Food steamers are a handy companion for culinary artists. The best food steamer would strike a balance between efficiency, capacity, cost, and environmental considerations.
Besides steaming, these appliances may also serve as microwave containers, sterilizers, storage containers, and dish servers, among other things. But how do you know which food steamer is up for it from the 100s of models on the market?
Don’t worry, we have you covered. After testing over 25 food steamers, we covered a few that are worth every penny in 2021.
Best Food Steamers On the Market
#1: Best Electric Food Steamer: Hamilton Beach 37530A
- FOOD STEAMER AND RICE COOKER: Easily cook a whole meal with one appliance with 5.5 quarts of cooking capacity. Includes 2 steaming bowls plus rice basket for rice or small foods.
- VERSATILE STEAMING: Versatile, stackable 2-tier steaming to cook multiple foods at once for quick and easy meal solutions. Use 1 tier for small quantities and 2 tiers for a whole meal. The center divider can also be removed to fit larger quantities of foods.
- GUESS-FREE STEAMING: Just fill it up and set the timer. When the food is ready, it will automatically switch to Warm. It also includes Delay Start and Auto Shutoff
- DIGITAL TOUCHPAD: Easily set the countdown timer and other functions easily.
- FITS NEATLY IN CABINETS: The tiers nest together to easily store away.
The Hamilton Beach Food Steamer is electric and made up of plastic material. Except for the digital touchpad fitted bottom, the rest of the steamer is clear and see-through.
The lid is however made of glass. It’s electric with a sophisticated yet easy to use a digital system. It’s ideal for cooking eggs, vegetables, fish, meat, shrimps, corn, etc.
This steamer has two layers and a rice bowl, which is dishwasher safe. Nonetheless, the steamer can be converted to a single steam bowl by removing the divider between the layers. As such, large quantities of foods can be cooked at a go.
When steaming time-consuming foods such as corn and potatoes, the bottom layer is the most appropriate. The top layer is convenient for foods with a shorter cooking time span.
It also comes with a delay start timer and a 1-hour warm setting that further adds to the convenience of using the steamer as well as ensures your food remains hot longer even during the coldest winters. The steamer automatically shuts down when the warm mode runs for over an hour, or when the water level is low.
Not withstanding, the water level can be monitored through the viewing window. Further, when the water is low, an audible alert goes off. Water can be added to the water drawer without removing the tiers by simply pulling the water tray.
This food steamer is capable of cooking two types of foods simultaneously. For instance, while corn cooks in the bottom layer, French beans could be getting in the top.
How convenient! Its nested design and size make for a perfect fit in kitchen cabinets, thus saving on kitchen space. At 3.97lbs, it’s probably the best money can buy.
The warm mode is undesirable for cooking vegetables. One may think that during the 1-hour period cooking stops, however, this is not the case and the veggies risk overcooking.
#2: Stainless Steel Food Steamer: Cuisinart CookFresh Digital Glass Steamer
- Powerful steam system with 5L dishwasher-safe glass pot
- LCD control panel, Start/Stop, Pause & Reheat buttons & Audible alert
- 5 preprogrammed food settings: seafood, poultry, grains, vegetables, and manual
- 60 minute countdown timer
- Stainless steel steaming tray, glass lid with stainless steel rim & glass lid with stainless steel rim
From the construction and impressive design, coupled with its functionality, this device leaves little if anything to be desired.
Armed with a powerful steam system, the digital glass steamer delivers perfect top-down steaming. Consequently, the food is engulfed in the steam and evenly cooked as a result.
This is further aided by the insert tray which allows complete steam dispersal by holding the food together in the glass basket. The glass basket comes in a 5-Litre capacity.
This is a substantial size capable of holding enough food for a family of four (depending on their appetites of course). The detachable glass basket can also double up as a serving dish.
The bottom stainless steel part houses the LCD control panel. You have the option of choosing any of the four pre-programmed food settings from the LCD screen. These are; seafood, poultry, grains, and veggies depending on what you want to prepare at that particular time.
The manual setting enables you to adjust and steam the food to your liking. You also have the keep warm option as a bonus.
Additionally, the Cuisinart reservoir has a 1-liter capacity and an indicator to signal once the water runs out. The device also comes with a 60-minute timer together with pause and re-heat settings.
Moreover, the reservoir-glass dish separation makes cleaning a breeze. The tray dish and lid are also dishwasher safe. The base is easily cleaned using a damp cotton cloth due to the stainless steel material.
The 15.5lbs makes this device heavier than its peers. It is also bigger in appearance. Furthermore, it has a thrifty price tag but considering its benefits, it is well worth every penny.
#3: Best Baby Food Steamer: Breville Steam Zone
Raising a baby is never easy. The amount of care and attention required demands that the healthiest food is consumed by them. That is where The Breville Steam Zone comes in. It is a high-end steam cooker with a sophisticated digital system.
Interestingly, this powerful machine can steam foods in a record 30 seconds at maximum power so you baby won’t be left hungry and crying. for a long time. It comprises stainless steel, glass, and BPA free plastic. Its lids and handles are all made of glass.
Unlike other single-layered steamers, the Breville Steam Zone can be converted into two compartments allowing for the preparation of two kinds of foods. This is made possible by the help of a separator.
Interestingly, bamboo baskets can also be used. Functioning independently, the two compartments have distinctive times and power. The pressure build-up is cut by the vents on either side of the steaming basket.
The synchronized finish setting, split zone button and separate lids make it possible for two types of foods with different cooking times to be cooked evenly and simultaneously without corrupting each other flavors and taste.
Moreover, once the separator is removed, the 6quarts capacity can be utilized to steam large quantities of food in a single cycle. These are just but some specs making the Breville Steam Zone the ideal steamer for food.
The machine shuts down automatically when the ‘keep-warm’ time is over, or the water level is below the minimum. Nevertheless, the water level can be observed on the viewing window and refilled through drawers during mid-steaming.
The pause button can be switched to enable one to check out the food without disturbing the time set for preparation.
In comparison to other steam cookers with compartments, this food steamer occupies a lot of kitchen space since it’s not nested. It’s quite heavy but portable. Alerts are audible, while settings and cooking time can be viewed on the LCD screen.
A digital touchpad offers precision for the cooking time set avoiding overcooking of dishes. The removable components of the device are dishwasher-friendly.
Even with its expensive price tag and consumption of kitchen space, evenly cooked foods with amazing taste are what the Breville Steam Zone is all about.
The expensive look, sophisticated digital with many settings, and different warm temperatures make this device worth every penny.
#4: Most Compact Food Steamer: Oster Double-Tiered Steamer
- Food steamer for vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry
- Steaming retains nutrients and eliminates the need for cooking oils
- Double-tiered design allows you to separate and simultaneously cook 2 types of food
- Transparent steaming bowls let you see the progress
- Steamer bowls nest for compact storage.Watts: 400W
This is an electric device made of plastic. The whole machine is transparent and clear, allowing observation of the steaming process.
It’s a healthy way of preparing dishes since no cooking oil is used. Although electric, no digital system is employed. It has a single control dial and on/off switches.
The double-tiered steaming is separated by a separator which can be removed to allow large quantities of food to cook at a go. When in place, two types of food can be prepared simultaneously.
Consequently, foods with high cooking time are kept on the bottom, whereas the ones with a short cooking time span are placed on the top tray.
The lid, steaming baskets, and separator ring are easy to clean since they are dishwasher friendly. Shutting down occurs automatically when the food is ready, and the water reservoir is empty.
The Oster is the most compact steamer with a capacity of 5-quarts and thus suitable for a single person or a small family. Moreover, its size and nested compact design allow the trays to stack up together, thus saving on kitchen space.
Since the machine is not digitized, the timing of the steaming process is done manually by turning the timer knob. As such, due to a lack of precision from the timer, food may either turn out overcooked or undercooked.
Additionally, unlike others, there is no form of alert made when food is ready. The manufacturers should come up with a more advanced device.
#5: Bella 2 tiered Food Steamer
- FOOD STEAMER: With 7.4 quarts of cooking capacity & 2 separate steaming containers, you can cook a full meal with sides with one simple turn of a switch. Features auto shutoff & boil dry protection for simple & safe cooking
- ALL YOU NEED: A 2-tier design allows you to cook multiple items at once for quick & easy meal preparation—simply set the timer & watch it work! Includes 2 steaming containers, grain tray & lid which are all dishwasher safe
- GUESS-FREE COOKING: The water reservoir view window ensures you'll always know whether you have enough water to finish the job at hand, and a guess-free steaming guide chart is embedded on the unit so you can guarantee perfect steaming results every time.
- KITCHEN ESSENTIALS: BELLA offers a full range of high-quality products including air fryers, waffle irons, toasters, coffee makers, electric kettles, slow cookers, espresso machines, griddles & juicers.
- MIX IT UP: The kitchen should be fun. With BELLA It can be. We provide you with quick & convenient kitchen solutions to simplify your hectic life, including small kitchen appliances, cookware & housewares.
This is an electric, two-tiered steamer consisting of separable plastic parts. The plastic parts are easy to clean, with only soap and water.
Like other 2-tiered steamers allowing for simultaneous cooking of different foods, the device comes with a replaceable separator ring. Once removed, the device is converted into a large single steaming basket.
Its outstanding design incorporates an external water filler. This feature allows for the addition of water mid-steaming when low.
What makes this one of our favorite food steamers on the list owing to, among other things, is its 7.4quarts capacity. The rice bowl is also big enough to accommodate 5 cups of rice ensuring you do not have to be cooking rice twice or thrice a day (we all deserve a little, don’t we?).
Consequently, it is rendered the most ideal for a large crowd. Although it’s big, it’s designed in a way that the layers are stackable.
The device is manual and lacks advanced features like the Hamilton Beach Steamer that provides precise cooking time. The only automatic thing available is the shut-off feature, which enables it to shut down to prevent boil dry and when food is cooked.
A digitized steamer is more precise than a manual one; however, the 7.4quarts capacity makes it a must-have.
#6: Mister Kitchenware 10″ Handmade Bamboo Steamer
- 1. ✅STEAMING IS A HEALTHY COOKING METHOD - Steaming is a more gentle process than simmering, frying, boiling or poaching. It helps preserve minerals and vitamins while keeping the foods color, shape, flavor and texture. There is also need to use any oil or fat when cooking with a bamboo steamer. Fantastic for Christmas gift bags.
- ✅2 TEIR CONSTRUCTION - Bamboo steamers can have stackable layers with slatted bottoms. Such multi-level steamers are highly efficient as they allow you to steam multiple items simultaneously. our two tier baskets allow the space to cook or reheat more servings at once. Each Tier Offers 10" Diameter x 2.4" Depth; Interior Diameter: 9.25"
- ✅STEAMED FOOD TASTED BETTER - Bamboo steamers absorb the excess moisture which in turn prevent condensation from dripping on the food. Constructed of a circular bamboo frame, the steamer features a slatted bamboo bottom that allows steam to move freely within the cooking chamber. The domed bamboo-mesh lid helps circulate heat. If you don’t like soggy veggies, you have yet another reason to use a bamboo steamer. Great eating for mom dad and the kids.
- ✅HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR BAMBOO STEAMER - Bamboo steamers aren't dishwasher safe. Vinegar is a natural safe way to disinfect and deodorize it. Use a half a cup of vinegar in one gallon of hot water to soak a cloth in and lightly squeeze out the water from the cloth. Wipe over the bamboo steamer with the cloth and repeat this method a few times until clean. Rinse the cloth in hot clean water and wipe the bamboo steamer over once more. Let your bamboo steamer completely dry on the rack before putting
- ✅BACKED BY OUR 60 Day 100% HASSLE FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If you are not completely satisfied with our Bamboo Steamer set we offer a 60 day 100% money back guarantee, no questions asked. We are that confident that you will love this steaming basket and we are willing to offer this money back guarantee.
Traditionally, foods such as dumplings were prepared by steaming and that’s how they get their lip-smacking juicy flavor and guess what, this bamboo steamer is just ideal for such tasks.
The aforementioned device is not electric and can only be used when placed inside other kitchen appliances such as the pressure cooker or the Breville Steam Zone. It has two layers that can be nested together.
The bottom of the steamer is circular to allow free movement of the steam. It is then placed on a wok or a pan during steaming on a pressure cooker.
The reason your dumplings come out all juicy and hot is because it takes in the moisture, thus inhibiting condensation pooling up under the lid which may drip into your food and alter taste and flavor.
Apart from retaining the nutrient content, food color, shape, and flavor are also preserved. Vegetables come out looking vibrant, colorful, and crispier. Different foods can be cooked simultaneously.
Cleaning is a hassle and very tedious, considering the material used requires being hand washed. Afterward, it should be left to air dry so that it is available for another use.
It’s multipurpose, designed to cook and serve dishes. Its capacity is fitted for a small crowd. If you are interested in an item that makes you feel like you are eating food in Hawaii or any other exotic place, then the Bamboo Steamer will surely give you that experience.
A high level of maintenance is required. Cleaning takes up a long time since it has to be disinfected with vinegar after every use. Its durability is questionable.
#7: Oxo Good Grips Silicone Steamer
- High walls keep contents contained and away from boiling water, while stay-cool handles allow for stable transfer
- Pleats allow steamer flex accommodating pots that have a 7" diameter or greater
- Flexible handles fold inward and lock in place allowing the use of lids on pots
- Ideal for use in pressure cookers
- High walls keep contents contained and away from boiling water
This steamer is made of strong but flexible silicone material, thus allowing it to fit into a variety of pot sizes. Primarily, it works with pressure cookers. There are a number of cool features the OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer possesses.
For instance, it contains flexible pleats. When placed in a small-sized cooker, the pleats fold nicely allowing it to fit like a glove. The steamer’s heat resistance handles fold nicely, thus allowing the lid to fit nicely on the pressure cooker.
Additionally, the handles have a ‘stay-cool’ capability. As such, you shouldn’t worry about getting burnt and dropping your much-awaited steamed veggies.
Equally notable, the OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer is designed with a flat base and as such contains a capacity large enough to accommodate a substantial amount of food. The bottom of the flat base is fitted with some sort of feet or stands.
These assist in elevating the base, thus creating an appreciable distance between the steamer and the boiling water.
Additionally, the high walls of the steamer basket come in handy in keeping the contents away from the boiling water underneath. Further, owing to the non-stick nature of silicone, the steamer is easy to wash.
The steamer is manual in every sense of the word.
#8: Elite Gourmet EST-2301 Electric Food Steamer
- Triple Tiered Food steamer includes two 3.5 quart bowls and a 1.5 quart bowl for a total capacity of 8.5 quarts
- 60 MIN timer with safety auto-off
- Nested storage design fits neatly in your kitchen cabinet
- Each tray comes with 6 egg-rests for egg boiling
- Dishwasher safe parts for easy clean-up
The Elite Gourmet EST-2301 Electric Food Steamer is a 3-tier food steamer with a capacity of 8.5quarts in denominations of two 3.5quarts and 1.5 quarts compartments.
The stackable nested basket trays are transparent, allowing one to see the steam as it engulfs the food and cooking it.
The device comes with a stainless steel bottom housing a 60-minute timer. Additionally, it contains safety auto-off. With six egg rests per tray, you can not only steam eggs all day but also prepare all kinds of vegetables, meats, and fish.
Noteworthy, you don’t need to worry about harmful plastic components sipping into your favorite meal as it is completely BPA-free.
Another feature we love about it are the unique 3-tiers that allow you to steam multiple food items at once making this a highly versatile unit.
The stainless steel bottom and the see-through detachable basket trays mean cleaning it is a breeze. Furthemore adding to that is the dishwasher friendly build of the detachable components.
The 3-tier deck could pose a challenge to a first-timer, especially when assembling it. Since it is plastic-made, the rings also get misshapen a little, especially under intense heat. However, this shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
The Best Food Steamer: FAQs
Q1. How do I choose a food steamer?
As far as choosing a food steamer is concerned, one should consider the material used, the capacity of food it can steam in one cycle, and more importantly cost.
Well, there are many various steam cookers out there while the best are those that are transparent or clear in order to observe food while steaming. Moreover, hassle-free, simple, and versatile should ring in the consumer’s mind when picking a food steamer.
Q2. Can you cook rice in a steamer?
It is possible. Conveniently, steam cookers used to make rice come with rice bowls whereas others allow bowls to fit in the steaming basket.
For instance, the Hamilton Beach Food Steamer and Russell Hobbs Three-tier Steamer come with a rice bowl while the Oster Double-tiered Food Steamer does not. Instead, a regular bowl can be used.
Q3: Which is better boiled or steamed broccoli?
Boiled broccoli may turn out overcooked and appear different in appearance. In addition to that, the nutrient content and taste are interfered with.
Q4: Are plastic steamers safe?
While BPA free materials are considered safer and mostly used in plastic steamers, scientists recommend the use of plastic-free steamers such as glass or stainless steel to guard against potential plastic related health issues.
Steaming food has become synonymous with healthy eating and living. It is imperative that all people check what they eat and how the same is prepared.
Steamed foods offer the body immense health benefits. They retain their naturally rich nutrients, flavors, and taste, thus nourishing the body more than other methods of cooking.
Further, it also prevents cholesterol-related complications by negating the need for cooking oil. So purchase your food steamer today and enjoy the natural flavors of healthy food. Eat healthy, live healthy.