Steaming is an extremely simple cooking method based on the following principle: food is cooked by the heat from the vapor of a boiling liquid.
The origins of steaming cooking
A little background story: steaming is a method used in China since ancient times. For this purpose, people used perforated baskets of bamboo placed on a bowl at the bottom of which they boil water. Similarly, in North Africa this technique is widely used for cooking couscous. In the West, the utensils used to cook food with steam are mostly made of metal.
The pressure cooker, invented in the 50s is able to cook food with steam, but under high pressure. The electric steamer or steam cooker consists of a traditional fact-all topped with two or three storeys and a cover. The whole column is heated by gas, electric plates, or any cooking stove. Appliances producers continue to offer new products such as microwave steam function or silicone steamer, the latest of the steam range.
A healthy cooking method
This passion for cooking with steam is the contemporary pursuit of healthy eating. Indeed, this method of cooking is full of benefits. Steaming is a gentle cooking method that ensures the greatest possible preservation of vitamins, minerals and trace elements of food. It does not alter their appearance, or flavor, however, the freshness of a product is even enhanced by this natural cooking.
It is also a cooking method that eliminates dietary fats, acids and toxins to the point that organic eater recommend this kind of cooking for non-organic food, cooking in water vapor resulting in draining any pesticides in lower parts of the container.
In addition, steaming is fast and extremely convenient since it is possible to cook a complete meal with a single cooking utensil. However, always put the more fragile food into the top basket and the food coming off with the most unwanted substances such as fat meat or poultry into the bottom basket. In fact, nearly all foods can be cooked this way, with real benefits for vegetables. Therefore, it is easier to point out a few foods for which steaming is not suitable. This is red meat who’s better grilled, cheese preparations, quiches, etc.. and all those dishes to be served golden brown.
By cons, when treated this way, vegetables remain crisp and colorful, especially if you do not let them overcook. For example, frozen broccoli only needs a 10 min steam bath to be delicious and keep 84% of their vitamin C against 30% when boiled. As for white meat, it will remain soft to perfection and the fish will stay firm.
Last advice for healthy cooking: spices used to flavor the food to be cooked should not be put into water, but in contact with the food itself. The steam will pass through the aromatic scent and not water. By cons, we can use any other liquid than water to make steam: try with wine, cider or vinegar!
To further inspire you, discover the top 10 steaming devices on Amazon recommended by our readers: