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Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Hamilton Seaside 37530A Digital Food Steamer at Wayfair
A tiered product with spacious divided stacking trays plus a keep-warm placing that instantly turns on for one hour just after cooking.
Best Funds: Oster Double Tiered Foodstuff Steamer at Walmart
Two-tiered steamer can hold up to 5-quarts as well as trays are clear to simply examine on your own food stuff through cooking.
Best Stovetop: Anolon Basic Stainless-steel Steamer Insert at Amazon
Stainless steel steamer and glass lid insert fit on top of pretty much any 2-, 3-, or 4-quart saucepan or pot you now possess.
Best High-End: Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer at Amazon
This steamer can delay to five-liters of food stuff and features a glass cooking pot, Liquid crystal display control panel, and pre-programmed foods settings.
Best Compact: OXO Great Grips Silicone Steamer at Amazon
If you don’t want another appliance to store, this silicone steamer can be rolled up and tucked into a drawer when not in use.
Best Bamboo: Mister Kitchenware 10 Inch Handmade Bamboo Steamer at Amazon
A traditional bamboo steamer that can go from pot to table and comes with 10 disposable basket liners so clean up is easier.
Best Microwave: Progressive International Fish/Veggie Steamer at Amazon
Perfectly sized for steaming quick vegetable side dishes in the microwave, this handy steamer holds water in a tray below the foodstuff.
Steaming is a moist-heat cooking method that cooks food by surrounding it with hot vapor in an enclosed environment. It’s a particularly healthy and effective cooking technique since no cooking oil or other fat is added to the meals. Many foods, including meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables can be prepared with this cooking technique.
Vegetables retain extra of their nutrient content when steamed, as opposed to being simmered or boiled in water where the nutrients can leach out. If you've ever noticed your cooking water has a greenish hue immediately after simmering green beans or broccoli, you've witnessed this occurrence.
There are a number of different types of stovetop and electric steamer options to choose from. Whether you're looking for a stand alone electric product to prepare a feat or a convenient steamer insert to fit in a pot you currently possess for veggies and baby foods prep, we've compiled a variety of food items steamers to meet your needs.
Here's our list of the best meals steamers.
Best Overall: Hamilton Seaside 37530A Digital Food Steamer
Hamilton Seaside 5.5-Quart Electronic Steamer Review
This 5 1/2-quart electric steamer has two tiers that stack for cooking then nest for a lot more compact storage, so it’s both large and small. You can use just one tier for cooking when you don’t have as much meals to cook, or use both tiers when you’re cooking for a crowd. The tiers have a removable center divider, so you may maintain the broccoli from frolicking with the carrots, or remove the divider to cook a large filet of fish.
The rice bowl can be used for rice or for other small foods that need to be contained, like peas or corn off-the cob. When cooking is done, the steamer quickly switches to a keep-warm setting for one hour before turning off to avoid overcooking the foodstuff. Speaking of options, there’s a digital touchpad that makes controlling the cooker easy.
The delay-start feature lets you fill the steamer with produce in advance and start the cooking later. This feature shouldn’t be used for highly perishable foods like fish, poultry, or meat.
This steamer includes a drip tray and rice bowl that are dishwasher safe. The meals containers should be hand washed.
Capacity: 5.5 quarts | Weight: 3.97 pounds | Dimensions: 12.6 x 13.seven x 7.28 inches | Warranty: 1 year
Best Price range: Oster Double Tiered Food stuff Steamer
Oster Double-Tiered Foods Steamer Review
If you’re not sure you’ll be steaming enough food stuff to warrant a high-priced appliance, this 5-quart steamer has plenty of features and also a budget-friendly price. It has two tiers with transparent steaming bowls for cooking foods separately. The timer can be set for nearly 60 minutes, plus the steamer turns itself off when time is up. For safety, it will also shut off when the water reservoir is empty.
There’s a power indicator light that shows when the steamer is on, and easy-to operate controls for setting the cooking time. The meals bowls are top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and they nest for much more compact storage.
Capacity: 5 quarts | Weight: one.15 pounds | Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.4 x 8.8 inches | Warranty: two years
Best Stovetop: Anolon Vintage Stainless steel Steamer Insert with Lid
This steamer insert fits onto pretty much any 2-, 3-, or 4-quart saucepan, including pots with straight sides and those with tulip-shaped pots. The steamer rests on the sides of the pot, so the foods in the steamer bowl remains well about the simmering water.
The steamer is made out of chrome steel and has a shatter-resistant glass lid that fits snugly and keeps the steam contained while also allowing you to peek into the steamer to watch the progress of the cooking.
The steamer and lid are dishwasher safe. If you have a use for it, the steamer is oven-safe to 500 degrees.
Capacity: 2 quarts | Weight: 2.13 pounds | Dimensions: 10.98 x 8.23 x 6.69 inches | Warranty: Lifetime
Best High-End: Cuisinart Electronic Glass Steamer
Cuisinart CookFresh Electronic Glass Steamer Review
If you don’t like the idea of cooking in plastic, this steamer has a five-liter glass cooking pot, a chrome steel steaming tray and a glass lid with stainless steel trim. All parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
The Lcd user interface includes start/stop, pause, and reheat buttons along with pre-programmed food stuff location to make cooking easy. It is possible to also set the controls manually, for custom cooking.
The steaming system delivers the steam from the top down, surrounding the meals and cooking it quickly and evenly. The water tank is removable for easy filling. Two handles on the steamer tray make it easy to remove the cooked meals.
This is available with either stainless steel or white exterior trim.
Capacity: five liters | Weight: 15.75 pounds | Dimensions: 13.7 x 13.two x 9.4 inches | Warranty: Lifetime
Best Compact: OXO Fantastic Grips Silicone Steamer
If you don’t want another appliance on your counter, this silicone steamer will match into any pot with a 7-inch diameter or greater, and it rolls up for easy storage. The stay-cool handles make it easy to lower foods into the pot. Not only can you use this steamer on the stovetop, but it also fits neatly into an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, multi-cooker, or rice cooker. The handles lock together to keep them out of the way when you seal the cooker’s lid.
Silicone is naturally nonstick, so it’s easy to clean, and it’s dishwasher safe, too. For even more versatility, it can also be used in the microwave.
Capacity: N/A | Weight: 0.525 pounds | Dimensions: 13.three x 9.1 x 6.5 inches
Best Bamboo: Mister Kitchenware 10 Inch Handmade Bamboo Steamer
Bamboo steamers are traditional for Chinese dumplings and dim sum dishes, but they’re just as handy for steaming vegetables, chicken, and fish. This set includes two stacking steamer baskets plus a domed lid, so there’s plenty of space for dinner and sides. The two baskets can be used together when there’s a lot to cook, or they can be used separately. The baskets are 10 inches in diameter and designed for use in a wok, but can also be used over a pot that’s an appropriate size.
This set includes a sample of 10 disposable basket liners for foods that might stick to the bamboo, so cleaning is easier. Since the 10-inch size is standard, it’s easy to find additional disposable liners that suit the baskets, as well as reusable silicone liners. It also includes a set of chopsticks that can come in handy for placing and removing the foods and also a sauce dish that can come in handy when it’s time to serve.
Capacity: N/A | Weight: one.69 pounds | Dimensions: 10 inch diameter
Best Microwave: Progressive International Fish/Veggie Steamer PS-46GY
Perfect for steaming vegetables in the microwave, this handy steamer holds water in the tray below, while foods sits above on the perforated basket. A clear lid sits on top and has a tab on top that slides to hold or release steam throughout cooking. The hot steam circulates throughout cooking to evenly steam the food without it getting soggy from sitting in water, and without drying out. This is also perfect for steaming fish, simulating the en papillote technique without the need for fussy paper folding.
To get more flavor, the tray can be filling with flavorful liquids like stock, juice, or plain water with herbs and spices added. This holds one quart, so there’s plenty of space for cooking and it has a nonstick surface for easy cleanup by hand or in the dishwasher.
Capacity: one quart | Weight: 12.5 ounces | Dimensions: 10.75 x three x 7.75 inches
What to Look for When Buying a Foods Steamer
Electric or Stovetop
Steamers come in two varieties: electric or stovetop. The stovetop steamer is an insert that fits into or on top of a saucepan or other pot that's filled with an inch or two of simmering water. The foodstuff is placed in the insert, plus the perforated base of the insert allows the steam to surround and heat the foodstuff. These types of steamers can be found in the following forms:
. Folding or collapsible raised platforms (often built of stainless-steel or silicone) that sit in the bottom of a pot
. A perforated metal pan that nests in a saucepan similar to a double boiler
. A bamboo basket that can rest in a wok.
Electric steamers, meanwhile, can be found with stackable, perforated trays or divided so that large batches of food or different types of food items can be steamed at the same time. Water is added to a chamber, in addition to a heating element heats the water until it turns into steam. Some appliances, such as rice cookers or multi-cookers, have a steamer function. Electric pressure cookers and stovetop pressure cookers often include a steamer tray and can be used as a steamer.
Electric steamers make the job easy, since you simply add water, add food items, and turn on the steamer—you just need to consider in the event you plan to use it enough to warrant the space it occupies on the counter or in storage.
Number of tiers
Think about how much food—and how many different types of food—you expect to steam at once. Steamers with multiple tiers let you hold certain foods separate from one another. Plus, they allow you to add and remove the foods at different times if one is finished before the others are ready.
When you’re shopping for a steamer, you might not be as focused on special features—however, depending in your cooking style, those extras might increase the product's value in your kitchen. Whether it’s something simple like a timer or an extra function (like the ability to dry foods), it’s wise to consider what else your steamer can do.
How long does it take to steam meals in a steamer?
Steaming is one of the quicker cooking methods. The exact time needed to cook foodstuff will depend on the size and thickness of the meals.
Most vegetables are steam cooked in about 5 to 10 minutes. The more fibrous vegetables, like cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, may well take a few minutes longer. Use less cook time should you like your vegetables to retain some crispness, and much more cook time for those who prefer them a bit much more tender.
Meat and fish can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes to steam cook depending on the thickness of the protein. Fish tends to take less cook time than meat and will turn from translucent to opaque when it's cooked through, so continue to keep an eye on it for doneness.
Cutting foods into equal-sized pieces helps them cook evenly. It's also important that there is space around the meals so that the steam can circulate; otherwise certain parts might not cook as evenly.
Larger pieces of food, such as dumplings or fillets, should be arranged in a single layer, leaving a little room between each piece to allow the steam to circulate. Vegetables like broccoli or green beans can be piled loosely in the steamer.
What foods can you steam?
The most popular foods to steam cook are vegetables, meat and seafood. Tender proteins like lean fish fillets and boneless, skinless chicken breasts steam better than tougher proteins, like steak.
Some fruits also stand up well to steam cooking, such as peaches and pears, whether you'd like to make a cooked fruit compote to top pancakes or are making your personal baby purees.
How do you descale a food steamer?
Keeping a food steamer clean is pretty easy, since there are no oils or sauces involved in cooking. Any removable steamer bowls, trays, and lids can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher according to the manufacturer's recommendation. Make sure the steamer is turned off and cool to the touch before cleaning.
Sometimes steamer components begin to develop a cloudy appearance, which is from the mineral content in water. Regular cleaning won't remove this mineral build-up. To descale a steamer, run the steamer filled with white vinegar instead of water and then rinse thoroughly. You'll be able to also soak the pieces in a mixture of hot water and vinegar for several hours to overnight and then wash by hand.
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Does steaming food stuff kill bacteria?
Yes, steam cooking can create enough heat to kill bacteria in food that may possibly cause foodborne illnesses. Meat, poultry, and seafood still need to be cooked to the minimum internal temperature recommended by the USDA to minimize any risk.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author who reviews goods and writes roundups for The Spruce Eats. In addition to the best foods steamers, she's also written roundups on the best cookware, bread machines, and pressure cookers.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.