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How to Steam Without a Steamer Basket

Steaming is a great technique to preserve the nutrients, color, and flavor of an ingredient in its most pure form. But, steaming often requires a basket of some sort, either the round bamboo style or a metal contraption that fits into a pot. Don’t have a steamer basket? Not to fret – here are 2 ways to make your own with things you already have in your kitchen:

  1. Use a metal colander: Place a metal colander inside of a large pot and fill with just enough water so ingredients in the colander won’t touch the water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover.

    How to steam without a steamer basket

  2. No colander? No problem! Make 3 large equal-sized balls out of aluminum foil and arrange in a triangle in the bottom of a large pot. Place a heat-proof plate, such as a pie plate, on top. Fill the pot with water up to just below the plate, bring to a simmer, and cover.

    How to steam without a steamer basket

The colander works great for ingredients that can be steamed in bunches, such as broccoli and the plate technique is better for flat-laying items such as asparagus, dumplings, fish, and eggplant. Now you don’t have to shell out extra bucks for a uni-tasking piece of equipment by making your own.