Nutritional experts stress the importance of getting nutrients from the foods that you eat. This is not always the case for most of us. For generations, we have been fed overcooked vegetables that have had all the nutrients sucked out of them during the cooking process. So, is there a way to avoid this? The answer is absolutely yes. Improvements in food steaming technology have made it possible to not only get all of the nutrients out of the vegetables you eat but to also make them taste much better in the process. This guide will help you find the best food steamer to fit the needs of your household.
How does a food steamer work? Well, the name implies just about all that you need to know. Food steamers have been around in various forms for hundreds of years, but it is the modern designs that get the most out of this type of food preparation. They cook in a sealed vessel that keeps the food’s natural water content from escaping. It keeps foods much moister than other forms of cooking. You also don’t need to use oils in the food preparation process.
TOP 6 BEST FOOD STEAMER REVIEWS
After an extensive review of different food steamer models here are six that we found to be of exceptional quality:
|Picture||TOP PICKS||Our Rating||Steam Trays||Price||Our reviews|
|CUISINART STM-1000 FOOD STEAMER||9.1 /10||1||Read review|
|BELLA HEALTHY STEAMER||8.8 / 10||2||Read review|
|OSTER 5-QUART STEAMER||8.3 / 10||2||Read review|
|HAMILTON BEACH DIGITAL STEAMER||8.1 / 10||2||Read review|
|VIANTE CUC-30ST FOOD STEAMER||8.2 / 10||3||Read review|
|AROMA HOUSEWAREDIGITAL RICE COOKER AND FOOD STEAMER||8.1 / 10||2||Read review|
#1 CUISINART STM-1000 COOKFRESH DIGITAL GLASS STEAMER
This is a great kitchen product from the reputable manufacturer Cuisinart. They are renowned for making small kitchen appliances that work great and last a long time. This model food steamer certainly does nothing to hurt that type of reputation. It is an excellent all-around product.
This ‘CookFresh’ model food steamer has many first-class features that are built into it. There are the LED touchscreen controls that make steaming with the preprogrammed settings very easy, and there are even pause and reheating buttons on the display too. Another nice feature is the removable 1-liter water storage container.
What did we like the most about this unit? Rarely do we come up with a unanimous decision on these things on a product but we did in the case of this Cuisinart food steamer. The 5-liter glass steamer dish was a big hit among us. We liked the way you could see your food as it was being prepared and also the fact that it had a stainless steel inlay inside it as the cooking surface. The glass steamer dish is dishwasher safe and can even be used as a serving tray. This gives the user some big advantages over food steamers that use plastic steamer trays.
Was there anything we did not like about this model? Of course, because no product is ever perfect by any means? For one thing, this is one of the pricier model food steamers on our list. The cover that comes with it seems to go on a little awkward, and there was also mixed opinions as to whether this food steamer was a little bulky or not.
Overall though, it would be very hard not to recommend this Cuisinart food steamer for purchase if it fits your budget. It simply has a lot to offer those that like to prepare easy and healthy steam-cooked meals. A very nice design here from this popular kitchen appliance company.
#2 BELLA HEALTHY STEAMER BASKET
This is the ideal solution for those people that want to enjoy delicious steamed foods but don’t want to spend a fortune to do it. This is an economical food steamer that will do the job nicely for anyone who owns it. It has some great features that you would not expect from a food steamer that is as affordable as this one.
Some of the features this food steamer includes are such things as a boil-dry safety shutoff and an automatic shutoff system too. You get the peace of mind that this machine is very safe to use. It has a nice water reservoir window built right into it, and the twin cooking baskets are certified BPA free. The whole unit weighs less than 5 pounds which makes it very convenient to move and to store. Cleanup with this model food steamer is easy as well.
What did we like best about this handy little food steamer? It had to be the dual basket steaming system. It is a great way not to waste extra time cooking meats and vegetables separately; with this system, you can cook them both at the same time. It simplifies the cooking process for those that like to prepare entire meals by steaming.
There were a couple of drawbacks to this system as you can expect with any food steamer in its price range. For one, the controls are a little awkward, and it is hard to duplicate the exact steaming process time after time. The lettering on the timer settings is a little small, so you need to strain to see it in low light conditions.
Overall this is a very good food steamer for its price range. It is hard to complain about the minor inconveniences this food steamer has with the cost you pay for it.
#3 OSTER 5-QUART STEAMER-WHITE
If there is one name you can always trust when it comes to small kitchen appliances, it is Oster. They have built a nice little food steamer here that should make anyone happy that purchases it. There is simply much to like about this product that makes enjoying wholesome and easy to prepare steam-cooked meals at home.
There is a lot you can do with this convenient Oster food steaming product. You can steam meats, vegetables, rice and even make baby foods with it. It has two convenient steaming so you can cook more than one part of the meal at a time. That alone will cut down significantly on your food preparation time.
This food steamer also has other great features such as an auto/low water shutoff, a 60-minute timer to keep track of your cooking progress and a power light to let you know it’s working. This unit also cleans up easily, and the steamer trays are dishwasher safe too.
What is the best thing about this Oster Steam Cooker? Without a doubt, it has to be the incredibly low price that it sells for. We have already told you about the many features it has that make it easy to use. You see many of the features it has on much more expensive food steamer models. This unit is a great deal.
There were a few concerns we had with this food steamer too. For starters, even though it has dual cooking trays there is no way to time or cook each tray; you have to keep an eye on each cooking tray separately until the food in it is done. The cooking trays are small too so it only has the capability to prepare small meals; if you have a big family, you will need to purchase a bigger size food steamer.
For what you pay for it though this food steamer from Oster works incredibly well. It will help you prepare delicious steamed meals easily if you have a smaller size family.
#4 HAMILTON BEACH DIGITAL STEAMER – 5.5 Quart
This is a pretty well-designed food steamer that Hamilton Beach has made. It offers a lot of versatility in the ways you can steam food with it, and it’s is very easy to use with the digital controls it has. It’s a very good model food steamer for the price it retails for.
It features dual cooking trays, a digital touchpad and other cooking conveniences such as an automatic warming setting after the cooking timer has reached its set point. This food steamer can also be taken apart and nested for easy cabinet storage. It is very clear that Hamilton Beach put some thought into the design of this food steamer before it went into production.
What is it we like best about this Hamilton Beach food steamer? Without a doubt, it has to be the versatility built into its design. Many steamers have dual cooking trays for cooking meats and vegetables separately, but not many have a removable piece between these trays. This Hamilton Beach steamer has this feature, and it allows you to steam bigger cuts of meat and larger sections of vegetables when it is removed from between the two cooking trays. It means you can do a lot more with this steamer unit than you can with many others.
What are the drawbacks associated with this Hamilton Beach food steamer? One of the nuisances with this food steamer is that the alarm is not very loud and when it does sound off it can be complicated to turn back off again. Some of us also thought it was a little flimsy in some areas of the plastic cooking tray and that cleanup was not as simple as it should be.
There are no deal breakers for us here with any of the drawbacks. Especially considering the ease of use this machine offers with the digital controls and the versatility of this unit as far as the size of foods you can steam with it. For its price point, it is a very good food steamer in our eyes.
#5 VIANTE CUC-30ST INTELLISTEAM COUNTER TOP FOOD STEAMER WITH 3 SEPARATE COMPARTMENTS
If you are one of those people that truly love to steam the foods you eat, then this is a top of the line food steamer that you will love. Viante has come up with a food steamer design that truly sets it apart from the competition. This steamer does many food steaming tasks at the same time and does them well.
There are almost too many features on this model to mention in a short review, but we will give it a shot. The controls on this unit are all touch-activated and will allow you to choose a wide variety of options for your steamer settings. You can even set times for the unit to come and start cooking all by itself.
It also features three completely separate, sturdy cooking compartments. There are two smaller compartments which are ideal for steaming vegetables and one larger compartment that is great for steaming meats. This food steamer features a visible water level gauge and is extremely easy to clean after use too.
What is the best thing about the VIANTE CUC-30S? Without a doubt, it’s the ability this product has to steam the three separate steaming trays at the same time at different temperatures. That feature alone solves the very thing that most food steamer buyers complain about after they purchase one for themselves. This ability means you can cook meat in the large cooking tray at one temperature and cook vegetables in the two smaller cooking trays at completely different temperatures.
Was this food steaming product perfect? There are a few things that were concerning. Most noticeably the price you pay for this unit will not fit into everyone’s budget even though you do seem to get what you pay for here. A few of us also thought this machine was a little hard to learn how to operate and the smaller cooking trays do not seem to get as hot as the large cooking tray.
Overall this food steamer is a pretty incredible product where any potential drawbacks will easily be overlooked by anyone who purchases and uses it.
#6 AROMA HOUSEWARES NUTRIWARE 14-CUP (COOKED) DIGITAL RICE COOKER AND FOOD STEAMER
This is probably the most versatile food steaming product on our list. Aroma Housewares has an outstanding reputation for making great products that use steam as their primary means of cooking. This food steamer doubles as an excellent rice cooker and can even be used to sauté foods.
Everything about this unit is well-designed. It features all digital controls that can handle all your steaming needs with a simple press of a button. You can make all different types of rice with it and steam the rest of the meal right while your rice is cooking. There is even a sauté setting that will cook your food on high heat until you add water and then the heat automatically lowers. This is also an easy to clean product because of all the non-stick, smooth surfaces it features in its construction.
What do we like best about this Aroma Housewares kitchen product? It has to be the typical superior construction that we see on all Aroma Housewares products. They are built to last a long time. This rice cooker/food steamer has a nice stainless steel interior to do your cooking on; that ensures that your cooking will be allergen free and easy to clean up afterward. The outside finish is also made of a durable and easy to clean ceramic type material, and the digital controls are well manufactured too.
We did have some questions and concerns about this product. It was highlighted how versatile this product is, and it’s true, but it is probably much better at cooking rice than it is at steaming food. That means if you steam foods only occasionally it will work fine for you but if you like to steam foods often then you might want to take your food steamer search in another direction. There is also no secondary food pot for use when steaming so it will take you longer to prepare an entire steamed meal with this model.
So if it is versatility you seek from any food steamer purchase you will make, then this Aroma Housewares product may be perfect for you.
FOOD STEAMER BUYING GUIDE
Many people make the common mistake of thinking they can just grab any food steamer off the shelf at a store or press a button to order the first food steamer they see online. That is not a good way to go because food steamers have good and bad qualities just like any other product. Here are some things you should be concerned with on any model food steamer that you buy. Use these as a buying guideline to steer you into getting the right product for you at the right price.
Why set a budget range you are willing or can afford to spend? You will notice when you are shopping for a food steamer there is a wide variety of choices and a wide variety in the quality of the models available. By setting a spending budget for yourself, this will help eliminate many food steamer choices from your buying decision and help you narrow down your choices. It makes no sense spending time looking at a particular food steamer if it does not fall within your set budget range.
This is one of the most often overlooked areas when people are deciding which model food steamer to buy. That is not good because it is one of the most critical areas that need to be addressed if you are going to buy a food steamer that you are satisfied with. Here are some of the key characteristics of the steaming pots or steaming trays that a particular model food steamer has that you need to consider:
The more steaming pots or steaming trays a model food steamer has, the more foods you can cook at once and the faster you can prepare an entire meal. Having multiple steaming pots or trays is usually not an important factor if you are an occasional steam cooker or do not steam more than one type of food at one time.
The material a steaming pot or steaming tray is made out of is important too. Avoid purchasing a food steamer that uses very flimsy plastic steaming trays or steaming pots. These should be made only of heavy duty plastics, stainless steel, glass or other sturdy materials because of the heavy use they will get when you are using your steamer.
The size of the steaming pots or trays a particular model food steamer has is important to consider because it dictates what types of food you can steam conveniently. Having smaller sized serving pots or serving trays is fine if you are only steaming vegetables but you need larger steaming pots/trays to steam such things as bigger cuts of meat.
- Serving Trays
Another nice feature that some model food steamers have is that their steaming pots or trays will double as a serving dish. This can make cooking and serving a wholesome steamed meal extremely convenient for you.
Just as there is a variety of different food steamer models in the marketplace, so too is there a variety of ways that these units can be controlled. Here are some control characteristics that can influence your food steamer buying decisions:
- Digital or dial controls
- Adjustable heat settings
- Separate cook settings
- Preprogrammed buttons
- Warming functions
- Safety shutoffs
So consider these control functions in order to purchase a food steamer that is both easy to use and can do everything you expect from it during the food steaming process.
You want a food steamer that is made out of quality materials that are very durable. Most people will take their food steamer in and out of storage a lot so it must be able to take all the wear and tear that cooking and storing it will put it through. Exterior food steamer surfaces should be made out of such materials as rigid plastic, stainless steel, and ceramics. Make sure all the handles fasten on securely, and the controls that the unit has are not installed in a manner where they are attached flimsily or will expose them to breakage.
It is essential when you are cooking with steam to be able to monitor and control the water that is necessary to do this cooking properly. That is why any food steamer that you are thinking about purchasing should have such things as a visible water reservoir or a water gauge that you can look at to see how much water is left inside the unit.
Adding water during the food steaming process is critical and necessary at times too. So any food steamer you are thinking about purchasing should have a detachable water container you can fill or have a convenient place to add water to the unit as you are steaming your meals.
If you are not an avid food steamer and will only use your unit on occasion, you may want to consider a type of food steamer that will do more than just steam the foods you like to eat. Try to find a food steamer that will let you do other types of food preparation too. A good example of this is the Aroma Housewares model that is #6 on our list of the best food steaming products. This model not only steams the foods you like but it will also allow you to cook a variety of different rice’s and you can even sauté foods with it. By purchasing a food steamer that can do other cooking tasks, you will still get your money’s worth from even it if you only occasionally steam your food.
Ease of Clean Up
Food steamers tend to be a little bit messy when cooking some types of food in them. You don’t want a model food steamer that is difficult to clean, especially if you are going to be using it very often. You want the outside of the food steamer to have a smooth surface that is easy to clean, and the inside cooking pots and trays should be made of a non-stick surface. It is even better if the steaming trays and pots can be disassembled and are dishwasher safe too.
Amount of Use
You should factor into your food steamer purchase the amount of use you will get out of it. Why is this important? It has to do with justifying the amount of money you will spend on a food steamer and the type of food steamer you purchase. As was mentioned before, there is a lot of variety to choose from in the marketplace when it comes to food steamers, and you can easily overspend on a food steamer that does more than you need it too.
If you are a casual food steamer that only does it occasionally, then you don’t need a fancy and expensive model. For those of you that are avid food steamers, you can justify spending more money on a unit that makes the task of steaming food much faster and easier.
Like most products, certain brands of food steamers have an excellent reputation in the industry. Knowing which brand food steamers are the most reputable can help with your buying decision. For instance, if you are having trouble choosing between two food steamers that appeal to you, you may want to purchase the unit that is made by the most reputable manufacturer. So it never hurts to do a little online research before shopping to become familiar with the most reputable food steamer brands.
Products that you purchase should be made of sturdy materials and built to last a long time but even then things built well can be defective and fail on occasion. That is why it is never a bad idea to check to see what type of warranty any food steamer you want to purchase has. The longer the peace of mind you have when you purchase a product the better.
It’s also another one of those product characteristics that can help you choose between two food steamer products that are fairly equal in your eyes.
Food steamers are a great addition to any kitchen. There is a lot to like about these fine and modern kitchen devices. Meals made with them are not only tasty and delicious, but they are also simple to prepare. You don’t have to worry as much about overcooking or burning foods when you are preparing them in a food steamer. It is an effortless way to prepare meals that the whole family will enjoy.
Of the food steamer models that we reviewed, we really liked the Bella Healthy Steamer Basket as an excellent but affordable choice. We also liked the Cuisinart STM-1000 for a food steamer that gives you great value for the money. All the food steamer models we reviewed are reasonably solid choices.
So don’t just purchase the first food steamer you come across. Buy one that fits the type of food steaming tasks that you like to do, is easy to control, and is built solid. If you do these things, then you should have no problem finding a food steamer model that you will be extremely satisfied with.
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