A pressure cooker not only saves your time and energy while cooking, but also offers you tastier foods with more nutritional boost. One of the key features of a pressure is that you can steam vegetables, fruits, fish and even eggs by using a steamer basket.
In most cases, newly purchased pressure cookers come with steamer baskets for this very purpose. But if somehow you don’t know how to use steamer basket in pressure cooker, then you don’t need to worry. To make your cooking life easier, we have come up with this article so that you can make the best use of your pressure cooker..
What is a Steamer Basket?
As you can guess it from the name, it’s a basket that is used to put different foods inside of your pressure cooker for steaming. That means, a steamer basket allows you to steam food without touching the pressure cooker itself. It helps to retain the nutrients of your food, which is necessary for good health.
Moreover, this process of steaming also prevents overcooking, ensuring your food is cooked well and not wasted. There are different types of steamer baskets that are available in the market.
Multi-level baskets and compartmentalized baskets are two of those ones which are commonly used to steam different types of foods at the same time.
Having the right type of steamer insert is a bliss when it comes to steaming food by using steamer basket. If your steamer basket doesn’t come with a perforated steamer insert, then you need to consider buying a collapsible steamer made of stainless steel. The way it opens and closes, it looks like a flower.
As it is made of stainless steel, it provides you a durable steaming experience for a long period of time. If your pressure cooker doesn’t come with a steamer, then make sure you buy the largest size that fits your cooker. More flat surface on the steamer means more place to add foods inside the basket.
On the other hand, if you are lucky to have perforated inserts that came along with your pressure cooker, then most probably it has trivet as well — as most steamer baskets are not equipped with feet to raise it out of the liquid. Hence, it’s better to use that trivet for that very purpose.
How to Use Steamer Basket?
Whether you want to steam vegetables, fruits or any other food, using a steamer basket is always a healthy choice. The process is quite simple by the way. If you go through the instruction manual for once, you can easily do it on your own. Just make sure, you didn’t skip the details about time limits for different food items.
1. Boiling Water
The very first thing you need to do before you place the steamer basket into your pressure cooker is to boil water for 5 to 10 minutes. If your cooker has several stress levels or positions, consider the lowest to go with.
2. Putting the Basket Inside
After almost 10 minutes of boiling, you need to place the steamer slowly inside the cooker filled with hot water. Once you are done putting it there, then you can put the foods that you need to cook. According to your recipe needs, you can use the necessary ingredients as you like.
3. Allowing to Steam for Certain Period
Now it’s time to boil and steam the food inside according to the given time period for that particular food.
4. Removing the Basket
Once the required time is up, remove the basket slowly out of hot water, as the cooking must be done within this period of time.
5. Precautions for Sea Food or Fish
While cooking sea fish or seafood, don’t forget to follow the recommended settings to avoid overcooking.
6. Precautions for Succulent Food or Fish
In order to cook succulent fish or food, you need to brush or grease the basket a bit so that it can prevent the ingredients from sticking to your steamer basket.
Some Tips for Better Steaming and Cooking
Using water is the traditional way to steam foods, but in this case, you can include some additives such as wine, vinegar, and herbs. This actually helps to flavor the water while steaming. However, tomato sauce or broth can also be used to cook your food. Even, the steaming liquid is also usable as a sausage — you can use that too.
While placing the foods inside the basket, it is important to remember that the foods that require more cooking time, need to be placed at the bottom of the basket. The foods that require comparatively less cooking time, should be placed at the top of it.
Benefits of Using Steamer Basket
One of the most important benefits of using steamer basket for instant pot is, it helps to retain the food nutrients. In other forms of cooking, sometimes cooked foods loose the nutrients that they used to have before cooking. But in this form of cooking with steamer basket, you get all the key nutrients properly.
Using a steamer basket is also beneficial when it comes to the overcooking problem. When you cook with a steamer basket, there is less chance of overcooking, as the whole process is easily maintainable.
There are some special categorized foods that need to be cooked in a less unstable manner. For those kinds of food, using a steamer basket is almost necessary to make your cooking life stress free. Especially when you are an amateur in the kitchen, using steamer basket can save your day from cooking worries.
Cooking is not a joke, and you know it. It takes a lot of effort, concentration, and perfect timing sense to be able to offer a good meal on the table. Knowing required kitchen hacks and using the right cooking materials can make this everyday task comfortable enough.
We hope this article about how to use a steamer basket in pressure cooker was helpful enough for you. Make sure you use this knowledge next time when you enter your kitchen arena.