Can You Steam Onions In A Steamer?

Onions are a versatile and flavorful staple in many dishes. They are commonly cooked by frying or sautéing.

But can you steam onions in a steamer? The answer is yes, You can. If you’re looking for a healthier way to cook them, steaming is the answer. 

Steaming food helps to retain nutrients while still providing delicious results. But can onions be cooked using this method? 

Let’s find out.

The Benefits Of Steaming Onions

can you steam onions in a steamer

Steaming onions is an easy, healthy way to cook them. Steaming preserves more flavor and texture in onions than other cooking methods, allowing you to enjoy a delicious meal without all the added fat or calories. 

Additionally, steaming helps retain most of the onion’s nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. 

These beneficial minerals help support bone health and muscle function while also providing antioxidant benefits that can reduce inflammation in your body. 

Not only do these elements make steamed onions especially nutritious, but they are also free from any preservatives or additives often found in canned vegetables.

Beyond its nutritional value, steaming onions are incredibly fast compared to other cooking methods like baking or sautéing. The process takes just a few minutes to have a healthy side dish on the table with minimal effort. 

See also: Can You Steam Noodles In A Steamer?

What’s The Difference Between Sautéing And Steaming Onions?

The primary difference between sautéing and steaming onions is the cooking method. Sautéing involves cooking the onion in a hot pan with oil, while steaming requires boiling water to cook the onion through vapor. 

Both methods will produce a softened onion, but they have different textures and flavors depending on how long they’re cooked.

sauteing onions
Sauteing onions

Sautéed onions are cooked quickly over high heat, resulting in lightly browned edges with a slightly caramelized flavor. 

This method preserves a crunchy texture over steamed onions, which can become softer and mushier when overcooked. 

The caramelized flavor makes sautéed onions ideal for adding depth to dishes like soups or salads. 

When making them, it’s important to ensure your pan is hot before adding any oil or butter to get an even golden-brown color without burning them.

See also: Can You Steam Peppers In A Steamer?

Type Of Steamers For Steaming Onions

The best type of steamer for steaming onions is a bamboo or stainless steel steamer. Bamboo steamers are lightweight, durable, and affordable.

It provides even steam that helps retain the onions’ natural flavors. Stainless steel steamers can also be used, but they tend to cost more than bamboo steamers. 

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Joyce Chen Bamboo Steamer (See on Amazon)

Bamboo steamers are popular because they are easy to use and don’t take up much space in the kitchen. 

They usually come with two levels, so you can stack vegetables on top of each other and get plenty of room for your vegetables to cook evenly in the hot water vapor below them. 

The layers help prevent sticking, which is important in preventing burning or scorching your food during cooking. 

Additionally, these steamers often have lids that ensure the heat stays inside while cooking, creating an efficient environment where moisture accumulates quickly. 

Stainless steel steamers are another good choice as they offer great heat retention capabilities due to their weight and construction materials (which include iron). 

This also means that whatever vegetable you put into this steamer will keep its flavor throughout cooking. 

All the juice from your onion won’t escape too fast through any cracks or holes in it like some other cheaper models may do over time with frequent use. 

Furthermore, cleaning stainless steel after usage should be easier compared to wooden baskets since metal doesn’t absorb moisture easily.

See also: Can You Steam Quiche In A Steamer?

How To Clean Onions Before Steaming?

It is important to clean an onion before steaming properly because this helps remove any dirt or bacteria on its surface, which can be harmful if not removed. 

Cleaning and slicing the onions into uniform slices ensures they will steam evenly throughout the cooking process, so every piece cooks thoroughly with no raw areas left over. 

Cleaning onions also helps bring out their flavor and provide a better texture when cooked since it removes some of their more fibrous features from their exterior layer.

See also: Can You Steam Spinach In A Steamer?

How To Steam Onions In An Electric Steamer?

Here is a simple guide for stemming onions in an electric food steamer:

  • Wash your onions thoroughly and peel off the outer layer. Make sure you rinse off any dirt or debris before peeling to ensure cleanliness.
  • Cut the onions into thin slices, so they cook evenly in the steamer basket and are easy to work with later on when removed from the steamer basket after cooking.
  • Add two cups of water to your electric steamer pot and turn it on high heat for five minutes, allowing enough time to come up to a full boil before adding your onion slices inside its steam basket.
  • Place sliced onions into the steaming basket, making sure not to overcrowd them as this will cause uneven cooking.
  • Place the lid back onto the electric steamer pot and cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat until fully tender (you can poke with a fork or knife if needed). Keep an eye on them while cooking, as too much heat, will cause them to burn rather than steam properly.
  • When finished, remove from heat, and carefully lift the lid of the electric steamer pot to avoid any hot steam. Using tongs, take out each slice of onion separately onto a plate or bowl for further use, adding to salads or just eating plain. Enjoy.


Can You Put Garlic And Onions In A Steamer?

Yes, you can put garlic and onions in a steamer. Make sure to cut them into small pieces, so they cook evenly.

Are Steamed Onions Healthy?

Yes, steamed onions are a healthy food choice. Onions are high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, potassium, and manganese.

They also contain antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and protect against certain diseases.

What Should You Not Do When Steaming Onions?

You should not add water when steaming onions, as this will cause them to become soggy and lose flavor.

Can You Steam Raw Onions?

Yes, you can steam raw onions.

What Is The Best Way To Soften Onions?

The best way to soften onions is to cook them over low heat for a few minutes until they become translucent and tender.

Conclusion: Can You Steam Onions In A Steamer?

The answer is an unequivocal yes. Onions can be successfully cooked in a steamer, and the outcome will depend on your desired texture. 

While you won’t achieve caramelized onions with this method, the result of steam-cooked onions is still delicious. 

With careful monitoring, you can ensure they don’t overcook. Just keep an eye on them and taste them as you go. 

So grab your steamer basket, slice up some onions, and prepare for flavorful fun.

Happy cooking!