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Cooking Methods

 

 

 
  Steaming
 

 

 Definition:

Cooking food in water vapour under varying degrees of pressure.

 

 

As a method it can be often used instead of boiling where it has the advantage of not leaving items in need of draining; there is no liquid movement to break up food.

Food can also be steamed under pressure with a resultant increase in cooking speed and preservation of vitamin content.

 

Methods of Steaming:

1. Food can be steamed above a saucepan of water where the food is heated by convected condensation
2. In an pressureless steamer with little or no pressure
3. In a pressurised steamer where the temperature rises to 115-117ºc


 

Advantages

• No cross flavours, two or more vegetables can be cooked at the same time
• Food is still and less likely to break up (unless overcooked!)
• Fewer water soluble vitamins B and C are lost
• Loss of vitamins through contact by air is reduced
• Convenient because does not require straining
• Loading and unloading is easy
• Rapid cooking allows food to be cooked immediately prior to service


 

Disadvantages

• Acids are retained and some vegetables are turned a dull colour as a result.
• Care with timing must be taken to avoid overcooking of some delicate foods

 

 

Types of food that can be steamed:

 

Vegetables
Vegetables such as carrots, swede, potatoes, parsnip, beans etc can all be steamed. Remember green vegetables can turn dull in colour. Prepare by lightly seasoning and placing on perforated racks. Steaming is a good method if you want to make Sauté potatoes, steamed in their skin then peeled if required and cut into dice or slices and shallow fried.

 

Fish
Many fish can be steamed whole or in fillets, any sauce being made separately. The fish is prepared and lightly seasoned and sometimes flavoured with lemon juice or wine.

 

Meat, Offal and poultry
The same cuts of meat and poultry can be used for steaming as boiling and cooking takes about the same length of time; the method is healthy but tends to produce a rather flavourless end product that needs to be served with a flavoursome sauce!

Savoury puddings are ideal for steaming such as Steak and Mushroom, Steak & Kidney, Steak Kidney and Oyster.

 

Puddings
Rice Pudding, Steamed Sponge Puddings, Christmas pudding, Jam Roly Poly, are some of a few steamed desserts.


 

Safety!
Beware: steam is boiling hot, sometimes hotter.
Pressurised containers must be depressurised prior to opening
Take extreme care with hot steaming equipment
If using a commercial steamer use the door as a shield when opening
Check manufacturer’s instructions when using high pressure steamers and pressure cookers