How to Use a Vegetable Steamer Basket

By LeafTV Editor

Steaming vegetables is one of the most healthy ways you can prepare them. When they are steamed, vegetables don't lose any of the nutrients and vitamins they do when prepared in other ways. Vegetable steamer baskets have been used in different versions for centuries, but the basic concept remains the same. Vegetables are placed in a slotted basket or bowl and are cooked using the steam from boiled water.

Top view of healthy fresh vegetables
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How To Use A Vegetable Steamer Basket

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Rinse the vegetable of your choice in cool water and slice it into desired size of pieces. Keep in mind that smaller pieces will take less time to cook.

Fill a medium pot roughly 1/3 full of water and set it on high heat until it boils rapidly. Then, turn the heat to low.

Place the vegetables in the steamer basket and lower it into the pot. The water should not cover the vegetables, but it is fine if it touches them.

Place a fitted lid tightly over the pot to capture the steam inside. Research cooking times for whatever you are steaming in order to make sure you do not have to keep lifting the lid and checking. This will allow too much of the steam to escape and will significantly lengthen the cooking time. Properly steamed vegetables should still have a firm texture.

Lift the steamer basket out with a potholder, as it will be hot. Let the vegetables stand in the steamer itself in the sink or a bowl to let excess water drain out. Once the vegetables are properly drained, they are ready to serve.


  • Different vegetables will take different amounts of time to steam, so keep that in mind if you want to cook several kinds at once. You can always add the longest ones first and then the ones that take less time toward the end.