Picture of Quick Homemade Steamer Hack
This instructable describes how to create a homemade food steamer. With this device you can steam cook:

Chinese steamed buns
and other varieties of food!

The equipment you shall need for this project is the following:

Sharp knife
Disposable aluminum pan
Large metallic bowl

The aluminum pan must lay across the top of the pot while the bowl must sit on the pan. Make sure they are stable when assembled.

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Step 1: Cut the Grid

Picture of Cut the Grid
Fetch the aluminum pan. Cut a series of squares about the size of 1cmx1cm. Place the squares 1 cm apart. This does not have to be exact.

Step 2: Boil Water

Picture of Boil Water
Fetch your pot and bring the water to a boil. Make sure you pour enough water for the length of time the food must cook for.

Step 3: Steam the Food

Picture of Steam the Food
Place your grid upon the pot. Make sure it is stable.

Place the food you wish to steam upon the grid. I shall steam carrots. Then place the bowl over the grid. This shall lock in the steam. (Enough steam for a hacked steamer.)

Step 4: Eat!

Picture of Eat!
Once the food is completely cooked, remove the bowl and grid. Now enjoy what you have steamed!

Nice idea, perhaps you could get a better steam, if you got a round aluminium pie pan...

pie pan.jpg
incoivert4 years ago
good idea.

I'm going to try a large pot on the stove with water and a wire rack on top holding a baking dish and cover that with a large metal bowl. trying to steam lentil cakes, idli could be next.

oh, don't lose your marbles.
it worked very well for the lentil cakes, idli on deck.

couldnt find my marbles.
lgcamp5 years ago
Good idea, but I am cautious about cooking in aluminum. Might I use a stainless steel cookie pan or a large Pyrex baking dish?
mfunk8 years ago
Good instructable. I improvise a steamer as well. I bought a metal mesh colander from Walmart and set that on top of a pot of boiling water that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the colander, just make sure that you can have a decent amount of water in the pot first without it touching the bottom of the colander. I usually just place whatever I am going to steam directly into the colander and cover with a lid from the same pot, but sometimes when I need to keep the steam out of my food, like when melting chocolate, I place a paper towel into the colander first, then set a pyrex bowl or similar into the colander. One other thing, I read somewhere that placing a couple marbles into the water will insure that you do not run out of water for those long steams as they will rattle quite loudly--it has definitely saved my butt a few times.
shooby mfunk6 years ago
Hey nice, the marble alarm is a great idea.
shooby6 years ago
FOr small time steaming, I have a small steel trivet(spelling?) that basically looks like a grill with four 3/4" tall feet. I put that right on a frying pan, boil a little water, put the steamables on the grill and then put on the lid, works really well, and the thing only cost US $1.70. For anyone implementing your steamer idea, I have a few suggestions. 1) You can buy a nice baking tray at a thrift store for cheaper than you can buy this disposable aluminum crap. Drill holes in one of those and have yourself a permanent solution. 2) No matter what you use, you could have larger perforations in one half of the steamer than the other half, so that you have a side to place food that either takes less time to cook, or a place to put it to keep it warm while other pieces are cooking.
zozzen7 years ago
hmmm, if you place what Chinese called "Zhengjia" into the bowl you can make it become steamer too. That's much simpler.
fegundez18 years ago
using a round pan that fits just into the pot will make it much safer..remember the kiddies!!
arevolutionist (author)  fegundez18 years ago
Yea. My first plan was to implement a deep frying basket. Though, I failed to possess the tools to modify it. The rectangular pan was the only resource I had.
rockyt8 years ago
OOps, almost forgot. I like the instructable. Clever.
Nice instructable. Very practicle and useful.
part of the tastiness of boiling them in a pot of water is dunking them in aus jus after they are done cooking.