Can You Steam Food In An Instant Pot?

By now, you’ve probably heard wonderful things about the Instant Pot and everything you can do with it. 

According to some people, the Instant Pot eliminates the need for various other appliances because there is pretty much nothing you can’t cook in it. 

You can use it as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, and more. But can you also use it as a steamer?

Today we will look at foods you can steam in an Instant Pot and how to do it. Let’s get started.

What Foods Can You Steam In An Instant Pot?

If you can boil it, you can steam it and do it much faster when using an Instant Pot. Obviously, vegetables can be steamed.

But did you know you can also use the steam feature on an Instant Pot to make boiled eggs? 

You can also use it to steam fish, meat, pureed fruit, and even condensed milk (to turn it into delicious caramel), and do it in 40 minutes compared to four hours by cooking it the traditional way.

Boil Eggs

Are you like most of us and find it difficult to peel hard-boiled eggs? It isn’t nearly as much of a problem if you steam them in your Instant Pot. 

In fact, cooking them this way makes removing the shells so much easier. You will find yourself having boiled eggs much more often.

And you won’t cringe at the thought of making egg salad for your next barbecue or family get-together.

Steam Salmon

steam salmon fish

Who doesn’t love steamed salmon or any other type of steamed fish, for that matter? 

Steaming fish is a much healthier way to cook it for several reasons. 

Not only will it retain its nutrients, but it also tastes better because you don’t lose any flavor in the cooking process.

Steam Meat and Poultry

You can use your Instant Pot to steam meat, and you might be surprised at how delicious it is. 

This is a great way to cook chicken that will be used for chicken salad, and you can cook it in a fraction of the time it takes to cook in the oven. 

The cooking process is so fast that the chicken will also be ready when your veggies are ready. 

Simply wrap the chicken in aluminum foil, place it in the Instant Pot, and start preparing and cooking the veggies. 

You can even wrap the veggies in foil and place them inside the Instant Pot with the chicken for a one-pot meal.

See also: How to Steam Chicken in a Rice Cooker.

Steam Vegetables and Fruits

Most people love the taste of raw vegetables and don’t tend to enjoy them as much after being cooked because they lose a lot of flavor (not to mention nutrients). 

However, when you use the Instant Pot to steam vegetables, you don’t have to worry about losing flavor or nutrients. 

You can even cook the fruit in the same manner as vegetables; again, the flavor is out of this world.

Also, read Steaming vs. Boiling Vegetables.

How to Use Your Instant Pot as a Steamer

Using instant pot as a steamer

Now that you know you can use your Instant Pot as a steamer, you are probably wondering how to do this. 

The process is pretty simple, and once you get started, chances are you will be experimenting with all kinds of foods to steam.

Here are some tips to help you steam most types of food quickly and easily.

Use Water

It is crucial to make sure that you have at least one cup (250 ml) of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot if you are planning on steaming foods. 

Now, if you want your foods to be steamed and marinated, you can do it in one step.

Instead of plain water, use the marinating liquid, making sure you use a minimum of one cup.

Adjust the Timing for Various Foods

It takes longer to cook some foods than others, which also holds true with the Instant Pot. 

For instance, it only takes a minute to steam broccoli, but it will take much longer if you want to steam carrots. 

Steaming different types of foods is going to take a bit of trial and error, but the effort is really worth it.

Seal the Lid to Turn it Into a Pressure Cooker

When steaming foods, ensure the lid is sealed so your Instant Pot becomes a pressure cooker. 

If you do not do this, the water will simply boil the food, and you will lose a lot of flavor and nutrients retained through steaming.

Related: Can pressure cooker steam food?

Use the Steamer Basket

Again, you don’t want to cook the food in water if you aim to steam it. This is why it is important to use a steamer basket. 

This apparatus has several holes so the steam can get at the food, but it is held above the water, so only the steam cooks it and not the water.

Steam an Entire Meal

You can quickly steam an entire meal in your Instant Pot. The best way to do this is to place foods in the proper order. 

The foods that take the longest to cook should be at the bottom of the steamer basket. The rest of the foods can be placed on top. 

For instance, if you are steaming carrots and chicken strips, you would want to have the carrots at the bottom because they take much longer to cook than chicken strips. 

Ensure you don’t overfill the steamer basket, or the food won’t cook properly.

The process:

  1. Add one cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Place the steamer basket inside the Instant Pot.
  3. Add your ingredients.
  4. Put the lid in place and set the Instant Pot to seal.
  5. Click the “steam” button and cook for the appropriate time.
  6. Release pressure manually.
  7. Remove the food and serve.

And that’s all there is to it!