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Tips For Bamboo Steamers: How To Use & Care For Them

Bamboo steamers are inexpensive to buy and they can turn out a delicious meal in minutes. If veggies aren’t your thing, try steaming them and you might just find yourself converted. Not only are they delicious (while retaining more of their vitamins and nutrients when compared to boiled), you can also use them to prepare whole meals that include fish, chicken and dumplings, yum!

StackedHere are instructions and tips to get you started. If you haven’t tried cooking with this gadget before, you’ll be surprised at how quick and easy it is!


Before using for the first time: Wash all pieces with hot soapy water, rinse well and then soak in hot water for 30 minutes. After soaking, steam all baskets and lid for about 30 minutes (while empty).

To Use:

To Fill Baskets: Arrange food items in a single layer with space around each so that steam is allowed to circulate throughout the space as well as rise up to the layer above (if cooking with stacked baskets).

To Stack Them: If cooking with more than one basket at a time, place foods that take longer to cook in the first basket at the bottom, items needing the least amount of cooking time are arranged in the top one.

Liners: You can cook food directly on the bamboo slats at the bottom of each basket, but liners are recommended when cooking foods that have a tendency to stick (such as dumplings). Using a liner makes the cleanup job a breeze, you can use:

When using a liner, make sure you don’t seal off the bottom of the basket and that there are uncovered spaces so the steam can fill the basket and reach the food items.

Once food is fully cooked: Turn off the heat and carefully remove from pot, lift the lid off away from you (being careful not to burn yourself from the rush of steam escaping) and transfer food to serving dishes.

Cleanup: Wash in hot soapy water and rinse well. Allow to fully air dry before storing. These are not dishwasher safe.