Steamers are among the household appliances to gently prepare vegetables, fish, meat, pasta, desserts and soups. Steam cookers are available in a variety of configurations, from compact assistants to multi-level models. When steaming you prepare the food low in calories without fat. Vitamins and minerals are retained and the vegetables retain their natural bite.
The steam is evenly distributed in the cooking chamber and warms the food gently. When choosing a steamer, the size of the cooking chamber, the functions, the temperatures and the power play a crucial role. Thanks to the innovative steam generation and distribution, the kitchen appliances ensure optimum results and delicious meals that succeed in just a few minutes. In the following guide, we answer the most important questions about the steamer.
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How do steamers work?
Steam cooking relies on a gentle preparation of the food. It is a kitchen appliance that heats the food with hot steam. There are different versions. Whereby the biggest difference between the steam cookers for the stove and the electric steamer is. What steam cooking appliances bring which advantages or disadvantages, we explain in the following guide. When cooking you need neither fat nor oil. The food is cooked in steam. Thanks to the gentle preparation, the vitamins and minerals are retained. This makes the food from the steamer healthier and tastier.
As a rule, the steam cookers are equipped with several cooking containers. Most have three containers. The cheap, simple steamer only come with the possibility of cooking. Another name for the steam cooking appliances is “vegetable steamer”. The original idea was to cook vegetables gently. Otherwise, steamer differ in their size, material and performance. The function is modelled on food preparation in Asia. Here the food steam over steam in a bamboo basket. Unlike the modern electric steamer, this traditional preparation takes a long time.
The types of steamer and their benefits
The steamer for the stove are usually equipped with a pot and a cooking insert. There is also a lid. Some garden pots, such as the WMF steamer, have a thermometer so you can read the temperature while cooking. An advantage of stovetops for the stove is that you cook, braise, roast and cook with this pot. In addition, the pots can go into the oven. Be careful with the lid on some pots. Read if the lid is allowed in the oven. Many of the steamer go with rich accessories in the shipping. Particularly in demand is used for rice-cooking and a holder to prepare eggs in the steamer. With the electric steamer these types can be differentiated:
- Steamer with three cooking tanks
- Steamer with two cooking containers
- Steamer with a cooking tray
What is Tischdampfgarer?
The steamer is also called Tischdampfgarer. They are easy to set up and connect to the nearest outlet. The advantage of steam cooking appliances with several cooking containers is the preparation of various dishes. This saves energy compared to cooking on the stove. When cooking three meals you would need three hotplates. With the steamer, the power supply is sufficient. With the leading models, you can set different temperatures on the levels. So meat and fish cook a bit longer, while the vegetables need a shorter time. The temperature settings regulate steamer independently. You do not have to worry about anything while cooking. Regardless of the manufacturer, there are different arrangement variants for the steam cookers with several cooking containers.
While most of the steamer boxes are stacked on top of each other, some models have their containers side by side. This variant saves space in height but requires a slightly larger footprint. Depending on the space available in your kitchen, you should pay attention to the dimensions. An advantage of steamer with multiple containers are their partitions. The shelves can be removed if necessary, which increases the coherent capacity. Some steamers have preset programs that define the cooking times for meat, fish, potatoes, rice, vegetables and other foods. All you have to do is choose the programs that suit your food. A timer on the steamer can set the steam cooking time of a maximum of 60 minutes. When time passes, the steamer switches to the keep-warm function, keeping the cooked food warm for up to 60 minutes.
Advantages and disadvantages of steamer:
- Gentle cooking and steaming of the food
- Nutrients and vitamins are retained
- Intense, natural taste
- Easy handling
- Several floors and temperatures available
- The big Garner are very expensive
- The kitchen appliance needs space in the kitchen
- Water must be refilled
- Mini steamer can only dampen very small quantities
What is a system steam cooker?
The system steamers increase functionality. On some models, it is possible to retrofit suitable steam cooking inserts in order to heat up the entire menu at once. Set the steam through the bottom heat of the oven. If you want to retrofit the latter, you have to invest relatively low in your wallet.
When is the purchase of a steam oven worthwhile?
Who deals with the steam oven, arrives in the professional field. Here you can heat larger quantities of food. You can also cook, steam, steam and blanch. Also, frozen meals and ready meals can be thawed gently in such an oven and warm. The smart devices, in particular, are equipped with practical features such as automatic program control. This is how the temperature of the water adapts. New in the business are the combi steamers, which have an additional sous vide program. These devices vacuum the food in a bag and steam them at high pressure. The purchase price of these complex kitchen appliances is well above the compact cookers or ovens. To connect you need a fixed water connection or a mobile water tank, which you fill up regularly to fill the reservoir for the water vapour.
How do I cook properly with a steamer?
When cooking in Steam Cookers, you need to follow these steps:
- Fill the water tank with water: A main component of the steam cooker is the water tank. Before cooking, fill in the maximum amount of water. Many steamers have a water level gauge or they flash when the water is insufficient to cook. Other steam cookers turn off when there is no more water in the container. While cooking, you can top up with water. For this purpose, corresponding refill openings are available.
- Filling the cooking containers with the food: After the steamer has been filled with the maximum amount of water, put the food into the cooking containers. The cooking containers, steam inserts, steam baskets or steam containers have small holes on the bottom, through which the steam pulls from the bottom up. If the cooking containers can be stacked on top of each other, you should put the food in the lowest cooking container as it will cook the longest. The heat is highest in the lowest cooking container and lowest in the upper cooking container. By rising, the steam loses temperature, so that in the upper cooking container less heat arrives. Which foods you fill in which cooking compartment can be found in the operating instructions. Corresponding garden tables facilitate the setting of the cooking time.
- The cooking process: After you have filled the food in the steamer, the cooking process begins. Some smart cookers have pre-set programs that determine your cooking time. Some steamer devices allow you to change the times so that you can choose the cooking time that suits your preferences. In most cases, there is a chance to replenish with water, depending on the duration of the cooking process.
- End of the cooking process: After you have started the cooking process, the steamer does the rest alone. He brings the water to boiling temperature to heat the food in the cooking containers. When the cooking process is over, most steamers signal this with a beep. Then you can remove the food from the containers and arrange. However, the containers are usually very hot, so you should work with a potholder.
What should you look for when buying steam cooking appliances?
First of all, it depends on how many people you buy the steamer for. To determine the appropriate size and capacity in the first step. If the steamer has several cooking containers to prepare the food in it, its flexibility increases. There are steamer in the trade, their cooking containers are arranged one above the other or next to each other. Here decides the place in the kitchen and in the kitchen cabinets. The most important criteria when buying steamer at a glance:
- Product dimensions and footprint
- Material and weight
- Functions: overheating protection, automatic switch-off or timer
- Cleaning: dishwasher-safe attachments
- Number of cooking baskets
- Equipment: drip tray, rice bowl, eggshell
One of the biggest differences in buying a steamer is choosing a stand-up electric steamer or a steamer for the stove. Add to that the practical features, such as the timer and preset programs for cooking. A display provides clarity and simplifies the setting of the temperature. You can opt for a built-in steamer. This kitchen appliance is firmly integrated into the kitchen, much like a built-in microwave oven. However, these Dampfgargeräte are much more expensive compared to the presented variants.
The ten most common questions and answers about steamer
How can I cook steam without steamer?
If you want to try steam without buying a steamer, you will need a metal strainer and a large pot. Fill the pot with water to the bottom edge. Then put the desired foods in a sieve and let the water underneath slightly simmer. If possible, seal the pot with a lid and simmer the vegetables for the next 10 to 20 minutes at the lowest level. Then you will see that the vegetables have a lot more bite and also taste more intense.
What does it mean to muffle meat?
In principle, hiding behind the steaming a process in connection with water vapour. Thus, the water in a pot must never reach the food by boiling. The pot must be closed. For steaming or steaming, a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius is sufficient. The scent contained in the pot is gradually displaced by the water vapour and comes out at the edges of the pot lid again.
How do I steam potatoes?
First, you should clean and purify the potatoes under running water. Then it goes for the unpeeled potato in the steam. You close the pot with a lid or the steamer once all the potatoes have taken their place. Notice that the fumes are gradually rising, you can regulate the heat down. The potatoes take up to 30 minutes in steam, then they are ready.
Is steaming and steaming the same?
Steaming and stewing is a particularly gentle way to cook fish, meat and vegetables. When steaming, the food is cooked in its own juice while steaming only uses steam.
Which vegetables can I stew?
In principle, there are a number of different foods that are suitable for gentle steaming. Fresh vegetables such as beans, beetroot, potatoes, tomatoes or asparagus can be stewed as well as potatoes.
What is pressure cooking?
Pressure cooking is part of moist cooking. The food is in a pressure cooker or in a pressure cooker. The overpressure heats the water to 125 degrees Celsius. This shortens the cooking times.
How is meat cooked?
You can cook meat in a pan, in a clay pot or in the oven. Alternatively, it goes into a smoker for a particularly smoky taste. The steamer saves unnecessary fats and ensures a low-calorie, healthy preparation of lean meat.
Steam cooking: When should I season?
When dealing with the steamer you need little spices. Finally, all vital substances, vitamins and flavourings are preserved. It makes sense to spice up sparingly, but specifically. Finally, the taste of meat, vegetables and fish is more intense. This promises a new flavour that many have to get used to. Dietitians and doctors have been advocating using less salt for many years. In this country, we eat far too many foods with salt. These can include blood pressure and health. In the steamer, you put spices differently. You save salt, without losing taste. Experiment with fresh ingredients and herbs, broths and grated lemon and orange peel.
Why should I cook with a steamer?
It is proven that steamer protect the nutritional value of the food and natural taste. This makes itself felt in the vegetables by a firm bite and in meat and fish by an intense aroma. They cook tasty, delicious and save fats and oils as well as calories.
Dampfgarer: What can I do with it?
In principle, the range of food in the steamer is really wide-ranging. The selection ranges from vegetables and fruits to meat, fish and pasta. As soon as you let liquid condense, the hot steam is enough to cook the food. If you want a little more moisture, for example with rice, you should adjust the ratio of water and food. Fish or meat from the steamer assumes an optimal consistency. But also desserts such as shuffles, casserole, rice pudding, poppy noodles or steamed noodles and fruit dumplings succeed wonderfully in a steamer.