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How do I pick the best stainless steel steamer

Increasing numbers of home cooks favor steaming as a cooking technique, and for a good reason. Food cooked by steaming is healthier, cooks faster than most other methods, and does not become dry. Plastic steamers are not as healthy as stainless steel alternatives. The best stainless steel steamer is a model made of 18/10 stainless steel that is dishwasher-safe and stackable. 

As with most other materials, stainless steel comes in various grades. Low-quality stainless steel, an alloy of iron and other metals, can rust, pit, or corrode. The addition of chromium provides a layer of resistance and protection against environmental damage to the metal. With the addition of nickel, stainless steel becomes even more durable. Essential in the kitchen is a stainless steel steamer that is not likely to pit or rust; the surface will not harbor bacteria, and food will not acquire a metallic flavor. 

Stainless steel must contain a minimum of 10.5% chromium, but home and professional cooks prefer 18% because it provides excellent protection. Not only is corrosion less likely, but food stains are also less likely. The substantial weight of steamers made of 18/10 stainless steel adds to the sensual pleasures of cooking. 

The decision between a stovetop or an electric food steamer is primarily influenced by personal preference and available space. Either food steamer should have a transparent lid so the cook can monitor the cooking process without removing the lid. When the lid is lifted, a burst of steam is released. This slows the cooking process, can cause uneven cooking and may scald the cook. 

When choosing a stainless steel steamer, it is essential to ensure that all food-contact parts are dishwasher-safe. It is also advantageous if the steamer is simple to disassemble and reassemble for simple cleaning. The best steamers allow the cook to add additional water if the water evaporates quickly. 

The astute cook will seek out a stainless steel steamer that can be stacked. Some models are sold as tiered kits, while others are sold as base models with additional tiers sold separately. Using tiered food steamers, multiple types of food can be cooked in one convenient location. This results in less cleanup and saves time as well. 

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