How to Use a Plastic Vegetable Steamer Basket

Updated April 17, 2017

Steaming vegetables helps to retain their nutritional content as well as their colour. This healthy method of cooking requires a simple tool called a steaming basket. Baskets can be made of metal, bamboo or plastic. Plastic steamer baskets are typically sold with a tray and lid for use in the microwave. If your plastic basket is BPA free, you can use it on the hob as you would a metal basket.

Chop your vegetables in uniformly thin slices. The thinner they are, the faster they will cook.

Arrange your vegetables in a single layer inside the plastic basket.

Fill the steamer tray halfway up with water. Place your basket into the tray. The vegetables should sit above the water, not in it, so if you have too much liquid, pour some out.

Place the steamer lid onto the tray and click it closed. Put the tray into the microwave and heat it on high heat until the vegetables are tender. The time will vary based on your taste, the vegetables and the size of the pieces.

Fill your large pot with 2 inches of water if you have just the steamer basket. Put the pot on your stove.

Place a cover on the pot. Heat to boiling and allow it to cook for about five minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on your taste, the vegetables you've chosen and the size of the pieces.


Avoid plastic that is not BPA free. Some plastics are harmful when heated, so be sure to select a plastic basket that is safe for heating, particularly if you are using the hob method.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic steamer basket set
  • Vegetables
  • Knife
  • Large pot
  • Water
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About the Author

Ava Perez cut her journalism teeth in 2005 while balancing her university studies with a voracious appetite for fashion, music and beauty. Her music reviews, interviews and editorials have been published in numerous magazines worldwide. She specializes in writing beauty, health and fitness-related articles for various websites. Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from York University.