Vegetables so hot and steamy you'll want to fork them all night long!!!
Sep. 27th, 2007
Yet another product review, this time: Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steam Bags.
I was tempted by this product by the fact that boiling my vegetables seems to leach out a lot of their tastiness. Most vegetables I prefer raw, but some, such as broccoli, give me a horrible tummy ache when I eat them raw. I have a steamer, which is pot with some sort of thing with holes in it, and then a lid that goes on top of it all, which is a major pain to haul out and clean up just to steam a few florets.
As usual, impulse + coupon + sale = buy. I would have gone with the competing Ziploc steaming bags had they gone on sale first, but Glad was the winner.
Pros: Very easy and very quick, great results and no contraptions to clean up afterwards. Just stick your food in the bag, zip it up, look at the little chart on the bag and it tells you how long it should go in the microwave. So far I've used them to cook some fresh broccoli and frozen green beans, which I would normally boil, both came out great. The fact that you know it's going to take exactly 5 minutes (or so) to cook your vegetables saves you a lot of hassle for timing out a dinner too, if you're the type of person who likes to cook up a fancy meal with every warm at the same time.
Cons: Three out of the four times I've used them, the bag has sort of popped while in the microwave. It's horribly frightening, but didn't seem to cause any problems in the cooking. Maybe if you're a thrill seeker you could see this as a 'pro' though, since it certainly made me jump when it happened. My one major qualm with these things is that they are what they are.. disposable, which is something I'd rather not use in the long run. And even if you're one of those crazy frugal types who says "I can wash the bag out and use it again!" you're out of luck, because after you've microwaved it once the bag's seal never seals again.
They're fun for now, but after they're gone I think I'll try to find some sort of reusable alternative. A quick search on ebay for 'microwave steamer' brings up a bunch of inexpensive products that I could throw in the dishwasher after using. Maybe I can even figure out a way to rig a microwave steaming unit with some existing items in my kitchen.
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