The Ultimate Guide To Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables
Published Updated August 26, 2021 By Meeta Arora | This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Along with all of the amazing meals and desserts you can cook in the Instant Pot, there are tons of simple things you can do with it as well. Whether it be carrots, asparagus, green beans, or pumpkin, you can perfectly steam almost any vegetable in the Instant Pot!
So why cook your veggies in the Instant Pot?
- It helps retain nutrients. Boiling veggies, often carrots and broccoli, tends to result in them being drained of their nutritional value. Using the Instant Pot means you can choose specific times and settings for different vegetables, allowing you to properly cook the veggies, but still keep them healthy!
- It’s super quick!;Many of these recipes take under 15 minutes.
- It’s a no-fail, dump & go process. You don’t need to monitor the veggies as they cook, or worry about over/under cooking! Hassle-free, perfect for those of you with super busy schedules.
- In case the above points didn’t convince you enough, take it from me; you’ll get perfectly cooked veggies every time!
Cook starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn, or cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, with ease. It’s as simple as adding a cup of liquid, adding your veggies, sealing the lid and forgetting about them!
Also be sure to check out how I steam a vegetable medley in the Instant Pot at the bottom of this post!
Best Instant Pot Steamer Basket Guide
I love steamed vegetables! Whether its broccoli, string beans, peas, or carrots, they are amazingly delicious when cooked in a steamer. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I love my Instant Pot so much it makes some mind-blowing steamed veggies!
The steam trapped inside the Instant Pot speeds up the cooking and makes sure the veggies maintain their taste, texture, and color. They also retain nutrients and the fiber isnt damaged, which is the best part about eating vegetables.
However, you cant make properly steamed vegetables without a steamer basket.
What is this, you ask? Well, so did a lot of readers. Lately, Ive seen a lot of questions about steamer baskets and steaming in an Instant Pot in general, that I thought it best to dedicate an entire blog post to this topic.
So, if you want to know what is, how to use it, where to find such an IP accessory, keep reading. Ill start by answering some of the questions I had in my inbox and finish with a top 5 best steamer baskets .
How To Use An Instant Pot Steam Rack
Grab the trivet with its handles and put it inside the pot. The trivet should be placed in an upended position such that the platform of the trivet is in close contact with the bottom of the inner pot and isnt standing on its legs.
Instant pot steam rack or trivet is made of stainless steel that serves as an anchor for the food and prevents the direct contact of food and the liquid in the instant pot. The two metal hinges of the trivet are used to grab and lift the trivet.;
However, some trivets do not have these handles. This steam rack is very useful for steaming, pressure-steaming, and cooking with the Pot-in-Pot method.
Read Also: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Repurpose A Cooling Rack
You can also make a quick and easy steamer by placing a cooling rack across the top of your pot of water, adding ingredients on top, and covering them with aluminum foil. Make sure to use a cooling rack that doesn’t have spaces larger than the food you’re steaming, or else you’ll end up with a lot of boiled veggies sitting in the bottom of your pot!
Image by James Ransom/Food52
Silicone Trivet Without Handles
This silicone trivet is made by the Instant Pot company and fits 6 quart and 8 quart Instant Pots.
This silicone trivet is very easy to clean because its made of silicone and is dishwasher safe. The design allows steam to circulate and liquid to cover the bottom of the inner pot which helps prevent the Burn Message and the food to cook evenly.
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But If I Can’t See The Food As It’s Steaming How Do I Know How Long To Cook Or Steam It For
When it comes to using the Steam function, it’s best to have done some research on cook times, especially when it comes to delicate vegetables and seafood.
A lot of your experience with an Instant Pot, or pressure cooker in general, will require experimentation. Don’t be intimidated! It’s a kitchen tool, like everything else, and takes some time to master it.
If you use the “Steam” button, it’s essentially going to be pressure steaming, not just regular steaming.
Fortunately, the Instant Pot company knows that it can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s provided some useful cooking timetables on its website.
Personally, I love using my Instant Pot to steam broccoli on a regular basis. I always steam it at 0 minutes , Quick Release the pressure, and voila! Some vegetables, like broccoli, just need 0 minutes because it’s already cooking while building up pressure for steam. Anything more than 0 results in mushy broccoli, and no one wants that.
Instant Pot Steamed Asparagus
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Steaming vegetables is not a difficult thing to do, but it does require pots and pans with boiling water. Or you could always cook it in the microwave, but you risk your asparagus turning to mush! Well this Instant Pot Steamed Asparagus is the answer to your hassle-free vegetable steaming desires. I am not kidding, you will be shocked at how simple this recipe is!
For even more delicious pressure cooker recipes, check out the;Instant Pot Recipes;page.
If you are anything like me, vegetables have a much higher probability of getting cooked if the process is super simple…and this Instant Pot Steamed Asparagus is super simple!!
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How To Sterilise Babies Bottles In An Instant Pot
Baby bottles and other food containers that you use for your children need to be cleaned thoroughly and often. An Instant Pot is a fantastic piece of equipment which allows you to ensure all of your childs utensils are adequately sterilised. Ive found that its significantly easier than cleaning all the individual bits and pieces of bottles, cups, breast pumps etc.;
To sterilise baby bottles, use the exact same method as described above for jam jars.
Make sure you take apart all the bottles so that all the separate bits have a chance to be properly sterilised. If you have small bits like straws or bottle tops make sure they are not going to fall through the gaps in your steam rack.
You may have to use a colander instead or place cheesecloth over your steam rack. This is again to ensure none of your items come in contact with the base of the Instant Pot while it is on.;
Once the Instant Pot has finished its cycle. Carefully remove the baby bottles and caps and let them dry on a clean towel before using.;Because this method is so simple and easy, you can use it regularly to make sure your childs food containers stay clean and hygienic.;
What Is A Steamer Basket
In short, a steamer basket is a standard accessory that fits inside an Instant Pot and allows the steam to penetrate the veggies. It usually has stilts and handles so its easy to use, and it can be made from stainless steel , mesh, silicone, or other food-grade materials.
Luckily, there are lots of different products on the market and everyone can have their pick. For instance, you can get a stacked basket, which allows steaming on different levels and of different foods. There are also sectional steamers, which you can use while cooking other foods.
Still, the main purpose of the steamer basket is to hold the food and make sure the food doesnt touch the water or liquid . This way, the food is exposed to the hot steam and becomes tender and ready to eat.
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How To Steam In The Instant Pot
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How to steam in the Instant Pot. If you would like to steam your favourite fruits, vegetables, fish, desserts, and eggs in the instant pot pressure cooker, then this is how it is done.
I originally shared with you my instant pot steam guide back in 2017. I have steamed a lot more in the instant pot now and this is the updated version.
At home in the Milner kitchen most of the instant pot recipes we cook on a day to day basis involve using the steamer function.
It has been great fun to share with you these delicious recipes over the years and to show you my favourite of the Instant Pot buttons.
But it feels like I have barely covered the steam function, and this is why I wanted to put this blog post together for you.
But first I am sure you are wondering what the big deal is with the steam function on the Instant Pot and why you should be using it?
Well firstly when I think of the Instant Pot the first thing that enters my mind is what most people perceive an Instant Pot to be about:
- Quick cooking
- All in one cooking
- Easy cooking
This means that the bulk of people that buy them are always thinking about something quick.
Not necessarily about healthy eating and probably why the cheesecake has become as successful as it has. You can make a cheesecake much quicker than you could before and it is so simple as well.
This means that the steamer section, is just never given credit because we always think of the steamer for healthy eating
Instant Pot Setup: Manuals And Accessories
Ah, the manual. Heres what usually happens with manuals in my house:
Does that sound familiar? Yes? Thats why were friends!
AnyWAY, I know it sounds boring but I urge you to read the Instant Pot manual. Modern pressure cookers are safe. However, they arent slow cookers. Its important to understand the basic ins and outs of a;pressure cooker before you use it.
Oh, and if you misplace it, you can;find the Instant Pot manual online.
Oh! Recipes! I love recipes. <understatement. ButI must confess. Ive never used this recipe booklet. The recipes didnt really appeal to me and the directions were confusing.
I wish this quick reference guide was handier than it is. As written, it shows the steps for using each function. However, it doesnt explain cook time or the how to release pressure. Im very meh on this guide. It could be so handy!
Question: do you use the free tools that come with appliances? I dont think Ive ever used them! And not just for the Instant Pot. Maybe Im just weird.
Lets take a look at these:; measuring cup,;soup spoon,;rice paddle, and a condensation collector.
Measuring Cup.;If you dont own a glass measuring cup for liquids, I urge you to get one. This measuring cup is flimsy and, without handle, hard to handle.
Now heres a handy accessory! The steam rack. Use this to hold vegetables, pans , or anything else that you dont want sitting in cooking liquid.
Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Flat Wire Round Trivet
This flat wire rack with low legs works great not just for the Instant Pot but is a perfectly-sized cooling rack for round cake pans or to protect your countertop from hot dishes.
I use this round trivet to slightly elevate chicken or other meats that are cooking in liquid. Many times this technique helps me avoid the Burn Message. I also use it to separate multiple containers that are stacked on top of each other.
Instant Pot Green Beans
If youre noticing a trend, vegetables do incredibly well in the Instant Pot. Try pressure cooking plain green beans in the steamer basket for a quick and healthy side dish.
I made these for my Instant Pot class just plain pressure cooked green beans and then added some garlic butter on top! So simple! You could also just do a simple squeeze of lemon and a dash of salt.
Try my famous Instant Pot Bacon Green Beans!
Steaming Veggies On Trivet
Delicate veggies dont take long in the Instant Pot. If youve experimented, you likely know that things like asparagus, broccoli, beets and cauliflower only take around a minute to make. Perfectly steamed veggies are still a little crisp. Cooking them in the Instant Pot can be a gamble.
For great texture and maximum nutrient retention, place your delicate veggies on the trivet to steam so that they remain out of the water. A steamer basket or even a cake tin placed on top of the steam rack trivet will also do the trick. For more ways to cook vegetables with your Instant Pot, check out our 101 series here.
Baked potatoes are a thing of the past. Pressure cooked potatoes are;in because the method is hands-off, the timing is quick, and the results are fantastic every time. The trivet works to keep them out of the water so the bottom of your spuds doesnt get soggy. You can use the trivet steaming method for potatoes with both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. Check out these baby potatoes with butter and dill.
You might also want to check out these 5 delicious ways to make Instant Pot potatoes.
How Do I Use A Steamer Basket In My Instant Pot
The concept is rather simple the steamer basket goes directly into the inner pot of the Instant Pot. First, you have to add the required quantity of water so the IP can build pressure and create steam.
Next, place the veggies or dumplings in the basket, close the lid, and set the timer. The last step is a bit tricky and requires a bit of trial and error because you cant sample the state of your veggies while steaming. The secret is to time the cooking according to the type of vegetables and their state . Also, if youre steaming dumplings, the time will be different.
Lastly, you can add seasonings if you want, but I prefer adding them at the end after the steam has done its job.
As a side note, the steaming function is not just for veggies and dumplings. You can also steam meat such as oysters, fish, or even chicken. The secret is to adjust the timing and the pressure according to each type of food.
Also Check: How Long To Steam Broccoli In Instant Pot
The Instant Pot Meal Plan Jumpstartlearn How To Save Time And Wow Your Family With Easy Meals
Add water. Once you have a steamer basket, youll just need to add some water to the insert pot of your Instant Pot. This water is what will heat up and create the steam.
Lower the steamer basket. Youll place the basket into the insert pot. The contents of the basket should be up out of the water.
Steam. Program the steam time according to the recipe youre using and wait for the food to cook to perfection. So easy!
Perfect Steamer Baskets And Inserts For Your Instant Pot
I am often asked about perfect steamer baskets for the Instant Pot available here in the UK so I thought I’d compile them in one place, the Feisty Tapas blog .
The inner pot of the 5.7 litre / 6 litre / 6 quart Instant Pot has a diameter of 20 cm so you need something that will fit in there .
The inner pot of the Instant Pot 8 litre has a larger diameter and you can choose pretty much any steamer basket for that one.
For the 3 litre / Mini Instant Pot, you’ll need something smaller. The umbrella / collapsible type of steamer is perfect for this.
Of course, your Instant Pot also comes with a trivet which you can use to steam ingredients but a steamer basket will make life much easier.
Below are the steaming baskets and inserts that I have and use all the time, as well as the ones that have good reviews from the people who use them regularly.
If you are happy with your steamer basket and it’s not included in this list, please let me know and I’ll add it to the post and probably to my basket collection!
Have you taken the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker leap?
You havent? You must know by now that there is nothing to be scared of, that it has ten safety mechanisms, that it’s virtually silent and that you can set it and go, right?
Even better, it pressure cooks and slow cooks . B
Ready for my list of perfect steamer baskets for your Instant Pot all available in the UK?
Recommended Reading: Can Instant Pot Go In Dishwasher
Instant Pot Steamer Basket Features
Steamer baskets for the Instant Pot are commonly made of either stainless steel or silicone. The stainless steel types provide structure and rigidity, while the silicone baskets are lighter, easier to handle, and perform many of the same functions as their metal counterparts. All of these baskets have a way for steam to reach the food, through slats or holes punched in the bottom of the basket.
All Instant Pot steamer baskets share the same basic parts, or components that make up the basket. These are: