The 12 Best Food Steamers

Cooking-in-the-steamer.-Healthy-food-for-children-and-diet

With the best food steamers, you can cook healthy meals for the whole family.

You’ll be free to cook without adding any extra fat or oil, ideal if you’re looking to manage your weight this fall.

Beyond this, steaming food locks in all the moisture and nutrients, so they’ll end up in your stomach rather than left in a pan of boiling water.

The best part?

Using a food steamer couldn’t be much easier.

If you have no idea what to look for in a food steamer, consider the following pointers before brandishing your credit card:

  • Type of steamer: Electric food steamers are the most common and popular type of steamer. With these, you fill the base with water, heating elements heat the water to a high enough temperature that steam is produced, and the food itself is cooked in stackable baskets. This is a set-and-forget approach to steaming. Bamboo steamers are the best choice if you make lots of Asian dishes in the kitchen. Made from sustainable materials, these steamers are the most eco-friendly choice. You’ll get small baskets that fit one on top of the other. You pour water into a wok so it covers the bottom rim of your bamboo steamer. You then place leaves, liners, or parchment paper into the steamer, add your food, and then the water is heated so it’s simmering. At this point, the food inside the baskets starts cooking. The paper, leaves, or liner prevent your food from sticking to the bamboo. The construction of bamboo steamers means they are the only variety of steamer you can confidently use over a large wok or fry pan. Folding food steamers are designed to sit right inside a pan at the bottom. The foldable nature of these steamers means they fit most pans. All you need to do is add enough water to the pan so it just touches the base of the steamer. This will be about an inch of water. Pop the steamer inside the pan. As soon as the water starts boiling, the food begins to cook. The other key benefit of this type of food steamer is the fact you can store it with ease when not in use. Although there are other types of steamer at your disposal, these are the only types we review today. Since we’re here to make your life easier and not more complicated, we’ll leave it at these main varieties. Next up, size matters with steamers…
  • Size of steamer: Most steamers are tiered so you can cook multiple dishes at the same time. Capacity is typically expressed in terms of quarts, and we review steamers in a variety of sizes today
  • Water levels: If you’re buying an electric steamer, make sure there is a visible water gauge, ideally combined with an audible alert if the steamer runs dry
  • Timer: Electric steamers usually come with a simple countdown timer. The more upscale steamers have delay timers
  • Warming function: Some steamers will keep your food warm once it’s cooked, ideal if you are always rushing around in the kitchen preparing large meals
  • Ease of cleaning: Look for steamers with dishwasher-safe if you’re looking for the easiest cleanup. Bamboo steamers are much more awkward to keep clean

Right, with those basics in place, you’re now ideally positioned to explore our selection of the best food steamers up for grabs.

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I. The 12 Best Food Steamers

1. Our #1 Pick: Oster Dutch Oven with Steamer

Oster-Dutch-Oven-w/Steamer-Basket-Stainless-Steel-Cookware

Features

  • Capacity: 3-quart
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 6.2 inches

Our overall favorite in today’s showcase of the best food steamers is a rugged stainless steel Dutch oven from Oster that comes with an integrated steamer.

You get a 3-quart capacity here, and the ability to whip up rice and veggies simultaneously, something you can’t achieve in most steamers.

The space-saving and stackable nature of this set makes it a neat choice for anyone with space constraints at home.

As with most stainless steel cookware, you can pop these pans into the dishwasher, but you are advised to hand wash them. All you’ll need is a little warm soapy water and you’ll prolong the lifespan of your steamer.

The glass lid locks tightly into place and allows you to monitor proceedings at a glance and without opening the lid.

If you live in an apartment or you have limited space in the kitchen, there’s no need to compromise when it comes to a food steamer. Cook a variety of foods quickly and healthily without laboring over pots and pans filled with water if you invest in this first-class food steamer and Dutch oven from Oster.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Steam veggies and cook rice together
  • Perfect space-saving solution
  • Stackable casserole and steamer
  • Not suitable for induction cooktops

2. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer

OXO-Good-Grips-Stainless-Steel-Steamer-With-Extendable-Handle

Features

  • Capacity: For pans 8 inches and above
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 7 inches

Next up comes a nifty steamer insert from kitchenware specialist OXO. Their Good Grips line of accessories flies off shelves the world over, and it’s easy to see why.

The first thing to point out is that this steamer doesn’t feature the sleek finish you would associate with OXO. Edges are sharp and rough, so handle this thing with care.

Designed to work with all pots measuring 8 inches or more across, you’re getting a versatile approach to steaming food here.

If you have space constraints in the kitchen, you’ll appreciate the foldable nature of this steamer.

Ideal for use with both pressure cookers and multicookers as well as pans on the stovetop, this is one of the most flexible approaches to steaming food you’ll find, so what are you waiting for?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Removable, extendable handle
  • Works on all pots 8 inches and wider
  • Folds flat when not in use
  • Fairly rough finish

3. Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer

Hamilton-Beach-Digital-Food-Steamer-for-Quick

Features

  • Capacity: 5.5-quart
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 13.7 x 7.28 x 12.6 inches

Hamilton Beach always manage to produce top-notch kitchenware and appliances that are priced well within the grasp of most consumers, so how does this digital food steamer stand and fall?

Despite the appearance of stainless steel, this unit is plastic, but build quality is impressive, and all materials are food-safe and BPA-free.

This digital steamer lets you whip up your veggies and other dishes healthily and in a stackable layout, so you can maximize efficiency in the kitchen without any cross-contamination of flavors.

Access the timer and other functions using the simple push-button display, and you’ll see what you need displayed on the backlit LCD.

With nesting tiers to streamline storage, this compact steamer is well worth popping on your shortlist if you want to enjoy your vegetables at their finest and with all nutrients intact.

While most user reviews for this food steamer are overwhelmingly positive, we found several gripes about the speed at which the water evaporates. We would suggest keeping a close eye on proceedings to avoid the unit running dry.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great price/performance ratio
  • Stackable tiered steaming
  • Integrated timer
  • Water evaporates rapidly

4. Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer

Cuisinart-Digital-Glass-Steamer,-One-Size,-Stainless-Steel

Features

  • Capacity: 5-liter
  • Material: Stainless steel and glass
  • Dimensions: 13.74 x 13.23 x 9.37 inches

Cuisinart is a name you can rely on, and this digital food steamer looks great and performs just as well. What do you get for your money, then?

The low-slung unit will enhance your kitchen counter rather than cluttering it up. A combination of stainless steel and hardwearing dishwasher-safe glass means you get a steamer that’s built to last and easy to care for, a winning combination.

Choose from the following presets:

  • Manual
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Poultry
  • Seafood

This allows you to take charge yourself or harness one-touch cooking.

The 60-minute countdown timer removes the guesswork from steaming. An audible alert sounds when the food is done.

The large glass cooking pot has a 5-liter capacity, and you’ll also get a 1-liter water tank. This is removable to simplify operation.

Most user testimony for this food steamer is positive, but we found some niggles about the fact there is no mention of the plastic in this steamer being BPA-free. Do your due diligence here.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 5 presets baked in
  • 60-minute countdown timer
  • Intuitive LCD panel
  • Not BPA-free

5. Anolon Classic Stainless Steel Steamer Insert

Anolon-Classic-Stainless-Steel-Steamer-Insert-with-Lid,-Silver

Features

  • Capacity: Universal insert
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 10.98 x 8.23 x 6.69 inches

Next up in our search for the best food steamers comes a simple insert from Anolon, so how does this piece of kit shape up?

Made from robust stainless steel, this insert is designed to work with a wide variety of sauce pots with both straight sides and tulip sides. Use a 2-quart, 3-quart, or 4-quart pot and pop this insert inside to cook with the power of steam.

The lid is precisely engineered and it slots snugly into place. This keeps all the moisture where you want it, while also preventing condensation from forming.

Oven-safe to 500F, you can easily make all your favorite stovetop-to-oven recipes without any niggling worries about your cookware letting you down or warping.

The handles are riveted to eliminate the usual weak-point of less effective cookware.

Aside from some scattered complaints about the flimsy build quality, most users are extremely satisfied with this simple but efficient steamer insert, so see if it makes the right fit for your home kitchen.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Lids locks all moisture inside
  • For 2, 3, and 4-quart pots
  • Dual handles robustly riveted
  • Feels quite flimsy

6. Mister Kitchenware Bamboo Steamer

Mister-Kitchenware-10-Inch-Handmade-Bamboo-Steamer

Features

  • Capacity: 10-inch
  • Material: Bamboo
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 6.2 inches

As we reach the midpoint of our collection of the best food steamers, we have an eco-friendly bamboo option for anyone looking for a green approach to food steaming.

The stackable containers with slatted bottoms allow you to steam more than one dish at the same time.

The bamboo build is more than a sustainable, eco-conscious option. The bamboo draws in any excess moisture as your food is steaming, stopping condensation from forming and dripping all over your food.

Equipped with a slatted base to promote the free and easy movement of steam within the cooking chamber, and a domed lid to optimize heat circulation, you can get your veggies crisp yet tasty and still loaded with vitamins and minerals, rather than a soggy mess stripped of key nutrients.

The only real downside of this steamer is the fact it’s not dishwasher-friendly, and it’s quite tasky to keep clean and maintain. Take this into account before committing to purchase.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Twin-tier steaming
  • Efficient heat circulation
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Not dishwasher-friendly

7. Rosewill 3-Tier Electric Steamer

Rosewill-BPA-free,-9.5-Quart-(9L),-3-Tier-Stackable-Baskets-Electric-Steamer-with-Timer-Food

Features

  • Capacity: 9.5-quart
  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.25 x 15.63 inches

If you’re looking for a food steamer that’s easy to use and just as easy to keep clean, pop this triple-tiered electric model from Rosewill on your shortlist.

If you have a large family, or if you often cater for bigger gatherings at home, this supersize steamer gives you a class-leading 9.5-quart capacity.

As with all the best electric food steamers, the stackable nature of this unit means it won’t eat up too much space on the kitchen counter. At the same time, you’ll free up your stovetop of all those pans of boiling water, and you won’t need to continuously monitor proceedings either.

Water level indicators means there’s no chance of being caught unawares and your steamer running dry.

All parts of this food steamer are free of BPA, so you have no concerns about toxins leaching into your food when all you want is healthier and tastier veggies.

The baskets and rice bowl are all dishwasher-friendly, so you can enjoy hands-free cleanup as well as hands-free cooking. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 3 large stackable baskets
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Pair of side water vents
  • Marking lines on timer wear off

8. Oster Double-Tiered Food Steamer

Oster-Double-Tiered-Food-Steamer,-5-Quart,-White

Features

  • Capacity: 5-quart
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.4 x 8.8 inches

As we near the end of our collection of the best food steamers, we have another rock-solid entry from Oster.

Although this model is plastic, build quality is commendable, and the overall feel is robust and rigid.

The same cannot be said for the food baskets, though, with several disgruntled consumers commenting on the flimsiness of these baskets. We would suggest you handle them with care.

Ideal for meat, fish, and poultry as well as all your favorite veggies, the twin tiers helps streamline cooking and maximizes efficiency in the home kitchen, perfect if you’re always crunched for time.

Rated at 400 watts, you have all the power you need in reserve, but you won’t use too much electricity with this thing.

The 60-minute countdown timer extends you set-and-forget ease when you’re steaming vegetables, the complete opposite of tackling the task on the stovetop.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Double-tiered configuration
  • Generous capacity
  • 60-minute timer
  • Made of thin plastic

9. Progressive International Food Steamer

Progressive-International-Fish/Veggie-Steamer,-Gray

Features

  • Capacity: 1-quart
  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Dimensions: 10.75 x 3 x 3.75 inches

If you’re looking for a simple and compact steamer that’s great for use camping, in an RV, or in a college dorm room, Progressive International comes up trumps.

Made from a plastic that’s not only BPA-free but also dishwasher-friendly, you’re getting a steamer that’s as easy to care for as it is to use.

The 1-quart capacity means this steamer is best for singles and couples, or possibly small families.

Inside, the surface is non-stick, so you shouldn’t find your ingredients smeared all over the inside. Choose whether to soak it in some warm, soapy water or to pop it in the dishwasher for stress-free cleanup.

Use the vent in the lid to manipulate the amount of steam escaping to dial in your steaming to your taste.

The majority of user reviews sing the praises of this steamer, but we found some isolated complaint from customers bemoaning the poor quality of the fit and finish.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Ideal portable steamer
  • Rugged and long-lasting
  • Super-simple to use
  • Fit and finish could be improved

10. Secura Stainless Steel Food Steamer

Secura-2-Stainless-Steel-Food-Steamer-8.5-Qt-Electric-Glass-Lid-Vegetable-Steamer

Features

  • Capacity: 8.5-quart
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 15 x 12.25 x 12.25 inches

Secura has a deep bench of kitchenware and appliance finished in stainless steel, and this stackable food steamer continues that tradition admirably.

This 8.5-quart steamer makes a great choice for bigger families, allowing you to whip up multiple batches of steamed veggies at the same time, or to cook up any other meat, fish, and poultry dishes you fancy steaming rather than broiling.

Rated at 800 watts, this is one of the most powerful electric food steamers in this class, so you’ll get great results in a hurry.

It takes just 15 seconds for this unit to start generating steam, so slide in your preferred ingredients and let the efficiency of this machine do all the hard work for you. There is no need to spend your afternoons fussing over multiple pots on the stovetop when you can steam vegetables. Not only is it much easier, but you’ll also end up with superior results on your plate.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Durable and stackable baskets
  • Powerful 800-watt steamer
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Stains quite easily

11. Bella Two-Tier Food Steamer

BELLA-Two-Tier-Food-Steamer,-Healthy,-Fast-Simultaneous-Cooking

Features

  • Capacity: 7.4-quart
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 11.61 x 8.94 x 11.73 inches

As we edge to the end of our food steamer reviews, another dual-tiered model, this time from Bella. How does this steamer stand out in a crowded pack, then?

The first thing to point out is that several users reference this model leaking, so if you’re looking for a completely seamless experience, explore some of the other steamers above and below.

Setting this flashpoint aside, you get a substantial 7.4-quart capacity allowing you to cook veggies and much more for the whole family. The best thing? You can do this without being attached to the stovetop for an hour.

Using this steamer is as straightforward as twisting the dial, and then you can cook mains and sides at the same time, while retaining more nutrients and delivering a taste sensation.

Once you’re done, all removable components are safe to slip in the dishwasher. Rather than stacks of pans in the sink, you’ll have delicious veggies on your plate, along with steamed meat or fish for good measure.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Dual containers
  • Transparent water reservoir
  • Quick-start steaming
  • Some reported snags with leaking

12. Prime Home Direct Bamboo Steamer

Prime-Home-Direct-10-inch-Bamboo-Steamer-Basket

Features

  • Capacity: 10-inch
  • Material: Bamboo
  • Dimensions: 10.35 x 9.84 x 6.18 inches

To conclude our hunt for the best food steamers, another bamboo model, this time from Prime Home Direct.

Although this is not especially cheap for a bamboo steamer, you’ll get this bamboo beauty for much less than you’d need to pay for the best electric food steamer.

Made throughout from 100% organic bamboo, this is an environmentally-friendly approach to one of the healthiest methods of cooking.

The traditional design of this steamer stops condensation from dripping all over your food, and all the heat and steam is locked in, circulating efficiently thanks to the design of the lid and the base.

You get a 10-inch basket with this set, along with a pair of chopstick sets, and a sauce dish. You even get 50 reusable liners thrown in, giving you everything you need to start steaming food right out the box.

As with all bamboo cookware, you’ll need to adhere to some simple care instructions, so refer to the usual manual for specifics, and avoid putting this steamer in the dishwasher.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Efficient heat circulation
  • No condensation accumulates
  • Healthier way to steam food
  • Could be easier to keep clean

II. FAQs

1) What foods respond best to steaming?

Veggies are the default option with a food steamer, and this come out very well. You can steam much more than broccoli or carrots, though. Try some root vegetables, leafy greens, and squashes in your new steamer. You can even cook frozen vegetables in a steamer. Fish and shellfish both respond well to steaming. The fish is ready serve when it becomes flaky, while shellfish will become less translucent when it’s ready to eat after steaming. Steam chicken, but make sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature is at least 160F before serving. Just 6 minutes in a steamer generates eggs with cooked whites and gloopy, runny yellows. Cook them for 12 minutes in the steamer and get hard-boiled eggs. Beef and lamb also works well in the steamer, but you should avoid tougher cuts as they won’t come out a well in the steamer.

2) When should I season my food when steaming?

Season your ingredients before steaming them. Try using a mixture of olive oil and herbs to help the seasoning stick to your veggies. Marinate meats before steaming them so they are fully loaded with flavor.

3) Is it possible to season the water when steaming food?

Yes. Try using some chicken broth, vegetable broth, or lemon to the water. Alternatively, add some herbs like lemongrass, rosemary, dill, and garlic for a taste sensation with a more muted flavor profile than seasoning the food directly.

4) Is steaming food healthy?

Steaming food is a much healthier alternative to boiling or frying food. You won’t need to add any oils or fats, and the nutrients are better preserved than when you’re cooking food in a pan of boiling water.

5) Is steaming food quicker than boiling food?

Boiling is quicker than steaming once the target temperature is reached. The best electric steamers kick in within 15 seconds, though, so this is not a sluggish cooking method.

6) How long does it take to steam veggies?

Vegetables will take from 3 minutes to 8 minutes to steam, depending on the type.

7) Can I cook rice in a food steamer?

Yes, but you should use a dedicated rice steaming bowl for the purpose. This will save you from needing a rice cooker.


III. Conclusion

Steaming food is not only easy and hands-off, but you’ll also benefit from vegetables with more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals left intact.

Stick with any of the food steamers we review today and you’re in safe hands. If you encounter a steamer we didn’t review, we hope our brief buying guide and detailed food steamer FAQs helps you more readily determine if it’s the right steamer for you.

Before heading off today, bookmark Madiba and be sure to pop back very soon. We update our content once or twice daily on all aspects of the home kitchen and grilling. Be sure to pop back very soon and don’t miss out!

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