Can you use the steam from boiling one thing to cook something else? E.g. Boiling potatoes and steam broccoli in the same pot at the same time. Thank you!

  • 2
    I will comment as I have done it a lot of times! But it depends. For example, if you need to measure the amount of water (cooking rice, some people measure it, some people just boil and rinse later), then it might not be a good idea.
    – M.K
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 12:29
  • 2
    It's common practice when cooking dim sum: previews.123rf.com/images/artitwpd/artitwpd1908/…
    – JLRishe
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 14:29
  • 1
    @JLRishe My understanding of dim sum is that the steam is created from boiling plain water. The steam itself is used for multiple dishes, but you're not cooking anything edible in the liquid water which is boiled to make steam.
    – R.M.
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


Yes, if you have the right pot, namely one that has a steamer insert that is well above the bottom of the pot, or even stacks.

In fact, in several cuisines this is the standard way of getting several ingredients ready at once. For example, it's common to steam couscous in the steam from the Moroccan stew cooking below, using a stacking pot called a couscousiere.

Just make sure that the food in the steamer will take less time to steam than the food below takes to boil.

  • 1
    yer I do this all the time. I have two steamers - a metal one that sits more 'into' the pot. And a bambo one which sits more 'on top of' the pot. The problem i have wit the metal one is that if the water level is too high, it sits in the water. The bambo one is good, but can make the food taste a bit 'woody'
    – nr_aus
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 5:55

I'd say yes, but.... Yes, but the steaming food may release a lot of colors and flavors into the water below, so be aware of this. I for one, would love broccoli rice, or beet potatoes, but not everyone might.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.