How does a double boiler and what needs to be done to make it work correctly

Cooking stepped far forward, and if some time ago it was believed that steamed dishes do not have taste, and therefore are needed, rather, as a dietary remedy for people with illnesses or children and pregnant women, now a lot has changed. Food from a double boiler can be both tasty and healthy, it is enough to observe the recipe in detail and be patient. In order to understand how a steamer works, it is necessary to study its structure and principles of operation.

Device of a double boiler and principle of work

The main component of the unit is bodyequipped with a water container and a control unit. When we turn on the steam cooker in the electrical network, the temperature of the water poured into the tank rises to the boiling point, and the evaporation process begins.Steam rises up and through special openings goes into the compartments (baskets) for products. A special element in the form of a ring, which is equipped with a heating element, accelerates the movement of steam and significantly saves electricity.

The liquid level indicator, located on the body of the double boiler, signals the need to add liquid. In some cases, in addition to the light, there is a beep, telling us that the water is over.

A significant role in the operation of the device palletsprovided in the kit. With the help of them, condensate is collected, and the risk of liquid ingress to the generator is eliminated.

The number of pallets should be directly proportional to the number of bowls, if there are three bowls, and the pallet is one, then smells will mix with each other, and therefore it is most likely that you will not be able to cook several products at the same time in a double boiler.

 Appearance of a double boiler

Bowls or baskets of steamers placed above pallets are usually produced from plastic various options, less often - from stainless steel. The advantages of plastic are its shock resistance,Among the disadvantages are the possibility of staining the material with prolonged use in the preparation of products with a high content of natural dye (for example, beets). There are options for steam boilers with containers made from materials resistant to coloring pigments.

The standard scheme of the device can be modified through the inclusion of the following containers:

  • grill, allowing to boil eggs;
  • additional trays, allowing to collect condensate;
  • the tanks intended for especially loose, and also liquid products;
  • device probe through which you can monitor readiness;
  • cookbook with recipes.

The power of the double boiler determines the efficiency of its operation, if it is 2000 W or more, the food will be cooked much faster, however, the amount of energy consumed will also increase significantly.

Steamers with 2-3 bowls in their structure, as a rule, have a capacity of 900-1000 W, this indicator is quite enough for high-quality food processing with minimal energy consumption.

As noted above, the principle of operation of the device is reduced to steam formation out of hot water.Naturally, cooking requires no additional use of oil or fat. Steam penetrates deep into products placed in the bowl, so that they do not need to be turned over during cooking. The question arises, where does steam go after this? Part of it goes through the holes, and part of it settles on the walls of the device in the form of condensate. After a certain period of time, the condensate will flow along the walls on pallets specially designed for this.

Due to the possibility of steam propagation through the openings of the baskets throughout the area, all products are evenly cooked.

Very good if the grates are removableThis will allow to cook volumetric dishes, for example, large pieces of meat or fish.

The set comes with a capacity for rice, it does not have any holes, so you can cook rice grits along with other dishes. If you like rice, and you have a large family, then you should look at models with non-standard sizes of such bowls, since the standard volume is 1 liter. The bowl can be used not only for cooking porridges, but also for stewing cabbage rolls, cooking soups, puddings and other dishes.

Management options

Steamers can be controlled in two ways - mechanical or electronic:

  1. Mechanical. In this case, the time required to cook a particular dish is manually set by turning the handle to the desired number of divisions. The mechanical type of control is very simple and simple; moreover, the double boiler is turned on very quickly and its operation does not depend on complex settings and adjustments.
     Steamer with mechanical control

  2. Electronic. It assumes control through a button panel and a special electronic scoreboard. Such steamers are very convenient in operation, they allow you to set a timer with a delay of several hours, that is, you can plan cooking for the evening, and put food into the bowls by day. There is also the possibility of preserving already cooked food in a warm state through the heating function. These are, perhaps, the basic functions of electronic options that can be extremely convenient. The relative disadvantage of the apparatus can be considered a rather complicated process of its launch. If in a mechanical steam cooker it is enough just to turn the knob, then in electronic mode a whole combination of keys and more attention to the indicator are necessary for switching on.
     Electronically controlled steamer

Thus, if you do not need the functions of delaying the start and maintaining the temperature of the dish, and you use the appliance often and with pleasure, it may be worthwhile not to chase after the bells and whistles, but to purchase a steamer with a mechanical control method.

Steam basket

The volume of the steam basket varies in the range from 1.5 to 3 liters, and the separate bowl for cooking rice and other dishes - from 0.5 to 2 liters. Baskets can be the same size or different. In the first case, there is the possibility of free movement of dishes between levels in the cooking process, in the second case there is no such possibility.

 Steam basket

Most often, baskets of double boilers do transparent. Initially it was assumed that thanks to this property, it will be possible to observe the cooking process, which ideally is convenient, of course, but in practice, under the influence of steam, plastic so much sweat that it is almost impossible to see something. In addition to plastic, glass or stainless steel can be used as a material. The main advantage of the metal is the possibility of a longer maintenance of the high temperature of cooked dishes.

Work double boiler: operating rules

In order for the steamer to work properly, you must comply with the following conditions:

  1. The device should be installed on a flat surface with materials resistant to high temperatures. The nearest furniture should be located no closer than 20 cm on the sides, and 1 meter in height. This is due to the fact that the steam that will be formed during the work can ruin the furniture if it is in close proximity.
  2. Do not move the device at the time of the running process: hot water may spill.
  3. No need to cover the double boiler top.
  4. Be careful and careful when working with the device, do not leave a number of small children in order to avoid unexpected injuries.
  5. It is undesirable to use water from the tap, buy filtered or bottled.

Care rules

Before you start using a double boiler, do not forget:

  • remove leftover packaging and foam;
  • wash all components thoroughly with soap and water and wipe them down.

It is necessary to clean the steamer regularly, this will prolong its service life and improve work efficiency.

Do not forget to disconnect the device from the mains.All components, with the exception of the base itself, can be washed manually or in a dishwasher. The bottom of the baskets is easier to clean with a brush. The basis is not washed, but only wiped with a damp cloth. During the whole procedure try not to use powders with solid abrasive particles.

After several applications, the heating element of the double boiler may be covered. scaly. How quickly this happens depends on the hardness of the water used, but, as a rule, it happens after 8-10 starts. Purification is carried out as follows. Pour up to 2 glasses of acetic acid (5%) into the liquid container, dilute it with water to the maximum, the heating element should be completely closed. After install the pallet and 1 basket and turn on the double boiler. We wait for 10-15 minutes and we estimate, whether the remains of a scum remained. If preserved, then repeat the procedure. After the end of the process, pour out the vinegar and thoroughly wash all the ingredients. We air the room.


Steamer is a very convenient device that allows you to quickly cook healthy and tasty dishes. Having studied the process and principles of its work, having familiarized with the components, you can create your own rules that you will follow in the process of your culinary exploits.Try to keep the device clean and to strictly follow the recommendations for its use, without neglecting the safety precautions.

Healthy food, steamed is not a luxury or pure diet for people with chronic diseases, it is a prerequisite for modern cooking. Try to use the steamer more often, train your body to the correct food, and very soon you will learn to appreciate the natural taste of products without the need for their substantial processing.

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