Originally Posted by salt and pepper
Stop. steaming and braising are two very different things. If you stick a chicken in a bag and steam it , how is that braising? I don't care how much liquid you add. When you braise ,you add flavors to the meat so it incorporates into the meat. How would you add flavor when it can't reach the meat by steaming it in a bag? I would like to see someone make Osso Bucco in a bag! Just use a crock pot! Save a bag! Really, braising is an art,throw the bag away. Sorry if I seem abusive, Just finished a few Beers.
To me the primary difference between the two is whether or not the food is in the liquid. Steaming is usually done with the food suspended over the steaming liquid. Braising calls for the food to be immersed in the liquid. In either case the liquid can be seasoned.
In the case of the chicken in the bag, the liquids given off by the food are the braising medium. This is, as suggested, what a slow cooker does. Often, slow cooker recipes call for no added liquid, acknowledging that liquids will be there to perform the braise.