Steaming with oil instead of water


Can you cook some foods just placing them in a metal frame above hot oil? In the same way as steaming vegetables, but with oil. Is that a thing?

Best Answer

That really wouldn't work.

With steaming the water is heated to boiling which creates steam. Since the food is colder, the steam condenses on the food which transfers heat to the food.

With hot oil there is no boiling and vapor of the oil. So in an enclosed container it would be more akin to baking, the hot oil heating the air, than steaming. (There would be some oil in the vapor above hot oil, but not enough to transfer much heat.)

(1) Another factor here is pointed out by user "Lorel C" in another answer. Cooking oils tend to decompose and smoke before reaching their boiling point. If you could get oil to boil without smoking, then "steaming" in the boiling oil vapor would be very close to frying in oil, but at a temperature much above what is normally used.

(2) Also as user "yo" points out in a comment below, the bubbling that you see when frying something isn't the oil boiling. Rather it is the water coming from the food that is vaporizing.