How to Steam Asparagus Without a Steamer

By Devra Gartenstein

You can steam asparagus without a steamer by using other kitchen equipment and utensils to suspend the spears over a pot of boiling water. Alternately, you can take advantage of the long, thin shape of the asparagus spears to prop them up in a pan so they won't actually be sitting in the water. You can also steam asparagus in a microwave. Wash the asparagus spears before you steam them.

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How to Steam Asparagus With a Metal Colander or Strainer

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Step 1

Steam asparagus in a metal pasta colander by placing the colander inside a saucepan with just enough water to cover its foot. Or use a wire mesh strainer by hooking the strainer onto the edge of a saucepan containing one inch of water.

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Step 2

Trim the bottoms off the asparagus spears, cut them into two-inch lengths, and place them in the colander or strainer.

Step 3

Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan, and steam the asparagus for about 1 minute, or longer if you prefer it very tender.

How to Steam Asparagus in a Saucepan

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Step 4

Steam asparagus with just a saucepan by trimming the spears with a knife to a length that will enable you to place the stems on one side of your saucepan, and prop the tips about half way up against the other side of the pan.

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Step 5

Put about half an inch of water in the bottom of the saucepan and arrange the asparagus in the pan. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan, and steam the asparagus for about 1 minute, or longer if you prefer it very tender.

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Step 6

When the spears are cool enough to handle, trim off the tips that were sitting in the water.

How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave

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Step 7

Steam asparagus in a microwave by arranging the spears on a plate with several tablespoons of water.

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Step 8

Cover the plate with plastic wrap, leaving a gap for steam to escape.

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Step 9

Microwave for 5 minutes.