This Instant Pot Tool Makes Cooking Veggies a Breeze

It’s a must-have for quick and easy sides.

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September 14, 2020

Back in the ‘80s, my mom was gifted a vegetable steamer at her bridal shower. Amazingly, it lasted in our kitchen for more than 30 years and became one of my favorite kitchen tools — until a few weeks ago, when the bottom fell off and could not be repaired. At first, I figured this would be a fun opportunity to try new ways of cooking my favorite veggies, like broccoli and green beans. However, I quickly grew tired of roasting, sauteing and stir-frying, all of which required more attention and oven/stove space than my beloved steamed veggies did.

Rather than purchase a new vegetable steamer for my already-cluttered kitchen, I decided to take advantage of the “steam” setting on my Instant Pot — and the never-used basket I had to go with it. I started by pouring a cup of water in the Instant Pot, placing chopped broccoli in the basket and setting the Instant Pot to “steam” for 0 minutes, which means the veggies were done as soon as the Instant Pot came to pressure. All in all, it took maybe 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize and naturally release — and the end result was perfect! I’m very particular about steamed veggies (they can’t be too crisp or so mushy that they’re basically baby food) and this method definitely delivered.

Since then, I’ve steamed everything from carrots to potatoes with perfect results, thanks to the steamer basket. It helps prevent the veggies from soaking up too much liquid — and it makes cleanup incredibly easy. I will play around with the cook time depending on the veggie, but it never takes me more than 20 minutes to have a side dish ready to go. Even better? The basket also doubles as a colander, which frees up extra space in the kitchen, too.

To be honest, I can’t believe I used the old vegetable steamer as long as I had. By simply placing a steamer basket inside the Instant Pot, I’ve saved myself time, effort and kitchen space. And really, what more can you ask for from just one accessory?

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