The Colander Trick To Use If You Don't Have A Steamer

Steaming is one amazing cooking method. We still love frying, grilling, and broiling, but if we're talking convenience and better still, one of the most healthy cooking methods, then steaming takes the win. Unlike other techniques where food sits inside water or oil, steaming ensures the water doesn't come in contact with your precious vegetables, which means no nutrient is lost through leaching into the cooking fluid.

But while several home cooks may be aware of the benefits of steam-cooking, the limiting idea that you need a fancy gadget to get the job done is a common misconception that may be preventing many from exploring steamed-food nirvana. Guess what? Even without a steamer, you can steam food with a common kitchen tool you probably already have in your pantry — a colander. The trick is basically having a container or surface that'll raise the food above the water so the food only gets heat from the steam.

Make a steamer using your colander

To use a colander to make a makeshift steamer, first ensure it's heatproof so it won't melt, burn, or warp when heat builds up in the cooking pot — stainless steel will be your best bet. Secondly, the cooking pot or pan (where the steaming water will be boiling) needs to be large enough to hold the colander. Thirdly, you need a lid that fits perfectly on the cooking pot. With these three boxes checked, go ahead and pour your water in the pot, about one inch high, then place the colander inside the pot so it's held by the rim and well-suspended above the water. Bring the water to a boil, then add your veggies, cover with the lid, and cook.

In case you're steaming larger-sized foods that won't properly fit in the colander, like corn on the cob, there's a simple hack for that as well. Use a smaller colander that when turned upside down can fit in the cooking pot and stand at the bottom, then place your food on top. This way, the bottom of the colander acts as a suspended surface above the water. So there you go. With this simple colander trick, feel free to steam your fish, rice, chicken, or try any of these other foods that are great for steaming.