Pot Steamer Baskets: Everything You Need To Know

by Sid Wilson | Published On

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A pot steamer is a type of cooking utensil that is made up of a stainless-steel frame with a perforated lid, designed to cook various types of food while keeping the steam contained.

The purpose of a pot steamer basket is to keep certain foods, such as vegetables, away from other foods and it also makes them easier to stir.

These baskets are typically made in two parts which fit over the base and cover the sides of the pot and they are either the same diameter or larger than the bottom.

A steaming basket will make preparing food much easier by allowing you to submerge your chosen ingredients in boiling water without them coming into contact with each other.

This will generally take up less time simply than in a conventional pot and it will also keep them warmer and prevent them from drying out.

This article will explain what you can steam in a pot steamer basket, why it is especially useful for certain types of food, some things to consider when buying one, the proper care and maintenance of a steamer basket, and much more.

Pot Steamer Baskets

How Do You Use A Steamer Pot Basket?


Using a pot steamer basket is similar to using any other type of steaming container.

You will typically open the lid and place it in the bottom of your pot, fill the basket with water, bring it up to a boil, then simmer as per instructions.

However, certain things can also be cooked in a steamer like rice and noodles, garlic and ginger for example.

These foods differ from others and what is good for one may not be for another so it is best to learn about your chosen type of food before getting a pot steamer basket to ensure you are preparing food correctly.

Do You Put Cold Or Boiling Water In A Steamer?

It is best to use hot water when using a pot steamer basket. This will ensure that the food is cooked through while keeping it at an even temperature.

However, food that is sensitive to heat should be added after the water has cooled a little, or you can use cold water if you do not have a steamer basket.

What Can You Steam In A Steamer Basket?

There are multiple types of food that you can steam using a pot steamer basket and this will depend on the type of food you are cooking.

Some foods can be stuffed into the perforated part of the basket and cooked in it, such as vegetables, potatoes, and loaves of bread.

Other foods, like rice and noodles, for example, can be cooked separately from the rest within the pot using a separate pan or steamer.

It is best to purchase a pot steamer that is made specifically for your choice of food because it will have more room to cook them properly.

The main purpose of a pot steamer basket is to keep certain foods, such as vegetables, away from other foods and it also makes them easier to stir.

What Is The Point Of A Steamer Basket?

The point of a pot steamer basket is simply to cook food by using steam. The steam will circulate throughout the pot as long as it contains water and it will cook the food from all sides equally.

Most types of food require some sort of liquid to be properly cooked, so placing them in a pot with boiling or simmering water will result in perfectly cooked meals.

Do You Just Put Water In A Steamer?

The water used in a steamer will be used to cook your food and to provide the steam that cooks it. The main purpose of water is to provide enough steam for when you need it.

It can be found in almost any type of food, such as soup, rice, vegetables, slices of bread, and more.

However, if you are boiling some pasta or potatoes for example, then this will require less water than something like a vegetable.

Why Should You Avoid Using Tap Water In The Steamer?

There are many reasons why you should avoid using tap water in a pot steamer basket. It may contain minerals, resulting in hard water and there may be substances like chlorine or detergents.

The starch and other impurities can also cause problems with your steaming results. There are some types of foods that you can cook with tap water but it is best to confirm this if you are unsure.

What Do You Put In The Bottom Of A Steamer?

There are a few things that you can put in the bottom of your steamer, such as vegetables, soup noodles, or maybe even a loaf of bread.

It is important to have something there because it will provide support for the basket and food as it will float freely. An alternative is to use a sturdy cutting board or even some tinfoil for this purpose.

Can You Put Vinegar Water In A Steamer Basket?

A solution can be used in the bottom of a steamer to keep the water in it neutral. This is often found with vinegar or beer, but they can also be mixed without any problem.

The acid from the vinegar will prevent it from boiling which is important because many foods do not like to come into contact with boiling liquids.

They may not taste as good and may even begin to burn if you use too much of them.

Do You Vent Or Seal When Steaming?

A pot steamer is made from stainless steel and properly sealed, so one will not come into contact with the water inside of it.

However, some types of soup may need to be prepared and steamed together in the same pot to avoid it becoming too thick.

A pot lid can also be used to cover the basket as long as there is no steam escaping through the opening.

Some types of food will require you to use a separate heavy-duty lid for this, such as seafood which tends to make the basket hot enough to damage the bottom of your equipment or cause overboiling.

What Liquid Do You Put In A Steam Cleaner?

It is recommended that distilled or cold water is used to clean your pot steamer basket.

Hot water can damage the materials in your basket and it could be hot enough to cause you burns if you are not careful.

Also, vinegar should never be added to your content because it contains toxins that will eat away at the metals within it. This can cause rust and other dangerous problems.

Pouring tap water into an elliptical steamer instead of adding ice may cause it to work more slowly than normal due to the added weight of the ice water inside of it.

Do You Put Salt In The Water Of A Steamer?

Salt is not necessary when using a pot steamer basket. There are some smells and tastes that you may want to get rid of, so the salt can be placed in your water to get it out.

However, it is important to remember that while salt can help to eliminate odors and yucky tastes, it may also cause you food enough damage that the normal taste will become altered.

If you want to use salt, then it should be done in smaller amounts than normal because too much will end up damaging your food or causing some of the ingredients within the steam basket to burn or become overcooked.


A pot steamer basket is a simple device that is used to cook food in a pot. It contains perforations where steam can circulate through and cool down before entering the main body of the food, thereby cooking it evenly throughout.

This type of basket has many uses, such as cooking rice, noodles, eggs, vegetables, fish, and seafood.

They are also useful for keeping certain foods away from the other ingredients in a pot so that they do not become overcooked or too soft and mushy.

Food can be easily cooked using this type of equipment and it does not have many restrictions as to what you can use it on because many types of food can be cooked in them.

This article addressed different questions that clam up our minds while buying/using a Pot Steamer.

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Sid Wilson

Being a father, a golf lover, and an engineer by profession are the things that define Sid Wilson. He spends most of his time in his garage building and experimenting with stuff. Unscrewing things and then screwing them up is his favorite hobby. Doing these things in his garage has made him what, he is today.

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