A type of cookware designed for steaming asparagus. The asparagus steamer consists of a long narrow wire basket, a steaming pot, and a lid. The wire basket holds a large quantity of asparagus upright. The upright position allows the hard, woody stems to cook in approximately 2 inches of boiling water while the tips of the asparagus gently steam. The length of cooking will depend on the thickness of each asparagus spear.
Water is placed in the bottom of the steaming pot and brought to a boil. The asparagus stalks are arranged in the wire basket (spears upward) and lowered into the boiling water. When the spears become just tender, the basket is removed and the water is drained away. An asparagus steamer can also be used to steam a variety of other foods such as potatoes, broccoli, corn, carrots, artichokes, and shellfish.