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Steaming a duck with a little liquid in a pan (here with the lid removed at the end of the cooking process, the liquid duck fat, mainly subcutaneous fat, can be seen on the bottom of the pan)

Steaming is a cooking technique in which raw foods are cooked with little or no additional liquid . In addition to water, wine , broth or stock and, in some cases, fat are also used as liquids . Particularly suitable for braising are foods with a certain water content, such as fish , vegetables , bright, fat and collagen-poor flesh of veal, rabbit or foods with a certain fat content such as house poultry . An older name for this cooking method is "Sotten".

There are three methods of steaming:

  1. Steaming only in its own liquid (e.g. with tomatoes, cucumbers): Here the high proportion of own liquid is used to ensure the steam development required during the cooking process. A well-closing lid is required so that the water vapor develops but cannot escape from the cooking vessel. The heat supply should be selected so that it is just enough to generate water vapor with a temperature between 70 and 98 ° C. Higher temperatures lead to higher steam pressure - the steam escapes and the food burns.
  2. Steaming with the addition of foreign liquid (e.g. potatoes): If the water content is low, water, broth or similar must be added to generate the required steam pressure. Otherwise as under 1.
  3. Steaming with the addition of fat (e.g. vegetables such as carrots, kohlrabi, etc.): Here fat is added, mostly for taste or nutritional reasons. As a fat z. B. serve oil, butter or margarine. It prevents burning and absorbs various fat-soluble vitamins . Otherwise as under 1 or 2.

In general, brief stewing is the preferred method for fish, because this way its own taste and delicate texture come into their own and it does not dry out, such as when grilling . A variant of steaming is preparation en papillotte , cooking in its own juice in a hermetically sealed foil.

If the food has no contact with the liquid, but is only cooked in the rising steam, it is called steaming .

See also

  • Sous vide , vacuum cooking does not require any additional liquid, is even gentler with lower heat and retains its own aromas, vitamins, etc. even better


  1. Henriette Davidis: Practical cookbook for middle-class and fine cuisine. Reprint of the Berlin edition, Augsburg 1997; First published in 1845.