Start Cooking With One Of The Best Food Steamers For The Money

Last modified on July 15th, 2021 at 4:39 am

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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.

Why Use One Of These?

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.

Buying Guide: Common Features To Look For

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.

Types of Food Steamers

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.

Bamboo Steamers

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 Steamers

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

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.

Electronic Food Steamers

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

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.

Other Things To Consider When Shopping

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.

Our Picks: Top Rated Food Steamers Reviews

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.

Oster CKSTSTMD5-W 5-Quart Food Steamer Review

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.

Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer, 5 Quart, White (CKSTSTMD5-W-015)
7,598 Reviews
Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer, 5 Quart, White (CKSTSTMD5-W-015)
  • Food steamer for vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry
  • Steaming retains nutrients and eliminates the need for cooking oils
  • Double-tiered design allows you to separate and simultaneously cook 2 types of food

Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NGR) Review

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.

Aroma Housewares ARC-743-1NGR 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup UNCOOKED) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer,Red
38,265 Reviews
Aroma Housewares ARC-743-1NGR 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup UNCOOKED) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer,Red
  • Multi-Functional Use – Whether you're in the mood for a hearty jambalaya, steamed veggies and rice, or a belly-warming...
  • One-Touch Operation – This cooker is a proud member of our “set it and forget it” mentality. The one-touch operation is...
  • Simultaneous Steaming – With the included steam tray, steam foods above while rice, soup, or any other meal simultaneously...

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

BELLA 13872 Food Steamer Review

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.

BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer with Dishwasher Safe Lids and Stackable Baskets & Removable Base for Fast Simultaneous Cooking - Auto Shutoff & Boil Dry Protection, 7.4 QT, Black
10,280 Reviews
BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer with Dishwasher Safe Lids and Stackable Baskets & Removable Base for Fast Simultaneous Cooking - Auto Shutoff & Boil Dry Protection, 7.4 QT, Black
  • COOK A VARIETY OF FOODS: Whether you're in the mood for japanese or chinese cuisine, or just want to steam some fresh...
  • TWO TIERS FOR SIMULTANEOUS COOKING: With the electric food steamer, you can cook multiple items at the same time without...
  • STACKABLE BASKETS & REMOVABLE BASE: The removable base makes it easy to clean your electric cooker and veggie steamer. The...

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Rosewill BPA-free 9.5-Quart, 3-Tier Stackable Electric Food Steamer with Timer (RHST-15001) Review

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.

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer Review

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.

Hamilton Beach Digital Electric Food Steamer & Rice Cooker for Quick, Healthy Cooking for Vegetables and Seafood, Stackable Two-Tier Bowls, 5.5 Quart, Black & Stainless Steel
6,291 Reviews
Hamilton Beach Digital Electric Food Steamer & Rice Cooker for Quick, Healthy Cooking for Vegetables and Seafood, Stackable Two-Tier Bowls, 5.5 Quart, Black & Stainless Steel
  • FOOD STEAMER AND RICE COOKER: Easily cook a whole meal with one appliance with 5.5 quarts of cooking capacity. Includes 2...
  • VERSATILE STEAMING: Versatile, stackable 2-tier steaming to cook multiple foods at once for quick and easy meal solutions....
  • GUESS-FREE STEAMING: Just fill it up and set the timer. When the food is ready, it will automatically switch to Warm. It also...

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Usage Tips

  • When steamed correctly foods like broccoli, asparagus and other vegetables, fish, chicken breast, hot dogs and sausages, as well as Asian dumplings and dim sum, are all delicious and healthier when cooked in a steamer as opposed to being fried, grilled or baked.
  • Steamers are extremely convenient because their multilevel construction allows you to cook a variety of dishes all at once, making steamers extremely user friendly.
  • Be sure to always put enough water into the reservoir and allow room between foods for the steam to circulate.
  • Do not remove the lid too often while cooking. This lets the heat out and could make the food take longer to cook.
  • To add additional flavor to bland foods, season the water and add aromatic herbs. The foods you steam will take in the flavor of those herbs, becoming even more flavorful.

How To Steam A Meal Of Salmon and Vegetables

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.