Best Food Steamer Reviews 2018: Top 5+ Recommended
Although it is easy to get tricked into believing that steamers are creations of the modern society, the truth is that they have been around for quite some time.
Many ancient cultures used clay or bamboo steaming pots, so it is unnecessary to say that this method of cooking has stood the test of time.
The health of my family has always been a priority, and since there is no healthier way to prepare food than steaming, I decided to introduce one of these appliances into my kitchen.
Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!
Not only did the steamer help me make meals that are better for the human body, but it also opened my mind to a whole new world of cooking possibilities.
If you're interested in getting one of these devices for yourself, take a look at my reviews of the best five food steamers out there today.
Why buy a food steamer?
There is a number of reasons that make purchasing a food steamer a good choice:
- First, as I've already mentioned this is one of the healthiest methods of food preparation. When steaming, most of the nutrients and vitamins stay intact and are kept within the food, opposed to boiling where all the good stuff leeches out into the water. All of this doesn’t sacrifice the taste, and I actually prefer steamed veggies to cooked ones.
- Second, if you are cooking for a family, then this appliance is a true godsend because it can fit a lot of food at once. This makes the preparation of big meals so much easier, cost efficient and less messy. To be more precise, certain steamers can fit up to 9 liters of food!
- Last but not least, the versatility that these devices offer is unmatched by any other kitchen appliance. If you look at steamer ads you will mostly see pictures of vegetables stuffed in them, but the truth is that steamers can handle a great variety of foods such as meat, eggs, pasta, rice, etc.
See Also: Best Vegetable Steamer Basket Reviews
What to look for in a food steamer?
As with any product that I was trying out for the first time, when I decided to get a steamer there was a swarm of questions in my head: “How big should it be? What features does it need to have?”, And so on.
After hours of internet search and reading, I realized that it wasn’t easy to find direct answers to these questions, so my only option was to try out a few models by myself.
So, with a bit of experience with food steamers, I composed a list of crucial characteristics to look for before purchasing one for yourself.
1. Capacity And Baskets
The steaming capacity refers to the amount of space a steamer has to put food in. This capacity is usually expressed in quarts, and there are various sizes available. Since this device can have more than one basket (the compartment that holds the food), it is common for one basket to have about 2.5 quarts of capacity.
Baskets come in two types:
- Equal sized baskets – these are all of the same sizes and can be stacked on each other using no particular order. They can also be rearranged during cooking to speed up or slow down the cooking process of certain foods.
- Variably sized baskets – these baskets are differently sized and have a specific order in which they are placed on each other. Cooking with this type of baskets requires some planning and prearrangement.
A key thing to know about this feature is that there are two kinds of timers; a clockwork timer (which tends to be not-so-accurate), and a more advanced digital timer.
If you can, always opt for the latter. You can find this option in pricier models.
Many steamers include a delay function so you can set the cooking time and leave it to start whenever you choose.
3. Auto Shut Off
This option turns off the steamer automatically once the device runs out of the water.
This feature is crucial because it prevents overcooking of the food as well as any potential damage to the appliance.
4. Keep Warm Function
After the steamer has finished its cooking process, the keep warm function switches on and maintains the hot temperature in order to keep your food nice and toasty before you dig into it.
Some models can keep the food warm from 1-2 hours after cooking, and all you have to do is make sure that the water tank is filled to the max before turning it on.
5. Cleaning And Safety
To make your life easier, always look for baskets and trays that are dishwasher safe.
More and more people have been showing health concerns about materials used to make these appliances, so if you are worried about this choose steamers that have BPA free baskets.
Shapes can also differ, and some models tend to be circular while others are more oval.
7. Warranty and support
These are one of the most important, yet most neglected things to watch out for when getting a steamer.
These devices have a minimum one-year warranty, and since this is a guarantee of quality think twice before buying an appliance with a shorter one.
Most Recommended Food Steamers – Barbara's Reviews 2018
This is a modern, up-to-date food steamer with all the features that any cook would look for, and it is suitable for preparation of various kinds of foods.
When it comes to the size, this model has two equal-sized baskets which comprise 5.5 quarts of capacity. This is not very much space, and you can easily find steamers with much more capacity, but in the end, it all depends on your needs. The only con here is that the plastic baskets are not BPA-free.
Its controls are pretty simple to handle, and the digital timer makes life easier since you can plan your cooking very precisely. It also has a handy delay option which can start the cooking process whenever you set it.
The auto shut-off function works well and stops the operation when food is ready or when the water reservoir becomes empty. Also, after the cooking is done the keep warm setting will maintain the temperature of your food for about an hour.
All the parts of the steamer are dishwasher safe except for the water reservoir. The latter part might be a hassle to clean because bits of food fall into its nooks and crannies, so it is slightly annoying to clean out every inch of it.
The dimensions of this model are 9.7 x 9.2 x 8.7 inches, and it is not considered to be a big steamer. This makes it easy to store, and it can fit most counters without any problem.
Warranty is one-year long, which is pretty standard for this type of product. Also, customer support can be reached by phone.
What I Liked
What I Didn’t Like
Cuisinart brings us a very versatile and high-quality food steamer with a sturdy construction and many useful options.
The capacity of this model is around 5 quarts, and it has only one big glass basket. Glass is always preferable to any kind of plastic because of health reasons, so this is a plus for this device.
This steamer doesn't include digital but dial controls which are usually not as precise. While not presenting a big problem, this is definitely a downside. The good news is that there are preset programs for different types of food, so you won't need to think a lot about adequate time and temperature.
When the water reservoir is running low, there will be a beeping sound to notify you that you need to pour in more water. There is also a reheat option in case you do not want to eat right after the steamer has finished cooking.
When it comes to cleaning, you can place all the parts, including the removable water reservoir, into the dishwasher.
This product measures 13.2 x 13.7 x 97 inches, which makes it a bit larger than the previous steamer I reviewed, so make sure to check if you have enough storage space for an item of this size.
STM-100 CookFresh has a limited three-year warranty, which is an outstanding deal. It's quality build guarantees quality, and the warranty shows the manufacturers trust in this appliance.
What I Liked
What I Didn’t Like
The product that comes to us from Oster is a pretty versatile and practical food steamer that can be used for preparation of any meal easily.
Now, the capacity that this steamer offers is 6.1 quarts which is pretty good, but a drawback is that the baskets (two of them, variably sized) are made out of plastic. This is not a huge issue, but people concerned with healthy eating might lose interest due to this fact.
As far as the controls are concerned, they are digital. An LCD with four buttons underneath it is used to choose and set all the desired cooking times and options. In my opinion, the downside to this display is that I had to look at it from a good angle in order to see the information properly.
There is an auto shut off option that will stop the cooking process if there is no more water, and also a beeping sound will inform you to take an action. The keep warm setting turns on automatically after the steamer has finished its program.
All the parts of this steamer are dishwasher safe (except for the electronic base), but if you choose to clean them this way make sure to put them on the top shelf to prevent damaging their plastic construction.
When it comes to the size, 10 x 10.8 x 14.4 inches is not huge but not small either, so most homes will probably have enough room for this product.
The warranty is one-year, which is pretty good considering that the steamer is mainly made from plastic.
What I Liked
What I Didn’t Like
The steamer that Bella has produced is synonymous for ‘healthy' since all of its parts are BPA-free and the food cooking process is clean and effective.
The two basket construction boasts a capacity of 7.4 quarts which is more than enough for cooking a meal for the whole family. The baskets are equally sized so the food can be divided into similar amounts.
Now a major con, in my opinion, is that the timer is a dial, and not digital. This means that cooking time might not be so precise and sometimes even confusing.
There is an auto shut off option that turns off the device if the water level gets too low, or when the steamer is done cooking the food. A thing that this model misses is the “keep warm” option, so this might put off some buyers.
The cleaning is very easy, and you can pop all the parts into the dishwasher, with the exception of the base. As I’ve mentioned before, all the components are BPA-free, so there is no need to worry about health issues.
The item’s size is 7.9 x 11.6 x 11.7 inches which makes its dimensions average for a food steamer.
A two-year limited warranty is a plus based on a fact that this is twice as much as most manufacturers offer.
What I Liked
What I Didn’t Like
Rosewill RHST-15001 is a potential joy for anyone who wants to cook enormous amounts of food at once in the healthiest way possible.
The capacity of this steamer is 9.5 quarts, and this is the biggest I reviewed in my list today. There are three equally sized baskets which are plastic, but BPA-free so using them does not pose a health hazard.
Again, like the previously reviewed steamer, this model too doesn't have a digital timer but only a dial similar to a microwave. To be honest, this isn't necessarily bad, but can be a handicap regarding convenience and practicality. To make things a bit easier, there are cooking times for different foods printed on the side of the steamer.
Auto shut-off option is available, which is important and prevents the appliance from operating on an empty water tank. Also, the reservoir has a small window through which you can monitor the water levels.
All the components are dishwasher safe, but again, since they are plastic make sure to place them on top of everything else.
The steamer's dimensions are 9.25 x 12.2 x 15.6 inches, so it is not very wide, but is pretty tall due to its capacity and number of baskets which stack up.
There is a limited one-year warranty on this product, which is a standard fare in this industry.
What I Liked
What I Didn’t Like
The Verdict – Best Food Steamer You Can Get
Honestly, I really believe that you can’t go wrong with any of these products and a big portion of your final decision will depend on your preferences and needs.
But, it is my duty to declare the winner, and in my opinion, it is the Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer.
This model is unmatched when it comes to ease of use, and versatility provided by its many different programs and settings.
It is suitable for preparation of all kinds of foods, ranging from veggies to meat and eggs, and it can cook a pretty decent amount at once.
The cleaning is quick and simple since the baskets are not easy to stain.
This steamer offers a lot of value for its price, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in these appliances.