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Instructions for a Stove Top Rice/Vegetable Steamer

Updated February 21, 2017

Rice and vegetable steamers cook with hot water vapour to leave foods tender and moist. Hob steamers usually consist of a pot, lid and strainer insert or basket. The basket holds the raw foods above the boiling water and directly in the path of the rising steam. Hob rice and vegetable steamers can be used on both gas and electric ranges. Cook dry rice and raw vegetables to perfection with a hob steamer.

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  1. Lower the basket insert into the steamer pot. Add clean water to the pot until the level is just below the perforated insert.

  2. Cover the pot with the lid. Bring the water to a boil over a burner set to medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

  3. Fill the strainer basket half full of either rice or vegetables. Rice and vegetables generally cook at different rates and are not combined in the steamer. Cover the pot with the lid.

  4. Check on the food in the steamer after five minutes. Press the tines of a fork into the vegetables to see if they are cooked to your satisfaction. Fluff the rice with a fork to encourage even hydration.

  5. Cover the pot with the lid to continue steaming. Check the tenderness of the vegetables every two minutes until the basket can be removed. Fluff and taste test the rice every five minutes until it has the consistency you desire.

  6. Tip

    Cut mixed vegetables into shapes based on their estimated steaming times. Cut dense and dry vegetables into thin slices or strips. Moist and tender vegetables cook quickly and may be left whole or cut into large chunks. Add seasonings, herbs and spices to the steaming liquid to infuse the rice or vegetables with flavour. Try using equal parts beer or wine and water as a liquid base.


    The steam tends to wash off spices and seasonings. Season foods after they come out of the steamer instead of before.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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