Whether you’re looking for a lighter way to prepare flaky, herb-infused fish or craving homemade tamales, a quality steamer is an essential piece of cookware for every home chef.
Steaming is a popular moist-heat cooking method because it does not require cooking oil or fat, resulting in healthier and simpler meals to prepare. Steam is generated by boiling water beneath the food, which vaporizes into steam; the steam gently cooks the food while maintaining its flavor and nutritional value. It is an ideal method for cooking meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables.
A steamer is not, however, a one-size-fits-all purchase. From stand-alone countertop appliances to compact silicone baskets, these cooking implements are available in various shapes, sizes, and materials. Self-heating electric appliances, stovetop pots with built-in or removable steaming trays, stackable bamboo steamers, and silicone and stainless-steel baskets for use in a pot or microwave are all types of steamers. Not only are there numerous options, but prices also vary. This is a kitchen appliance that won’t break the bank. For a countertop model, you can find an excellent steamer for as little as $15 or $20 to over $200.
These are the best steamers to purchase in 2022 to help you find the ideal product for your needs.
Our Top Picks
What Is A Steamer Basket?
A steamer basket is a standard Instant Pot accessory that allows the steam to permeate the vegetables. It is typically constructed of stainless steel (with holes), mesh, silicone, or other food-grade materials and is generally equipped with stilts and handles for easy use.
Fortunately, there are various products available on the market, allowing everyone to make a selection. For example, you can purchase a stacked basket, which allows for the steaming of various foods on different levels. There are also sectional steamers that can be used while other foods are cooking.
However, the primary function of the steamer basket is to hold the food (typically fresh or frozen) and prevent the food from touching the water or liquid (needed to create pressure in the pot). Thus, the food becomes tender and ready for consumption after being exposed to the hot steam.
How Do I Use A Steamer Basket In My Instant Pot?
The concept is relatively straightforward: the steamer basket goes directly into the Instant Pot’s inner pot. First, add the required amount of water (in the same inner pot) so that the Instant Pot can build pressure and produce steam.
Next, place the vegetables or dumplings in the basket and set the timer. The final step is tricky and requires some trial and error because you cannot taste the vegetables while steaming. The secret is to adjust the cooking time based on the type of vegetable and its maturity (fresh or frozen). Also, if you are steaming dumplings, the cooking time will vary.
Lastly, seasonings can be added if desired, but I prefer to do so after the steam has done it.
The steaming function is not limited to vegetables and dumplings. Additionally, you can steam oysters, fish, and even chicken. The secret is to adjust the cooking time and pressure for each food type.
What Can I Replace A Steamer Basket With?
If you intend to use the Instant Pot for steaming, I do not recommend improvising. The accessories designed specifically for the pot are made to withstand high temperatures and safeguard both the food and the pot.
What to avoid:
- Do not use plastic items!
- Use no accessories that interfere with the lid.
- Do not utilize any accessories with paint chips.
How to proceed:
- Try a colander made of stainless steel. Ensure that it fits properly in the inner pot.
- As shown, you can place the vegetables directly on the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- This time, you can order a steamer basket and prepare something else.
- It is possible to create your steamer basket, as you can see below.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Best Steamer Basket
Finding the best steamer basket for you is a somewhat personal endeavor. Whether you’re new to steaming or a seasoned veteran, whether you’re searching for crisp-tender broccoli or pillow boa at home, there is a product on the market for you. Style and material considerations are an excellent place to begin. With the correct equipment, it’s easy to master the art of steam cooking.
Steamers are available in a variety of sizes. If you choose a steamer that sits inside a pot, such as one of the tray- or basket-style steamers listed below, ensure that your pot can accommodate the steamer’s expanded diameter. The great thing about this type of steamer, such as the stainless steel OXO model, is that you can steam food for a crowd using a small device in a large pot. Alternatively, you can place it in a small saucepan to cook one dumpling.
Alternatively, if you regularly steam food for ten or more people, a steamer pot or electric appliance with 5 quarts or more is a good option for large-batch cooking, as they are typically standalone units.
Generally, stainless steel and silicone steamers can be cleaned in the dishwasher (always consult the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand). Other delicate materials, such as bamboo and ceramic, must be washed by hand. Food is likely to adhere to certain surfaces, such as bamboo. To prevent messes from sticking, line your bamboo steamer with parchment paper or a layer of fresh greens (this will also infuse some extra flavor into your meal).
Choosing the optimal material for your new steamer depends on how you intend to utilize it. You require a minimum of something heat-resistant and non-toxic. Choose a product with a high heat tolerance, such as silicone or stainless steel, if you intend to use the steamer in the oven or directly on the stovetop. On the other hand, bamboo is an excellent option if you need something delicate to use inside another pot.
How We Evaluated These Steamer Basket
To determine the best steamers of all types, I researched the most popular brands and items. Using customer ratings and reviews, personal testing, and product descriptions, I selected a variety of high-performing steamers for various applications.
Mainly, I looked for products with a high price-to-value ratio, durable construction, and convenient features that make using and maintaining the devices simple. I own and utilize Joyce Chen bamboo steamer, the Perfect Pot, the OXO stainless steel steamer, and Run Fox for my Instant Pot regularly. Whether you’re looking for a large steamer to feed a crowd or a small one for easy storage, you’ll find a fantastic product here.
What is the most effective steamer basket for the Instant Pot?
Over the years, I’ve tried and reviewed numerous steamer baskets, so I’ve decided to share my preferences with you. Please note that options may vary from person to person based on size, material, and cost.
1. Best Stainless Steel Steamer Basket - OXO Good Grips Steamer With Extendable Handle
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer With Extendable Handle
Collapsible baskets are steaming workhorses: they heat up quickly and can accommodate delicate fish and hearty squash wedges. Because they fold in on themselves when not in use, they are simple to store, and many expand to accommodate various sizes of pots, pans, and pressure cookers.
Like the other products in the brand’s Good Grips line, this OXO collapsible steamer basket is designed for easy handling and maneuverability and is dishwasher safe. The nearly two-inch-tall feet accommodate a great deal of water underneath the basket, ensuring that you will never run out of water before your food is cooked.
I adore the convenience of this device. I wouldn’t say I like seeing the water change color while boiling sweet potatoes and other vegetables. It makes me feel as though I am lacking in vitamins. I believe that steaming preserves some nutrients while providing a more convenient cleaning method.
It has three foldable legs at the bottom to stand upright in a container. It will not accommodate many vegetables. Only one medium potato and one large sweet potato could be steamed. It will yield perhaps three servings. Also, if you wanted to cook a larger piece of meat or another item, it would likely need to be cut in half to fit around the middle handle.
At this price point, it’s excellent for the fundamentals. I chose this model over cheaper alternatives because I feared receiving aluminum instead of stainless steel.
- Removable handle extends and locks into position for filling and transporting and retracts to accommodate pot lids while steaming
- Perfect for use with a pressure cooker or multicooker
- Handle hole for fork keeps hands away from steam
- Steamer fits pots 8” in diameter and up
- 1 3/4” feet elevate Steamer above water and fold flat when not in use for compact storage
- Sturdy, stainless steel construction. Dishwasher safe
- Note: The handle of this product wobbles by design – the range of motion allows the handle to retract to accommodate pot lids while steaming
- It fits size of pots and pans
- Easy to clean
- stainless steel construction
- The middle handle bit is a wobbly
2. Best Value: Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket
Silicone steamers are typically designed for pressure cookers but can also be used in other pots. The tall feet keep the basket well away from the water, and the silicone body can be bent and folded to fit any size vessel. This Instant Pot model has interlock handles to provide under a lid while cooking but extend higher than most to make food removal a breeze. Moreover, it is dishwasher-safe. This steamer basket may be the best option if you intend to steam primarily in your pressure cooker.
As the name suggests, this item is an official IP accessory. It is made from food-safe silicone of the highest quality (FDA and LFGB tested BPA-free inert silicone) and is resistant to high temperatures (450F / 230C).
However, it lacks its legs (it must be used with a steam rack or a trivet) and is not very large (it can’t hold too many vegetables). Alternatively, you can purchase two or three of these and stack them. Thus, different types of foods can be steamed at different levels. In terms of circumference, it is compatible with various pressure cookers (5, 6, and 8 Quart).
The manufacturer was able to make this steamer dishwasher-safe, so you only need to hand-wash the Instant Pot after cooking. It is rumored that silicone retains a slight odor after use, so be very thorough when cleaning it. A thorough soak in dish soap should be sufficient to eliminate any strange odors.
The verdict is that it is a good steamer basket that won’t break the bank. However, it is not as convenient as the previous two products because it is not as spacious and lacks feet.
- Can be stacked 2 high on the steam rack in the Instant Pot Multi Use Programmable Pressure Cooker 5, 6 and 8 Quart: IP DUO60, IP LUX60, IP LUX60V3, Smart 60, Ultra 6, IPLUX80, IP DUO80, IP CSG60 and IP CSG50
- Made from FDA & LFGB tested inert food safe silicone and BPA free
- Heat resistant to 450F (230C) & Dishwasher safe
- Genuine Instant Pot Multi Use Programmable Pressure Cooker accessory
- FDA food-safe silicone
- Dishwasher safe
- Heat resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Silicone can cause a strange smell
3. Best Bamboo Steamer Basket - Joyce Chen Steamer
You can achieve the same delicately cooked results at home using bamboo steamer baskets as you would in your favorite dim sum restaurant. Place it inside a wok or other shallow, wide-rimmed pan to use a bamboo basket.
The pan should be filled with water to within half an inch of the rim of the steamer basket (you want enough water to prevent scorching, but not so much that the water touches the food). 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. If you want to steam a lot of food at once, look for double-decker bamboo baskets, such as this model by Joyce Chen, which can hold twice as much food as a single layer.
- Time-tested method for creating restaurant-style dishes at home, including dumplings, veggies, and fish
- Two tiers to cook several dishes or servings at a time
- So simple to use: place in a pan of water and heat
- Made with traditional bamboo, which is also a renewable resource
- Easy to use
- High quality
- Easy to clean
- You have to line the trays
- Probably won't last a long time
4. Best Steam Basket Set - Instant Pot Official Mesh Steamer Basket, Set of 2
Instant Pot Official Mesh Steamer Basket, Set of 2, Stainless Steel
These adaptable steamer baskets are essential Instant Pot pressure cooker accessories! Using these official mesh steamer baskets, designed with Instant Pot pressure cookers, you can steam healthy and nutritious foods in your Instant Pot.
Both baskets have elevated feet to keep food safe from boiling water during cooking. These baskets are designed to nest and stack, allowing you to steam an entire healthy meal in a single step when used together.
Use the large basket to steam fish, long vegetables such as corn on the cob, asparagus, and more in your Instant Pot, and the small basket to steam wrapped fish, more miniature vegetables, and more.
Each basket has an easy-lift handle, making it simple to remove them from the Instant Pot. Both baskets can also be used as strainers. These steamer baskets are made from corrosion-resistant Stainless Steel and are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Compatible with cookers of 6 and 8 quarts.
- Use for steaming all kinds of vegetables, fish & more
- Raised feet protect food from boiling water
- Easy-lift handle allows you to safely & easily lift food from Instant Pot after cooking
- Use as a steamer & as a strainer
- Made from durable, rust-resistant stainless steel
- Sturdy and durable
- Easy to clean
- Easy-lift handle on each basket
- Dual-function: Use as steamers and strainers
- The unprotected handle gets incredibly hot
5. Best Handles - Instant Pot Official Silicone Steamer Basket
Instant Pot Official Silicone Steamer Basket, Compatible with 6-Quart and 8-Quart Cookers, Green
This versatile basket is an essential accessory for Instant Pot pressure cookers! This official silicone steamer basket is designed specifically for use in Instant Pot pressure cookers and can be used to steam nutritious foods in your Instant Pot.
Its intelligent design features secure-lock handles that tuck neatly under the lid of your Instant Pot while cooking and provide safe, effortless food removal after cooking.
The handles also fold in and snap into the feet for easy storage after use and cleaning.
The steamer has elevated feet that shield the food from boiling water during cooking. Use your Instant Pot to steam vegetables, fish, and more.
This steamer basket is made from BPA-free silicone and is heat resistant up to 450° F (232° C). Additionally, the steamer basket is dishwasher-safe for simple cleanup. Compatible with six- and eight-quart cookers.
- Use for steaming all kinds of vegetables, fish & more
- Secure-lock handles fit under lid while cooking, and hook into feet for easy storage
- Raised feet protect food from boiling water
- Pleated design accommodates different cooker sizes
- Allows you to safely & easily lift food from instant pot after cooking
- Made from Bpa-free Silicone; Heat resistant to 450° F (232° C)
- Dishwasher Safe: Makes cleanup easy
- Perfect Fit: Compatible with 6-quart and 8-quart cookers.
- Interlocking handles
- Raised feet
- Dishwasher safe
- Silicone make
- Tight fit for six-quart Instant Pot
6. Best Bundle - OYSIR Steamer Basket Bundle
Steamer Basket, Egg Rack Holder, 7" Non-stick Springform Cake Pan, 50 Pcs Cake Paper for Instant Pot Accessories, Vegetable Food Steamer Rack. Fit Pot 5,6,8 qt Pressure
This package deal is worth the cost, and it can even help you discover new recipes or meals. This set includes a steamer basket, egg holder, cake pan, and cake paper, all of which are compatible with the Instant Pot. These ingredients can be used to create virtually any dish, so expand your culinary horizons. With the addition of stainless steel to these items, you can rest assured that you are cooking with high-quality tools.
These items are also compatible with multiple pot sizes ranging from five to eight quarts. When receiving or storing this bundle, exercise caution with the egg holder rack, as it may become lodged in the steamer basket. If you can carefully separate them, avoid stacking them, so you don’t have to go through this process every time you put something away.
- High quality food grade stainless steel
- Versatile with separate basket and rack
- The handles on the steamer basket provide ease to lift food from the pot
- The egg steamer rack is great for making hard boiled eggs
- 7 inch double layer non-stick coating springform pan help make cheesecake at home easily
- Hand wash recommended.
- Includes steamer basket, egg holder, cake pan, and cake paper
- High-grade stainless steel
- Fits multiple sizes
- The rack is hard to remove
7. Best Folding - Joseph Joseph Bloom Steamer Basket
We adore Joseph Joseph and their sleek, contemporary designs. In addition to the beautiful hues of green, it fits nicely into various pans. The handle is sturdy and makes it simple to remove piping hot items. I use it to steam vegetables and sweet potatoes. It is ideal for a side dish or a small batch of vegetables.
And we appreciate that it can be cleaned in the dishwasher without much effort. It is also coated with silicone, making it non-stick and easy to use.
The only issue we have with this item is that it is not microwaved safely. Since we steam our vegetables in the microwave to save time, this is a significant disadvantage for us. However, this steamer basket performs admirably if you wish to steam vegetables on the stovetop.
- Updated design
- Non-stick silicone coating
- Safe for the top rack only of the dishwasher.
- It folds flat for easy storage.
- It has a convenient strap and is suitable for use anywhere.
- Compatible with all cookware and kitchenware. Compatible with all types
- Compact Storage
- Easy to clean
- It will melt if you let all the water in a pan evaporate
Best Instant Pot Steamer Basket- FAQs
A collapsible steamer basket is probably the best option for small spaces. The majority of basket-style steamers that fit inside a pot are typically made of stainless steel or bamboo. Choose bamboo or silicone steamers if you wish to avoid scratching the interior of your nonstick cookware. Microwave steamers are designed for microwave use.
When using a steam basket on the stove, you should first fill the pot with about one or two inches of water. Once the steamer basket is placed in the pot, you do not want the water to rise above it, as this is one of the quickest ways to ruin the meal.
Perforated paper liners are simply baking paper or parchment paper with perforations. It is used to line the bottom of steamers to prevent food from sticking while still allowing steam to rise from simmering water to cook the food.
Steamer baskets allow for rapid, uniform, and efficient food cooking. Under one of these perforated platforms, boiling as little as 12 inches of water can generate gentle enough, humid steam to cook meat, vegetables, and other foods.
Wide and perforated baskets allow for increased steam penetration. I once owned an inexpensive steamer basket with a small diameter and a few holes punched in the bottom. Frozen peas (or corn, etc.)
A steamer can be used to cook vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, seafood such as fish fillets and crab legs, and even rice. According to Tufts University, using a steamer for cooking is a healthy method that minimizes nutrient loss from vegetables.
To prevent your bamboo steamer from drying out after washing, apply cooking oil to a paper towel. Apply the oiled paper towel to the bamboo steamer’s exterior and interior surfaces. Any cooking oil is adequate (for instance, vegetable oil or olive oil).
The water level must be sufficient to submerge the steamer’s bottom rim and prevent it from scorching. However, it must be low enough so that the bubbling water does not touch the steamer’s interior bed base and the food.
Interlocking trays with perforated bottoms compose bamboo steamer baskets, stacked one on top of the other. The entire basket is placed over a pot of simmering water, causing the food to be cooked by the rising steam.
Boiling vegetables can result in losing up to fifty percent of their vitamins. Vegetables prepared by steaming are fresher, crispier, and more vibrant than those prepared by any other method.
If you’re fortunate enough to own an Instant Pot, you don’t need to invest in a separate steamer. You need an inexpensive steamer basket that fits inside your countertop cooker. Steamer baskets are ideal for the Instant Pot, allowing you to cook food safely and healthfully.
The OXO Steamer Basket is the best option for consistently preparing delicious meals. A sturdy handle and a mesh interior will help you distribute your food evenly and flawlessly. In addition, it is dishwasher safe, making cleanup after dinner much simpler.
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.