Can You Steam In An Air Fryer?

Are you looking for an easier way to cook healthy meals? Have you heard of air fryers but wondered what the fuss was about? 

If so, you’re in luck! You may be surprised to learn that not only can you use an air fryer to fry food without oil, but they can also be used as steamer. 

Read on to explore the surprising benefits of using an air fryer to steam your foods.

Can You Steam In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can steam in an air fryer. Many air fryers come with a steaming tray accessory that allows you to steam food while the top is used for frying. 

You can also experiment with adding water to the bottom of your air fryer and using it as a makeshift steamer basket.

Air Fryer Vs. Food Steamer

Air Fryer

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Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer (See on Amazon)

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook food. It works by circulating hot air around the food, producing a crispy texture without using much oil or fat. 

An advantage of an air fryer is its speed and convenience; you can prepare a meal for four people in about 15 minutes with minimal effort and cleanup. 

Additionally, an air fryer can save calories from your meal because it does not need large quantities of oil or fat. 

Its portability makes it great for camping trips and small spaces where traditional ovens may not be available.

Food Steamer

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BELLA Two-Tier Food Steamer (See on Amazon)

A food steamer is another popular kitchen appliance used to quickly and healthfully prepare meals. This type of cooking involves placing ingredients into baskets inside the device.

Then adding, steam-heated water, which circulates through them, thoroughly cooking the food while preserving vitamins, minerals, flavors, and textures often lost when boiling foods on top of the stove or baking them in an oven. 

Food steamers also require less energy than most other methods of cooking. It makes them more efficient as well as cost-effective.

They use less electricity than traditional ovens while still producing delicious results each time you use one.

Consideration Of Choosing Between Air Fryer And Food Steamer

When considering which type of kitchen appliance to purchase, an air fryer versus a food steamer, you should consider several factors before making any decisions: 

  1. How easy will it be to clean up after each use? 
  2. Is this something I would like to invest money into long-term? 
  3. What budget do I have set aside for such purchases? 
  4. What type(s) of cuisine can I make with these appliances? 
  5. Do my current space constraints limit me from purchasing either item due to their size requirements? 

Once all those questions have been answered, it comes down to personal preference based on what best meets your needs!

Can You Put Water In an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are a relatively new invention on the market, and many people have questions about them. One of the most common queries is putting water in an air fryer. 

The answer to this question depends on what type of air fryer you own.

Traditional Air Fryers

Traditional air fryers do not allow liquids such as water or oil to be used with them. This is because they are designed to circulate hot air around food to cook it quickly and evenly without needing additional liquid.

Because traditional models lack a reservoir for liquid, these devices generally cannot accept any fluid-like substances. 

If someone were attempting to use water or other fluids with a traditional model, there would be a significant risk of electrical shock due to contact between moisture and internal components within the appliance.

Multi-Functional Air Fryers

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CHEFMAN Multifunctional Digital Air Fryer (See on Amazon)

On the other hand, multi-functional air fryers often come equipped with steam settings that can use small amounts of liquid, such as water, when cooking foods like vegetables or grains.

These appliances generally consist of two separate compartments: one for circulating hot air and one for holding liquid which will create steam during cooking. 

Many multi-functional models also include special trays, which help ensure even heat distribution throughout food while still allowing some moisture retention from added liquids during the cooking process.

Adding liquids such as water into your device may depend on what type you own.

However, it’s always best practice to check manufacturer instructions before attempting anything outside normal operating procedures.

How Would You Steam Food In An Air Fryer?

If you want to steam food in an air fryer, there is no need for additional equipment or complicated recipes – it can be done in just a few simple steps:

  • Start by adding 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of your air fryer.
  • Place whatever type of vegetables or seafood you want to steam on the steamer basket.
  • Set your temperature and timer according to desired results (most foods should take between 8-12 minutes).

Once your timer goes off, remove the steamer basket from the air fryer and make it ready to serve.

Health Benefits Of Steaming Food With An Air Fryer

Health Benefits Of Steaming Food

A modern kitchen should include an air fryer. Not only is it a healthier way to cook, but it also helps save time and stress in the cooking process. 

An air fryer allows you to steam your food without adding oil or fat, meaning you get all the health benefits of steaming with no added calories.

The first benefit of using an air fryer for steaming is that food this way retains more vitamins and minerals than if cooked in another method, such as boiling. 

When boiled, vegetables can lose up to 50% of their nutritional value due to water-soluble vitamins leaching out into the cooking liquid.

However, this only happens as much when steamed because fewer nutrients are lost during the process. 

Furthermore, studies have shown that certain foods, such as broccoli and spinach, retain more beneficial compounds when steamed than other methods like stir-frying or microwaving, which can destroy some of these compounds.

Another advantage is that it helps preserve texture better than traditional cooking methods since there’s no direct contact with heat from above or below, which can cause wilting or disintegration in delicate items like fish fillets. 

Steaming also cooks faster, so you don’t have to wait long for your meal; plus, cleaning up is easier since there isn’t any extra greasy residue left after you’re done eating.

Finally, by utilizing an air fryer instead of other forms of cooking (such as deep frying), you drastically reduce how much unhealthy fat goes into your meals while still providing delicious flavor and crunchiness thanks to its hot circulating air technology.

Alternative Methods Of Steaming Foods

Cooking is one of the oldest arts and is an important part of everyday life. Over the years, new methods have emerged which allow cooks to steam food without using a traditional air fryer. 

Here are some alternative methods of steaming foods that can help you create delicious meals quickly and easily:

Microwave Steaming

microwave steaming method

Using your microwave can steam vegetables, fish, and other items in minutes. Simply place the desired item in a microwavable bowl or dish with enough water to cover the food by about ¼ inch. 

Put a lid on top (ensure there is room for steam to escape), and then cook it on high power for 3-4 minutes per pound. 

Be sure to check if the food has finished cooking before removing it from the microwave, as times may vary based on the size/amount being cooked.

Stove Top Steaming

If you don’t have access to a microwave or would like an even more hands-on approach when steaming your meal, stove-top steaming is another great option. 

This method requires only two pans – one pot filled 1/3 full with boiling water and another that holds the ingredients you want to cook above it (the two should not touch). 

Place your ingredients into this second pan; cover both pans tightly with lids; reduce heat setting.

Let simmer until done (time will depend on what ingredient is being cooked). Once complete, remove both pans from the heat source immediately.

Pressure Cooker Cooking

Pressure cooker cooking often uses less time than traditional stovetop cooking. Still, it produces moist results due to its sealed environment trapping all moisture inside.

To use this method properly, ensure all safety precautions are followed before the operation – including reading through the manual included with the purchase thoroughly before use.

Then add the appropriate amount of water required for the recipe into the pressure cooker and any additional ingredients needed, such as vegetables & proteins.

Then close the lid tight, ensuring the valve is set correctly depending on whether the high or low pressure is used.

Lastly, set the timer according to the allowed recommended recipe time frame and wait patiently until finished!


The verdict is in. Air fryers can be used for steaming, meaning you don’t need to use a separate appliance or take up precious space on your countertop. 

The hot air circulating inside the air fryer provides an effective and efficient way to steam vegetables and other foods easily. 

From convenience to flavor, plenty of benefits come with using an air fryer for steaming. 

So go ahead and give it a try.

You may reach for your air fryer whenever you want some delicious-tasting veggies!