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

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

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

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!

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



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      13 Discussions


      5 years ago on Step 3

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

      pie pan.jpg

      8 years ago on Introduction

      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.

      1 reply

      9 years ago on Introduction

      Good idea, but I am cautious about cooking in aluminum. Might I use a stainless steel cookie pan or a large Pyrex baking dish?


      12 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.

      1 reply

      11 years ago on Introduction

      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.


      12 years ago

      using a round pan that fits just into the pot will make it much safer..remember the kiddies!!

      1 reply

      Reply 12 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.


      12 years ago

      OOps, almost forgot. I like the instructable. Clever.


      Reply 12 years ago

      part of the tastiness of boiling them in a pot of water is dunking them in aus jus after they are done cooking.