Can You Use A Colander As A Steamer? – Cooking Tricks

Microwave vs. Stovetop Steaming

Aside from getting an actual food steamer, there are two ways to steam vegetables: microwaving and stovetop.

These methods are quick and easy and generally produce the same results. You don’t need to have fancy equipment. If you have a colander, a saucepan, and a lid already in your kitchen, you can steam your food on a stovetop. For steaming using a microwave oven, you have to use microwave-safe bowls and plastics to steam. So, can you use a colander as a steamer? Continue reading below.

What Are the Traditional Methods for Steaming Veggie?

Before we answer your question, “Can you use a colander as a steamer?” check out first these traditional methods in steaming your veggies:

  • As a general rule, you will need a large pot and a steamer basket or a colander that fits inside when steaming using the stovetop.
  • Fill your pot with just enough water so that it barely reaches the bottom of your colander or the steamer basket.
  • Add your veggies and place a loose-fitting lid on top of the cover once the water comes to a boil. If the lid is more fitted on the colander, put it in a position so that one side hangs over your colander, just enough to let out the steam.

What Kitchen Tools to Use for Steaming

Use a Colander or Strainer

So, can you use a colander as a steamer? This hack says yes. It’s just simple. All you need to do is put your food in a large colander and set it on top of your pot of water. You can also use a strainer instead of a colander.

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Use a Cooling Rack

You can also turn your cooling rack into an instant steamer. Just place the cooling rack across on top of the pot of water, put the veggies or your food on top and cover them with an aluminum foil. Ensure that you are using a cooling rack that does not have spaces bigger than the food you are steaming, or else they’ll end up at the bottom of the pot.

Make a Pie Tin Steamer

If you don’t have the two listed above, you can make an effective steamer using just two reusable aluminum pie tins. Firstly, poke 12-16 holes at the base of both pie tins. Using a rolling pin, flatten out one of the pie tins. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly flat. Just run your rolling pin a few times over your pie tin.


Now, put your steamer together. Place the unflattened tin upside down in your pot with just a little water. Rest the flattened one on top of the first, and place your veggies on top of it.  

Use a Plate & Foil

This method is fun to create and makes cleaning a little bit easier as you can keep your food in the place when you serve them. You need to look for a plate that’s oven-safe and is somewhat smaller than your pot.

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Make three big, solid balls of aluminum foil and put them at the bottom of your pot. Add water and set the plate (with your food) on top of your aluminum foil balls. Now you have a steamer that’s good to go.

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Use a Bowl and Splatter Screen

If you’re not steaming as often, you can also use a splatter screen. Just toss it on top of the pot, put your veggies, and cover it with a large bowl. You could also use tinfoil if a splatter screen is not available. Just make sure it fits around the pot tightly so it does not collapse when you place the food on top.


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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.