Including microwave-free ideas!
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The Epicure Multipurpose Steamer is a versatile cooking tool that will end up being indispensable in any family kitchen, but is especially useful for dorm dwellers, campers, travelers, singles, and empty nesters. Epicure provides the following description for its steamer:
10″ x 10½” x 5½”
- Cook one-pot dinners, rice, grains, pasta & popcorn.
- Holds 14¾ cups for 4–6 servings of most meals.
- Includes one Multipurpose Tray for separating, straining & more.
This post does NOT contain the basic product information and usual recipes. I’ll let you find that elsewhere. It can do all mentioned above, as highlighted by this video:
Epicure pushes the steamer as a way to get dinner from raw to ready in 20 minutes or less by using it in the microwave. But what if you don’t love microwave cooking? Or don’t have a microwave? The steamer is STILL a great option for oven cooking. Why?
- It’s lightweight. I love my stoneware, too, but silicone bakeware is great for older folks or folks with hand and wrist issues. It also makes accessing to from storage and returning it to storage easier.
- Yet it’s big enough to cook 4-6 servings. It’s safe up to 425 degrees. But do heed that limit.
- It’s nonstick and WAY easy to clean. In the dishwasher or by hand, cleaning is a breeze. And foods that usually stick will slide right out. As small a point that seems, it is a HUGE time saver for this productive mama. There are items I am much more willing to make when the cleanup is so easy.
- It can go from freezer to oven. A great option for preparing a meal in advance for your family or an older neighbor. You can prep, freeze, bake, store and reheat right in the same pan.
- It’s also dishwasher safe.
- It might fit in your toaster oven. I have a big toaster oven and it fits perfectly. Great for when it’s still hot out and you don’t want to heat the whole house.It’s great for travel (hotel stays, RV life).
The Less Than Great
I want to get real for a moment and share some of the cons of the steamer and similar silicone bakeware.
- Baked goods won’t brown, as silicone doesn’t retain heat. There are some products, like Silpat mats that are silicone over fiber glass, that do allow for browning.
- You must take great care and not cut the silicone with a knife or sharp edge. In fact, my household rule for my silicone is: DO NOT USE METAL
- It’s floppy and wobbly! This is probably my biggest warning. The lid will shift when you lift it and it will release steam. So be careful and be sure your family understands this before using it. See a few more safety notes below.
- It is a synthetic material. Most people consider it a better option than non-stick coatings but I encourage everyone to do their own research in this area.
Tips and Ideas for using your multipurpose steamer
- always wear oven mitts
- always keep steam vents pointed away from you
- always open lid away from you
- always assume the steamer and food are hot
- consider placing the steamer on a sturdy base (cookie sheet, baking rack or plate)
- do not use cooking sprays on your silicone
- Try Pot-in-Pot cooking with your steamer: put your steamer in your slow cooker on a rack above water. This is a great way to cook grains and breakfast oats. You may need a large crockpot for this.
- Flip the tray UPSIDE down for separated compartments, either as the main layer or ON TOP of another layer of food.
- Stack insert trays for two layers of bacon or chips.
- It might fit in your toaster oven. I have a big toaster oven and it fits perfectly. Great for when it’s still hot out and you don’t want to heat the whole house.
- You can definitely grease the steamer (with butter or oil, not sprays) if you are baking in it. I do not. I find a short soak is all that’s needed if something is stubbornly stuck.
Food and Recipe Ideas
- Try your favorite baked oatmeal in the microwave or oven. Or a crumble or cobbler.
- Bake bread in the steamer. You can make a rustic loaf in the steamer or a traditional loaf in the rectangular steamer. Try it with my No Knead Bread Recipe!
- Heat and keep tortillas warm for a meal.
- Try the following and see how easy food removal and cleanup can be!
- finger jello
- cookie bars
- fruit/nut bars
- rice crispy treats
- caramel popcorn
- cinnamon rolls
- other similar sticky treats
- mac and cheese
OTHER SILICONE PRODUCT INFO
- try bacon in the oven on this for easy cleanup
- roasting meat and veggies
- biscuits and cookies
- flash freeze items – they come off easily for long term storage