Steamed food is one of the healthiest meal options out there. Not only does steaming retain the nutrients in your food but it also preserves its moisture content. Basically, steaming involves cooking your food using vapor in an enclosed environment. Some of the common meals that are best cooked through steaming include vegetables, fish, rice and other popular dishes. Better yet, this cooking method doesn’t use fats and oils making it ideal for healthy living.
You may have noticed that almost everyone nowadays wants nothing but healthy foods due to the increased occurrence of lifestyle diseases. For this reason, the market has been flooded with so many options when it comes to cooking appliances and food steamers are no exception.
Finding the ideal food steamer is no walk in the park and you can sure get confused on what to go for. To help you on your healthy living journey, we have compiled a list of some of the best food steamers available in the market today. Let’s explore, shall we?
Top 10 Food Steamers Of 2019 Reviewed
1. Oster 5712 Electronic 2-Tier 6.1-Quart Food SteamerBest For All Food Types
Your steamed meals will never be the same with this 6.1-quart electric steamer that has a delayed cooking period of up to 12 hours. This 2-tier appliance has a large capacity that allows you to cook all types of mouthwatering dishes. For a better cooking experience, this spacious appliance comes in two transparent, BPA-free stackable bowls; 3.8-quart bowl and 2.3-quart bowl which allows you to cook two different meals simultaneously.
With an instant steam button, you can start cooking immediately and this appliance’s 900-watt heating element will automatically heat water in the reservoir generating sufficient steam for your food bounty. Equipped with an external indicator, you can quickly monitor the water level at a glance and conveniently add any necessary water through an inlet at the base without removing the steaming bowls.
Truth be told, cooking doesn’t get better than this with a user-friendly design that has an LCD display for the timer, a red light indicator for ‘cook’ function and a green button for ‘keep warm’ function. Better yet, the appliance has side handles for a better grip, a drip tray to avoid any spills and is easy to clean with most of the parts being dishwasher friendly. You even get a recipe book to help create memorable meals for your family.
- Two spacious, transparent stackable bowls
- Cooks all types of food
- Safety features such as side handles and drip tray
- The LCD indicator disappears quickly
- On/off button may become unresponsive quickly
- Quite expensive
2. AICOK 9.5 Quart Food SteamerBest For Vegetables, Eggs And Fish
Looking to simultaneously cook a healthy meal packed with an assortment of steamed vegetables and lean proteins such as fish and eggs? Then, look no further than this 9.5-quart food steamer that comes with an 800-watt heating element for efficient steaming. Made from BPA-free materials, this appliance can withstand extreme temperatures of up to 284°F.
The 3-tier stackable and translucent cooking baskets are large enough to fit all your ingredients for a user-friendly and fast cooking experience. It’s equipped with a timer with automatic shut off with a maximum cooking period of sixty minutes. The appliance comes with a detailed manual and a 2 year warranty period.
However, the package doesn’t come with a recipe book which implies you will have to get creative or visit online sites for cooking ideas.
- Large Capacity, 3 bowls
- Easy to clean
- Automatic timer
- No recipe book
- Not all 3 bowls fit to the base
- Lid collects a lot of steam
3. Cuisinart Digital Glass SteamerBest For Seafood And Grains
Just like the brand name, preparing a cuisine is an art and this appliance will let you experience food steaming like never before. The 5-liter dishwasher friendly glass pot is large enough to fit all your ingredients at a go. It also has an LCD control panel that has a start and stops button with audible alerts once the meal is ready and a 60-minute timer.
The stainless steel tray features a one-liter removable water tank sufficient to hold enough water to fully cook your meal. That said, the glass pot with a stainless steel rim is the only one which means you can only steam one type of food at a go.
- Easy to clean
- Removable water tank
- Digital control panel
- Comes with only one cooking bowl
- Timer may malfunction often
- Glass bowl is delicate
4. Hamilton Beach Digital Food SteamerBest For Vegetables, Fish And Rice
Are you a chef looking for a compact and versatile food steamer? Then, this appliance is designed with you in mind with its 2-tier cooking baskets that easily stack for simultaneous cooking and easy storage. It also has a digital touchpad with a timer where you can easily set the cooking time and several other functions.
Better yet, the appliance automatically switches to ‘keep warm’ function once your food is ready until it’s served. It also has a DELAY timer of up to 24 hours where you can fill the appliance with water and start steaming later when you’re ready to start cooking. It also has an indicator to alert you when the water level is too low so that your food doesn’t burn.
On the other hand, the manufacturer doesn’t advise putting this food steamer in a dishwasher but one can clean it using running tap water.
- Easy to store
- Easy to operate the digital touchpad
- Low water level indicator
- Not dishwasher friendly
- No clarity on its BPA-free nature
- Not ideal for large meals
5. Oster Double Tiered Food SteamerBest For Vegetables And Meat
Truth be told, steaming meat is no easy affair and at times the food may turn out raw or without much taste. However, this appliance has been designed to help you steam your meat and poultry meals in an easy manner without losing neither the taste nor the nutrients. With two stackable transparent cooking bowls, you can place your meat in the lower bowl as your vegetables cook slowly in the upper bowl.
With a traditional dial to set the cooking time, you can set up to 60 minutes on the timer which will automatically switch off once the time is up or when the gadget runs out of the water. It also has a power indicator light and the parts are dishwasher friendly. In terms of storage, the bowls are easily stackable into a compact form for space saving storage in your kitchen cabinets.
- Allows simultaneous cooking
- Easy to clean and store
- Power light indicator
- Hard to monitor cooking time
- The lid has no handle
- Not BPA-free
6. BELLA 7.4 Quart 2-Tier Food SteamerBest For Rice And Grains
One thing that will blow you away about this food steamer is its large cooking capacity – 7.4 quarts is large enough for a full family meal. Since it’s designed to help you easily steam your grains, it has a boil dry protection which implies that your food won’t burn even after the water runs out. To add to the safety features, there’s an automatic shut off for when the cooking time is up.
The 2-tier design allows you to cook two meals simultaneously and comes with a grain tray for convenient cooking. The steaming chart on the appliance helps remove the guesswork from your cooking and the visible water indicator helps you monitor the water level without much hustle. BELLA will also give you a recipe book and helpful cooking tips to help you get the best out of your appliance.
- Large cooking capacity
- Dishwasher friendly components
- BPA-free cooking bowls
- Water reservoir may be too shallow
- Lacks a modern timer display
- Some complained of chalky steam
7. Aroma Housewares Digital Food SteamerBest For Rice
For over 40 years, Aroma Housewares has provided the culinary world with innovative and quality kitchen appliances including this sturdy rice cooker. The inside has a capacity for 10 uncooked cups of rice which easily yields 20 cups of steaming and tasty cooked rice. Better yet, you can steam your vegetables and meat as the rice cooks below.
It also has a 15-hour delay timer for flexible meal planning. Included in the package is a steam tray, a rice measuring cup, and a serving spatula.
- Compact design
- Doesn’t burn food
- Delay timer for flexible meal planning
- Lid doesn’t come off completely
- May spill liquids out
- Food isn’t visible when cooking
8. Aroma Housewares 8-Cup Digital Food Steamer
When looking to cook as low as two cups of rice, then this rice cooker will sort you out. With programmable digital controls, cooking your meals will be a walk in the park because all you need to do is set the functions, sit back and wait for the beeper to go off. It’s also ideal for soups and chili which can cook as the rice cooks below.
It also comes with exclusive recipes that will transform your cooking experience. The manufacturer has also included several accessories such as a rice measuring cup and a serving spatula. However, its capacity is just enough for a small family meal.
- Versatile cooking design
- Includes recipes and accessories
- Digital programmable functions
- Reduced cooking capacity
- Takes time to understand the functions
- Lid handle maybe flimsy
9. Tiger Corporation 5.5 – Cup Micom Rice Cooker
Once you have this appliance in your kitchen, you will get to enjoy the synchrony-cooking function which allows you to cook the main meal and the rice at the same time. The gadget has a one push button for 4 menu settings; synchrony cooking, plain rice, brown rice and slow cooking. It also has a non-stick cooking interior that’s easy to clean. Also included is a nonstick serving spatula and a cook with a variety of recipes just for you.
- 4 menu settings
- Easy to use
- Comes with a cookbook
- Not easy to clean
- Takes too long to cook brown rice
10. BLACK+DECKER 3-Cup Food Steamer
Preparing a quick and healthy dinner is possible with this rice cooker that comes with a warm function to keep your food fresh and warm before serving. It also has a steaming basket that you can use to cook vegetables and fish to accompany your tasty, fluffy rice. Its components are dishwasher friendly and the tempered glass lid is safe to handle even when hot. There’s also a removable non-stick bowl for easy cleaning.
- Easy to clean
- Reduced cooking time
- Hot lid safe to handle
- Doesn’t come with a steaming tray
- May break down after a short while
- Not ideal for large meals
How To Choose The Best Food Steamers
When you think of healthy eating, steamed food automatically comes to mind. By investing in a quality food steamer, you will not only get to enjoy tasty meals but you will get to avoid oily foods that aren’t good for your healthy lifestyle. But is food steaming for everyone? Well, the answer is relative but if you are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle then eating steamed food is not a bad idea.
Exactly why should I invest in a food steamer?
Here’s a couple of reasons:
- Nutrition – Steaming food retains most of the meal’s nutrients since the food is cooked in a controlled environment where the nutrients don’t disappear with the water.
- Versatility – Most of the food steamers allow you to cook different foods in a healthy and tasty manner.
- Convenience – If you are looking to cook fast meals in a hustle free manner, then you need to grab yourself a food steamer.
Types of food steamers
- Stovetop Steamers – This type fits into a cooking pot and may come in the form of a perforated saucepan or a bamboo basket that can easily rest in a wok.
- Electric Steamers – These are the more common types which allow you to stack a number of cooking bowls and add water which prepares your meal. Most have times for convenient cooking and may include a rice cooker for versatility.
Features to look out for in a food steamer
- Steaming Baskets – You will find that the number of steaming bowls ranges from one to three with holes at the base for easy circulation of steam. The baskets may be equal in size or have varied sizes. Most of the cooking bowls are made of plastic bowls that may sometimes be translucent. However, you will come across glass steaming bowls but most come as a single bowl without the option of stacking.
- Water Gauge – Food steaming relies entirely on cooking with water in a regulated environment. Thus, it’s important for a food steamer to have visible water level indicators to prevent the water from running out before the food is cooked. Better yet, most of the food steamers will have a removable tray for any spills and an easy-to-operate water inlet for adding water.
- Timers – A food steamer isn’t complete without a timer that automatically shuts off when the cooking time is up. You will find some steamers with a timer dial that you can set to a specific time. The more pricey models have a digital display that you can quickly program for convenient cooking.
Once you get used to eating steamed food, you will be amazed at the immense nutritional benefits that come with this cooking method. Don’t worry about the space in your kitchen since most of the steamers come in a compact size and can be stacked to save on space. Getting the best food steamer for your culinary needs may completely transform your life and leave you wondering how you ever survived without one.