A good steamer could be a great pick, if you love enjoying healthy and tasty snacks with your family and friends. Steaming is a cooking method that can put together some delicious healthy meals, cooking the food by surrounding it with hot vapor in a confined environment.
This is especially good when you are seeking meals that are free from oil or any other fat. You can cook many ingredients including fish, meat, and vegetables.
The food steamers are easy to use, however, if you kind of oblivious as to what parameters to look for when buying one, I can help you with that. You have to look for several features that include the type of steamer, the size, water levels, timers, warming functions, and how easily they can be cleaned.
To start with, there are several types of steamers available in the market, they can vary from being electric, which is rather independent and can be used as a separate appliance, to stovetop steamers that although are not stand-alone they are nowhere less when in terms of output. Further, there are varieties in the stovetop steamers as well, like bamboo steamers or folding food steamers.
Other parameters like the size and water levels are also essential to consider. You might want to look for a warming function as well, to keep your food warm once you are done cooking. This feature especially helps when you have more members to feed and you are frequently rushing around the kitchen preparing food.
I have rounded up a few of them for you, read on and see if any of them works for you.
- 1 What to Look for When Buying a Food Steamer?
- 2 How We Evaluated These Steamers
- 3 10 Best Food Steamers In 2022
- 3.1 Best Overall: Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer
- 3.2 Best High-End: Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer
- 3.3 Best Bamboo: Mister Kitchenware Handmade Bamboo Steamer
- 3.4 Best Digital: Rosewill Digital Steamer
- 3.5 Best Microwave: Progressive International Food Steamer
- 3.6 Editor’s Choice: Secura Stainless Steel Food Steamer
- 3.7 Best Multipurpose: BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer
- 3.8 Best Stovetop: Anolon Classic Stainless Steel Steamer
- 3.9 Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer
- 3.10 Best Material: Oster Steamer Stainless Steel Cookware
- 4 FAQ’s
- 5 Verdict
What to Look for When Buying a Food Steamer?
If you plan on buying a food steamer but don’t know how to choose the best one for you, this segment is for you. We’ve covered all the aspects you need to check in a food steamer. These are some points that’ll help you in selecting the perfect food steamer:
Electric or Stovetop
The first thing you need to check while looking for a food steamer is whether it is an electric steamer or a Stovetop one. Although both the steamers can perform their tasks with utmost perfection, they have some drawbacks. A stovetop steamer requires some effort to cook food whereas an electric steamer doesn’t require water or gas to cook the food. It has pre-set options that make it convenient to use. But, if you want to cook your food with the old ways of steaming, you can opt for the stovetop steamer.
Number of tiers
You should check for the number of tiers in a steamer. If you don’t need to cook much food, you should choose a 2 tier steamer. If you need a large capacity steamer or you often cook a lot of food, you should go for a 3 tier/ 4 tier steamer. You should be aware of your needs and requirements and make decisions accordingly.
You should check the steamer for some extra features such as durability, usage, efficiency, benefits etc. It helps you assess the product better and make decisions wisely. The more the features, the better the product. You should also check whether the warranty is provided with the product or not as electrical appliances can get damaged easily.
You should always check for the size of the food steamer. If you have a small kitchen, choose the steamer that takes less space and has a medium capacity. If you have a big family, choose the steamer with large capacity so that you can make more food at a time. You should select the size according to your needs.
This is one important thing to consider while buying a food steamer. Do check that the steamer is easy to maintain and doesn’t require much of your effort or time. If the steamer is high maintenance, it will take up a lot of your time and effort. So, it’s always better to choose the steamer that is low maintenance but efficient nonetheless.
You should always check the material of the steamer. If the material used is not good or is harmful, it can cause damage. It can also harm you so it’s advised to always check the material of the steamer to prevent any further problems.
How We Evaluated These Steamers
We went through different websites, e-shopping portals, compared different options and checked the product according to our standards. We also read various customer reviews and checked the ratings of different steamers of different ranges. We also asked our colleagues, family members and acquaintances for their views on different products. We asked them about their personal experiences on food steamers. We collected all the data and then studied it for the benefits and drawbacks. We then came up with various standards for checking a food steamer and different things that might be of use to you if you want to buy a food steamer. We have also answered some of the questions that you can’t seem to find the answers to. Our evaluation will definitely help you in choosing the best food steamer.
10 Best Food Steamers In 2022
Best Overall: Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer
Hamilton Beach is a reliable brand in terms of kitchen appliances, as they make some quality products that are within moderate price range.
This steamer with a steel finish has impressive build quality. Although, this looks like it is made of steel but it is constructed out of plastic. The material attachments however are BPA free so you don’t have to worry about possible contamination.
This steamer gives you 5.5 quarts of cooking capacity that is sufficient enough for preparing meals for the whole family. Further, the appliance includes two steaming bowls and a small basket for steaming rice or small portions of ingredients.
The stackable tiers can cook multiple meals at a time and if you are looking forward to cooking large quantities you can simply remove the center divide and you are good to go.
Moreover, the intelligent technology automatically switches to warm when the food is ready. Just fill the steamer with food, set the timer, and sit back while the food steamer cooks for you, it also includes delaying the start and shut off just in case you get a little too occupied in other chores.
You can access the timer and other functions through a digital touchpad making the whole ordeal of managing the steamer comparatively easier.
Best High-End: Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer
The steamer is quite quirky, when it comes to design and build, in a good sense. Cuisinart is a reputable brand in terms of performance as well, so you get a perfect amalgamation of design and performance packed in one.
The steamer is quite compact and space-efficient, thus it will be adorned well on your countertop instead of making the whole space crowded. When talking about the performance the steamer is a powerful steam system, it is preprogrammed with five food settings that include seafood, poultry, grains, vegetables, and manual in case you need to manually set the food settings.
It serves you a 5L capacity dishwasher-safe glass pot, with a glass lid that is rimmed with stainless steel. There is a steaming tray attached that flips accommodating different types of food.
Moreover, the steamer features LCD control panels, a start/stop button, a pause/reheat button, and an audible alert to let you know when the food is done. There is a large cooking pot attached, and you will deliver a water tank of 1 liter capacity for a better streaming experience.
Best Bamboo: Mister Kitchenware Handmade Bamboo Steamer
Bamboo steamers are the more classic and somewhat works on traditional method of steaming and they are more Eco-friendly than any other variant.
This bamboo steamer is an optimum choice if you are seeking a more greener alternative, instead of going for the products that are made of plastic and less Eco-friendly materials.
This bamboo steamer is constructed out of 2 tiered stackable baskets with slatted bottoms, thus they are highly efficient in terms of capacity and cooking. You can steam multiple dishes or food items all at once without mixing them.
The bamboo build allows more moisture absorption, thus the droplets that formed due to condensation do not drip on the food.
The slatted bottom of the basket and the domed bamboo mesh allows the steam to circulate and move more freely, serving you a properly cooked meal.
In case cooking grainier ingredients like rice, you can use parchment paper or any edible leaf to cover the bottom.
The gripes you might come across with this steamer are cleaning. The bamboo steamers are not dishwasher safe, however, you can manually clean them with warm water and vinegar for easy disinfection.
Best Digital: Rosewill Digital Steamer
The stand-alone quality of electric steamers is something that makes them more convenient. When this steamer is doing its job of steaming the meals, you can use the stovetop for other purposes instead of stacking it with pans of boiling water.
Rosewill digital steamer is a perfect choice if you often cater large gatherings or have a family with more members.
It is a triple-tiered steamer with a 9.5-quart capacity, the stackable baskets are made out of BPA-free plastic. The steamer operates through 800w power and turbo steam rings that start generating steam in less than a minute.
Further, this steamer features a 60-minute timer with automatic shut-off when the water levels are low to prevent any mishaps.
There is also a water level indicator attached on both sides, that keeps you informed regarding the water levels, and when your steamer needs more water.
Moreover, the attachments include a rice bowl for steaming rice or grainier foods and built-in egg holders for boiling eggs. The baskets and rice bowls are all dishwashers safe.
Best Microwave: Progressive International Food Steamer
This compact steamer is ideal if you are a travel freak, and love outdoor activities like camping and fishing or you are a college student living all by yourself. The steamer is made out of high heat polypropylene, which is BPA-free.
It is a great timing-saving tool that is designed with an adjustable steam control vent that allows the steam to easily circulate while cooking. The nonstick surface is easy to clean, saving you from all those food smearings.
This steamer is of 1-quart capacity which is perfect for steaming vegetables like broccoli, spinach, fish, or any quick meal.
It is especially ideal for busy parents, college students, singles, or couples. Moreover, it is equally easy to clean just soak it in some warm water and soap, or put it in the dishwasher.
Although, it is a great product considering its intended use however there are a few complaints regarding the flimsy build.
I feel it should be a tad bit deeper to incorporate more food options and there is should be handle ridges for easy handling. Nevertheless, it is a good product considering its intended use.
Editor’s Choice: Secura Stainless Steel Food Steamer
This 8ooW stainless steel steamer can put together multiple batches of steamed meals all at once, great for large families and get together.
Secura is a reliable brand in the niche of kitchen appliances and this steamer by Secura is nowhere less in terms of efficiency and reliability.
The steamer consists of stackable 2 tier steamer baskets that are made of stainless steel. The baskets are durable with keep-cool handles that let you manage the appliance without burning your fingers, they retain the nutrients eliminating the need for cooking oil.
You can whip up varieties of dishes that include ingredients like fish, grains, chicken, etc. If you get easily overwhelmed with the possibility of mishaps, then you don’t need to worry here. This steamer is equipped with anti-dry protection, the steamer automatically shuts off when the water level is down.
If you are less into broiling and fancy steaming, this steamer is going to be your perfect companion with comparatively more superior results on your plate.
Best Multipurpose: BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer
Another two-tiered food steamer was made into my list but this time it is by Bella. This steamer features 7.4 quarts of cooking capacity and two independent containers, the quick start heating system aids you to start steaming in just 30 seconds.
You can steam a variety of meals and even get inventive with exotic dishes like dim sums or dumplings.
This stand-alone steamer is featured with a water reservoir view window that aids you to monitor the water levels and a guess-free steaming guide chart that is embedded on the product for apt steaming results every time.
Moreover, it serves you auto shut off and boil-dry protection when the water levels are low to ensure safe cooking.
Operating this steamer is just as easy as twisting the dial, just turn the dial, set the timer and you are good to go.
The attachments include two steaming containers, a grain tray, and a lid and all these attachments are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
There are however gripes about leaking and if you are more into perfect seamless experience then you may explore other products mentioned in the list.
Best Stovetop: Anolon Classic Stainless Steel Steamer
This steamer is classic as it is made out of stainless steel. Although it is not stand-alone, its versatility is something that makes it stand out.
It can work with a variety of pots like the ones with straight sides or the ones with tulip sides. Use any saucepan of 2 quarts, 3 quarts, or 4 quarts and steam cook your favorite meals.
The steamer also delivers a shatter-resistant glass lid that is rimmed with stainless steel. The lid snugly fits inefficiently locking the heat in and avoiding condensation for perfectly steamed food.
There are dual riveted handles attached and they are big enough for perfect grip. Thus, you can move around with the steamer conveniently without burning yourself or making a mess.
This universal steamer is oven safe as well, thus if you seek to broil your meal after steaming it, you can put the steamer in the oven.
Both the steamer insert and the lid are designed for convenience, you can efficiently clean them either with warm soapy water or put them in the dishwasher.
Although the build is somewhat flimsy, this steamer insert is simple and efficient that won’t let you down.
Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer
OXO is pro when it comes to kitchen tools, they deliver well-designed kitchen tools as well as the other accessories they manufacture.
If you are looking for a more well-structured steamer then you may choose from the other products enlisted that meet your requirements. However, if you are seeking something on the simple and efficient side, then this one is for you.
Don’t get prejudiced looking at the design and build, this steamer is quite power-packed and versatile.
It is designed to work with pots that are 8 inches in diameter, they are ideal for multicookers, pressure cookers and at times they even work with saucepans.
Just put them in any pan or pressure cooker, and you are ready to boil vegetables, eggs, and meat.
The extendable handle rod comes quite handy when you are steaming the meal in deep pans and if you don’t wish to use the handle you can easily remove it and you have an entire surface for whole chicken or fish.
The joints at the base however tend to rust with time, so I recommend you give it a good wash before using it.
Best Material: Oster Steamer Stainless Steel Cookware
This 3-quart Dutch oven steamer by Oster is perfect for steaming different ingredients at the same time as well as it is perfect for re-steaming the leftovers.
It features a stackable casserole and steamer that can sustain the maximum heating temperature of 400 Fahrenheit. It is constructed out of stainless steel that makes it durable and optimum for heavy use.
Further, it is featured with a glass lid that too is rimmed by stainless steel. The lid fits tightly into place allowing you to monitor the food from outside without opening the lid.
It works great on the stovetop and is not meant to work with the induction cooktop.
Generally, any cookware is easy to clean, just put them in the dishwasher and you are good to go, however, you are recommended to wash them manually for longevity.
This space-saving kitchen appliance is great for smaller gatherings and anyone who is living by themselves.
How long does it take to steam food in a steamer?This question must have striked your mind while purchasing a food steamer. Well, we’re here to answer. It depends on the type of food you’re steaming. Like if you’re cooking vegetables, it takes about 5-6 minutes but some vegetables can take longer. It usually takes less time to cook food in a steamer than the normal cooking methods. The time to cook can differ based on the quantity of the food. If you have a big family and you need to make a large serving, it can take more time to cook than usual. In that case, it is best to cook in a large capacity steamer so that no effort and time is wasted. If you have to make a small serving, it won’t take much time to cook the food. So, the time taken to cook or steam the food totally depends on the quantity of food.
What foods can you steam?You can steam almost every type of food ranging from vegetables to meat. Everything can be steamed. You can cook rice, vegetables, pasta, meat and much more in a steamer. You can make your favorite dishes and recipes in a steamer. You can also add herbs and spices in the dish you’re steaming to enhance the taste. Steaming can be a bit difficult to adapt at first but once you get used to it, you won’t want to go back. Some of the food takes more time than the others to steam but steaming can be used regularly to cook food.
How do you descale a food steamer?Before we answer this question, you need to know what descaling refers to. Descale means to remove the deposits, more specifically mineral deposits. A food steamer needs to be cleaned on a usual basis to prevent the calcium buildup in the steamer. This is done in order to ensure the proper working of the steamer. Moving on to the process of descaling; In order to descale a food steamer, you need to follow these steps:-
- Firstly, fill the water container/ base of the steamer with vinegar and distilled water in the ratio of 1:2. Close the lid and steam it.
- Once the mixture has reduced to half, stop the steamer.
- Now, just pour the mixture out on the drip tray.
- Lastly, clean the water tank thoroughly with clean water and keep it aside to dry.
- Once all the parts dry completely, assemble them like before.
Does steaming food kill bacteria?Yes, steaming food kills the harmful bacteria. This is also one of the reasons why steaming is considered as one of the best methods of cooking. You need to cook at a high temperature in order to kill bacteria; preferably more than 175 degrees. It is one of the easiest and efficient methods to kill bacteria. Steaming kills most of the bacteria and makes food healthy to eat. It is always better to steam food at a high temperature so that the harmful bacteria doesn’t remain.
I hope this list would be helpful for you. I have listed best food steamers based on their features and it should help you to stop your search of the perfect food steamer.
If you are seeking more firm build steamers that can cater to more people and larger families, the ones that can work well for you include Rosewill electric steamer, Cuisinart steamer, or Anolon classic stainless steel steamer.
Singles and smaller families may go for the steamer that is comparatively more compact and space efficient. The steamers like Progressive International steamer, or Hamilton beach Digital food steamer.
Eco-friendly steamers like Mister Kitchenware handmade bamboo steamer might prove good if you are looking for more greener options. Although the shelf life of these steamers is comparatively less and they need to be handled with more care and vigilance, they are good for you and the planet.
If in case, you do not like the idea of the full-blown steamer, you can go for the attachments like Oxo good grip stainless steamer that fits into utensils with 8-inch diameter, is easy to store, and gives almost equally efficient results.
I hope this all helped you in your endeavor for a good steamer.