There’s no question that eating vegetables is good for your health. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. But are you getting the most out of your nutritious, healthy veggies? In order to maximize the nutritional benefits of vegetables, you’re going to have to cook them the right way. Studies have found that keeping the temp, cooking time, and amount of liquid used to cook veggies should be kept at a minimum to boost their antioxidant capabilities and increase the number of nutrients. In short, one of the best ways to cook veggies is to steam it. And to do this, you’re going to need a vegetable steamer. Now, the next question is, which steamer should you get? Well, lettuce (sorry, we couldn’t resist) tell you which ones are currently the best in the market. Here is the list of 10 Best Vegetable Steamers.
Top 10 Vegetable Steamers Of 2018 Reviewed
1. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker & Food SteamerBest Vegetable Steamer And Rice Cooker
The Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer is a multi-function appliance. It’s a rice cooker that can steam veggies and meat while you’re cooking rice. As a vegetable steamer, this thing rocks. Not only are you able to cook your veggies to get maximum nutritional benefits, but you also get to cook rice at the same time which saves you time and extra cleanup. Plus, this works as a set-it-and-forget-it cooking unit which frees up valuable time that can be spent elsewhere.
As an added bonus, this appliance can be used to cook soup, chili, and jam. And have we mentioned that this can cook both white and brown rice perfectly? Even better, you can set up a delay timer so that you can have rice cooked when you need it like just as you get home from work. However, the vegetable tray (which is BPA free, yey!) can only cook small amounts of veggies – about 2 servings worth. Also, cleaning the rice cooker isn’t easy. In addition, the timer beeps very loudly which can be worse than your alarm clock.
- Multi-functional appliance
- Delayed timer
- Hard to clean
- Can only cook a small number of veggies
- Loud alarm
2. Kitchen Deluxe Premium Vegetables SteamerBest Vegetable Steamer For Instant Pot
The Premium Vegetable Steamer Basket is perfect for anyone who wants to cook a variety of vegetables at any time using any pot. This vegetable steamer is adjustable; its size ranges from 6.4 inches to 10.3 inches. It can fit different kinds of pots including Insta Pot Ultra, Duo, Lux, Plus, and Mini. The basket is made of quality stainless steel with a brushed metal finish and comes with a lifetime warranty. What we really love about this steamer is that you can easily remove it from the pot or pan by using the safety tool.
You won’t be needing heat-resistant gloves with this one. It’s dishwasher-safe which is another plus. And it comes with a julienne peeler and steaming ebook to help you find delicious, healthy recipes. As for storage, this steamer folds in on itself so you don’t have to worry about taking up too much space in your cabinet. However, there are a few users who reported rust. The handle may have durability issues; some users reported their breaking. And you might find slight difficulty in lifting out the cooked veggies because the basket spreads open which may cause some of your food to spill out. But for less than $20, it’s a good buy.
- Comes with accessories
- Adjustable size
- Very affordable
- Handle tends to break
- Can be difficult to lift out of the pot
- Some users reported rust
3. Farberware Classic Series Stainless Steel Stack ‘N’ Steam 3-Quart Covered Saucepot and SteamerBest Vegetable Steamer To Buy
The Faberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Stack ‘n’ Steam Saucepot and Steamer is a good option if you don’t already have a pot at home. This two-for-one product allows you to use the steamer and saucepot for steaming veggies or other kinds of food as well as just the saucepot for cooking soup, chili, and other dishes. The set is made of heavy duty stainless steel with an aluminum core for fast and even heating. You can use this in an oven with the temp up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The handles are ergonomically designed which makes it easy to grasp from the stove or oven to your table. And this entire set is dishwasher-safe. However, the handles do get hot which necessitates the use of potholders. The product is made in China. And the pot does get discolored pretty quickly. But for a vegetable steamer, this definitely does the job.
- Ergonomic handles
- Oven safe up to 350 degrees
- Steamer and saucepot
- Handle gets hot
- Discolors quickly
- Made in China
4. Sunsella Vegetable Steamer BasketBest Vegetable Steamer For Baby Food
The Sunsella Vegetable Steamer Basket is quite similar to the Premium Vegetable Steamer Basket though this one is slightly cheaper. The Sunsella steamer comes in two sizes – 5.5 inches to 9.3 inches and 6.4 to 10.4 inches. Like the Premium, this is also adjustable and made of 100% stainless steel.
The collapsible design makes it easy to store. A central ring makes it easy to remove from a steaming pot. And the central post can be removed if you need to steam large foods like crabs or fish. However, this one does not have a safety tool and it can be hard to get out of the pot, especially when you’re using oven mitts. It can be hard to clean especially if you steam other foods aside from veggies.
- Comes in two sizes
- Easy to store
- Hard to clean
- No safety tool included
5. Sistema Microwave Collection SteamerBest Vegetable Steamer Microwave
This vegetable steamer is perfect for people who prefer to use the microwave. It not only allows you to steam veggies inside it, but you can also use the container to serve the food and store it away for future consumption. The steamer is freezer safe as well as dishwasher-safe. It is 100% virgin plastic as well as BPA- and phthalate-free. There’s a vent in the lid for releasing steam and preventing a mess in your microwave.
And the tabs plus the middle stalk of the steamer basket stays cool to the touch. However, microwave cooking entails a lot of trial and error so be prepared to practice a lot. There are no handles for carrying the entire steamer from microwave to table. Also, the tabs can be hard to close at times.
- One-stop container – cook, serve, store
- Easy to clean
- BPA- and phthalate-free, 100% virgin plastic
- Tabs can be hard to close
- No handles
- Requires a lot of trial and error
6. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer with Extendable Handle
OXO is a reputable brand for kitchenware so it’s not a surprise that one of their products is on our list. While it bears some similarity to other vegetable steamer baskets on our list, there’s one distinct difference that makes this stand out – the telescoping handle. You can extend the handle and lock it into place, making it easy to transport to and from the pot. Plus, the handle comes with a utensil slot so you can use your fork to lift it out, protecting your hands from getting burned by the steam.
Plus, the handle is removable so you can enjoy steaming larger foods and veggies whenever you desire. The feet are foldable and stand 1 and ¾ inches tall, elevating your veggies high above the water. However, this may not be an ideal choice if you have a deep enough pot. The steamer basket is dishwasher-safe but difficult to clean by hand. Also, some users reported that the handle unscrews easily at times.
- Telescoping, removable handle
- Foldable feet
- Not for small pots
- Difficult to clean by hand
- The handle can get unscrewed easily
7. Hamilton Beach Digital Food SteamerBest Vegetable Steamer Electric
The Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer takes the guesswork out of steaming. This unit features 2 stackable containers that allow you to steam a variety of foods simultaneously. You can use just one if you’re feeding just yourself or two of you and use both containers to cook for a whole family or an entire meal.
This unit even comes with a rice bowl if you want to cook rice with your veggies. What we love about this steamer is that the controls are easy to use and allows you to delay the steaming until you need it. Plus, you can set it and forget it because the steamer will automatically stop once the timer ends and go on “keep warm” mode for an hour. It also beeps to let you know when it’s done.
If your water level is too low, the Digital Food Steamer turns off and beeps as well as lights up a “LOW WATER” indicator. To fill it with water, just pull out the water drawer and pour water in. You don’t even need to stop the appliance from cooking while you do this. However, this is not dishwasher-safe so be prepared to clean by hand. The plastic containers feel a bit flimsy so you need to be careful. And it doesn’t cook rice very well though that isn’t the main purpose you’re buying this.
- Pull-out drawer for adding water
- Lasts for more than a year of continued use
- Delay start timer
- Not dishwasher-safe
- Plastic containers feel flimsy
- Not ideal for cooking rice
8. Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo Steamer
If you like Asian cooking, you might be interested in this bamboo steamer from Helen’s Asian Kitchen. This handcrafted steamer is made from 100% tightly woven bamboo slats and bamboo pegs. The lids are all tight-fitting to trap heat and steam which ensures quick and efficient cooking.
This bamboo steamer comes in several sizes and can be used to cook vegetables, meats, fish, and dim sum. The best thing about this kind of steamer is that they’re stackable so you can cook multiple foods simultaneously. However, you’ll need to use a plate or a parchment liner to steam food in this one. This product is hand-wash only. And you’ll need to use a ring if you plan on placing this on top of your Insta Pot or something similar. While these are definitely not deal breakers, they are flaws that need to be taken into account.
- Stackable steamers
- Easy to use
- Hand-wash only
- Requires an aluminum ring for placing on top of a pot
- Requires using a plate or parchment liner
9. Sensible Needs 2-in-1 Vegetable Steamer Basket SetBest Cheap Vegetable Steamer
This 2-in-1 Vegetable Steamer Basket Set from Sensible Needs is almost an exact replica of the Sunsella Vegetable Steamer Basket and some of our other picks. But it has its place on our list for several reasons. The biggest one being the price. For just $11, you get a largely adjustable vegetable steamer that can fit any pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
It comes with a central ring AND a hook to help you get the basket out of the pot after cooking is done. However, we did wish that the hook was longer (it’s just 3 inches) because you can still feel the heat with this one, requiring you to put on some heat resistant gloves. The legs are actually rods which can scratch your non-stick pot. While this is dishwasher-safe, those who don’t have that useful appliance may find this basket hard to clean by hand.
- Very budget-friendly
- Adjustable size
- Great for vegetables and other foods
- Legs can scratch non-stick surfaces
- The hook is too short
- Hard to clean by hand.
10. O’Salata Veggie Steamer Basket
This is another budget-friendly option for those who want to save a few more dollars. Like most vegetable steamer baskets, this one from O’Salata is also adjustable and has a collapsible design for easy storage. It can fit most pots with its size ranging from 5.5” to 9.3”. It is made of stainless steel and features foldable legs that have silicone inserts to protect your pots from scratches.
The extendable handle lets you easily lift the steamer from the pot. However, there have been some users who reported that their handles came apart after several uses. It is smaller than some of our other picks that can extend as far as 10.5 inches. And it can be difficult to clean by hand (like most of them are).
- Cheaper than most
- Silicone feet
- Adjustable size
- Smaller than others
- Telescoping handle tends to fall apart
- Hard to clean by hand
Vegetable Steamer Buying Guide
Steaming your veggies is one of the best ways to get maximize the nutritional benefits of eating them. Plus, it’s so easy to do and doesn’t require you to use any oil or other fats. If you’re in the market for a vegetable steamer, you may already have noticed that there are lots of them available. The question is, which one would suit you best. Because not all vegetable steamers are made equal, finding the one that will meet your cooking needs to a T is important. This is where our buying guide comes in. We’re sharing all the information we’ve gathered on vegetable steamers and put it all in one place. Happy steaming!
Types of Vegetable Steamers
This is the most common vegetable steamer in the market. A steamer basket is ideal if you already have a pot or saucepan available. It is designed to fit in a variety of pot sizes. It is the cheapest type of vegetable steamer in the market. And its collapsible design makes for easy storage. However, while it is easy to use in theory, you’ll need to do some practice to figure out how long your cooking time should be to get the desired doneness of your veggies. Plus, a vegetable basket like the Kitchen Deluxe Premium Vegetables Steamer can only cook one type of vegetable at a time. Or, groups of vegetables that have the same cooking time.
This type of vegetable steamer is typically used in Asian cooking but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for anything else. Like the steamer basket, this type requires you to place it on top of a pot, pan, or wok filled with water. Bamboo steamers like Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo Steamer are aesthetic and practical. Another benefit to using bamboo steamers is that they’re stackable so you can do several tiers of a variety of foods simultaneously. However, they do require delicate handling; no dishwasher time for this one.
Obviously, this is the type of steamer you’ll use in a microwave. There are plenty of benefits to using a microwave steamer. First, these enable you to cook food quickly. Some are multi-tiered which allows you to cook different kinds of foods at the same time. And, like the Sistema Microwave Collection Steamer, you can use the steamer to cook, serve, and store your food.
Also called countertop steamers, these enable you to steam food without any of the guesswork. Most models feature built-in timers to ensure accuracy and convenience. A lot of models feature a tiered design, allowing you to cook more than one type of food at once. Some like the Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer even feature a delayed timer, allowing you to schedule when you want your food to be cooked.
This type of steamer allows you to cook in a variety of modes which includes steaming. For example, the Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer allows you to cook rice and veggies simultaneously. You can also use the same appliance to cook oatmeal, soup, chili, etc.
Factors to Consider
While buying a vegetable steamer isn’t rocket science, there are still some things you’ll need to consider before making your final choice.
The frequency of Use
How often are you planning to use your steamer? If you plan on using it occasionally then you can go with a budget-friendly vegetable steamer basket like the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer with Extendable Handle. If you want to use it more frequently, then you need to choose a vegetable steamer that will last you several years like the Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer.
How much space do you have in your kitchen and your available storage? If you don’t have much space to spare, a vegetable steamer basket like the Sunsella Vegetable Steamer Basket is the way to go. Those who have countertop space can choose a multi-cooker like the Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer. If you have space in your cabinet for another set of pots, then you can choose a stovetop steamer like the Farberware Classic Series Stainless Steel Stack ‘N’ Steam 3-Quart Covered Saucepot and Steamer.
Some steamers will need to be placed inside a pot so you need to check if the material of your steamer will scratch the inside of your non-stick kitchenware. You may need to look for a steamer that is made of bamboo or one that features silicone feet like the O’Salata Veggie Steamer Basket. While stainless steel is ideal, not all vegetable steamers are 100% rust-proof. Another thing to consider is that some materials like bamboo are hand wash only.
One last thing
Steaming vegetables are generally better than boiling or frying them. You’re bound to get more nutrients that way. However, some studies have shown that certain veggies like kale, spinach, and bell peppers lose their nutritional value when heated in any way.