How to Reheat Steamed Buns without Microwave or Steamer

steamed chinese pork stuffed buns

Reheating leftover steamed buns is a common dilemma for many of us. We enjoy their soft, pillowy texture. However, microwaving often makes them disappointingly soggy, which can ruin the overall experience. But fear not! There are other methods available. They will help you keep these tasty treats delicious without using a microwave. 

In today’s fast-paced world, having access to diverse reheating options is more valuable than ever before. It broadens our culinary horizons. It also allows us to adapt and overcome challenges. Conventional appliances are sometimes unavailable or don’t yield the desired outcome.  

You can use alternative techniques to reheat steamed buns when camping or in a microwave-less kitchen. This opens up new possibilities. 

If you’ve been left scratching your head, wondering how to achieve perfectly reheated steamed buns without compromising their taste and texture, look no further! In this article, we’ll delve into some inventive approaches that go beyond just zapping them in the microwave. 

Get ready to discover ingenious methods. They will revive those leftover buns into scrumptious bites worthy of any occasion. Let’s embark on this flavorful journey together. We’ll unlock exciting alternatives for reheating steamed buns like never before! 

Why Do You Want to Reheat Steamed Buns Without a Microwave or Steamer?

steamed buns stuffed with minced pork

You may need to reheat steamed buns without a microwave or steamer. This could be if you don’t have these appliances or want to try other methods. There are various reasons why you might opt for this approach:

  1. Flavor Preservation: Reheating without a microwave or steamer can help maintain the original flavor and texture of the steamed buns. This prevents them from becoming soggy or dry. 
  2. Versatility: Using alternative methods allows for greater flexibility in reheating options. You could use a skillet, oven, or even a pot of boiling water. 
  3. Resourcefulness: Not everyone has a microwave or steamer readily available. Learning alternative methods can be a valuable skill for making the most of what’s on hand. 
  4. Crispiness: Some methods, like pan-frying, can add a delightful crispy exterior to the steamed buns, enhancing their overall enjoyment.

How to Reheat Steamed Buns Without a Microwave or Steamer

1. Using a Pan and Lid:

  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Place the steamed buns in the pan, leaving some space between them.
  • Add a splash of water to the pan, then cover it with a lid.
  • Allow the buns to steam for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.

Using a pan and lid is an excellent alternative to reheating steamed buns without a microwave or steamer. This method ensures that the buns are heated evenly, resulting in a soft and fluffy texture. 

To begin, place a non-stick pan on medium-low heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, arrange the steamed buns in the pan, making sure they’re not touching each other. It’s crucial to cover the pan with a lid at this point, as it traps steam inside, helping to reheat the buns thoroughly.

One advantage of using this method is that it allows you to control the heat effectively. It prevents any risk of overheating or drying out your delicious buns. Additionally, by using a lid, you’re creating an environment similar to that of a steamer. This ensures that each bun is equally exposed to heat from all angles. By keeping the heat at medium-low, you significantly improve their taste and preserve their moisture. This allows for slow reheating under pressure from the lid. 

Finally, if you’re looking for some extra flavor in your reheated steamed buns, consider adding some water into the pan before covering it with a lid. This technique enables you to create steam within the covered pan. This further enhances both texture and taste when compared to simply dry heating them on low flame (à la frying). 

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2. Using an Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Wrap the steamed buns in aluminum foil, leaving an opening at the top.
  • Place the wrapped buns on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

Using an oven to reheat steamed buns might not be the first method that comes to mind, but it can yield deliciously crispy results. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the steamed buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To prevent them from becoming dry, brush a light layer of water over the surface of each bun before placing them in the oven. The moisture will help retain their softness while allowing the crust to become golden and inviting.

Using an oven for reheating has one advantage. It distributes heat evenly, resulting in consistent texture throughout each bun. Additionally, you have more control over the cooking process compared to using a microwave or steamer. This means you can easily achieve desired levels of crispness or softness by adjusting the cooking time and temperature accordingly. 

It’s worth noting that this method works well for larger quantities too. It’s ideal for family gatherings or parties where you need to reheat a batch of freshly made steamed buns all at once. 

Moreover, the oven method allows for creative variations in flavor and presentation. If you love a touch of sweetness with your savory dishes, consider brushing some melted honey or maple syrup onto the steamed buns before placing them in the oven. This adds a subtle hint of sweetness without overpowering other flavors present in your fillings.

Read: Warm Up Samosas Without a Microwave  and Oven

3. Using a Rice Cooker:

  • Place a heat-safe dish or steaming rack in the rice cooker.
  • Add a small amount of water to the rice cooker.
  • Place the steamed buns on the dish or rack, making sure they are not touching the water.
  • Close the rice cooker lid and set it to the “keep warm” setting for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.

Using a rice cooker to reheat steamed buns is a game-changer. Not only does it provide a quick and convenient method, but it also ensures consistently fluffy and moist results. Simply place the steamed buns in the steam basket or tray that comes with your rice cooker, add some water to the pot, and let the magic happen. The steam produced by the cooker will gently warm up the buns without drying them out. Plus, you can even experiment with different settings on your rice cooker to achieve your desired level of softness or crispiness.

One unexpected benefit of using a rice cooker is that it can help revive stale or hardened steamed buns. If you’ve accidentally left your leftovers for too long, don’t despair! Simply wrap them in damp paper towels before placing them in the steam basket of your rice cooker. As the buns are heated and humidified by the steam, they’ll absorb moisture from the damp paper towels, becoming plump and soft once again.

Don’t forget that your trusty rice cooker can also reheat steamed buns. It can also cook other items like dumplings, spring rolls, or leftover pizza slices! Just make sure to line the steam basket with parchment paper or cabbage leaves to prevent sticking. 

How to Maintain Taste and Flavour of Steamed Buns when Reheating?

Maintaining the taste and flavor of steamed buns when reheating is crucial. It ensures they remain as delicious as when they were freshly made. Here are some tips to help you preserve the original taste and flavor:

  1. Use a Gentle Reheating Method: Avoid high heat, which can cause the buns to dry out or become tough. Opt for gentle reheating methods like steaming or using a pan with a lid to trap moisture.
  2. Wrap the Buns Properly: When reheating in an oven or microwave, wrap them in aluminum foil. This helps retain moisture and prevents them from drying out. 
  3. Add Moisture: If you find that the buns are drying out during reheating, you can add a small amount of water to the pan or foil before sealing it. This will create steam and help keep the buns moist.
  4. Reheat Just Before Serving: Steamed buns are best enjoyed hot and fresh. Reheat them just before serving to ensure they retain their soft texture and delicious flavor.

Follow these tips to maintain the taste and flavor of your steamed buns when reheating. This ensures a delightful eating experience every time. 

Read: How Do You Know When Pasteles Are Done?


In conclusion, we have explored various alternative methods for reheating steamed buns without a microwave oven. There’s the classic stovetop method. Then, there’s the innovative steam-oven technique. Each approach has its own unique benefits and can yield deliciously warm and soft buns. 

The stovetop method provides quick results with minimal equipment needed. It allows for direct heat distribution. This results in crispy exteriors while maintaining a tender interior. The oven method, on the other hand, ensures even heating throughout and is perfect for larger batches of buns. It also gives you control over the degree of crispness or softness you desire.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your preferred technique. You may discover that certain methods work better for specific types of steamed buns or personal preferences. You can heat up your favorite steamed buns in a bamboo steamer basket or try these alternative techniques. It doesn’t have to be limited to microwave convenience. So go ahead, get creative in your kitchen and indulge in warm and delectable treats!

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