Use Your Crock Pot As a Dumpling Steamer




Make perfectly steamed pork dumplings without a bamboo steamer. I'll show you how.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Set Up Your Crock Pot

You need to find a colander that fits inside your slow cooker. I had this pliable silicon vegetable steamer lying around the house. You could use a small conventional colander or mesh strainer too. Basically anything dome shaped that has some holes in it will work.

Fill up your crock pot with about 2 cups of water and turn it on high while you make the dumplings. You want the water to be simmering when you are ready to steam the dumplings. If you want to speed this process up, you can start with boiling water and then just turn your slow cooker on to keep the water hot.

Once the water is simmering well, carefully push the colander down into the slow cooker with the dome facing up. Push it down until the water level is about 1/2 inch from the dome.

Step 2: Prepare the Pork Filling

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/4 pound ground pork, 1/4 onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 large basil leaves, 2 sprigs parsley, a couple of fresh mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 tsp hot sauce (like Sriracha), a dash of soy sauce, 1 pinch of salt, and one medium egg. Pulse just until combined.

Step 3: Fill the Dumplings

Beat an egg.

Set 8 to 10 store bought dumpling wrappers onto a clean surface.

Spoon about 2 teaspoons of filling onto the center of each wrapper.

Using your finger, moisten the entire outer edge of the dumpling wrapper with egg. This will seal the dumplings when they are formed.

Step 4: Form the Dumplings

Pick one of the dumplings up and fold it in half like a taco.

Hold the dumping in the palm of your hand and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the edges closed, while using your other hand to gather and pinch the edges, sealing the dumpling tight.

Step 5: Use Your Crock to Steam Those Dumplings

Set the dumplings onto the colander, over the simmering water. Make sure the water level is low enough not to touch the dumplings. This will cause the wrappers to break down.

Place a lid onto the slow cooker.

I used a bamboo placemat that I happened to have on hand, to mimic the lid a conventional steamer would have. It allowed some steam to escape, releasing moisture, but keeping enough steam to cook the dumplings.

I did try a batch with the slow cooker lid, and it worked just fine. I just placed some paper towels over the top of the cooker before placing the lid down which helped absorb the excess moisture.

These will take about eight minutes.

When you think they're ready, remove one with a pair of tongs and slice it in half to make sure the pork is cooked through. Once you have a feel for the timing of your crock pot, you won't need to do this step.

Step 6: Eat and Enjoy!

Enjoy your steamed dumplings right away. They go great with some store bought sweet chili sauce. They are so tasty that they don't last very long, so I would advise making a double batch when you try these!

Feel great that you used your crock pot for something other than soup or stew! There's nothing like an appliance that does double duty!

Crock Pot Challenge

First Prize in the
Crock Pot Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Candy Challenge

      Candy Challenge
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest

    18 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This looks absolutely yummy. I will try them.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    fantastic! thanks for showing off the multi-use of a crockpot! I would have never thought of using it as a steamer!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    For us Veggie-Heads substitute firm or extra firm tofu for the pork, or even more and different types of mushrooms...YUM! Thanks for the inst:-)


    4 years ago

    You rock. This is awesome, thanks for the idea! I loooove steamed dumplings, so it'd be fun to make them at home!

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm, I'm going to have to see how well this works for baozi (steamed buns). I made another batch of slow cooker paprikash ( my entry in this contest ) but made the sauce a lot thicker than the recipe I shared. My plan was to make a fusion east meets eastern european and make a paprikash filled baozi.

    I'll let you know how it works.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, BrickJAK. I'm not sure how it would do with buns since they are quite a bit thicker, but it would be awesome if that works. Let me know!


    4 years ago on Step 6

    Hi Shauna, I like this recipe and method a lot! Instead of slicing a dumpling open, I'd try a meat thermometer, 145F for pork.

    2 replies

    If you are in the USA where porkers are given shots and antibiotics 145 is maybe a tad low, 155 is more what you want. 162 Kills tric, and at 165 everything we can die from (pretty much ) is dead.

    155 is also the temp you need to hold water at for 10 minutes to make it safe.

    But, regardless, the idea of the meat thermometer is the BEST way of testing.

    Thank you BigDamHero's for the suggestion. As someone who spent a long time in ER after a visit from our Italian Friend SAL MONELLA, (Kosher deli food, kosher means clean....they didn't get it though), and then again from a relative who did not understand food safety., this is the best comment/suggestion.

    I have bread dough rising as I sit and type, and my peas soup is a simmer'n, I will be making Nan, and Paine de Mie,(a la Julia Child), and Foccacio Di Umbria.

    This will be next weeks culinary adventure or maybe on the weekend.

    Mangia qui fait grande

    spark master

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I just spent a good amount of time researching these puppies , and they are definitely on my menu. Some where I found a recipe for the savory rolls you get in Chinese bakery marked Pork Buns (NYC). I must relocate that, they are stuffed with a delicious pork BBQ.

    The only problem I see with making really good foood and sharing with relatives that I see is.....they never leave or always comeback. You get volunteered!


    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Same thing, only square instead of round. You can make 'em square too, or trim off the extra dough.