countertop steamers

cooktop steamer

Oh that naughty rice, steaming up the windows again ;-)

"What?", you say, "rice in a countertop steamer?" YES! It's not just for vegies... really!

Several years ago, I received this countertop steamer as a gift. I thought to myself that I would never use it because I'm not a big fan of steamed vegetables. (And it sat for a while, upset, I'm sure, that the other appliances were getting more attention). But I was wrong! (Not wrong about not being a fan of steamed vegies but more that it's only use was for steaming asparagus). I wasn't thinking outside the box.

For years, I would cook my rice on the stove top. I would constantly go look to make sure that there was enough water and that it didn't boil off, that the temperature wasn't too high nor too low, made sure to stir it to prevent it burning to the bottom of my pot or bubbling over onto my clean stove tops. So much work for some wee little grains, I really dreaded babysitting my rice.

Until the one day I came upon a site on using your cooktop steamer for rice and various grains. Why hadn't I thought of that? Seriously, I spent years cursing burned rice and boiled over water that I had to clean up.

Now, life is so simple. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water, fill up the tray with rice and water, turn it on, and WALK AWAY. Tears of joy, people, tears of joy! Those little puffs of steam make me sooo happy! (sidenote: you do have to experiment around with the times for your specific cooktop but once you figure it out, it's cake).

mixture of white, brown & wild rice

I have also experimented with various grains such as barley, quinoa and buckwheat groats and I tell you I will never go back to the stovetop again. never. So, dust off that cooktop steamer and put it to use!

If you really want to get more uses out of it, really think out of the box... like steaming your face while cooking rice. Or breathing in steamed air when you are all clogged up with a cold and steam your vegies at the same time. Is your home dry in the wintertime? Turn it on and add moisture to the air while making some quinoa for a side dish.

I love multipurpose appliances!