Food steamers represent a healthy and convenient way to cook all of your favorite foods. Rather than frying, grilling or baking, you can use steam to cook your favorite foods in a way that not only locks in the moisture but does so without adding fat, sodium or additional calories. If you don’t already have one of these cheap food steamers in your kitchen, then it is about time for you to start shopping for one. To help you navigate all the models and option on the market, we’ve reviewed some of our favorite models below, as well as listing out a few tips that we’re learned over time.
Oster CKSTSTMD5-W 5-Quart Food Steamer
|(4.3 / 5)|
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NGR)
|(4.3 / 5)|
BELLA 13872 Food Steamer
|(4.5 / 5)|
Rosewill BPA-free, 9.5-Quart (9L), 3-Tier Stackable Baskets Electric Food Steamer with Timer, RHST-15001
|(4.2 / 5)|
Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer - 5.5 Quart
|(4.4 / 5)|
VonShef 10 Inch 2 Tier Premium Bamboo Steamer with Stainless Steel Banding
|(4.8 / 5)|
Circulon Stainless Steel Universal Steamer with Lid
|(4.3 / 5)|
Elite EST-2301 Stainless Steel Elite Platinum 3-Tier Food Steamer
|(4.4 / 5)|
Wolfgang Puck 1400 Watt BPA-Free 3-Tier Rapid Food Steamer - Essential Series
|(4.7 / 5)|
T-fal VC1338 Balanced Living Compact 2-Tier Electric Food Steamer
|(4.6 / 5)|
Steaming is a cooking method that employs hot vapor in an enclosed environment. Steaming foods of all kinds guarantees that they will remain nutritious, moist and flavorful. Unlike frying, baking and broiling, steaming does not add any additional fat or calories to the food that you are cooking. When you use a food steamer, not only will your foods be cooked in a way that is both moist and full of flavor, but everything you cook in your steamer will retain all of its original nutritional value.
Food steamers of various types have been used for centuries all around the world to cook a wide variety of different foods, including rice, vegetables, fish and meats. When you cook using a steamer, your food remains firm, vibrant and colorful. This is because steaming is one of the few cooking methods that does not deplete your food of vitamins and nutrients. Unlike boiling which tends to remove nutrients and flavor from food, steaming effectively and thoroughly cooks your favorite foods in the healthiest way possibly, leaving vegetables, meats and poultry fresh and crisp and colorful. If you would like to eat healthier but don’t want to compromise on flavor, try using a food steamer to prepare your favorite recipes.
All food steamers work through the cooking action of hot vapor in a closed environment. Generally this involves the use of a water reservoir at the bottom of the cooking vessel with some type of vented basket inside that not only holds the food over the water but also allows the steam to surround the food with heat and moisture. The food steamers on the market today are either stove top food steamers, microwave steamers or electronic food steamers. Most food steamers are equiped with multi-tier baskets to facilitate the steaming of multiple foods. Because of all of the different features that you can find among steamer models, there is a wide range of prices, from roughly $20 to $200.
As you shop, you will begin to notice that there are different types of these small appliances available on the market. Let’s look at each type so that you can make a better decision when shopping.
Food steamers have been around for ages. In Asia, rice, dumplings and dim sum have been cooked in bamboo steamers for centuries. These bamboo steamers are still in use today. Bamboo steamers are usually stove top steamers that have multiple levels that allow you to steam a variety of foods simultaneously. They can be conveniently placed inside a wok or other cooking vessel and should not be placed dierectly on the heat source.
Stove top food steamers come in a wide variety of types and sizes, including a vented stainless steel basket or insert that you set inside a larger cooking vessel. Because stove top steamers come in such a variety of styles and materials they tend to vary widely in price.
Pop-up steamers represent a special variety of stove top food steamers named for the design of the basket that you set into the cooking vessel. Pop-up steamers feature a basket insert that is designed to stand up off of the bottom of the pan, holding the food safely above the water at the bottom of the pan. One of the best features of pop-up steamers is the fact that the baskets are collapsible, facilitating more convenient storage.
The most advanced food steamers are electronic steamers. Often available with stackable, multi-tier cooking trays and a variety of cooking settings, electronic food steamers are the way to go if you can see yourself steaming your favorite foods on a regular basis. The multiple stackable cooking baskets allow you to cook an entire meal all at once. Most electronic food steamers can be preset to cook for a specific amount of time at a preset temperature and are great for keeping food warm without drying it out.
Electronic rice cookers often have a steamer function and even come with the gear necessary to use it as a steamer designed to cook more than rice. Rice cookers often come with cooking baskets that allow you to place meats, fish or vegetables to cook along with the rice.
1) Size – the size of the steamer you purchase is important, especially if you plan to steam large meals including multiple dishes at the same time. The size of food steamers are generally measured in quarts, while rice cookers are generally measured in cups. Food steamers with multiple cooking baskets will generally be called multi-tier steamers.
2) Storage – if you have limited storage space, you will want to find steamers with lids and baskets that are collapsible and fit together easily.
3) Material – the type of material depends on whether or not it is a stove top steamer, microwave steamer or an electronic food steamer. Microwave food steamers are similar to stove top steamers but are plastic and are designed to heat up quickly in the microwave. Because they cook in the microwave, these tend to be smaller than other types. Most other steamer baskets are going to be made of some type of metal, usually stainless steel.
4) Ease of Use and Maintenance – It is always a good idea to buy a food steamer that is easy to use and has components that are dishwasher safe. When you purchase an electronic steamer, choose one with a glass lid so you can keep an eye on your food without lifting the lid and letting steam out.
After comparing all of the models, we have narrowed down our top favorites to just five models. Below, you’ll see our mini reviews of these models and learn why any of them will make a great addition to your kitchen.
Built and designed with convenience and healthy eating options in mind, this 5-quart food steamer is not only dishwasher safe but is also simple and easy to use thanks to the dual steam compartments, the alarming 60-minute timer, and the compactness of the overall product making for easy storage in nearly any place. Additionally, when food is prepared in this particular steamer there is no nutrient loss to the food as all the nutrients are locked into the food.
As far as the benefits and advantages are in regards to owning a food steamer, and in particular this particular one, for starters the auto shutoff initiates when either the water in one of the steam compartments runs out or the timer signals that the food is complete. Furthermore, along with the convenience of making this product quick and easy to operate storing this product after it has been used is a breeze.
The Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker and Food Steamer is a six-cup pot style rice cooker and food steamer. It has a simple set of controls, for cooking, steaming or warming up. The inner cooking pot is dishwasher safe and is removable for easy cleaning. It comes with a steam tray, rice measuring cup, serving spatula, and some coupons and recipes. This cooker is 11 inches tall, and 10.4 inches in diameter so it wont take up much room. At 1.7 pounds it is also light The pot itself is red and matches the decor of many kitchens. It is very easy to use, and great for one-pot meals. Just plug it in and it is ready to go.
The Bella 13872 food steamer is a two-tiered steamer that allows you to heat up two different items at the same time. The clear plastic baskets allow you see the food at anytime in the process. It is lightweight, but has a seven liter capacity. It has a water level indicator and you may add water easily with an eternal filler area. It is dishwasher safe, and will handle five cups of rice. It has a one-hour timer, though some say the timer knob is hard to read. It has a ready indicator light and includes automatic shutoff for added safety. It is light at 4.7 pounds and does not take a up a lot of room on your kitchen counter.
The Rosewill Electric Food Steamer is BPA free and will cook up to 9.5 quarts. It has a three-tier system of stackable basket, giving you a lot of flexibility. You may use all the space for one large item, or cook three different things at once. You may also cook small amounts of food with just one tier in place. It cranks out 800 watts and generates steam within 40 seconds of starting. It has a timer you may set for up to an hour, and has an auto-off for when there is no water or it is set to finish cooking. The cooker baskets are dishwater safe, and it includes a rice bowl that is great for rice or small amounts of food.
The Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer is a 5.5 quart capacity steamer with a two-tiered system. Having two baskets allows you to prepare more than one thing at a time, saving time and energy. You may also remove the center barrier for larger capacity for one item. There is an automatic warning system for when food is ready. It has a digital touchpad, which makes setting the countdown timer easy to use. It weighs just four pounds, and at 8.6 inches tall, will fit neatly in most cabinets. It is 12.8 inches in diameter. While it is great for rice and vegetables, it will also cook up fish and other meats. It has a plastic see-through baskets, so you can see the food cooking.
Never used one of these awesome food steamers at home before? Check out the quick video below to learn how to make a lovely meal of salmon and veggies at home.