How To Steam-Cook A Chicken Breast?

How To Steam-Cook A Chicken Breast
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Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

To steam-cook a chicken breast, place it in a steamer basket over boiling water and cover to cook for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked. This cooking method is healthier and retains the meat’s natural flavor and juiciness.

Steaming also helps the chicken to retain more nutrients compared to other cooking methods. Cooking chicken breast via steaming is a quick and simple process that results in a tender, juicy, and flavorful dish. Steaming is an excellent way to preserve the natural juices and nutrients of the meat while avoiding the use of added fats or oils.

With a few easy steps, you can master the art of steaming chicken breast, creating a healthy and delicious meal for you and your family. Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or an experienced cook looking for a healthier cooking option, steaming chicken breast is a great choice.

Table of Contents

Factors To Consider When Choosing Chicken Breast

When steam-cooking a chicken breast, selecting the right type of chicken breast can significantly influence the outcome. Several factors play a role in choosing the perfect chicken breast for steam cooking. From considering the freshness and quality of the chicken to deciding between skinless or skin-on, and evaluating the thickness of the cut, each factor can impact the taste, texture, and overall cooking experience. Let’s delve into these essential factors to consider when choosing chicken breast for steam cooking.

Freshness And Quality Of The Chicken

When selecting chicken breast for steam cooking, it’s crucial to prioritize freshness and quality. Premium-quality, fresh chicken breast guarantees better texture, flavor, and overall cooking performance. Look for chicken breast with a pinkish-white color, without any unpleasant odor or slimy texture. Choosing organic or free-range chicken can also enhance the taste and nutritional value of the final dish. Ensure the chicken breast is well within the use-by date and sourced from a reputable supplier to guarantee optimal freshness and quality.

Skinless Vs. Skin-on Chicken Breast

Deciding between skinless and skin-on chicken breast can heavily influence the flavor and healthiness of the dish. Skinless chicken breast is lower in fat and calories, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a healthier option. On the other hand, leaving the skin-on can add extra moisture and flavor to the steam-cooked chicken breast, resulting in a more succulent and savory dish. Consider your dietary preferences and taste preferences when choosing between skinless and skin-on chicken breast for steam cooking.

Thicker Vs. Thinner Cuts

The thickness of the chicken breast cut can affect the cooking time and final texture. Thicker cuts of chicken breast require longer steaming periods to ensure thorough cooking while maintaining juiciness. Thinner cuts may cook faster but are more prone to drying out. Consider the cooking method and recipe requirements when choosing between thicker and thinner cuts. Adapt the cooking time and temperature accordingly to achieve the desired texture and doneness.

Proper Cleaning And Trimming Techniques

Learn the proper cleaning and trimming techniques for steaming chicken breast to perfection. Start by rinsing the chicken under cold water and then pat dry. Trim off any excess fat and place the chicken in a steamer basket over boiling water.

Steam for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked.

Washing And Patting Dry

Before you start cooking, it’s essential to wash the chicken breast under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Ensure that the entire surface of the chicken is thoroughly rinsed. Once washed, pat the chicken breast dry with paper towels. This helps in removing excess moisture, which can prevent proper browning and crisping during cooking.

Trimming Excess Fat

Trimming any visible excess fat from the chicken breast can help in reducing the greasiness of the dish and create a leaner final product. Use a sharp paring knife to carefully cut away any unwanted fat from the edges and surface of the chicken breast. It’s important to handle the knife carefully to avoid removing too much meat in the process.

Tenderizing The Meat For Even Cooking

Tenderizing the chicken breast helps to ensure even cooking and can lead to a juicier end result. Consider using a meat mallet or the back of a knife to gently pound the chicken breast. This technique also helps to even out the thickness of the meat, which can aid in more consistent cooking.

Seasoning And Flavoring The Chicken Breast

When it comes to cooking chicken breast, the seasoning and flavoring process plays a crucial role in elevating the taste and creating a delicious, moist, and flavorful dish. Proper seasoning and flavoring can transform the humble chicken breast into a gourmet meal. Let’s explore different ways to infuse your chicken breast with mouthwatering flavors and make it a star on the dinner table.

Marinating Options And Flavors

Marinating is a popular method to add depth and complexity to the flavor of chicken breast. You can choose from various marinating options and flavors based on your preferences. Whether it’s a zesty citrus marinade, a savory herb-infused mix, or a sweet and spicy seasoning, marinating allows you to customize the taste of your chicken to suit your palate.

  • Classic lemon and herb
  • Tangy teriyaki
  • Sweet and smoky barbecue
  • Spicy Cajun rub

Seasoning Techniques For Enhanced Taste

Seasoning the chicken breast with a blend of spices and herbs is another great way to enhance its taste. From simple salt and pepper to more complex spice rubs, the right seasoning technique can elevate the natural flavors of the chicken and create a mouthwatering experience for your taste buds.

  1. Dry rub with a mix of paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper
  2. Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt for a simple yet flavorful seasoning
  3. Herb-infused seasoning using rosemary, thyme, and oregano

Infusing Flavors During Steaming

Steaming the chicken breast provides a healthy cooking method that locks in moisture and allows the flavors to penetrate the meat. You can further enhance the flavor by adding aromatic ingredients to the steaming liquid, such as garlic, ginger, or lemongrass. This process infuses the chicken with subtle yet tantalizing flavors, resulting in a tender and aromatic dish.

How To Steam-Cook A Chicken Breast?


Setting Up The Steaming Equipment

Setting up the steaming equipment is the first crucial step in perfectly cooking a moist and tender chicken breast. Choosing the right steaming vessel, adding aromatic ingredients for infusion, and maintaining the proper water level and heating temperature are key factors to consider for a successful steam-cooking experience.

Choosing The Right Steaming Vessel

When selecting a steaming vessel, opt for a deep pot or a specialized steamer basket that fits snugly over a pot. This allows for proper circulation of steam, ensuring even cooking of the chicken breast. The vessel should be spacious enough to hold the chicken breast without being overcrowded, which can result in uneven cooking.

Adding Aromatic Ingredients For Infusion

Enhance the flavor of the chicken breast by adding aromatic ingredients to the steaming water. Aromatics such as sliced ginger, garlic cloves, lemongrass, or herbs can infuse the chicken with a delightful fragrance and subtle flavors during the cooking process.

Proper Water Level And Heating Temperature

It’s essential to maintain the correct water level in the pot to produce enough steam for cooking. Ensure that the water level does not touch the chicken breast but is close enough to generate ample steam. Additionally, maintaining a gentle simmer or low heat is important to avoid overcooking the chicken breast. A steady and controlled heating temperature will result in a juicy and succulent chicken breast.

Steaming Time And Techniques

When it comes to cooking chicken breast, steaming is a healthy and effective method that can help retain the natural flavors and nutrients. Perfecting the steaming time and techniques is crucial to ensure the chicken breast is cooked to perfection, tender, and juicy. Let’s dive into the essential aspects of steaming time and techniques for cooking a delicious chicken breast.

Calculating Optimal Steaming Time

When calculating the optimal steaming time for a chicken breast, consider the thickness of the meat. A general rule of thumb is to steam the chicken breast for approximately 10 to 15 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece. However, it’s essential to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 165°F to guarantee that the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Monitoring The Chicken Breast For Doneness

Monitoring the chicken breast for doneness is crucial to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken breast. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without touching the bone if bone-in, and ensure it reaches 165°F. The chicken breast should also appear opaque and the juices should run clear, indicating that it is fully cooked.

Recommended Steaming Techniques For Juicy Results

To achieve juicy and flavorful results when steaming chicken breast, consider using the following techniques:

  • Brining: Soaking the chicken breast in a brine solution before steaming can help keep the meat moist and tender.
  • Aromatics: Adding aromatic ingredients such as herbs, garlic, or citrus slices to the steaming liquid can infuse the chicken breast with delightful flavors.
  • Resting: Allow the steamed chicken breast to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This helps redistribute the juices, ensuring a moist and succulent texture.

Resting And Slicing The Cooked Chicken

Once the chicken breast is perfectly steamed, allowing it to rest before slicing is crucial for ensuring a juicy and flavorful outcome. Proper slicing techniques also play a significant role in the presentation and overall dining experience. Let’s dive into the essential steps for resting and slicing the cooked chicken to serve a delicious dish.

Allowing The Chicken To Rest Before Slicing

After steaming the chicken breast to perfection, it is important to allow it to rest for a few minutes. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more succulent and tender texture. Placing the steamed chicken on a cutting board and covering it loosely with foil will help retain its warmth while it rests. This simple step can make a noticeable difference in the final taste and texture of the chicken.

Proper Slicing Techniques For Presentation

When it comes to presenting the cooked chicken breast, using proper slicing techniques is crucial. To ensure an attractive and visually appealing presentation, slicing the chicken against the grain in uniform, even slices is essential. This will not only enhance the appearance of the dish but also make it easier to enjoy and savor each bite. Using a sharp knife and cutting the chicken at a slight angle will further elevate the presentation of the dish.

Retaining Juiciness For Serving

Retaining the juiciness of the steamed chicken breast is vital for serving a flavorful dish. By following the proper resting and slicing techniques mentioned above, you can maintain the moisture and tenderness of the chicken, ensuring that each slice is juicy and delicious. Serving the chicken immediately after slicing will allow your guests to experience the full flavor and juiciness of the dish, resulting in a memorable dining experience.

Accompaniments And Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving a perfectly steamed chicken breast, the right accompaniments and serving suggestions can elevate the overall dining experience. Pairing the steamed chicken with sides, presenting the dish for visual appeal, and enjoying the delicate flavors of steamed chicken are crucial aspects of serving a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Pairing The Steamed Chicken With Sides

When it comes to choosing the perfect accompaniments for your steamed chicken breast, consider incorporating a variety of textures and flavors to complement the dish. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Fresh Greens: Serve the steamed chicken with a vibrant salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a zesty vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast to the tender chicken.
  • Grains and Legumes: Consider pairing the steamed chicken with quinoa, brown rice, or lentils for a nourishing and satisfying meal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Create a medley of roasted vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini to add depth and sweetness to the dish.

Presenting The Dish For Visual Appeal

When presenting your steamed chicken breast, visual appeal is key to making a lasting impression. Consider the following tips for an aesthetically pleasing presentation:

  1. Plating Techniques: Arrange the steamed chicken slices or whole breast on a clean, white plate to showcase its natural colors and textures.
  2. Garnishes: Enhance the visual appeal by adding a sprinkle of chopped herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, or a drizzle of vibrant sauce for an added pop of color.
  3. Serving Vessels: For a rustic presentation, consider serving the steamed chicken in a cast-iron skillet or on a wooden cutting board for a visually appealing, down-to-earth aesthetic.

Enjoying The Delicate Flavors Of Steamed Chicken

To truly savor the delicate flavors of steamed chicken, consider the following serving suggestions:

  • Light Seasoning: Keep the seasoning simple with a sprinkle of sea salt, cracked black pepper, and a touch of lemon juice to let the natural flavors of the chicken shine through.
  • Accompaniment Pairing: Pair the steamed chicken with a light and crisp white wine or a refreshing sparkling water with a slice of lemon for a delightful dining experience.
  • Savoring the Texture: Encourage your guests to savor the tender, moist texture of the steamed chicken by serving it in thin slices to highlight its succulent qualities.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Steam-cook A Chicken Breast?

How Long Should I Steam-cook A Chicken Breast?

Steam-cook a chicken breast for about 10-12 minutes until it’s no longer pink.

What Seasonings Can I Use For Steaming Chicken Breast?

Try using salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, or herbs for a flavorful steamed chicken breast.

Is It Necessary To Marinate The Chicken Breast Before Steaming?

Marinating the chicken breast isn’t necessary, but it can enhance the flavor and tenderness.

Can I Add Vegetables To Steam Along With The Chicken Breast?

Yes, adding vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or bell peppers can enhance the flavor and nutrition.

How Do I Know When The Chicken Breast Is Fully Cooked Through?

Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, it should read 165°F for fully cooked chicken.

Can I Use A Steamer Basket To Steam-cook The Chicken Breast?

Yes, using a steamer basket allows for even steaming and ensures tender and juicy chicken breast.


Steaming chicken breast is a healthy and convenient cooking method. It retains the natural flavors and nutrients, making it a perfect option for those looking to eat healthily. With simple steps and minimal ingredients, you can enjoy a delicious and tender chicken breast in no time.

Explore different flavor combinations to elevate your steamed chicken game!

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