The 5 Best Food Steamers of 2021
Food steamers have been used in cooking for centuries. It’s no surprise that they remain popular with chefs and health-conscious individuals as it’s a healthy cooking method. You’ll enjoy moist, flavorful, and nutrient-rich meals. Modern steamers make the cooking process simple with pre-programmed modes and fast cooking times.
If you want to enjoy seamed food at home, you need to know what you’re shopping for. Knowing how the steamer works, the different types, and available features will help you select a steamer that fits your cooking needs and lifestyle.
This guide will help you learn what to look for and offer suggestions for the most popular steamers on the market.
How Food Steamers Work
Steamers for food cook your meal by surrounding the food in hot water vapor. The lower compartment heats water until it’s hot enough to turn into steam. The steam rises and surrounds the food, cooking it.
This gentle method of cooking helps to cook your food quickly, retain nutrients, and stay moist. The most effective steamers are the high-pressure method. The Buydeem All-in-One Intelligent Steamer uses this method by creating a secure seal so that the steam doesn’t escape during the cooking process. The cooking process is faster, and the temperature is better regulated with this method. This makes using the steamer simple and straightforward.
The other type of steamer uses low pressure. Traditional bamboo baskets, pot inserts, and some types of electric steamers use this method. The lid is not sealed onto the base so that the steam can escape during the cooking process. This requires monitoring of the water level and temperature to ensure even cooking. It also takes these steamers longer to heat up to the correct temperature and longer to cook your food.
Popular Types of Steamers
The latest trend in food steamers is to add technology. This takes the already popular stainless steel food steamers and makes them even more valuable and user-friendly. With digital timers, water sensors, and pre-set modes, you can set it and forget it. This makes the modern steamer compatible with your busy everyday life.
Stainless steel is also popular for kitchen appliances. Choosing a stainless steel food steamer will help it to look beautiful on your counter and match the rest of your kitchen appliances.
Other Available Types
Several other materials are also used when manufacturing steamers. Glass and ceramic are common. However, both of these are fragile and can easily crack, break, or chip. They also may not conduct heat as well as the metal versions.
Bamboo is the traditional material. The natural materials will look beautiful as you display your meal in the steamer. However, the bamboo requires great care and may not be as sanitary as other options.
Polypropylene and silicone are modern materials that you’ll sometimes see used. Be careful that you only buy a high-quality steamer made of these materials. Lower quality ones won’t be durable and can leach harmful chemicals into your food.
Don’t base your buying decision solely on price. The cheapest and/or most expensive options are not automatically the best. Instead, focus on investing in a quality steamer that’s constructed of quality materials with plenty of user-friendly features.
The food steamer in your life should make your life healthier and easier. It should be faster working and simple to use.
Stainless steel food steamers are the most popular because the metal is non-reactive, durable, and stain-resistant. The metal also looks beautiful and helps your steamer to look attractive on your kitchen counter.
Other materials used for steamer construction include silicone, plastic, glass, and bamboo. Some are more affordable, and others are the traditional construction material. They each have drawbacks that make them not the ideal construction material for steaming.
The steamer you choose should be large enough to cook your entire meal. You don’t want to overload or pack the food in. This will prevent the steam from effectively cooking the food. Traditional baskets tend to be small, making them limiting and requiring you to buy multiple baskets. Other steamers try to save on space for compact storage, but this also means you sacrifice cooking capacity. A steamer that can accommodate an entire fish will be large enough to cook your entire meal.
Having the ability to add tiers to your steamer makes it more functional. This lets you cook more than one type of food simultaneously. You could cook two different types of vegetables. Or you could prepare vegetables in one tier and your meat in the other. For those dessert lovers, you could prepare the main dish and dessert for multiple courses.
If you’re considering electric stainless steel food steamers, then look at the functions they can accomplish. While you’re focused on the steaming ability, some units can do so much more. The Buydeem All-in-One Intelligent Steamer has built-in functions to stew, make yogurt, thaw, sterilize, and prepare baby food. This gives you more value for your investment and greater versatility in your kitchen.
1. Buydeem All-in-One Intelligent Steamer
This five-in-one steamer comes with pre-set functions to make cooking with steam faster and easier. It heats to temperature in under a minute and will never leak air or steam during cooking. It’s lightweight and made from 316 and 304 food-grade stainless steel for incredible durability. A two-liter water capacity ensures it never runs out of water during cooking, while a dry boil warning alerts you to low water levels, and an automatic shut-off turns the machine off when there’s no water left. The attractive styling of this steamer will have you wanting to leave it out on the counter.
2. Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer
Steam everything from vegetables to beef, poultry, and fish in this double-tiered steamer. The five-quart double-tiered design lets you cook two different foods simultaneously and has a total capacity of five quarts. On the front is a single dial timer that is automatic and goes up to 60 minutes. The steaming bowls are transparent so that you can monitor the cooking process.
3. Mister Kitchenware Handmade Bamboo Steamer
The bamboo basket food steamer is the traditional design that’s been used for centuries. This handmade version is simple to use and works with any pan or pot. The stackable nature of the baskets lets you cook food in multiple layers for a complete meal. You can serve your dishes directly in the baskets with how pretty they are. Bamboo steamers aren’t dishwasher safe and require a special solution of vinegar and water for cleaning. You will also need a pot or pan to place the basket over.
4. Progressive International Steamer
Steam fish and vegetables in your microwave with this polypropylene container. It has a one-quart capacity and adjustable steam control. The surface is non-stick and dishwasher safe for quick cleaning. Fill the bottom compartment with water and place your food in the upper tray. Secure the lid and put it in your microwave for cooking. For easy cleaning, the steamer’s components are dishwasher safe.
5. OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer
This simple to use steamer basket is made of durable silicone. It’s meant for use in a pressure cooker, which you’ll have to purchase separately. The large capacity bottom and high walls help your food to stay contained. The basket rolls up for compact storage and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.