A food steamer is a great cooking appliance to have at home, as it helps you with cooking a large variety of recipes that are healthy and tasty. Cleaning a food steamer may not sound like a lot of work, but you need to keep in mind that washing it after each use is imperative as food remains may remain stuck on its surface. These food remains can create just the perfect environment for bacteria, and the next time you cook, your food may be contaminated. To avoid such problems, here are some tips and tricks on how to clean a food steamer the efficient way.
Make sure the food steamer is empty after use
Once you are done with steaming your food, unplug the steamer – if you have the electric type – and let it cool. Remove all the remaining chunks of food and proceed to remove the water still in the water drip and the reservoir, as well. Carefully tilt the steamer over the sink to get rid of all the water. Water, like food remains, can create the right environment for bacteria.
Deal with stubborn food pieces with warm water and soap
If you have a food steamer that needs to be plugged in, you need to make sure that the base and the electric cord are protected during this stage. The lid, the container, and the drip tray should be removed and soaked in warm water with dishwashing soap, to make sure that all the food remains that are still stuck will get loose eventually. Wipe clean the rest of the steamer with a slightly damp cloth and make sure all is perfectly dry before storing it away.
Is your steamer dishwasher safe?
While the above step seems a bit tedious and you do not want to wash the steamer in the sink, check to see if the model you have is dishwasher safe. This is a very efficient method, as the water will spray the steamer from all sides and quickly remove any stuck food remains.
Dry very carefully
The parts of your steamer should all be dried with care if you do not want to deal with traces of rust or hard water stains later on. Use a clean paper towel to remove all the excess moisture and let the components of the steamer dry on the kitchen counter. For the housing, a lint free cloth will finish the work and leave your steamer perfectly clean and perfectly dried.
A bit of extra care for the heating element
If the water you are using for steaming your veggies is very hard, the heating element inside the steamer may accumulate build-up. If you notice that your steamer does not want to work or shuts off a few minutes after turning it on, make sure to check the heating element. If there is residue build-up there, fill the water reservoir with three cups of white vinegar and complete with water. Do not add the rest of the components, and just let the steamer heat up for 15 minutes. Let it cool and rinse with plenty of cold water.