A food steamer is a special cooking pot that allows food to be cooked above, but not in, boiling water. When food is cooked in a food steamer, it retains a high degree of moisture, which helps it to emerge tender and succulent.
Food Steamers help cooks to prepare highly nutritious foods. Steamed foods can be prepared without additional fats or oils, resulting in dishes that are much lower in calories than those that are fried, even when only a small amount of oil is used. Moreover, steaming retains nutrients that can be leached out by other cooking methods, such as boiling.
For many cooks, steaming is an ideal food preparation method because it allows several foods to be prepared at the same time. This can be a boon for anyone with a small kitchen, but is also helpful to those who need to prepare a meal using only one or two burners.
There are other “one pot” cooking methods, of course, but these almost always involve a high degree of flavour mixing because all foods literally go into the same cooking space.
Food Steamers, particularly those designed for cooker top use, generally have several layers or tiers, each of which is perforated to allow steam to continue to rise.
As steam ascends through the layers, it will cook the food contained in each. This makes it possible to cook bland vegetables in one layer and highly spiced pork in another, yet have both items emerge with their own distinct taste characteristics intact.
Check out the 7 Best Food Steamers on the market right now:
#1. T-fal VC1338 Balanced Living Compact 2-Tier Electric Food Steamer, 4-Quart
- Steam it fresh for foods bursting with flavor!
- The T-fal VC133851 Balanced Living Compact Food Steamer has a large 4-quart capacity (2 tiers of 2 quarts each)
- Steam a variety of healthy vegetables, seafood and meats within the 2-quart tiers for a complete meal
- The T-fal VC133851 Balanced Living Food Steamer also features digital controls with a 60-minute countdown timer that let you easily cook healthy meals for your family
- When finished using, turn the 2 tiers over for compact storage
Pros: everything and more you would want for a steamer, just the right size for feeding one or two people, it is BPA free, looks nice, super compact, easy to use, easy to clean, love the digital timer, steams food in just minutes, very good steamer for very busy person, makes eating healthy much easier …
Cons: it could be bigger and not plastic …
#2. VonShef 7 Quart Digital 3 Tier Food Steamer Stainless Steel
- Cook nutritious, delicious dinners at home with the VonShef 3 Tier Food Steamer
- Renowned for being one of the healthiest cooking methods available, steaming is beneficial as it retains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in food that are often lost when boiled or roasted
- By removing the need for olive oil (a main requirement when frying), there are no unnecessary added fats, making steaming an altogether healthier option when cooking
- Use the food steamer to prepare a variety of entrées and side dishes; anything from savoury rice, fish and chicken, to the whole range of fresh or frozen vegetables, including artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots and more
- The steamer also boasts an auto shut-off feature when the water runs out to give you piece of mind!
- When using one of the 7 pre-set steaming programs designed for these primary foods, all you’ll have to do is load up, set the appropriate program then relax whilst the steamer does the rest
- You don’t have to worry about any cross-over of flavours either; the three-tiered design makes it possible to steam three different foods simultaneously
- Alternatively, you can remove the dividers altogether when steaming large foods, and with a 7 quart capacity the steamer is especially suited to cooking for large numbers
- Both dividers and lid are dishwasher safe and the removable drip tray makes the steamer easy to clean
- The transparent water gauge lets you know the water level and the digital LCD display makes operating the device a pleasantly simple experience
Pros: efficient 3 tier food steamer, great for a big family, versatile, easy to store, baskets are easy to assemble and detach to put in the dishwasher, easy to clean, heats up pretty fast, a quick way to prepare an entire meal, dinners in about 15 minutes, awesome time saver …
Cons: instructions not completely clear …
#3. Viante CUC-30ST Intellisteam Counter Top Food Steamer
- Cook healthy, delicious dinners at home with help from Viante’s easy-to-use electric food steamer
- Whether gathering food from a favorite store, local farmer’s market, or from your very own vegetable garden, the food steamer makes it fun to indulge in nature’s bounty all year long
- Use the food steamer to prepare a variety of entrees and side dishes–anything from savory jasmine rice or wild-caught fish to fresh or frozen vegetables, including artichokes, summer squash, red potatoes and more
- This versatile steamer has 3 separate food compartments with separate temperature and timer controls for each compartment
- The programmable digital control automatically sets start times so all foods are finished at the same time
- All accessories are dishwasher safe
- Rice bowl capacity: 1 liter, overall capacity: 10 liters (about 2.6 gal), sauce containers: 2 x 17 fluid ounces
- Measures 14.5-inch x 13.5-inch x 15.1-inch high
Pros: it’s beautiful and smart, handles on the lids are very handy, love compartments, smells and flavors do not get mixed, adds lots of flexibility, you can cook an entire meal in it, three heat element in one tank of water, great addition for anyone who likes steamed veggies …
Cons: a little pricey, wish could set individual steam times …
#4. Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer – 5.5 Quart (37530A)
- If affordability and durable performance are what you expect in an electric appliance, look no further
- Along with over 50 years of history in the appliance business, proctor Silex has a long-standing commitment to quality
- In their lab, they rigorously test proctor Silex appliances for durability and reliability
- Only when an appliance meets our exacting standards is it ready for the final proving ground – your home
- Take one home today and you’ll experience firsthand the reliability that wins their praise from consumers
- Versatile, stackable 2-tier steaming
- Use 1 tier for small quantities, stack 2 tiers for a whole meal, or remove the center divider to fit a variety of large foods
- Automatic warm – switches to warm when food is ready
- Digital touchpad – makes setting the countdown timer and other functions easy
- Nested storage – fits neatly in cabinet
Pros: this is a great steamer for the money, super lightweight, super value and quality, very high functioning steamer, very classy good and comfortable, stylish and cool, easy to clean, no mold issues, love the fact that the top shelf is removable, recommended if you decided to eat healthy …
Cons: it does not have recipes, short power cord – would be nice if it had a 4 foot cord …
#5. Black & Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer with Flavor Scenter Screen
- Steamers are a healthy, convenient way to fix vegetables, rice seafood and more
- Your deliciously steamed food is ready when the bell rings
- 4-quart steam basket; 5-cup rice bowl; built-in egg holder; drip tray
- 75-minute timer with auto shut-off and signal; external water-fill inlet
- Built-in flavor-scenter screen for flavoring foods with herbs and spices
- Measures approximately 12-1/5 by 9-1/5 by 10-2/5 inches
Pros: the size is big enough to cook for 4 people, small size so convenient to store, easy to use and clean, easy to add water without moving the steamer, makes perfectly steamed food, love it for steaming vegetables, does a wonderful job on veggies, cooks the best corn of cob, food taste great …
Cons: there is not an easier way to remove the lid to get the food …
#6. Lotus Foods Stainless Steel Rice Cooker and Steamer, 12 Cup Capacity
- Not all rice cookers are created equal
- Sure, they may look similar, but look closer
- You will see that the Lotus Foods Rice Cooker has a rice cooking pot and steaming tray that are both constructed completely out of stainless steel
- Not just a stainless steel coating, but made completely from this perfect cooking material that is the healthiest choice for all your rice cooking and steaming preparations
- Your rice and vegetables only come in contact with a stainless steel cooking surface
- 12 cup capacity rice cooker with 100% stainless steel cooking pot and steaming tray
- Stainless steel preserves flavor and nutritional value, does not absorb odors, is non-reactive, and will not tarnish or rust
- A safe alternative to aluminum and non-stick cooking surface
- Simple 1-2-3 cooking and fast, easy clean up; One year warranty
- Includes: Rice cooker, stainless steel inner cooking pot & steaming tray, glass lid & rice paddle
Pros: great rice cooker without non-stick coating, great steamer that is super easy to use, love the stainless steel, rice cooks well, can use to steam veggies while you cook rice, perfect for vegetables or reheating cooked meat on top, convenient, easy to clean …
Cons: wish they had bigger sizes …
#7. BELLA 13872 Food Steamer
- The BELLA 7 Liter (7.4 Quart) Food Steamer is the perfect and healthy way to cook your favorite foods
- This health-focused cooking method shaves off the unwanted calories and unnecessary cooking additives/oils helping you live a healthier and cleaner dietary lifestyle!
- The BELLA Food Steamer cooks your favorite meats, veggies and grains with one quick twist of knob
- Simply pour in the water, set your food in the cooking basket and set the timer
- Voila! You will be enjoying your juicy and flavor packed meal in under 1 hour!
- What’s more? This unit features an auto shutoff feature and boil dry protection for ultimate safety
- By steam-cooking, the vegetables are kept as close to their natural raw state as possible, whileheating through thoroughly
- This not only prevents the vegetables from turning mushy but it also allows them to retain their original color, taste, juices and freshness