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Review: Best Food Steamers

Steamers are some of the healthiest ways to cook food, primarily vegetables. Boiling removes water soluble vitamins and nutrients while steaming traps these essentials inside of the food. And if you have a multi-tiered steamer, cooking becomes very efficient and economical. There are several different types of steamers, from fully enclosed electrical types, stove mounted types, and traditional kinds that will allow any chef (or chef wannabe) to make food appetizing and healthful by using steam as the cooking method.

Each of the best food steamers in 2021 on this list will be easy to clean as well as built for durability. Steam penetrates everything because of the high heat and water vapor, which can corrode parts and/or have an effect on electrical systems if it is a plug-in model. If you plan on doing a lot of steaming, you'll want one of these steamers that will be there for you in the long run. so durability matters. Each of these steamers will have a minimum of a limited one year warranty, unless otherwise stated in the description. Of course, depending upon your lifestyle, you'll have to choose the best steamer for your needs. There are simple designs for occasional steaming and digital electronic designs that are able to steam entire meals, day after day.

Comparing the Best Food Steamer

Prime home bamboo steamer basket

This Prime Home Direct Bamboo steamer is composed entirely of organic bamboo. This dumpling steamer comes with a 10 inches basket, 2 chopstick sets, one sauce dish, and 50 liners. The non-stick steamer is ideal for steaming vegetables, meat, and fish, and it may also be used as a rice cooker. Unlike typical steamers, this vegetable steamer gives you additional cooking choices. You may cook or reheat two meals at the same time. It features two stacking layers that sit on top of each other, and each level has a 10 inches diameter by 3 inches deep cooking space.

The water-resistant walls of this dim sum dumpling steamer, as well as the dome-shaped lids of bamboo baskets, prevent condensing water from gathering. The firmware design allows heat to be distributed evenly throughout the basket, resulting in perfectly cooked food. By soaking excess moisture, this dumpling maker avoids water from leaking from the cover. This method keeps the natural state, aroma, and nutrient content at their original levels.

Sunsella Stainless Steel Food Steamer

For steaming simplicity at it's best, nothing beats the Sunsella 100 Percent Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer. This basket-type steamer is made of solid stainless steel, so it will last a lifetime of use. The Sunsella steamer needs a pot of boiling water to work. Once the water is boiling, set the loaded steamer down into the rising steam, and steam away. The basket has short legs to keep it above the boiling water, and it is capable of holding a meals worth of veggies or other food items, but the reality is this steamer works best for one or two people. You'll need either a timer or a fork to check how done the food is, but it will make quality steamed food as long as you monitor the progress. A steamer of this type is simple to use and easier to clean than any other option. If you just want steamed veggies every so often for you or another person, this would be just about perfect for your needs.

Hamilton Quart Digital Food Steamer

The lowest cost digital steamer, and if you want the best bang for the buck model, the Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer 5.5 Quart Model 37530Z takes the cake. The H.B. Digital Steamer is capable enough to steam small meals, medium meals by stacking up the two tiers, and very large meals by removing the center shelf and having one large steaming compartment. You can delay cooking up to 12 hours, it has an automatic "keep warm" function, and it will even let you know when the water is low and then automatically shut down until you fill the reservoir. The digital touch pad lets you punch in the time needed, and the lighted display always keeps you informed. If you're serious about steaming and you want a step up from a basic steamer, it's hard to beat this Hamilton Beach model. It can do-it-all at a price that won't break the bank.

Joyce Chen Bamboo Food Steamer

For you traditionalists out there, it doesn't get any better than the Joyce Chen 26-0013, 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer Set. Some say that original bamboo steamers are the tastiest way to steam food, and I won't argue with that assumption. Joyce Chen is a renowned chef when it comes to Asian cuisine and she uses steamers just like this; if you want that same quality of steamed food, then this is the steamer to get. It's a two tiered model, and it will need to sit above a pot of boiling water which is fine for the occasional meal or for regular steamed meat or veggies. Understand that since this is bamboo, it will be the most difficult to clean, and although it will last a long time, it will need to be eventually replaced. You'll need a timer or a fork to monitor the progress of your food, but if authenticity is what you want (and possibly the best tasting steamed food there is) the Joyce Chen Bamboo Steamer is a "must have" for the steamed food enthusiast.

Viante CUC-30ST Intellisteam Counter Top Food Steamer

If you live the steaming lifestyle, and you have a large family, you need to check out the Viante CUC-30ST Intellisteam Counter Top Food Steamer. This selection is called the "Rolls-Royce" of countertop steamers and it's easy to see why. The Viante Steamer has three different compartments, all on the same level which makes it the easiest to access steamer here. You can load up each compartment with family-sized portions of food, and no one will go hungry.

Since it's a digital machine, it lets you control the cooking time on each separate compartment. It will automatically set start times of the types of food you punch in, and they will all finish cooking together. It has a visible water gauge, and it will automatically shut off when the water level runs low. It's even dishwasher safe, so cleaning is a snap. The Viante Intellisteam is the most complex and, by far, the most expensive steamer on this list. But if you, and your family, embrace the steaming lifestyle, nothing is better.

Ovente Triple-Tiered Electric Food Steamer

If you want a basic but very effective and easy to use electrical steamer, the Ovente FS53W Triple-Tiered Electric Food Steamer makes the top of this list. Nothing really fancy here, just a steamer that will steam your food to perfection. The Ovente FS53W has 3 separate tiers so you can just use a lower tier for personal steaming, or use all three tiers to prepare an entire meal. Icons of foods, like fish, rice and vegetables (to name a few) are printed on the side of the steamer with an approximate time to cook. Just load it up, turn the manual dial timer for the food you have, and steam away; seriously, it couldn't be simpler. The Ovente Triple-Tiered steamer is easy enough for the novice, yet it is capable of steaming entire meals if you are into a serious steaming lifestyle. You can't beat the price, and all of these factors combined make it the best overall steamer on this list.

Buyer's Guide

Food steamers are fast becoming a staple tool that is necessary for every kitchen. They are an incredibly easy appliance to use making them a kitchen favorite. Using food steamers is also one of the healthiest ways to cook food because you cook without grease or fat so if this is something you want to do, they are something you should consider. This guide will help you choose the best food steamer for you.

What are Food Steamers?

A food steamer is a kitchen appliance that is used to prepare food in a sealed container with the help of heat from steam that is supplied by boiling water.

It’s a common misconception that food steamers are only for vegetables. But in fact, they can be used to cook various foods that include, rice, fish, eggs, meat, and seafood.

As we noted before, steaming is arguably the healthiest way to cook food. Since the food does not have any contact with water or any other liquids, the vitamins and other ingredients remain intact but your meal is cooked. The colors, fibers, and other elements of the food are also retained. Needless to say, there are so many benefits when you use a food steamer.

What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying a Food Steamer?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best food steamer for you and your budget. Some of these include the price, type, size, functions, and features. With the number of brands, variety, and features in the market, there is seemingly a never-ending supply of options when it comes to which food steamer to choose but we are here to help.

You have seen our carefully selected list of the best food steamers but here are the factors you should prioritize in choosing the best food steamer for you.

What type of food steamer should I get?

Generally speaking, there are two major types of food steamers. These are the electric and stove-top steamers.

Electric Steamers vs. Stove-top Steamers

Electric steamers basically do all of the work for you. You only need to add water, turn it on and it’s all set. On the other hand, stove-top steamers have to be placed on top of a pot or saucepan of boiling water. You would also need to monitor the food while steaming or use a timer. Electric food steamers might be incredibly easy to use and the more adventurous option, but electric food steamers are usually more expensive than stove-top steamers.

Food steamers can also be categorized by the materials they consist of. Electric steamers usually have plastic and metal parts. Stove-top steamers can be made from plastic, metal, or bamboo. Plastic stove-top steamers are not a good option as they are not very durable. Bamboo stove-top steamers are a great option for people who want to go more traditional.

How much should a food steamer cost?

You do not need to break the bank to get a functional food steamer. However, if you are looking for a steamer that would have additional features such as a rice cooker compartment and its own digital timer you might need to increase your budget just a little bit more. Not to worry, there are affordable options in our list of best food steamers above.

Does a food steamer need a timer?

When it comes to timers for food steamers, there are two options. It either comes with its own timer or it does not. Food steamers that do not come with a timer are usually cheaper. You would however have to use an external timer or monitor your food to know when it is ready.

How large does a food steamer need to be?

This depends on how much food you will be preparing. Many steamers, especially the electrical ones, have multiple tiers. If you are cooking large family portions, you will need a large food steamer or one with multiple tiers.

Do I need a keep-warm function?

The keep-warm function is a great feature with a food steamer. It keeps food warm after the steamer has gone off and continues to do so for hours after. However, food steamers with a keep-warm function are pricier than those without.

How often would I be using the food steamer?

If you are going to be using your food steamer to cook daily, then you should invest in one so that it lasts long. If you are only going to be using it sparingly then you should look to the more affordable options.

How much storage do I have?

If you have a smaller space, you should purchase steamers that are smaller in size or whose baskets can be stacked so that it does not take up too much space.

FAQs

Q:Do I need multiple tiers in my food steamer?

A: This only affects the amount of food you would be able to cook at a time. A food steamer with multiple tiers allows you to prepare multiple foods at the same time so you can complete your meal quicker.

Q:What steamer is the most durable?

A: Metal steamers made from aluminum or stainless steel are the most durable. Even though bamboo steamers will last for a significant amount of time, you will need to change them because it is made of wood.

Q:Which food steamer is the easiest to clean?

A: Metal steamers are the easiest to clean. For efficient cleaning, you should get a steamer that is dishwasher-safe. Bamboo steamers are the hardest to clean and they are not dishwasher-safe so they have to be hand-washed.

Q:

Are food steamers good for my health?

A:

Food steamers are an incredibly healthy option because you do not need any oil or grease to cook and you do not lose any nutrients in the process.

Q:

Would Stove-top food steamers affect my pots or saucepans?

A:

If you have non-stick utensils, bamboo steamers would be the best choice as they would not scratch non-stick surfaces like metal steamers would.

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