Technology once again proves its worth. The invention of steam cookers has boosted the ease of cooking in our kitchens. Steam cookers, unlike pressure cookers, can cook your food using only steam and not the water itself. This means that your food does not get into contact with the water.
This ensures that the nutrients are not soaked up in the water. This method has proved its worth in preparing vegetables and other recipes that you wouldn’t want to lose their nutrients. It gets further easier when you have the right food steamer to get the job done.
Most steam cookers in the market are made of either bamboo or metal because of their durability. The lids of these appliances are designed to airtight to ensure that no steam will escape during the process. This improves their efficiency to prepare your food quickly and easily.
The following reviews are a keen selection of the best steamers that will just do what they are supposed to do perfectly. You can also find microwave vegetable steamers here.
The best steam cookers
1. Aroma Housewares Digital Vegetable/ rice steamer
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In case you don’t have the Aroma Housewares Digital steamer, I can honestly tell that preparing veggies and rice have not been a bed of roses for you. This steamer is capable of performing multiple functions and preparing just any meal for you including steamed rice, vegetable and even make you a mouth-watering cake!
It prepares 8 cups of cooked food enough to fill the stomachs of an average family. Time is money and this steamer understands that just fine. With the built-in steamer function, this appliance can prepare meals that taste better with nutrients maintained above and at the same time cook rice and other meals below.
The many cooking options including slow cooking, a 15-hour delay timer, and saute-then-simmer (STS) functions make this multicooker a friendly appliance to any family. Speaking of how friendly it can be, this cooker has user-friendly programming. The easy to use digital panel allows you to set your cooking preferences and let the cooker do the rest.
Besides, after preparing your food, the cooking mode automatically switches to keep warm function until when you feel you are ready to eat. Surprisingly enough, it has a flash rice function that allows you to prepare rice with half the time for normal cooking.
The lid has been made tight enough to quicken the cooking by retaining steam. This digital steamer and rice cooker comes with a plastic rice spatula, a steamer tray, a standard rice measuring cup, and a non-stick inner steamer pot. The non-stick properties allow for easy serving without using metallic spoons and make it easy to clean too. All the accessories can be removed once done with the cooking allowing you to easily wash them. The cooker is dishwasher safe.
2. Oster 5712 Electric Steamer
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If you are looking to retain the nutrients, flavor and at the same time preparing healthy meals, then the Oster steamer is just what you are describing. This multi-function steam cooker has a capacity of 6.1 quarts and is 2 tiered. It is capable of making you almost anything you want. The two stackable transparent steaming bowls of sizes 3.8 and 2.3 quarts allow you to prepare two different meals at the same time without either affecting the other’s nutrients and taste.
It comes with 8 egg holders that can be placed in the larger bowl allowing you to easily prepare eggs whether soft or hard-boiled using the steam. You can also use this cooker to prepare fluffy and perfectly cooked rice. Here is how to cook steamers. Add the rice to the rice bowl that can hold up to 10 cups and carefully place it in the lower steaming bowl. Remember to cover it using the lid and allow the food steamer to finish the rest.
The cooker is also easy to store as it collapses to fit into smaller spaces. The transparent external water fill system enables you to monitor the amount of water in the steamer. If the water level is not right, don’t worry about the stress that comes with removing all the steaming bowls. Simply add in water using the exterior water inlet located on the base of the unit.
Have you seen the user-friendly control button on this cooker? With just a press of a button, things begin running. You can program the cooking time to up to 95 minutes. It has the keep warm setting that is automatically switched to maintaining an ideal temperature for serving for up to an hour, just enough to get your dining table set. Furthermore, you can delay the cooking for up to 12 hours.
The cooker is made of easy to clean material that is top-rack dishwasher safe. The cooker features a drip tray to collect possible spills, a recipe book, and a user manual. This cooker is so beautiful with its white external finish that brightens any kitchen.
3. Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice cooker and vegetable steamer
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Get fully covered in your kitchen with the Aroma 6-cup pot-style rice cooker and vegetable steamer that prepares nutritious, delicious and hearty one-pot flavors every time. Use this multi-function cooker to prepare anything for a big family including vegetables, rice, and even cakes. You can steam veggies while rice cooks below all at the same time.
The steamer allows for user-friendly programming. You can simply set the cooking time of your choice and allow the steamer to do what it does best as you catch up with the latest movie. With just a flip of a switch, you are sure of a perfectly cooked meal. The full view tempered glass lid allows you to monitor how your food is preparing.
After your meal is ready, the steamer automatically switches the mode to the keep-warm function. Its accessories include a non-stick inner pot, a rice spatula made of plastic for easy serving, a rice measuring cup, and a steam tray. Both the bowl and pot are dishwasher safe.
4. Premium Vegetable Steamer Basket
If you have been in deep search of a long-lasting steamer basket, then the Premium Vegetable Steamer basket has it all for you. With its high-quality stainless steel construction, you will be certain that rust issues wouldn’t even be an issue anymore!
This dishwasher safe and easy to use steamer works great for any mom when sterilizing baby items or preparing baby food, a college student and even home cooks. Using a vegetable steamer basket ensures that the nutrients in the veggies are preserved. Just in case you thought you had seen the best of this beautiful steamer with a safety tool and removable center loop to ensure your hands don’t get burnt, this steamer basket has a free julienne peeler and a recipe ebook!
This tool of diameter 5.5’’ to 9.3’’ and leg height of 0.9’’, can hold a large number of veggies as it is expandable to fit a wide variety of pot and pan sizes, a great plus over silicone baskets. Storage is also made easy with its collapsible body.
This steamer basket works well with electric power pressure cookers and instant pots in preparing veggies, eggs and so much more. It can be used as multiple accessories such as egg rack, strainer, colander or trivet. Thinking of what to get your relative or friend who has an instant pot? This item is a great gift idea!
5. Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer
If you are thinking of cutting the many hours you spend in your kitchen cooking, then getting this 5-quart double-tiered food steamer is all that you need for a healthy, delicious and nutritious meal for your family. It steams veggies, poultry, fish, and meat perfectly every time.
Just in case you are wondering if the double-tiered design will fit your kitchen, well good news, the two steamer bowls nest and fit into the smallest parts of the shelf. The two steamer bowls can cook two different dishes simultaneously without mixing flavors saving greatly on your time.
You are now able to set the cooking time for up to 60 minutes. The steamer automatically shuts off when the cycle is complete or when water levels have reduced. The visible power indicator light ensures that you are aware of when the process has begun or ended. You can also monitor through the transparent steamer bowls.
The parts of this steamer are all dishwasher safe. Simply put it on the top rack of your dishwasher after cooking.
6. Farberware Classic 70043 Stack ‘n’ Steam Saucepot and Steamer
Isn’t this steamer just classic to say the least? The mirror finish of the stainless steel lightens up your world of recipes. Its durable stainless steel construction ensures efficiency and convenience over a long period. Its bell-shaped lid is airtight to ensure that no splashes can accidentally burn the cook’s hand. This appliance can be used as a microwave steamer for up to 350 degrees F.
The 3-quart stack ‘n’ steam covered with saucepot and a steamer distributes heat evenly made possible by the full cap base that features a thick aluminum core and a touch of stainless steel around it. This offers versatility in steaming, boiling and simmering.
This stacking steamer can prepare perfect meals using the steamer insert or even without it. The iconic styled perfect gripping handles ensure that holding the steamer is the simplest and most classic thing to do. This appliance is dishwasher safe and works great with all pots and pans from Farberware collections.
7. BELLA 7.4 Quart Vegetable Steamer of Dual Basket
To get your big family a quick healthy meal, the 7.4 quart Bella Vegetable steamer has two separate steaming containers that can prepare two different meals simultaneously. All you’ll need to do is set the cooking time and turn it on. The cooker starts heating quickly and can steam your food for even less than 30 seconds.
The cooker switches itself off after the set time has run out. The two baskets are transparent to allow control and monitoring of the cooking process. The water reservoir view window allows you to keep watch of the water level to ensure perfect cooking. With the Bella vegetable steamer, there is no room left for guessing.
With Bella vegetable steamer, we have refused to confine your creativity to a small space. It’s time to decide what you want to prepare from veggies, meat, and tofu to grains and fish. This reduces the number of hours spent in the kitchen especially for families with different dietary preferences.
The two steaming containers, the grain tray, and the lid are all dishwasher safe hence easy to clean. Cutting the using of oil surely means easy to clean up. This small and convenient kitchen appliance works great with any sized kitchen.
8. Sunsella Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer
The Sunsella vegetable steamer features an entirely 100% high-grade stainless steel that ensures you see it shinny and of the same shape every day on your kitchen shelf every time you need it. This vegetable steamer is sized 5.3’’ to 9.25’’ in diameter and of height range 2’’ to 3.35’’ including the leg height can expand to fit different pot sizes. It can also collapse to allow easy storage.
After unpacking this item, you will be able to conveniently use it immediately. There are no assemblies required as all the parts are intact. The legs and center posts are fixed already allowing you to steam your veggies nice and easily. The stable and sturdy center ring ensures comfort in removing the steamer from a pot.
This item can steam your veggies, eggs, meat, chicken, seafood, and fruits ensuring that all the nutrients and mineral salts are retained. This appliance is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
FAQs on the best steam cooker
Q: What is the best vegetable steamer to buy?
A: When selecting the best steam cooker, you have to consider specific factors such as if its multipurpose, its size, if it’s programmable and the accessories it can support. The following steam cookers have most of these unique features;
- Aroma Housewares Digital Vegetable/ rice steamer.
- Oster 5712 Electronic 2-Tier Steamer
- Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice cooker and vegetable steamer
- Premium Vegetable Steamer Basket
- Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer
- Farberware Classic 70043 Stack ‘n’ Steam Saucepot and Steamer
- BELLA 7.4 Quart Vegetable Steamer of Dual Basket
- Sunsella Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer
Q: What can I cook in a steamer basket?
A: Steaming ensures that food is gently cooked and nutrients are retained. Most steamers tag along with an inexpensive vegetable steamer basket that can fit into various pot sizes. Some of the foods one can cook in a steamer basket include:
Knowing how to steam veggies is a great way of ensuring that the nutrients are not lost in the entire cooking process while maintaining a tender exterior surface and a crispy interior one. The amount of time you will require to steam a vegetable fully depends on its density. Carrots, for instance, will take a longer time to steam that spinach.
Everyone enjoys moist meat. Steaming provides just that. You should however use already tenderized meat cuts as steaming is not able to tenderize as other methods do.
With a steam basket, you can now steam your dumplings and store them in a refrigerator to be used the next day. Re-steam them for five minutes when serving time is due.
With a steaming basket, you can now steam fish or shrimp to a tenderized meal.
- Poultry and small birds
Poultry works just fine with steaming. Jus ensures to makes small dissections on the thicker sides of the chicken to ensure even cooking. You can use a tasty soup as the steaming liquid to add flavor.
Q: Is steaming food good for you?
A: Let’s kick off this debate positively. Steaming food is very good for you. This might be an understatement in regards to just how science has proven valid and healthy to steam food instead of conventional methods. Here is why;
- No oil is required
Steaming works by use of steam from the boiling water that is used to cook your food. This is in contrast to the conventional methods of cooking that require oil. This means that you will be consuming less and less fat content in the food.
- No burning nor over-cooking
When using your pan or grill to prepare your meal, chances are that your food will get burnt or overcooked in some way. With a steamer, such issues become something of the past. Steamers have timers that one can set to ensure the food does not overcook. Meals such as vegetables will only take less than 5 minutes lowering chances of overcooking.
- No mixing up of different food flavors
Most steamer baskets have the tow tiered systems allowing you to prepare two separate meals simultaneously without the flavors of either mixing. This minimizes heat energy as well as time.
- Steaming ensures nutrients are retained
Most vitamins such as vitamin B essential for a robust neurological function and vitamin C required for efficient metabolic body reactions are highly damaged when in contact with hot boiling water. According to scientists, steaming of vegetables and other foods ensures limited damage to these nutrients.
- Cancer-fighting components are retained
Glucosinolates, cancer-fighting components, are majorly found in vegetables such as broccoli, cabbages, and cauliflower. The components get destroyed when the vegetable is overcooked. Steaming makes use of lower temperatures to cook ensuring that these components are preserved for our consumption.
Q: Can I use a colander as a steamer?
A: Yes you can. Just place the food to be prepared on the colander and carefully place it on your pot of water. The water should be enough to just slightly touch the bottom of the colander.
Q: What is the best food steamer?
A: Here the best food steamers;
- Aroma Housewares Digital food steamer.
- Oster 5712 Electronic 2-Tier food Steamer
- Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice cooker and food steamer
- Premium food Steamer Basket
- Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer
- Farberware Classic 70043 Stack ‘n’ Steam Saucepot and Steamer
- BELLA 7.4 Quart food Steamer of Dual Basket
- Sunsella Stainless Steel food Steamer
Q: How do you cook tamales without a steamer basket?
A: Tamales are made up of a tender tough rolled up in a corn husk and tied up with veggies, meat and seasonings tucked inside it. The corn husk serves to protect the tamale when steaming and can act as a serving container too. Steaming ensures tender and soft dough as compared to baking. In case you lack a steamer basket, here is how you can do it in a regular pot.
Step 1: Place a round metallic rack inside a pot. Add water to reach just below the top of the metal rack.
Step 2: In an upside-down position, place a metal bowl in the pot ensuring it rests on top of the rack. It should be of a heat-safe material. The bowl should be slightly smaller than the pot such that 1 to 2 inches of space are left from the pot to the bowl on either side.
Step 3: Stand the tamales in an upright position between the bowl and pot ensuring that they do not overlap.
Step 4: Place a lid on the pot and heat until the water starts to simmer.
Step 5: Steam your tamales for about an hour checking them after 15 minutes to note on water levels and add when necessary.
Step 6: Using a pair of tongs, remove the tamales from the pot. Cool the tamales for about 15 minutes on a rack to allow you to open them comfortably.
Q: How do you use a food steamer?
A: Simply boil the water until steam is let off. Allow the steam to cook your food. You might require some patience to allow the food to perfectly cook. You may use recipe books that are accompanied by the steamers to prepare your meals.
Some food steamers, however, allow you to set the timer and the steamer automatically shuts off or beeps on completion.
Q: How do you clean a metal steamer basket?
A: Metal steamer baskets need to be cleaned before storage to ensure that they last longer. You can do the cleaning either using hands or washing the item in a dishwasher.