Steaming In An Instant Pot
Steaming food is one of the “safe” ways of preparing it, and easier with an Instant Pot. The reason why safe is in quotation marks is that it is for those of us who wish to lose weight and keep it off without losing our health in the process. The use of water, the oven, and the grill are all considered safe as they don’t add fat and tend to remove it. Air fryers also fit this category.
The Instant Pot is basically an electric pressure cooker. It can do other things, including sauté, but the pressure is its favorite method of being used. This includes being a pressure steamer. Considering the older way of steaming foods, this can be a big help.
The old ways were to use a bamboo steamer and/or set up a makeshift steamer on the stove or in the oven. Bamboo steamers can burn fairly easily, and any sort of makeshift cooking method has its dangers. Having this has changed cooking for many people and opened the doors for a lot of new cuisines.
Most Instant Pots come with the basics for steaming, a trivet, and a steaming rack. However, you may want to consider upgrading the equipment to include a silicone egg steamer. Those little beauties can make breakfast quickly or make several days of breakfast for the single person.
You may be wondering why a trivet is needed for steaming in the Instant Pot. There are two reasons for this. One is to prevent burning, as sitting it directly over the heat source is a good way to scorch what is being cooked. However, even with bamboo or makeshift steamers, there has to be something between the bottom of the steamer and the bottom of the water. In the bamboo steamer, it is air, but that won’t work in any sort of pressure cooker; hence the trivet.
The next step is to decide how you want to steam. You can pressure steam or you can use the Instant Pot to do traditional steaming… only without the bamboo. The silicone steamer basket works like the bamboo basket without the dangers of catching fire or adding the taste of bamboo to whatever is being steamed.
If using the pressure aspect, you are good to go. Add the food desired and follow recipe guidelines for the amount of water needed. Usually, it is one cup, but sometimes it is two. If going traditional, you will need a glass lid that fits the Instant Pot. Those can be purchased separately. Most of the time, when steaming fresh vegetables, the best time setting for pressure steaming is zero minutes. That is because the food is already cooking as it builds up steam.
Once the timer goes off, use the quick release to reduce the pressure quickly. As long as there is pressure built up in the steamer, the food is still cooking. Quick-release prevents food from becoming soggy or mushy. Once the pressure is off, carefully remove the food. Mind you that the inner pot will be very hot.