts to heat and approaches the boiling point.

6. How Many Minutes Does It Take To Steam?

You will take different steamed foods depending on their cooking times. Vegetables will take you five to seven minutes, while fish will take more time, approximately ten to fifteen minutes.

If you are steaming meat, expect the cooking time to be between twenty-five and thirty minutes, depending on its tenderness.

7. Do You Use A Lid To Steam?

Cooking food with a steamer requires a tight-fitting lid. Even a tiny amount of steam escaping from your steamer basket can make cooking food correctly a challenge. Vapor escapes from the basket mostly when using a pot on the stove.

You can add a towel between the lid and the steamer to ensure no steam escapes from your food to solve this issue. Your food will cook adequately with the correct doneness and texture.  

8. Do You Put Lid On When Steaming?

The idea behind steaming is to contain the hot vapor in your basket for the food to cook. A tight-fitting lid will help keep the steam circulating in your ingredients, which gives you great results. If you do not put the lid on when steaming, your food will not cook thoroughly.

9. How To Use A Steamer Basket For Veggies?

When using a steamer for veggies, the most crucial tip to keep in mind is that vegetables do not take more than seven minutes to cook. Some like broccoli and cauliflower take you five minutes to get them cooked. You will thus require to stay closer and also have a timer to alert you when the cooking time is over.

A few more minutes will leave your special dish overcooked and soggy. Once you clean your veggies, pack them in a steamer basket already placed in a boiling pot of water.

Cover the pot tightly, ensuring that all the edges are sealed to prevent the steam from getting off your pot. That ensures your ingredients cook evenly, adequately, and at the required time. 

10. How To Use A Steamer Basket For Broccoli?

Steaming broccoli will take you only 5 minutes! The vegetable, therefore, requires keenness, or you will end up with soggy and overcooked florets.

  • Prepare the broccoli by cutting the florets and peeling off the stem’s exterior.
  • Lower your steamer basket in a pot of boiling water. Your steamer should be above the water.
  • Place your broccoli pieces on the steamer basket cover the pot to build up steam.

Overall cooking time: five minutes.  

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If you love steamed veggies, chicken, fish fillets, herbs, mussels, and lemon slices, a steamer basket will make things easier for you. The food is healthy as it comes to your plate fresh with no oil. 

A steamer basket maintains the flavor and texture of your dishes. It is also available in superstores and online shops like Amazon and others. Using and maintenance of this simple cookware is also easy. 

We have given you the steps and tips and answered your concerns about this magnificent houseware. Read more articles on steamer baskets and much other kitchenware on our guides.

If you have more concerts, write to us, and our team will be ready to address your concerns. Have an excellent steaming experience!

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