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I am considering getting a food steamer but I don't have access to a kitchen. I have a microwave in my room but I think I could use a steamer as well to cook vegetables. I've never used a steamer before and I won't be able to use it if it gives out a lot of steam due to damp issue.

Do steamers require ventilation? Or is it internally a closed system so nothing comes out? Can I use it in a closed room without having to open the window?

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  • If you are limited to living in a room without a kitchen, it might be better to not collect one-trick ponies like a steamer and a microwave, but to get something more versatile like a hotplate, or a programmable pressure cooker. You'll be able to cook many more things for the same footprint.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 13:25
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    If you have a microwave, you can steam vegetables in it by just putting them in a closed dish in the microwave, and running it either at low power or intermittently.
    – The Photon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 18:28
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    @rumtscho, many steamers double as rice cookers. In many cultures a rice cooker isn't a "one off" but something used for 2 or 3 meals every day.
    – The Photon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 18:31
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    I'd rather not use hotplates. They're unreliable i.e. fail often, the risks of fires and burns are very high, you need good quality hobs, which are relatively expensive, or else heat transfer is uncontrollable. I just got the steamer and it was cheap (about $25) and I steamed some vegetables and it was so much easier than cooking them would have been. Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 20:17
  • instead of a hotplate I'd get a single-zone induction hob; even cheap ones are very good. But I suspect either won't work for OP, since it's a closed room and there's not a lot of ventilation.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 8:35

1 Answer 1

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The amount of steam released is comparable to boiling a kettle for a few minutes. Without knowing what your room is like we can't provide a general recommendation, since the answer would depend on the preexisting humidity, size of the room, height of the ceiling, temperature, ventilation etc.

I would expect that if the room is sometimes ventilated (i.e. sometimes you open a window), using a steamer to cook some vegetables once in a day wouldn't be a problem. If you were using it very frequently with no ventilation you could find the room getting humid (and the room getting hot!) fairly quickly. If you notice water condensing on surfaces or everything feels damp then reconsider.

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    I do have a kettle in my room and there are no problems when I boile water. And I ventillate daily. I think I should be alright. Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 8:45

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