Frequently, people will confuse steaming and pressure cooking. However, these methods are not similar in any way. The main difference is the fact that the boiling water does not come in contact with the food during steaming like it does with pressure cooking. Streaming is not only nutritious; it is also very easy if you have the right steamer. Often, steamers are either made of metal or bamboo. The lid of steamers is fixed tightly such that no moisture is released as the food cooks. Using a specialized vegetable steamer is the most convenient and effective way to steam your vegetables.
Best Vegetable Steamer: Best Food Steamers 2018
1. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker Vegetable Steamer
This digital multi-cooker and vegetable steamer makes it to the number one spot on this review. You can easily use it to make restaurant quality food. It has a specialized function for both white and brown rice. You can make steam your meat and vegetables at the same time you are cooking your rice. You can delay the cooking settings by up to 15 hours. This is perfect because you can add the rice and water in the morning and have it ready by the time you get home in the evening. It comes in a neutral and cool color that will look great in any kitchen. Making two cups of rice will take roughly 20 minutes which is perfect when you want to make meals fast.
– Easy to use
– Easy to clean
– Convenient and fast
– The lid is tight which helps to avoid splashes of water
– You can use the keep warm mode to keep your food warm.
– The beep sound may be too loud for smaller apartments
2. Oster 5712 Electronic 2-Tier 6.1-Quart Vegetable Steamer
One thing you can be certain of is the fact that the vegetable steamer is safe for use. It making has used the North American safety standards. You can easily use it to make eggs by laying them on the egg holders that come with the food steamer. It has collapsible steaming trays for easier storage. There is a see-through external water fill system reservoir where you can check to ensure that the steamer has enough water. Its white color will easily blend in with any décor you might have in your home.
– User-friendly with an LCD timer; red for “cook”, and green for “keep warm”
– Easy to use
– Perfect storage for small kitchens
– Somewhat difficult to clean
3. Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice Cooker and Vegetable Steamer
This food steamer is great because it allows you to cook everything from oatmeal to meat, and vegetables. You can cook those while making soft fluffy rice. You will not have to worry about how to clean the steamer because the bowl and the pot are dishwasher safe. Cleaning is, therefore, easier and much more convenient. You will also be able to provide more than enough food for up to six people with both the food steamer and the rice cooker. With aroma, you also get replacement parts in case an item gets too old.
– easy to clean
– easy to use
– fast and convenient
– Has a blunt plastic smell the first time you use it.
4. Premium Vegetable Steamer Basket
Made from high-quality stainless steel, you are certain that you will not have a rust issue in your kitchen. Storage will also not be a problem since it is expandable and collapsible. You will be able to easily clean it in your dishwasher. It is perfect for sterilizing baby items and making baby food too. You can easily remove it from heat using its center ring which prevents your fingers from getting burnt. Once you have bought this vegetable steamer, you will also receive a free recipes eBook from the manufacturer. With its lifetime warranty, you can easily return it if it is not what you were looking for.
– Easy to use
– Dishwasher safe
– Can be used to cook most foods
– The bowl may not be large enough for bigger families
5. MSC International Joie Vegetable Steamer
Joie MSC International is a trusted brand when it comes to kitchen accessories. Therefore, when you set your eyes on their product, there are things you are sure. One, quality of the item is guaranteed, and two, it will not disappoint your expectations. When it comes to vegetable steamers, top of the list is MSC International Joie Vegetable Steamer. It steams dumplings, fish veggies and more to perfection. Health precaution is also taken care by the manufacturers, it has a silicone coated stainless steel. Its design is adjustable, which makes it perfect for various pot sizes with removable handles to fit large items. It is dishwasher safe, therefore, once you are done steaming your meals, you just wash it with other dishes.
– Easy to use
– Adjustable design
– Dishwasher safe
– Stainless steel coating
6. VonShef 10 Inch Bamboo Vegetable Steamer Set
Want to eat tasty meals and live healthily? Sure you do. Then, stop boiling your food and consider getting this traditional bamboo vegetable steamer. It is crafted using natural bamboo wood, which is water resistant and sturdy. Unlike other metal with nonstick coating, with this, you are sure that your food will not stick at the bottom. When you buy this, it comes with two extra free bamboo chopsticks to ensure a complete Chinese culinary experience. It’s ideal for a variety of cuisines. The fact that it’s made of wood, guarantees that all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals in your food are preserved for a healthy lifestyle. You can use it with wok, stockpot or even pan. Has a good size to ensure that everyone in the family has enough healthy meal every day.
– Easy to use
– Affordable compared to other items
– Sturdy and water-resistant
– It’s slightly smaller in size
7. Oster CKSTSTMD5-W 5-Quart Vegetable Steamer
After a long and hectic day in the office, you don’t want to get home and spend another 2 hours in the kitchen trying to make food for the family. Again, you don’t have to take fast food in the restaurant on your way home. You must ensure that your family is healthy and you are not entirely wasted while doing that. What you need is a partner to provide a natural, nutritional and healthy meal for everyone. The Oster vegetable steamer has two cooking bowls, which will automatically save you time. Has a power light indicator for safety and easy monitoring. The bowls are transparent, which gives you the privilege of observing your cooking. When it’s done the cooking or the set cycle is complete, it shuts off automatically also when it runs out on water for general safety.
– Power light indicator
– Auto shutoff when water is empty
– Dishwasher safe
– Transparent steam bowls
– It’s slightly expensive
8. BELLA 7.4 Quart Healthy Vegetable Steamer, Dual Basket
Healthy cooking does not necessarily mean you overstay in the kitchen. With the right items and the right skills, you can feed your family with healthy meals prepared in less than an hour. The Bella 7.4 Quart has two cooking baskets, which gives you room to separate your meals and cook simultaneously. Comes with a manual that allows you to time every meal accordingly to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Maintains the color of your vegetables and gives you the natural nutritional taste. With the set time, once the food is ready it automatically shuts off for safe cooking. It cooks and cuts off unwanted calories from your food for a healthy natural living.
– Easy to clean
– Ideal for different cuisines
– Cuts calories for healthy meals
– Timer numbers are slightly invisible for persons with sight problems
9. Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Covered Stack ‘n’ Steam Saucepot and Steamer
It’s bell-shaped lid and neutral color guarantee that it will work perfectly in your kitchen. With its high-quality material make you are guaranteed that you will have years of functionality. With its tight lid, you are certain that no one will be burnt by water splashes.
– Easy to use
– It cannot cook rice
10. Sunsella Vegetable Steamer
Made of high-grade stainless steel, you are sure of one thing; durability. You will not have to replace it when it falls to the ground several times. The steamer expands to fit into various pot sizes meaning you can make as much or as little food as you want. Its ability to expand and collapse also saves you on storage space. You can easily remove the pan when your food is ready using the central ring. It is easy to clean it because it is dishwasher safe. It is lightweight and easily portable to any room of the home you want to use it in. it is easy to use as the dome expands once you flip it open using your thumbs or fingers.
– Can be used for most foods
– Easy to clean
– Collapses for easy storage
– Free from rust
– The legs lack enough stability
Things to consider when buying a vegetable steamer
Adding water to the food you are cooking drains it of up to 40% of its nutrients. You are therefore left with food to fill your stomach but not many nutrients for your body. Steaming is perhaps the healthiest method of making your food. You are able to preserve nutrients and lock in flavors. When going out shopping, there are several things you must consider to ensure you buy the perfect steamer for your kitchen.
Frequency of use
The first thing you will have to consider is how often you plan on using your steamer. For instance, if you mostly eat out and cook very little food, you will not have to buy a steamer that is too expensive. However, if you are a fan of cooking and make vegetables, meat and fruits frequently, you will definitely need to buy a food steamer that is durable. This will cost more but it will be worth it in the long run.
Size is a very important factor to consider when shopping for the best vegetable steamer. You need to ask yourself, how much food will you be making? Does your family have any plan of expanding soon? Do you frequently host parties for friends and extended family? Will you be using your steamer for sanitizing baby items? If you buy a steamer that is too small, it may not serve its purpose effectively for you. You will also not receive much functionality by using a steamer that is too big for the food you will be cooking.
If you will be using your steamer as a sanitizer too, you need to ensure that it has a large capacity lid that will allow you to sterilize different bottle accessories and pacifiers. If the amount of food you cook varies each week, you may want to buy a steamer that can be collapsed and expanded. Such a steamer will allow you to make different amounts of food comfortably. It will also serve you for a long time if you have a small family but intend on expanding in the near future.
One thing you will definitely need to consider is where you will store your vegetable steamer. If you have a large kitchen, then space is probably not a problem. You can, therefore, buy any steamer you want. If you are short on space, on the other hand, you will need to consider how storage will be effective for you. For instance, you may want to buy a steamer that can fit into your kitchen without throwing off the aesthetics. Consider buying an electric steamer that can be broken down into various pieces of a steamer that can be collapsed into a smaller size. This way you can have a steamer and enjoy storing it in your small kitchen space.
The last thing you want in your kitchen is for your food steamer to look weird and unhygienic after several years of use. You have to consider what material you want. For instance, with bamboo, the food steamer will look great for the first several years. It will change color with time. If you will be using it frequently it will change color sooner than you would like.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, will remain the same even after years of use. You stop using it because you outgrew it or it bored you not because its quality changed. Some steamers are made of plastic; you will, therefore, need to verify that the plastic is safe for human consumption and that it will not produce toxins at some point.
Another factor to look at when choosing a material is the décor in your kitchen. Everything needs to fit perfectly into the theme color and designs you have chosen for your kitchen. The material you buy will, therefore, need to be perfect for your cooking and decoration needs.
Type of steaming
You will also need to consider what type of steaming you will be doing frequently. There are many different food steamers for different types of steam.
The suspension is the easiest steaming method. It involves suspending food over boiling water. It is perfect because it is simple and can be used for all types of food.
Sealing, like the name, suggests mainly involves using a wax paper or bamboo leaves to seal food. You can choose the Indian or Chinese method of sealing food. You then tie the food with a string and place it in a perforated vessel that is rested on boiling water. This may be the perfect way to steam food because it allows the food to cook in its own juices and retain the flavors within the seal.
Immersion is a popular method of steaming rice. After rice is immersed in water, it is cooked over steam until all the water simmers and that rice is ready for consumption.
Ease of cleaning
You also need to consider how long it will take you to clean your steamer. The last thing you want is to have to spend ages at the sink cleaning. You also do not want the embarrassment that comes with kitchen utensils that are not well cleaned. When shopping for a steamer, ensure that it does not have any perforations that can trap dirt. Prefer baskets with removable bases which are easier to clean.
Even with the best steamer in the world, it is easy to overcook the vegetables. If you do not set the time right, you may still lose nutrients from the food you cook. Find a steamer with a digital timer. Digital timers are more accurate that clockwork timers which tend to stop before their allotted time.
Ensure that your steamer has an external water gauge that will tell you how much water is in the streamer chamber. With the minimum and maximum filling marks, you will be able to find a perfect measure of water for your food without letting the steamer dry out.
How to get the perfectly cooked food
There are several things you will need to have in mind when making your food.
The aim of steaming your food is to ensure that you preserve all the nutrients. You, therefore, need to avoid removing the lid frequently. If you can, but a steamer with a glass lid that will help you keep the nutrients in your food and still see how your food is cooking. Removing the lid frequently causes moisture to be lost and may prompt you to add water to the cooking food.
Steam is dangerous. Always remember to open the lid away from your hands and face. Also, do not look into the pot immediately after removing the lid.
For effective steaming, arrange larger pieces of food in a single layer. Always leave room between each piece to allow for air circulation. The aim is to always make way for the steam to circulate so that your food cooks evenly.
Types of vegetable & food steamers
There are several types of steamers that you can use for your food.
Bamboo vegetable steamers
These have been most commonly used in Asia. The main benefit of using a bamboo steamer is that you can steam your food with very little water. You will also enjoy the fact that you can steam more than one type of food at the same time. The bamboo steamer is placed in the cooking vessel. It usually has its own lid and so it can be used in any vessel.
These are the least sophisticated. You can use a stainless steel food steamer basket and fit it into any vessel. Ensure that the water does not come into contact with the food. With this method, however, you will be required to set a time or keep checking your food because it can easily overcook.
Microwave vegetable steamer
Most of the microwave vegetable steamers are made of plastic and are shaped like a cake. Because they are used inside the microwave, they steam food quickly and timing can be regulated easily.
Electric vegetable steamers
This vegetable steamer is perfect for modern homes. The steaming timing can be regulated with just the touch of a button. They come with removable bowls and pots that allow them to hold various foods. They also have a warm function that keeps your vegetables warm before they are served.