What Is a Steamer Pan and How Does It Work?

Steamer pans on hob

A steamer pan is a multi-tiered pan that allows you to steam different things at the same time. You can also very easily manage timings with a steamer pan and cook things perfectly just by adding layers at different times.

Steamer pans are perfect for beautiful veg that has loads more nutritional value compared to boiled veg. However, if you thought that steamers pans can only be used for vegetables, then you only know half the story of this amazingly versatile bit of cookware.

So, let’s find out more about steamers pans, the uses of one and why food is more nutritious from a steamer pan, shall we?


How Steamer Pans Work

Steamer pans are usually made up of three layers. The first layer is basically a stockpot or a saucepan that can be used as such. The second and third layers look like saucepans too, but they have holes in the bottom of them. Steamer pans also come with a lid that fits on all three layers.

The way a steamer pan works is simple. You put water in the bottom layer and heat it on the hob. Once boiling, you put the other layers, with the holes in, on top of the bottom layer and then the lid on top.

The steam made in the bottom layer flows up through the holes and cooks whatever you decide to put in the layers.

You can use the different layers to steam different ingredients of a meal so you can actually use a steamer pan for your entire meal. Or you can only use one layer and enjoy perfectly steamed vegetables as a side dish.


Are Steamer Pans Versatile?

Many people think that steamer pans can only be used for vegetables. While steaming vegetables in a steaming pan makes them taste better and takes less time than boiling, steamers pans are way more versatile than this.

You can also use a steamer pan for cooking fish (salmon from a steamer tastes exceptional). You can also use a steamer for cooking meats. Although this is a rare practice, meats do taste amazing from a steamer.

However, the uses of steamer pan don’t stop there. You can also use a steamer pan to cook the following:

  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Shellfish
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta (including spaghetti)
  • Chicken
  • and more

Of course, we aren’t saying that a steamer pan provides a one-pot solution to all of your cooking problems, but they can do loads more than what most people think.

Plus, you can really vary the ingredients you use and how you use them too. For example, you can add ingredients to the water (bay leaves, for example) so the flavours flow up through the steamer.

You can also add individual flavours to each layer of the steamer and get incredible results that way. So, unlike boiling, you can add loads of flavour as you steam!

Plus, steamed vegetables and everything else we mentioned above tastes so much better anyway!


Why Do Steamed Foods Taste Better?

If you’ve ever had steamed vegetables, you may have noticed that they taste incredible compared to boiled, boring veg. But why is that?

Well, when you boil vegetables, you are soaking them in water, and this pulls out a lot of the nutrients in the veg.

Steaming doesn’t pull as much out of the vegetables and actually locks in more of the taste too. So what you’re tasting is actually the natural flavours of the food you’re steaming.

This is true of anything you steam and not just vegetables. Steaming locks in natural taste and doesn’t draw as much of the good nutrients of the food out. So, not only does steamed food taste better, it’s better for you too!

So, now you know what a steamer pan is and how useful they can be in the kitchen, you may want one.

Well, it’s a good job we’ve found the best steamer pans in the UK right now for you, isn’t it! Please check out the best steamer pans in the UK here.

We also have loads of other cookware articles that are perfect if you’re looking to add the best pots and pans to your cookware arsenal too!