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A high-quality and thoughtfully designed food steamer can serve multiple purposes, but you’ll need a specific type of steamer to fit your available space and your stove. Narrowing down your choices can be difficult, but you can choose the right one by following some key considerations. This buyer’s guide will help you find a quality food steamer for your specific needs.
Electric steamers are typically more robust and come with several containers, pans, or baskets for steaming food. They normally plug into a wall and include different settings and controls for cooking different foods. These machines are terrific multipurpose cooking solutions that also help free up space.
Stovetop steamers consist of two pots — a bottom pot that holds water and a detachable upper pot that can be used as a tray or basket. You stack both pots and then put them on the flame or induction. Water in the lower pot boils and turns into steam that cooks the food in the upper container, then the steaming pot is set on a stove. You should keep in mind that stovetop steamers and stovetop pressure cookers aren’t the same thing.
These versions usually fit inside any container or pot, allowing you to save money on buying a whole steamer. You can take almost any pot from your kitchen, fill it halfway with water, and put the steaming basket inside with your food — then you cover it with a lid, and the steam from the lower pot will cook your food from top to bottom. Steaming baskets take up minimal space and can be used to convert almost any regular pot to a steaming pot, saving you space and money.
You should choose a steamer big enough to cook food for your whole family. If you have a bigger family to feed, you should consider a food steamer with a 1.25 to 1.5-gallon capacity. A smaller 0.5-gallon food steamer can also work for a single person or a couple.
You should also consider your power source while purchasing a food steamer. If you live in an area where electricity is cheaper than gas, buying an electric steamer is a good idea. Stovetop burners are a great choice for people who want to save energy and where gas is a cheaper option for powering their food steamers. Also, you should keep in mind that some stovetop steamers may work on an open flame, such as a gas stove, but they might not work on an electric induction stove.
Because electric steamers are bulkier and larger than stovetop steamers, they need more storage space. Stovetop steamers are usually smaller than traditional cooking pots and pressure cookers though, so you can stow them in a kitchen cabinet or keep them on your countertop. Due to their compact size, storing a steaming basket is most convenient because you can stash them in almost any cabinet without taking up a ton of space.
With its 1.8-gallon capacity, this product allows you to cook more food in one session. And the dual-tier design offers separate cooking surfaces, making it great for people who prefer cooking their meat and vegetables separately or are cooking for someone with special dietary needs. The quick-start and auto-shut-off features have made this food steamer the best overall option on this list.
If you cook for groups of people or have a large family, this option by Beall is a perfect addition for your kitchen. Because it’s an electric steamer, you don’t have to worry about keeping the temperature stable while cooking. You can also keep track of your meals and gauge the water level using its clear lid.
You can control the steaming function with the LCD control panel, and this option is extremely easy to use even for beginners. You also don’t have to constantly keep an eye on it because it alerts you when your food is ready.
Cuisinart offers top-tier kitchen appliances and utensils, and this food steamer is no exception. With a powerful steaming system, it delivers steam from the top down and cooks food evenly. Featuring a 1.3-gallon glass pot, this product can cook everything from grains to meat. You can also choose from the five pre-programmed settings according to the food you’re cooking, helping make sure it’s perfectly cooked inside and out.
If you’re always in a hurry and want to eat healthier, you can rely on its 400-watt powerful motor to cook your food within minutes. The greatest part is that this device steam cooks your food while also maintaining its nutritional content, letting you eat healthy all the time.
The Ovente Electric Food Steamer has a 60-minute timer with 15-minute intervals, letting it cook food on its own without little to no supervision. To ensure your safety, this option comes with a power indicator and auto shut-off features, giving you more peace of mind. You only need water for steaming vegetables, grains, or meat inside it, too — so there’s no messy grease or oil left in the pot, making cleaning a breeze
The package also includes a steam tray, allowing you to steam anything above some rice or soup and quickly create a meal without losing any nutrients. If you aren’t around or forget to take the food out, this steamer automatically switches to warm mode to retain the food’s freshness. Plus, you can just toss the non-stick pot in the dishwasher once your food is ready, so cleaning is pretty easy.
If you’re a fan of traditional-style cookware and are on a budget, the Aroma Housewares Food Steamer is a great choice because of its pot-like design. With its one-touch operation, this option allows you to set it according to the food you’re cooking and then forget about it until your scrumptious and healthy meal is ready to eat.
With its digital touchpad, you can set the timer and control other functions and get perfectly cooked food in a few minutes. This steamer can also keep food hot for up to 60 minutes, and the delay timer lets you put in raw food in advance — then you can set a time to start cooking later, letting you unwind after a long day.
The Hamilton Beach Food Steamer uses a traditional design and stacks dishes to cook different foods simultaneously. It comes with two cooking bowls, letting you cook rice or soap and vegetables or meat at the same time. Plus, you can also remove the divider between the bowls to cook larger portions of food, which is great for bigger families.