Best Food Steamer
Steamers are some of the healthiest ways to cook food, primarily vegetables. Boiling removes water soluble vitamins and nutrients while steaming traps these essentials inside of the food. And if you have a multi-tiered steamer, cooking becomes very efficient and economical. There are several different types of steamers, from fully enclosed electrical types, stove mounted types, and traditional kinds that will allow any chef (or chef wannabe) to make food appetizing and healthful by using steam as the cooking method.
Each steamer on this list will be easy to clean as well as built for durability. Steam penetrates everything because of the high heat and water vapor, which can corrode parts and/or have an effect on electrical systems if it is a plug-in model. If you plan on doing a lot of steaming, you'll want one of these steamers that will be there for you in the long run. so durability matters. Each of these steamers will have a minimum of a limited one year warranty, unless otherwise stated in the description. Of course, depending upon your lifestyle, you'll have to choose the best steamer for your needs. There are simple designs for occasional steaming and digital electronic designs that are able to steam entire meals, day after day.
Ovente Triple-Tiered Electric Food Steamer - FS53W
Sunsella 100 Percent Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer
Hamilton Beach 5.5 Quart Digital Steamer
Joyce Chen 10" Bamboo Steamer Set - 26-0013
Viante CUC-30ST Intellisteam Counter Top Food Steamer
If you want a basic but very effective and easy to use electrical steamer, the Ovente FS53W Triple-Tiered Electric Food Steamer makes the top of this list. Nothing really fancy here, just a steamer that will steam your food to perfection. The Ovente FS53W has 3 separate tiers so you can just use a lower tier for personal steaming, or use all three tiers to prepare an entire meal. Icons of foods, like fish, rice and vegetables (to name a few) are printed on the side of the steamer with an approximate time to cook. Just load it up, turn the manual dial timer for the food you have, and steam away; seriously, it couldn't be simpler. The Ovente Triple-Tiered steamer is easy enough for the novice, yet it is capable of steaming entire meals if you are into a serious steaming lifestyle. You can't beat the price, and all of these factors combined make it the best overall steamer on this list.
For steaming simplicity at it's best, nothing beats the Sunsella 100 Percent Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer. This basket-type steamer is made of solid stainless steel, so it will last a lifetime of use. The Sunsella steamer needs a pot of boiling water to work. Once the water is boiling, set the loaded steamer down into the rising steam, and steam away. The basket has short legs to keep it above the boiling water, and it is capable of holding a meals worth of veggies or other food items, but the reality is this steamer works best for one or two people. You'll need either a timer or a fork to check how done the food is, but it will make quality steamed food as long as you monitor the progress. A steamer of this type is simple to use and easier to clean than any other option. If you just want steamed veggies every so often for you or another person, this would be just about perfect for your needs.
The lowest cost digital steamer, and if you want the best bang for the buck model, the Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer 5.5 Quart Model 37530Z takes the cake. The H.B. Digital Steamer is capable enough to steam small meals, medium meals by stacking up the two tiers, and very large meals by removing the center shelf and having one large steaming compartment. You can delay cooking up to 12 hours, it has an automatic "keep warm" function, and it will even let you know when the water is low and then automatically shut down until you fill the reservoir. The digital touch pad lets you punch in the time needed, and the lighted display always keeps you informed. If you're serious about steaming and you want a step up from a basic steamer, it's hard to beat this Hamilton Beach model. It can do-it-all at a price that won't break the bank.
For you traditionalists out there, it doesn't get any better than the Joyce Chen 26-0013, 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer Set. Some say that original bamboo steamers are the tastiest way to steam food, and I won't argue with that assumption. Joyce Chen is a renowned chef when it comes to Asian cuisine and she uses steamers just like this; if you want that same quality of steamed food, then this is the steamer to get. It's a two tiered model, and it will need to sit above a pot of boiling water which is fine for the occasional meal or for regular steamed meat or veggies. Understand that since this is bamboo, it will be the most difficult to clean, and although it will last a long time, it will need to be eventually replaced. You'll need a timer or a fork to monitor the progress of your food, but if authenticity is what you want (and possibly the best tasting steamed food there is) the Joyce Chen Bamboo Steamer is a "must have" for the steamed food enthusiast.
If you live the steaming lifestyle, and you have a large family, you need to check out the Viante CUC-30ST Intellisteam Counter Top Food Steamer. This selection is called the "Rolls-Royce" of countertop steamers and it's easy to see why. The Viante Steamer has three different compartments, all on the same level which makes it the easiest to access steamer here. You can load up each compartment with family-sized portions of food, and no one will go hungry.
Since it's a digital machine, it lets you control the cooking time on each separate compartment. It will automatically set start times of the types of food you punch in, and they will all finish cooking together. It has a visible water gauge, and it will automatically shut off when the water level runs low. It's even dishwasher safe, so cleaning is a snap. The Viante Intellisteam is the most complex and, by far, the most expensive steamer on this list. But if you, and your family, embrace the steaming lifestyle, nothing is better.