The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Food Steamer + Reviews
If you are interested in just finding the best food steamer on the market, Grandma Jen highly recommends the BELLA BLA13872 as it is a great deal for the money, while offering everything you need for cooking healthy food. Its two-tier construction allows you to cook veggies apart from meat, so that their smells and flavors do not mingle. This way, you can even cook vegan and non-vegan meals at the same time. The auto shut-off function comes in handy, since you will not have to monitor the food steamer closely. The overall maintenance of this model is easy as a breeze, since all the parts are dishwasher safe and you will not have to deal with the usual smoke, oily drips and mess associated with cooking. In case the BELLA BLA13872 is no longer available, you can also go for the Aroma Housewares Professional, as it is a great second choice.
Our Top Choice
The food steamer heats up fast, as it takes only half a minute for beginning the steaming process. The two basket configuration is very handy, since it lets you cook meats and vegetables separately, to avoid flavor and smell alteration. The parts are made from BPA free plastic, so they are safe for human use. The food steamer can be dissembled and washed in a dishwasher, for maximum convenience.
The slide used for adding water could be larger, according to some buyers.
An excellent food steamer that will help you cook healthy meals in large quantities.
This model is more than a food steamer, as it successfully doubles as a rice cooker. While the rice is getting cooked in the area below, you can use the one above for steaming vegetable or meat. You will cook various foods with maximum ease and minimum mess. The digital interface is easy to use and you can choose from a wide variety of cooking mode, including Slow Cook, Cake or Soup for the best variety.
The model tends to be on a smaller side, so it may not be a great choice for families.
An exquisite food steamer and rice cooker that helps you cook fast and easy.
Also To Consider
This food steamer is made from stainless steel which makes it safe for being in contact with food and also easy to clean. The glass lid is a nice feature, since it allows you to monitor the cooking process without lifting it. It works as a steamer and a rice cooker, and it can cook 8 cups of rice. The steamer tray comes in handy, and it serves for cooking all kinds of veggies and meats for complete meals to enjoy at home.
Rice may get stuck to the bottom when not enough water is added to the mix.
A stainless steel model that cooks rice and steams other foods, for complete menus.
A lot of people seem to be talking about food steamers at the moment and for all the right reasons. With more and more people finding little time to cook at home, there is no wonder that obesity and health problems associated with it are rampant in this day and age. Long working hours are the main culprit, but also the unhealthy foods that are sold in eateries at every corner.
The solution is to start cooking at home, but this needs to be done in a convenient and straightforward manner. A food steamer offers everything in the same package. It is healthy, it is easy to use, and it requires very little care and maintenance.
If you are considering purchasing such a new appliance for your kitchen, we are here to lend a helping hand. The information below will help you find the best food steamer on the market, with minimum effort from your part.
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- 1. Bella 13872 7.4 Quart 2 Tier Stackable Baskets
- 2. Aroma Housewares Professional Food Steamer
- 3. Oyama Stainless 16-Cup Stainless Steamer Tray
- 4. Hamilton Beach 37530A Digital Food Steamer
- 5. Beaba Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Clean a Food Steamer
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Capacity and configuration
There are a few important aspects you need to keep in mind when you are shopping for a food steamer. One of them is size, without a doubt. If you plan on cooking for the entire family, the logical choice would be a steamer that allows you to cook enough food for a meal in one go. Although you could use the steamer twice, the food already placed on plates would just go cold, and that would not make for a very happy family dinner.
On the other hand, if you want a machine that does not take up a lot of space on your kitchen counter and you do not care for a large size unit, there are plenty of excellent models to choose from. Besides size, you should also consider the configuration of your steamer.
For instance, some of the best out there are those with a two-tier configuration that allows you to steam your veggies in one basket and the meat cuts in another. This way, you can cook healthy and maintain the proper flavor and texture for all ingredients.
Do not forget that a standard configuration you can find is a rice cooker equipped with a steaming tray. Many buyers prefer this type of steamer because they can cook an entire dinner in one place, without using other appliances. Rice is great as a side dish for many recipes, and it is healthy, as well. However, it all depends on your preferences, and the good news is that you will have plenty of models to choose from.
Auto shut off
A very important feature that deserves to be talked about separately is the auto shut off function. Many people worry that their food will be overcooked, or that the appliance will break since it will be overused. All these concerns can be put to rest if you consider getting a model with an auto shut off function.
You will not have to stand by the steamer, ready to turn it off when the food is cooked. Lifting the lid during the cooking process may not be a good idea, either, since it can affect the needed time for softening the veggies and cooking the meat.
The more advanced models you will find on the market are doing an even better job than just shutting off the unit when the cooking program is finished. They switch to a keep warm mode that will make sure that the food you are going to eat will be palatable and at the right temperature, even if you are busy with other chores around the house, or it simply takes a while to round everyone up around the dinner table.
Other features you may need
What is the best food steamer to buy? If there is a tie between various models you have already seen, and you don’t know which one deserves to be brought home, here is another piece of advice. Check what features are available, and compare the conveniences they bring to the price tag. If a model manages to offer great extras at an equally great price, you will just get yourself a winner.
A water gauge, for instance, can be very handy, if you want to avoid the unit running on dry towards the end of the cooking cycle. There are plenty of people who prefer their meals better cooked, or with a stronger texture.
By adjusting the level of water needed, you can play around such preferences to obtain perfect results. There are models that show a maximum and a minimum level of water, to avoid both dry boiling and spilling.
A water inlet is a good fit for people who prefer to add water during the cooking process. Cooking rice can be particularly tricky when you are getting a new appliance for your home. You may not be able to know well in advance what quantity of water to use, so being able to add some more during cooking is a nice feature. In case you like preparing all kinds of foods, you should choose a model with multiple cooking modes, for maximum versatility.
5 Best Food Steamers (Updated Reviews) in 2021
The best food steamers on the market are showcased below. They are chosen based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews from users, and they are rich in features that you will find very useful and handy in the kitchen.
1. Bella 13872 7.4 Quart 2 Tier Stackable Baskets
The BELLA BLA13872 is considered the best BPA-free food steamer on the market by the vast majority of consumers because of all its great features. Because it is made from plastic, it is lightweight and resistant to damage, and since the manufacturer uses BPA-free parts, it is safe for getting in contact with food.
The superior two-tier construction is very handy for steaming a lot of food, and the 7.4-quart capacity is enough for cooking plenty of food for the entire family. The unique tray for cooking grains is an excellent add-on since you will be able to cook rice with ease, while in another basket you are steaming chicken meat. A complete dinner will be on your table in no time.
Another nice feature this model comes equipped with is a steaming chart. Any information you may need for steaming various foods will be found there, and you will have no troubles getting excellent results each and every time.
You will be able to monitor water levels through the viewing window, and this way you will not risk the unit boiling on dry. The components are dishwasher safe, and you will love how clean your kitchen will look after you cook.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.48)
2. Aroma Housewares Professional Food Steamer
Home cooking has never been easier. The Aroma Housewares Professional is among the best models you can find right now, and its versatility highly recommends it. Being both a rice cooker and a food steamer under the same hood, it offers you the possibility to cook an entire menu with very little effort.
The rice cooker function can produce 12 cups of cooked rice, which is perfect for setting the table for a small family. Another great thing about this model, in particular, is that it allows you to use different cooking modes.
You can cook white rice or brown rice, depending on your preferences, you can just steam or keep warm, or you can prepare oatmeal, soups and even cakes. The slow cook mode is a must have if you like foods that are cooked for prolonged periods of time for best flavor and texture.
Buyers seem to be particularly enthralled with the sauté-then-simmer function that allows you to sauté veggies and then turn to simmering when you add water. You will get excellent results with this food steamer as its sensor logic technology adjusts to provide you with the best performance.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69)
3. Oyama Stainless 16-Cup Stainless Steamer Tray
The first thing you may notice about the OYAMA CNS-A15U is that both its cooking pot and its steamer tray are made from stainless steel. This is a material often used for kitchen appliances since it is resistant to rust and signs of wear and tear, while it is easy to clean and safe for human use.
Some buyers go as far as naming it the best stainless steel food steamer, and they are not far from the truth. This model is both a steamer and a rice cooker, and it can cook up to 16 cups of cooked rice. The overall design of the steamer is attractive and also functional.
The glass lid allows you to peek inside while food is cooking, and you will not have to check on it all the time. A nice touch is the keep warm function that continues to maintain your food at the right temperature after the cooking program is finished.
You can do anything you want with the help of this steamer. You can steam veggies and serve them as a side dish for meat recipes, or you can directly steam meat cuts to enjoy the good advantages of cooking meat without fat.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($55.04)
4. Hamilton Beach 37530A Digital Food Steamer
Two steaming baskets can be used at the same time for cooking large quantities of food, but this is not the only appealing factor of the Hamilton Beach 37530A. Its design is meant to take up less space on your kitchen counter, and the oval shape will also allow you to store the steamer away when you do not need it.
In case you live alone, you can use just one tier, without a problem. Even more, if you want to cook larger items, such as corn on a cob, you just simply have to remove the divider and use all the space for what you have in mind.
The moment your food is cooked, the unit shuts off automatically and switches to keep warm, so you will not have to eat a soggy, unpalatable meal ever again. The digital interface used by the manufacturer is a nice touch since it allows you to quickly decide on how much time you should leave the food cooking.
Another interesting feature is represented by the delayed start. You can program the unit to start steaming later, as you just place the produce inside the baskets and you see about other chores around the kitchen.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($32.94)
5. Beaba Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker
Babies should be fed with healthy foods all the time, free of preservatives and well steamed so they can digest them. If you do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, toiling over pots while boiling veggies, you should go for a food steamer.
The BEABA Babycook is often named the best baby food steamer and processor, for all the conveniences it offers to parents. While boiling veggies can take you hours on an open flame, this food steamer takes care of everything within just 15 minutes. It serves to know that this is more than just a steamer. It also blends ingredients, reheats meals and defrosts, depending on what you want to cook for your little one.
The baby food steamer comes equipped with an auto shut-off function. You will hear it beeping, once the food is done, so you can serve it warm and fresh. This model is created with baby health in mind, and it contains no BPA, or other toxic compounds, like lead or phthalates.
The water reservoir is made from stainless steel, and it is easy to maintain. Its capacity is about 4.7 cups, which lets you cook about 17 servings at the same time.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($138)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is steaming your food good for you?
For years, there has been an ongoing debate whether steaming is a healthy method of cooking or not. Experts say that the battle should not have taken place at all, since steaming is, hands down, one of the healthiest, if not the best method to cook various foods. You leave the foods to be boiled by hot steam, inside a cooking pot, or on a steaming tray, and then just move them onto a plate to be served.
The method is more than just convenient. You do not have to use any oil, and it is a well-known fact that fat is responsible for many health problems in this day and age, such as obesity and heart diseases. Your food gets cooked and remains delicious, as all the nutrients are kept inside. Such advantages should not be taken lightly, and more and more people are turning towards steaming as their chosen manner of cooking.
Q: What food can be cooked in a steamer?
You can cook almost anything you want this way. If you like veggies or you want to integrate more of them into your diet, there is no better way to add versatility to your recipes than by steaming them.
Served raw, they are the most nutritious and the healthiest, but there are people who experience problems with digestion if too many fresh vegetables are consumed. To avoid such problems, it is best to choose steam for softening the veggies and even for making them more palatable.
You can also steam all kinds of meats, to prepare fat-free meals. Meat that does not absorb extra fat is much healthier, and it provides you with the needed protein without sacrificing your health for enjoying a bit of taste. You can also steam grains, such as rice and quinoa, for preparing side dishes, and steamed fish and shrimp are quite delicious, too.
Q: Why is it better to steam vegetables?
Read any of the best food steamer reviews written by buyers, and you will see that everyone is in an accord that steaming your vegetables is much better than any other method. Deep frying veggies does nothing but add fat to something that is supposed to be a fat-free meal. Boiling leaves vegetables without essential nutrients, not to mention that the taste will leave something to be desired.
On the other hand, steaming preserves natural nutrients and flavor, so you will not feel like you are eating cardboard. Eating healthy is made accessible by steaming, and if you use a food steamer, the entire process is seamless.
The benefits of cooking with steam
There are plenty of advantages associated with steaming foods. First of all, you will not have to use any oil, so fat-free meals are guaranteed. Meats are healthier when consumed this way, and you will be able to enjoy a large variety of recipes, without feeling guilty that you are eating fattening foods.
Another advantage is that your food is in no danger of becoming overcooked. Because steamers are equipped with timers and shut off function, you cannot burn your food.
Since you will be able to steam foods in different baskets, you will not have to worry about mingling flavors. Also, since the cooking process does not require any fat, you will deal with a lot less mess. Most steamers are easy to clean.
The nutrients inside your veggies and other ingredients will be locked in, and you will enjoy tastier foods that are rich in antioxidants and other compounds that can efficiently fight cancer.
A food steamer is a great cooking appliance to have at home, as it helps you with cooking a large variety of recipes that are healthy and tasty. Cleaning a food steamer may not sound like a lot of work, but you need to keep in mind that washing it after each use is imperative as food remains may remain stuck on its surface. These food remains can create just the perfect environment for bacteria, and the next time you cook, your food may be contaminated. To avoid such problems, here are some tips and tricks on how to clean a food steamer the efficient way.
How to Clean a Food Steamer
Make sure the food steamer is empty after use
Once you are done with steaming your food, unplug the steamer – if you have the electric type – and let it cool. Remove all the remaining chunks of food and proceed to remove the water still in the water drip and the reservoir, as well. Carefully tilt the steamer over the sink to get rid of all the water. Water, like food remains, can create the right environment for bacteria.
Deal with stubborn food pieces with warm water and soap
If you have a food steamer that needs to be plugged in, you need to make sure that the base and the electric cord are protected during this stage. The lid, the container, and the drip tray should be removed and soaked in warm water with dishwashing soap, to make sure that all the food remains that are still stuck will get loose eventually. Wipe clean the rest of the steamer with a slightly damp cloth and make sure all is perfectly dry before storing it away.
Is your steamer dishwasher safe?
While the above step seems a bit tedious and you do not want to wash the steamer in the sink, check to see if the model you have is dishwasher safe. This is a very efficient method, as the water will spray the steamer from all sides and quickly remove any stuck food remains.
Dry very carefully
The parts of your steamer should all be dried with care if you do not want to deal with traces of rust or hard water stains later on. Use a clean paper towel to remove all the excess moisture and let the components of the steamer dry on the kitchen counter. For the housing, a lint free cloth will finish the work and leave your steamer perfectly clean and perfectly dried.
A bit of extra care for the heating element
If the water you are using for steaming your veggies is very hard, the heating element inside the steamer may accumulate build-up. If you notice that your steamer does not want to work or shuts off a few minutes after turning it on, make sure to check the heating element. If there is residue build-up there, fill the water reservoir with three cups of white vinegar and complete with water. Do not add the rest of the components, and just let the steamer heat up for 15 minutes. Let it cool and rinse with plenty of cold water.