Steamers are an incredible asset in any kitchen. The instant benefits and capabilities of a steamer can be measured in many ways, and the unique style of heating it delivers to various food products is more versatile than most cooks even realize.
To help spread the word on all the different and creative ways you can cook with steamers, read on for a list of our Top 10 favorite foods to steam:
10) Citrus. Simply place citrus in a steamer for a few seconds to easily remove its skin with little effort.
9) Cake. Cakes come out light and fluffy when cooked inside a steamer. You’ve got to see this to believe it!
8) Grains and beans. Using a steamer takes all the work out of cooking tough grains like farro, quinoa, rice and beans by providing an incredibly even and consistent cooking environment.
7) Bread pudding. Cooking a custard-like bread pudding typically takes at least two hours or more in a conventional oven. A steamer can cook it in less than half that time. You can then place it in the oven for a few minutes to crisp the top.
6) Dinner rolls. You can parbake freshly made dinner rolls in the steamer and then finish batches in the oven to brown and serve.
5) Duck legs. Cure with black pepper, kosher salt, rosemary and thyme. Steam for one hour and finish in a skillet. Yum!
4) Shrimp boil. Of course, the Southern-style boil is a popular menu item when using a steamer. It includes potatoes, corn, garlic, sausages, lemons and the main ingredient – shrimp!
3) Chef coats and table cloths. In a pinch, you can get the wrinkles out of a chef coat or a misfolded tablecloth by steam pressing it.
2) Risotto. Cooking risotto in a steamer saves both labor and space in your kitchen. For more on this process, check out our recipe for parmesan risotto.
1) Pork belly. Wrap a pepper-cured pork belly in plastic wrap and steam for about an hour and a half. Finish in a braising pan or skillet and place fat side down for crispy deliciousness.
As you can see, there are many unconventional items you can steam that can help make kitchen tasks easier or provide a new, savory experience for your clientele.
What are some of your favorite food items to steam? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Unified Brands Corporate Chef