How can you steam food without steamer baskets? Actually, the design of a steamer basket is to separate the food from direct heat (i.e., the bottom of the pot) as it cooks. So you just need to find or create a utensil that can perform the same function.
While steamer baskets are often considered “one-trick ponies” or are not multi-functional, for a straightforward reason, they are only used to steam food and can be very expensive.
How about using a little creativity to create alternatives to steaming baskets or steamers from simple kitchen utensils. So what are some recommended instant pot steamer basket substitutes? If you are looking for the final answer, look no further than this article!
Option 1: Strainer Or Colander
A strainer or colander is the most recommended substitute for an instant pot steamer basket. At this point, you just need to pour water into the pot and then put the colander or sieve inside so that the bottom of the sieve does not touch the water in the pot.
You will keep the sieve resting on the rim of the pot, put the food in the strainer, turn on the stove, and bring the water to a boil. When the water has boiled, you should lower the heat, so it’s barely bubbling.
It is better to cover the lid to prevent steam from escaping. Depending on the type of food, you should adjust the steaming time so that the food is just cooked. Also, you must check it regularly to avoid overcooking, which will lose all of its nutrients.
Furthermore, we recommend using a strainer or colander with an insulated handle to avoid burns due to high temperatures.
Option 2: Aluminum Foil & Plates
This will work for those who don’t both have an instant pot steamer basket and no sieve in the kitchen. With this method, you can also do it quickly.
First, fill the pot with water, similar to the first solution we mentioned above. Then, take out the aluminum foil, roll it into three balls of the same size, and drop it into the pot.
At this point, you will place a porcelain dish or small baking rack on top of aluminum foil balls. Continuing, you will put the food to be steamed on that plate, boil until the water is boiling, and then cover the pot.
When you check that the food is cooked, you need to turn off the stove. Then, finally, the dish is ready for you to enjoy. Note that the dish or small baking rack will get very hot when you turn off the stove, so it’s better to remove it from the pot to avoid burns carefully.
Option 3: Oven Steaming
Steaming dishes do not necessarily have to use a steamer or pot on the stove; you can thoroughly steam foods in the oven. You can use a roasting pan with a rack; otherwise, you can also use a big pot and baking rack.
It sounds extraordinary, but steaming in the oven is extremely easy to do. First, you need to preheat the oven to a low temperature of about 200ºF and bring a teapot of water to a boil.
Then, similar to the two methods above, you will pour water into a large pot, place the rack on the pot and arrange the food on that rack.
Now, the essential step is to cover the whole thing with aluminum foil to prevent steam from escaping. Then put them all in the oven until the food is cooked through.
So you have successfully made a steaming dish for yourself without the need for an instant pot steamer basket.
Option 4: Pie Tin Steamer
This is a rather creative method but extremely easy to implement. You can quickly and efficiently make your steamer with just two reusable aluminum pie tins.
First, you need to make small holes in the base of both pie tins. Then flatten one of the pie tins using a rolling pin. You shouldn’t make it completely flat; just roll over the tin a few times with a roller.
Now, as usual, you will pour water into the pot. Then you would structurally sound the tin upside-down in the pot and continue to place the flattened tin on top of the first and then place the steamed food on top of the flattened tin.
Finally, please turn on the stove, wait for your food to be steamed, and enjoy it. In addition, you can ultimately make a steamer with more than two layers in the same way.
Option 5: Simple Pot Steaming
If you can’t go for any of the 4 options above, the simple steamer method is undoubtedly worth trying.
In fact, this method is no different than boiling vegetables because foods cooked with these two cooking methods both taste similar.
First, you need to pour water into the pot, add the vegetables, cover, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Then, just like that, you can enjoy your food already.
However, we don’t recommend this method because it tends to make the vegetables taste watery. Therefore, you should only apply it when cooking tough vegetables like cauliflower or carrots.
By the end of this article, you must have now acquired some knowledge about instant pot steamer basket substitutes. In addition to the methods mentioned above, you can always think of new and more effective ways.
In general, you won’t necessarily need an instant pot steamer basket to steam vegetables or other foods. However, cooking with creativity will help you feel much more enjoyable.
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