Can you steam in an air fryer? The answer is yes, you can! Many people think that the only thing you can do in an air fryer is to fry something, but that's not true. You can also steam food in an air fryer. In this post, I'll show you how to steam food in your air fryer. So, if you're looking for a way to add variety to your air fryer cooking routine, keep reading!
I'm always looking for ways to make cooking easier and faster. So when I heard about the air fryer, I had to try it out. You can use your air fryer to steam vegetables, fish, and more. Fat or oil is not needed when cooking with this method. Plus, it's easy and quick to do.
Here are some tips on how to steam in an air fryer. Please read on.
Air fryer vs food steamer
How can you decide which of these two appliances is best for you?
Air fryers use hot air for cooking food, while food steamers use steam. Some people prefer air fryers because they feel the food comes out crispier, while others prefer steamers because they believe the food retains more nutrients when cooked with steam.
We will discuss each method's advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.
1 Mode of cooking
Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it. A basket or tray holds the food, which circulates hot air, evenly cooking all sides.
Some people feel that air fryers produce more crispy food than food cooked in a steamer. If you like your food to be crispy outside, then an air fryer is probably the better choice.
Air fryers also tend to cook food more quickly than steamers. When you're short on time or prefer to cook food quickly, you should probably use an air fryer.
On the other hand, steamers cook food by surrounding it with steam. A basket or tray holds the food, and hot water creates steam. The water in the chambers below the food basket or tray is heated, and as it boils, it produces steam. The steam surrounding the food ensures even cooking throughout the cooking process.
Some people feel steamed food is moister than food cooked in an air fryer. It is probably better to steam your food if you like it moist.
Steamed food is also generally healthier than food cooked in an air fryer. It is more nutritionally dense to steam food than to fry it. Therefore, steamers are probably better for you if you prefer a healthier option.
2 Speed of cooking
When it comes to air fryer vs. steamer, it depends on what you're cooking and which one is faster. Air fryers are the best choice if you want to cook frozen dinners quickly. It's also better to cook smaller items like french fries or chicken nuggets.
Cooking larger items, such as whole chickens and fish fillets, will be easier with a steamer. It's also going to be better for cooking vegetables.
Does steaming food with an air fryer make sense?
Some may think steaming food in an air fryer is a good idea because it can help cook the food more evenly. However, some potential risks are associated with steaming food in an air fryer. Air fryers require proper ventilation; otherwise, the steam can build up and cause the machine to overheat. Additionally, improper placement of the steaming basket can cause the hot air can circulate underneath the food and cause it to become overcooked.
It is possible, however, to steam some foods safely in an air fryer, and steaming some foods enhances their flavor. Some of the best foods to steam in an air fryer include fish, vegetables, and rice.
For example, vegetables that have been pre-steamed or parboiled can be placed in the air fryer basket and cooked for a short time at a lower temperature. This will help to ensure that they are cooked evenly without becoming overcooked. Furthermore, delicate meats can be steam-cooked in an air fryer, but keep an eye on the cooking time to avoid overcooking.
Rice is also a good candidate for steaming in an air fryer. Do you know why? Rice is a grain and therefore tends to absorb flavors well. Additionally, rice is also relatively easy to cook evenly.
Can you put water in an air fryer for steaming?
Check your appliance's manual before adding water to your air fryer. Ignoring the manufacturer's instructions could result in damage to your air fryer. While some models have a water reservoir for steaming, others do not. If your model does not have a water reservoir, a metal steamer basket will allow you to steam food in your air fryer.
Generally, you should not put water, especially at the bottom of the air fryer. A failure to do so can lead to serious consequences, including electric shocks, fires, and explosions.
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food. This circulation of hot air is what cooks the food. If you add water to an air fryer, it will disrupt this process and can cause the appliance to malfunction.
In some cases, you may be able to add a small amount of water to an air fryer. Air fryers with steam functions are typically able to do this. Check your air fryer's manual to see if this is an option.
If you add water to an air fryer, use only enough to create steam. Adding too much water can lead to the formation of dangerous hot spots. These hot spots can cause the appliance to overheat and catch fire.
Using an air fryer to steam food
I read other blogs stating that you can steam in an air fryer by adding water to the bottom of the pan, setting a metal rack in the water, and then placing your food on the rack. I tried this method, and it didn't work for me. My air fryer isn't big enough to accommodate a water pan and a metal rack.
I also tried steaming in an air fryer by placing a wet paper towel over the food. The paper towel dried out quickly and didn't create enough steam to cook the food properly. My experience with this was also unsatisfactory.
So, I found a method of steaming in an air fryer that works well: placing a baking or pizza pan, pouring ¼ cup of boiling water—and then putting my food on the extendable steamer basket covered with foil.
The steam from the water cooks the food perfectly, and the steamer basket keeps the food from sticking to the basket.
This steaming method in an air fryer works great for all kinds of vegetables. I've used it to steam broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and even green beans. It's a quick and easy way to cook vegetables without any fuss. Give it a try the next time you want to make a healthy meal!
How would you steam food in an air fryer?
A few websites claim air fryers cannot steam food and offer a list of all the things an air fryer can do that steaming isn't. They explain that an air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food to crisp it - similar to how a convection oven works. Also, they said that water could not reach a temperature that would produce steam inside the air fryer.
Oddly enough, adding hot water to your Air Fryer bucket is one way to keep it clean. As a result, is it better to use steam for other purposes?
It's great knowing you can steam food in your Air Fryer, such as dumplings. Even less than 15 minutes is all it takes to prepare them. Another great recipe you can set and forget.
The high heat of an air fryer turns water into steam very quickly, so you would need to be careful not to add too much water, or you will boil your food instead of steam.
So, can you steam in an air fryer?
The answer is yes, but it depends on the model of air fryer that you have. If your air fryer does not have a steaming function, you can still steam food in it by using a baking pan and adding boiling water to it. Then, line a bamboo steamer with perforated parchment paper and position it on top of the pizza or baking pan.
The main thing to remember when steaming food in an air fryer is not to overfill the baking pan. Just make sure the bamboo steamer is not touching the water.
5 Surprising things you can steam in an air fryer
Air fryers are one of the most popular kitchen appliances today. And it's no wonder why! They offer a healthier alternative to deep frying and can be used to cook up a variety of delicious food.
Many people don't know about air fryers because you can also use them to steam food. This is a great way to cook delicate items like fish and vegetables without worrying about them drying out or becoming overcooked.
The delicate nature of fish makes it easy to overcook. Steaming it in an air fryer is a great way to ensure it remains moist and flaky.
How to steam fish using an air fryer
Pat dry the fish with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. The water on the surface of the fish will cause it to steam instead of get crispy. Underneath the fish, however, it will still be nice and moist. As a result, the fish will have a crispy exterior after steaming.
How does it work? The science behind it is that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit while air fryers only heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. So the water on the surface of the fish will start to boil and turn into steam before the air fryer can crisp up the exterior. The result is juicy fish on the inside with a nice crispy exterior.
Season the fish fillet with ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and other desired spices. Put 1 tablespoon soy sauce and drizzle 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
Fold one piece of parchment paper in half and then in half again to create a makeshift steamer basket. Place the fish on one side of the parchment paper and then fold over so the two ends meet. Crimp the parchment paper closed by folding it over a few times.
Along either side of the center crease, create small overlapping diagonal folds around the entire fish forming pleats that resemble half moons. This allows the fish to cook evenly on both sides and prevents the parchment paper from opening up during cooking.
Doing this will help to form a barrier so the fish doesn't touch the hot air circulating in the air fryer. At the same time, it will improve steam circulation and prevent the fish from sticking to the parchment paper.
You can seal the packet by folding the top over a few times and then tucking it underneath the parchment paper to secure the envelope. In this way, steam cannot escape from the fish and remains moist.
Place the parchment paper with the fish inside the air fryer basket. Because it's getting close to the heating element, there's a risk of catching fire if it's not flat. Lightly press the paper pouch down so it won't get caught on the air fryer's fan and won't get burned.
Set the air fryer to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 15 minutes or until the fish is soft and flaky. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish. If your fish is thinner than 1-inch, reduce the cooking time. To test the doneness, use a skewer to poke the fish. If it goes easily, it's done. If not, cook for extra 5 minutes.
The easiest way to test the doneness of fish is by using a skewer. Try poking it through the center of the fish, and if it goes through easily, it's ready. You can also do the flake test. Gently press down on the fish with a fork. You can tell if it's done when it flakes easily.
In addition, the color of the fish can be used as an indicator. Cooked fish is opaque and white or pink. A translucent, raw-looking dish needs more cooking time.
Note: If you are using frozen fish, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Once done, remove the fish from the air fryer and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce. I serve it with tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and roasted potatoes. Enjoy! You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TngwbYDRRy8. Check the recipe here too.
Vegetables are another food item that you can easily overcook. Steaming them in an air fryer will help to preserve their nutrients and flavor. Also, it's a great way to cook frozen vegetables.
Here are the steps:
Place the vegetables in a single layer on parchment paper. Make sure they are not touching each other so they can cook evenly.
Fold the parchment paper into a pouch and seal it tightly.
Using a baking or pizza pan, position it in the center of the air fryer. Add boiling water (about ¼ cup). Place the parchment paper pouch on top of a baking or pizza pan. Cook at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Once done, remove the pouch from the air fryer and let it cool for a few minutes before opening. Be careful of the steam when you open it.
Serve the vegetables with your favorite dipping sauce or as is. Enjoy!
Dumplings are a delicious and easy-to-make snack. Steaming them in an air fryer is a quick and hassle-free way to cook them up. Why? because there's no need to boil a pot of water, and you don't have to worry about them sticking to the bottom of the pan.
You can check the recipe here.
Rice is a staple in many cultures around the world. It is also possible to overcook the rice. Steaming it in an air fryer will help to preserve its nutrients and flavor. It can be tricky to cook perfectly, but steaming it in an air fryer takes the guesswork out. Watch here on how to cook Biryani in an air fryer. Another recipe here you can watch on Youtube.
Eggs are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes. Steaming them in an air fryer is a quick and easy way to cook them up. You can check my post here on how I boiled eggs on the air fryer.
Air fryers are versatile kitchen appliances for more than just frying food. So next time you're looking for a quick and easy way to cook a meal, consider steaming it in an air fryer! Steaming is a great way to cook delicate items like fish and vegetables without worrying about them drying out or becoming overcooked.
What if I don't have a bamboo steamer?
You can undoubtedly steam in an air fryer without a bamboo steamer. All you need is a heat-safe dish that will fit inside the air fryer. Add boiling water to the baking pan or dish and put it in the air fryer. Make sure to put the water in before adding the food, so it doesn't splash out when you open the air fryer.
If you don't have a bamboo steamer, you can use an expandable steamer basket or a colander ( make sure it fits inside the air fryer). Cover it with foil to prevent water from dripping on the food. If your air fryer came with a steamer basket, that would be the perfect tool. If you're using a colander, make sure that the holes are small enough, so your food doesn't fall through.
Be careful when handling hot water and steam in the air fryer. Start with less water than you think you'll need so that you don't accidentally splash yourself when adding it to the air fryer. You can always add more water if needed.
You can steam all sorts of things in an air fryer, from vegetables to seafood to dumplings. The options are endless! Just make sure that whatever you're steaming is cut into small enough pieces so that it can cook evenly. And don't forget to add water to the pan before steaming!
Is boiling water necessary when I use an air fryer?
Using an air fryer, boiling water from cold takes time. The air fryer has to heat the water first, and then it will start boiling. This process takes at least four minutes, so it is also inefficient.
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around your food, cooking it evenly on all sides. Adding boiling water to the mix creates steam, which helps to keep your food moist and prevents it from drying out. Adding boiling water instead of room temperature accelerates the steaming process because it helps to create steam. As the hot water evaporates, the steam circulates around your food and cooks it evenly.
The water inside the air fryer turns into steam, which helps cook the food. The boiling point reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water evaporates. The steam is what cooks the food and prevents it from drying out.
Can I use any kind of water in my air fryer?
You can use any water in your air fryer, but we recommend using distilled water. Why? Because it's free of minerals and other impurities that can leave deposits on your air fryer. Over time, these deposits can build up and affect the performance of your air fryer.
You can use filtered or bottled water if you don't have distilled water. Avoid using hard water, which is water that contains high levels of minerals.
What is the correct amount of water to add to my air fryer?
The amount of water you'll need to add to your air fryer will vary depending on the baking pan you're using and the amount of food you're cooking. For example, if you're using a small pan for cooking a single serving of food, you'll only need to add a few tablespoons of water. If you're using a large pan for cooking multiple servings, you'll need to add more water, about ½ cup. It depends on how much water your baked or pizza pan can hold without overflowing.
What other liquids can I use besides water?
Yes, you can use other liquids besides water in your air fryer. Some people like to add broth or juice to their air fryer pan for additional flavor. Just keep in mind that you'll need to adjust the cooking time if you're using a different liquid, as it will take longer for the liquid to evaporate.
What are some of the best foods to steam in an air fryer?
You can steam almost any food in an air fryer, but some of the best include vegetables, fish, chicken, and rice. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots cook quickly and evenly when steamed in an air fryer.
Fish like salmon and tilapia are also well-suited for steaming, as they cook quickly and stay moist. Chicken breasts can also be steamed in an air fryer, although you'll want to Pierce them a few times with a fork to prevent them from drying out. Finally, you can cook rice in an air fryer by adding water and steaming it for 20 minutes. Experiment and see what you like!
Can I steam multiple items at once in my air fryer?
You can steam multiple items in your air fryer at once, but you'll need to ensure they're all the same size and thickness. Cooking evenly will be made easier this way. You may also need to adjust the cooking time if you're steaming multiple items, as they'll likely take longer to cook than a single item.
Can I use a steamer basket in my air fryer?
Yes, you can use a steamer basket in your air fryer. Steamer baskets are great for cooking multiple items at once, as they allow hot air to circulate all of the food. Ensure your steaming items are all the same size and thickness to ensure an even cook.
Is oil necessary when steaming in an air fryer?
No, you don't need to add oil when steaming in an air fryer. The air fryer will generate enough heat to cook the food without needing additional oil.
Is it normal for steam to come out of an air fryer?
Some air fryers have a "venting" function that allows steam to escape while cooking. No cause for concern here, as this is entirely normal. If your air fryer does not have this function, you may experience some steam escape. It won't affect food quality, and you don't need to worry about it.