The Basics of Steaming: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these techniques to make simple and healthy dishes, then watch our how-to video.

Related To:

Steaming is a healthy way to cook vegetables, meats and fish.

Step 1: Using a Collapsible Steamer Basket
Collapsible steamer baskets are inexpensive and popular. Fill the bottom of a pot with half an inch of water.

Step 2: Add Veggies to the Steamer
Drop in the steamer. Then add veggies; smaller pieces work best. Cover the pot and turn the heat to high.

Step 3: Bring to a Boil
Bring to a boil and let it steam. When is it done? It's up to you. Wait until they're tender, or take them out earlier for a crisper crunch. Tip: Cooking times vary for different vegetables. Check your recipe for specifics.

Step 4: Using a Bamboo Steamer
A stackable bamboo steamer allows you to try some more-advanced techniques, like cooking a whole meal in layers.

Step 5: Layer the Veggies
Add the bottom section of the bamboo steamer to a pot with boiling water about 2 inches deep. Layer in some veggies, like bok choy.

Step 6: Add Flavor
Add aromatics, like sliced garlic and ginger or herbs. These flavors will rise with the steam to season your top layer. It's a healthy and delicious way to impart flavors naturally. Tip: Onions, garlic, herbs, ginger and citrus zest make great aromatics.

Step 7: Add the Protein
Now for the top layer. This is a great place to cook meat or fish, and it makes it easier to check to see if it's done. Start with a layer of lettuce and place the protein on top. It'll make removing the ingredients from the steamer easier.

Step 8: When Is It Done?
For fish, you'll know it's done when it's opaque and firm to the touch.

Step 9: Using a Makeshift Steamer
You can also create a makeshift steamer. All you need is a pot with some boiling water and something to suspend food over it.

Step 10: Start Steaming
A hand-held strainer like this works perfectly. Cover the pot and steam to your liking.

Step 11: Enjoy!
Try these techniques and steam your way to healthier eating. Watch our how-to video for more.

Keep Reading

Next Up

A Guide to Buying and Cooking Tilapia

Learn how to cook and buy fresh tilapia the right way, plus get delicious easy-to-make recipes from the chefs at Food Network.

Full Steam Ahead

These new steamers make it easy to get your veggies.

Baking Ingredient Guide

Everything you need to know about flour, sugar, chocolate and other pantry staples.

How to Grill Salmon: A Step-by-Step Guide

Grilling perfect salmon is easy with these simple steps.

How to Braise Meats: A Step-by-Step Guide

Braise meat like a pro with these simple steps. Then watch our how-to video for more.

How to Deep-Fry Fish and Chips: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple tips and you'll deep-fry like a pro.

How to Hard-Boil and Soft-Cook Eggs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Following a few simple steps ensures that you'll make perfect eggs every time.

How to Grill Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide

Use these tips to get juicy chicken cooked all the way through with perfectly crisp skin.

How to Pick and Store Fish: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to pick and store fish properly.

How to Grill Steak: A Step-by-Step Guide

These grilling tips will help you get delicious steaks every time.

Latest Stories