Monday, January 10, 2011


Unlike other types of cooking where heat is applied from a heat sources, steaming simply means cooking in steam. Mostly vegetables, which are quick to cook, are cooked by using the steaming method. Steaming works by boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. The food is kept separate from the boiling water but remains to have a direct contact with the steam, that provides a moist texture to the food.
To steam vegetables or for that matter anything intended to be cooked by using the steaming method are placed on a rack or perforated pan in a saucepan and add water to the saucepan. The water collects below the rack or perforated pan, and the vegetables remain above and out of the liquid. The saucepan is then covered and placed on a burner until the water boils and forms steam, which surrounds and cooks the vegetables.
Steaming takes longer than boiling.  However, steamed vegetables retain better color and flavor than boiled vegetables do. They also have more nutrients because certain vitamins, including vitamin C, dissolve easily in water and may be removed by boiling. 

While steaming is a rather slower method of cooking, it has many benefits from the point of view of health. Some of the advantages of using steaming as method of cooking are listed below:-
  • Retention of nutritional value
  • Helps foods to be cooked lighter and thus makes these easy to digest
  • Low pressure steaming reduces risk of overcooking
  • High pressure steaming enables food to be cooked or reheated quickly because steam is forced through the food cooking it rapidly
  • In steamed fish, the natural juices can be retained by serving with the fish or in making an accompanying sauce
  • Steaming is economical on fuel as a low heat is needed and a multi-tiered steamer can be used


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