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What Is a Convection Steamer?

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  • Written By: Crystal Cook
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A convection steamer is a food cooker that uses a fan to push hot steam and air around food to cook it faster than traditional steaming methods would. A convection steamer is well suited to batch cooking and cooking vegetables. The steam is not pressurized in a convection steamer, so cooking can be interrupted without damage. Convection steamers are relatively easy to clean.

When using a convection steamer, the food will cook best when there is space between each item. This allows the steam to circulate evenly to every surface area of the food. It also is advisable to use shallow pans to ensure uniform cooking results. For foods in which the liquid does not need to be saved, such as vegetables, perforated pans work best, because the extra holes provide more contact spots for the steam to cook the food.

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A convection steamer has many advantages over other types of cooking methods, and one of the most popular reasons why people choose this method is because it is healthier and quicker. When food is cooked in such a steamer, it retains all the color and flavor of each item and does not mix with the other foods in the container. Not only can food preparation and cooking time be completed closer to serving time, but the food can be served directly from the serving pan, saving time on doing dishes. This also prevents damaging the food’s appearance. Because the steam is not pressurized, the cooking process can be interrupted without any problems.

When shopping for a convection steamer, one should research the equipment he wants before heading to the store. Features to consider include the number of compartments, pan capacity and power source. The steamer purchased should be big enough to fit the buyer's needs, hold enough pans to cook the amount of food required — being able to steam everything at once is convenient — and the power source should explain how the steam was made. Gas and electric convection steamers use heat elements or burners to generate steam.

A convection steamer should be cleaned after each use. This process starts with removing all pans, grates and food filters. The grates and pans should then be washed with hot water, detergent and a good scrub brush. All parts should be thoroughly rinsed and dried before being return to the steamer. Each compartment’s drain should be flushed with de-liming solution on a monthly basis to keep the convection steamer sanitary and running well.

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