Bamboo Steamer Liners – Everything Amazing About Them (Fast!)
Bamboo steamers have been used in Chinese cuisine for centuries and are now influencing cultures around the world.
The steamer consists of layered baskets that can be stacked on top of each other and then placed in a wide saucepan or wok of boiling water. The steam is then able to cook a variety of foods (such as fish and vegetables) at the same time. That’s where bamboo steamer liners come into play.
But just what are bamboo steamer liners?
Chances are you may not of heard about them before. But that will change after we explain to you what these bamboo steamer liners are used for. (And you’ll be able to use them in your air fryer as well!)
There Are Just So Many Benefits To Steaming
For starters, it is difficult to overcook or burn the food. Steaming also results in a more nutritious food than boiling. This is because boiling water leaches nutrients (especially true for folic acid, vitamin C, and beta-carotene) into the water, which is then usually thrown out.
Bamboo steamers work by fitting just above the steaming water of a wok (or wide pan).
Most bamboo steamers have layered baskets that are fit together, on top of each other, so that you can steam a meal consisting of a variety of food, all at once (each type of food in a different layer).
Foods that require a longer cooking time are placed in the bottom basket (closer to the boiling water) and foods that need less cooking time are placed in the higher baskets.
A bamboo steamer makes it easy to cook vegetables, fish, rice, dim sum, chicken, even desserts. That’s right; did you ever think you could make chocolate pudding in a Chinese steamer? Well you can!
If you’ve ever tried to make soup dumplings before without paper bamboo steamer liners, you may have been disappointed. If even the tiniest bit of the outside of the dumpling is left behind, all the delicious filling is left behind as well. But with bamboo steamer liners you can lift the entire paper out and gently place on a plate.
Many people see only one potential drawback to using a Bamboo Steamer is the cleanup; doesn’t cooking on bamboo (a thin wood) leave a sticky mess that absorbs food, stains, and odors?
So although many people are aware of bamboo steamers, many remain unaware of how to use them. Others have concerns on how to clean and take care of their steamer. After all, Chinese steamers are made from bamboo, not stainless steel like the pots most of us in the western world are accustomed to.
One of the biggest questions we hear is, “How do you prevent sticky messes and odors from staying on your steamer?” so this article will focus on how bamboo steamer paper can help clean up and increase the lifespan of your steamer.
To find out more about cooking with a bamboo steamer read 6 Things You Need To Know About Bamboo Steamers) as well as how to use parchment paper liners to make cooking and cleanup in your air fryer a breeze.
Ok So What Is A Bamboo Steamer Liner or Paper?
“Bamboo steamer paper” or “air fryer paper” is literally a paper liner that protects the layered baskets from mess and smells (that could be retained by the bamboo material) while still allowing steam to pass through and cook the food.
Why do You Need Steamer Paper?
If you’ve ever tried a bamboo steamer without lining the baskets or been afraid to try a bamboo steamer for fear of the mess and odors that may be left behind, you have already started to answer this concern!
Premium paper liners makes clean up easier and prolongs the life of your bamboo steamer.
What Can I Use to Line My Bamboo Steamer? Can’t I Use Wax or Parchment Paper?
Steaming works by boiling water continuously, which is then converted to ultra-hot steam. The intense steam rises and heats and cooks the food, which has been placed in a basket above the steam. The food is kept separate from the boiling water but is in direct contact with the steam.
We are often asked about what makes the best liners for a bamboo steamer.
There are a number of suggestions that you have likely heard about, including: lettuce leaves, parchment paper, and bamboo steamer liners.
But which is best? Does it matter?
For example, lettuce leaves may seem to be an organic natural way to line the baskets but in truth, the leaves actually block the much-needed steam from reaching the food which may result in an uncertain (and longer) cooking time.
Many steamer liners that are currently manufactured do not have enough holes which also tend to block a certain amount of the steam required for cooking.
Wax or parchment paper can be used to line your bamboo steamer though will need to cut these by hand and an improper cut will affect your cooking (not to mention take time away from other things).
As you can see, what is most important when it comes to bamboo steamer liners is this. They must be made of a material that allows as much steam to pass through as possible and they need to fit snugly in the basket.
Look for a premium perforated parchment paper liner that has enough pre-punched holes to line up with most of the holes in your bamboo steamer.
This makes for a perfect fit with no need to punch additional holes in the paper!
Cleanup is super easy with steamer paper and liner; simply throw away after use!
What Makes for a Superior Bamboo Paper Liner?
Here are a few tips to look for when buying premium perforated parchment paper liners.
Pre-cut To Perfection & Storage
Bamboo steamer liners are handy and useful for steaming; there is virtually no clean up! Pre-cut, they are easy to use and the food comes out great. If you hate scraping food from your steamer, this is a must for a fast and easy clean-up.
You’ll also want to store these pre-cut bamboo steamer liners in a dust free plastic bag. This is to avoid folding and moisture from getting into the liners
Look for steamer paper that is non-toxic, and made with 100% pulp. Also look for an excellent construction won’t fall apart and sturdy enough for all your food. Only use paper made from eco-friendly wax that does not melt and won’t harm the environment.
A Perfect Fit
Steamer paper liners and the steamer should fit like they are (literally) made for each other; there needs to be a snug fit or you’ll end up with a mess on your hands (well, on your steamer). And that would defeat the purpose, now wouldn’t it?
And yes, you could cut out your own parchment circles, but we suspect that you would much rather be spending time with your family so let us do the hard work for you!
Beats the Heat
Bamboo steamer liners that are too thick will soak up the steam so look out for bamboo liners that are heat resistant and allow steam to pass through easily; ensuring the food in each basket is cooked perfectly.
Steamer paper that does not curl when steamed and looks as good as the original is a sure sign that the steam passed through the lining and wasn’t absorbed by it!
Where to Buy Bamboo Steamer Liners?
When you purchase a premium steamer you should receive steamer liners at no extra charge but you can also buy online without any fuss (and look out for liners that are sold in convenient re-sealable bags).
How Parchment Liners Can Work for Air Fryers
Parchment paper liners aren’t just for bamboo steamers; they also work really well in air fryers!
If you haven’t heard, an air fryer is a nifty little kitchen appliance that fries, roasts, and grills by circulating hot air around the food.
They do use a little bit of oil, but require about 80% less oil than traditional frying methods that demand food be fully submerged in almost-boiling hot cooking oil.
Despite using less oil, an air fryer still provides most of the flavors, tastes, and textures of regularly fried food.
Not only is traditional deep frying a really unhealthy way to prepare food, it is also incredibly dangerous.
TIP: If you’re using Bamboo Steamer Liners in your Air Fryer, make sure you PREHEAT the air fryer first before putting the liner in.
An overheated pot of oil can easily catch fire or cause pain and serious burns to any one hit by the spitting oil drops.
Not to mention the amount of mess that comes with traditional frying (as oil spits and overflows on the stovetop, plus all of the greasy pots, dishes, and utensils left over).
An all-round YUCKY mess left to deal with!
Air fryers however, eliminate so many of these problems and can be used by anyone who desires the great taste and texture of fried food. They are also more convenient to clean and maintain.
However, there still is an element of cleanup required, and food is still known to be left behind so simply use your bamboo steamer liners in the air fryer in much the same way as you would in a bamboo steamer.
Paper liners will really cut down on the cleaning of your air fryer basket.
Just keep in mind that the maximum temperature that parchment liners can take in an air fryer is approximately 480 degrees Fahrenheit. They can also be used in stainless and aluminum steamers.
These perforated parchment liners work great to help keep food from sticking while allowing the hot air to circulate.
How to Pre-Heat the Air Fryer Before Putting in the Paper Liners
A few tips for using your air fryer.
Always pre-heat your air fryer before adding your food. To do this, simply turn your air fryer on to the required temperature for a few minutes. When the timer goes off, the air fryer is ready for food.
Place your paper liner in bottom of the fryer to collect grease while cooking, then let it cool down and wash the basket with soapy water.
The paper liners in the air fryer will catch a lot of the grease that otherwise gets left behind.
Whether you use a bamboo steamer, an air fryer, or both keep premium paper liners in supply!
If you have always one of the people who have been afraid to use a bamboo steamer or air fryer because of the perceived cleanup or sticky messes that absorb food, stains, and odors we hope this article has helped to ease your mind.
Bamboo steamer liners made from premium parchment paper will help you to prevent sticky messes and odors from staying on your steamer or air fryer; making cleanup easier and prolonging the lifespan of your steamer.