Fill a pitcher or other receptacle with cold water. Pour the appropriate amount into the water reservoir. Fill the reservoir to the "Lo Fill" line for foods that require a cooking time less than 25 minutes, and to the "Hi Fill" line for foods that must be cooked longer than 25 minutes. Do not hold the steamer beneath a faucet as doing so could cause water to get into the electrical components located in the base.
Locate the juice collector and set it on top of the water reservoir.
Find the tallest basket and place it on top of the water reservoir and juice collector. The tallest basket always belongs on the bottom, regardless of the number of baskets you use. The rim of the bottom basket is designed to fit inside the inner ridge that surrounds the water reservoir. Place your food inside the basket.
Place another, smaller basket on top of the tall bottom basket if you need to steam more than one type of food. Place the final basket on top if necessary. The bottom of each basket is designed to fit inside the rim of the one beneath it. You can use the Russell Hobbs 3500 steamer with just one basket.
Put the lid on top of the uppermost basket. Plug the steamer into an electrical outlet and set the timer by twisting it clockwise to the appropriate time. The Russell Hobbs 3500 steamer's user manual suggests cooking 1 cup of white rice for 50 to 55 minutes, string beans for approximately 30 minutes and trout or mackerel for 10 to 15 minutes.
Unplug the unit after the timer signals that your food has finished steaming. Use potholders to grasp the handles and remove the lid. Steam will pour out of the baskets when you remove the lid so keep your hands and face away from the hot vapor.