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Steaming is a moist-heat cooking technique that involves enveloping food in a steamy vapor to cook it. Using this method, you can cook without using any oil or fat at all. Many foods can be prepared using the steamed or roasted method.
A stovetop and electric steamers come in a variety of configurations. This list includes both stand-alone electric models and inserts that can be used in pots you already own, so you don’t have to buy a new appliance if you don’t need one.
These are the best food steamers, according to our experts.
Our Top Picks
What Is Food Steamer?
A food steamer is one of the most practical and functional kitchen appliances available. It is a sealed container with a series of tiers stacked one atop the other. It is constructed to cook food with steam heat.
For instance, in a stovetop steamer, the insert fits into or on top of a saucepan containing hot water. The food to be cooked is placed within the insert. The insert’s perforated base allows steam to surround and heat the food.
Although using a food steamer may appear simple, it requires patience and a few hours of practice before you can master this healthy cooking method.
Benefits Of Using Food Steamer
- Food steamers offer the following benefits in addition to their practicality:
- It saves time – Rapidly prepares food and is simple to operate.
- It requires minimal supervision – A timer is included.
- Cooking healthily. Successfully locks in most nutrients and preserves the natural vitamins and minerals.
- Maintains the food’s structure. The structure and color of vegetables remain intact.
- Many consider this to be the healthiest method of cooking.
- Time, money, and effort are saved.
- Compared to other cooking methods, this one requires minor cleanup and is less messy.
What to Look for When Buying a Food Steamer
Every online shopper has a preconceived notion of what he intends to purchase. Knowing what to buy is insufficient; you must also see the product characteristics necessary to meet your purchase criteria. A buyers guide aims to help you make the best purchasing decision possible by facilitating selection.
BPA Free Ceramic
When purchasing a food steamer, the absence or presence of bisphenol A (BPA) should be the first consideration. It is almost always included in the product description. Most BPA-free steamers are made from either stainless steel or glass. These allow you to cook without BPA, but they are also much more durable than plastic ones. Knowing that it does not contain BPA is a step in the right direction towards protecting yourself and your health.
Its capability is determined by the amount of food it can hold and prepare. The capacity should be sufficient to keep your ingredients and prepare a family meal. The capacity of a steamer can range between 5 and 9.5 quarts. Depending on the size of your family or the number of people you intend to feed will determine the size of your turkey.
If you choose a large-sized steamer, it will suffice even if the item you wish to steam is small, whereas a small-sized steamer will be ineffective whenever you need to cook something substantial.
Electric or Stovetop
There are two types of steamers: electric and stovetop. The stovetop steamer is an insert that fits inside or on top of a saucepan or other pot containing one to two inches of simmering water. The food is placed in the insert, and the insert’s perforated base allows steam to heat and surround the food. These types of steamers are available in the following configurations:
- Folding or collapsible (often stainless steel or silicone) raised platforms to sit at the bottom of a pot.
- Like a double boiler, a perforated metal pan fits within a saucepan.
- A bamboo basket designed to fit in a wok.
Electric steamers, meanwhile, are available with stackable, perforated trays or compartments that allow for the simultaneous steaming of large quantities of food or different types of food. A chamber is filled with water, and a heating element transforms the water into steam. Some kitchen appliances, including rice cookers and multicookers, include a steamer function. Electric pressure cookers and stovetop pressure cookers typically come with a steamer tray that can be used as a steamer.
Electric steamers make the task simple, as you only need to add water and food and turn on the steamer; however, you should consider whether you will use it frequently enough to justify the counter or storage space it requires.
Number of tiers
Consider the quantity and variety of foods that you intend to steam simultaneously. Multiple-tiered steamers allow for the separation of certain foods from others. In addition, you can add and remove foods at different times if one is done before the others are ready.
Depending on your cooking style, special features may enhance the value of a steamer. Consider whether your steamer has additional functions, such as a timer or the ability to dry food.
1. Best Overall: Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer for Quick, Healthy Cooking with Stackable Two-Tier Bowls
2. Best Stovetop: Anolon Classic Stainless Steel Steamer Insert with Lid, Silver
3. Best High-End: Cuisinart STM-1000 Cook Fresh Digital Glass Steamer
4. Best Compact: OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer
5. Best Budget: BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer
Best Food Steamer To Help You Prepare Healthy Meals - FAQs
Vegetables, meat, and seafood are the most popular foods to cook with steam. Tender proteins, such as lean fish fillets and boneless, skinless chicken breasts, steam more effectively than tough proteins, such as steak.
Peaches and pears, for example, hold up well to steam cooking, whether you’re preparing a cooked fruit compote to top pancakes or your baby purees.
The tightly woven lid of bamboo steamers prevents steam from escaping. Bamboo absorbs some of the excess moisture during cooking, preventing the steam from condensing back into water and dripping onto your food.
Although not strictly a kitchen necessity, electric steamers are indispensable for some. Frequently, steamers are purchased for health reasons, as steaming is believed to preserve more vitamins and nutrients than boiling. It is a significantly gentler cooking method than most, preserving the flavor and texture of all foods.
Bring the water to a boil in your steamer/wok. Place the dumplings about 1 inch apart to allow for expansion. Once the water is boiling, add the dumplings, cover, and steam for 8 to 10 minutes over medium to medium-high heat. The water must be simmering sufficiently to produce steam.
Because vegetables do not meet boiling water, steaming is a gentler cooking method. Peas, cauliflower, and zucchini are particularly susceptible to nutrient loss during boiling, losing more than 50 percent of their antioxidants, according to a 2009 study.
According to Dudash, steaming food is a healthy method of preparation. While boiling completely submerges vegetables in water, causing some nutrients, such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants, to leach into the water, steaming helps retain more of these nutrients.”
Choose a steamer that is two inches smaller in diameter than the pan you’re using. Use wax paper or parchment paper as a liner to prevent food from sticking. When cooking multiple types of food (such as meats and vegetables), place those with the longest cooking time on the lowest tier.
Keeping a food steamer clean is relatively simple, as no cooking oils or sauces are involved. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, removable steamer bowls, trays, and lids may be cleaned by hand or by dishwasher. Before cleaning, ensure that the steamer is turned off and cool to the touch.
Steaming is a great way to cook food without destroying any nutrients, and it’s also relatively easy to execute. Bring water to a boil, place vegetables in a steamer, and allow the steam to cook the vegetables.
Some plastic steamers advertise that they are BPA-free, but the truth is that plastic is not safe for cooking. Even if it does not contain BPA, it may still leach other chemicals into food.
Electric food steamers are renowned for their spacious interiors and numerous baskets. With a large basket, you can steam a great deal of food for many people. It is highly secure and healthy.
Food steamers are an excellent way to prepare nutritious and flavorful meals. Especially if you plan to utilize them frequently, they are an investment worth making.
They cook food with steam from heated water. In a short time, you and your family will be able to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals.
These appliances are simple to operate. Just add water and food, and you’re good to go. Food steamers range between $50 and $200 in price.
The price depends on the product’s size and characteristics. Determine your needs to select the appropriate food steamer.
Obtain one immediately and share your experience. We are interested in hearing about it!
Why Trust Us
You will find what you are looking for at Jody's Bakery. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.