Nowadays, people are getting more health conscious. The quest to be healthy is most evident in the kitchen wherein fresh fruits and vegetables seem to take prominence.
For centuries, food steaming has been tagged as the healthiest way to cook food for it conserves the vitamins and minerals as well as cooking food without using any oil in the process. To cook food by steam, a good food steamer is used.
There are plenty of food steamers for sale in the market but below is a list of the leading food steamers brands and models to help you choose.
An automatic, two-tier food steamer with a removable divider designed cook a large volume of vegetables or huge food items like corn cobs, fish or lobster. It also includes a rice bowl if you want to cook some rice along with your veggies. This item also has a time delay feature – you can set the steamer just in time for you to come home to hot, steaming food.
Just remember that this model’s plastic parts are not BPA-free so use with extreme caution. Still, this is one of the best food steamers you can buy.
If you are looking for a good food steamer deal, then you have to try this product. Automated and with a delay cooking timer of up to 12 hours, it features an external water inlet, fully collapsible trays, two different sizes of steaming bowl, and eight egg holders. Its large 6.1-quart capacity is one of the largest in this list.
You have to call Oster’s customer service to know whether your unit is BPA-free or not by giving them the item code of your unit. Overall, a great product from the top food steamer maker.
Probably the most inexpensive food steamers on this list, this product features an automatic 60-minute timer with auto shut-off. This item is compact so it won’t be taking too much space on your countertop. Although two-tiered, the steaming compartments are small that you might not be able to steam large food items.
Great for single individuals or for those you don’t have much space in the kitchen.
This compact two-tiered food steamer can only hold 4 quarts of food items but the plate in between is removable if you want to steam something large. This item stands around 15 inches and weighs approximately 6 pounds, making it convenient to store in a cupboard when not in used or if you really don’t have much space in your kitchen.
A small size steamer good for two persons.
A food steamer for large families, this item features one 4-quart basket, one 3-quart basket, 5-cup rice bowl, and a nesting basket for a dozen eggs. It also has a 75-minute timer and a flavor scenter screen to put your herbs and spices.
Unlike other steamers on this list, this one has no keep warm function so you better only cook what you can eat. The big capacity can cook all the veggies and eggs plus a little rice – a rather nice dinner for a family of six.
A mini-version of the HS-1050, it has a four-quart capacity (one-tier), a flavor scenter screen, and a 75-minute timer with auto shut-off. Although smaller in volume, it can still feed a family of four.
This food steamer costs a little higher than other brands with the same volume capacity but the Black & Decker is one of the most reliable kitchen appliance brands in the market so it is all worth it.
The rising trend of eating healthy food has a direct effect on the growing number of kitchens that contains a food steamer. Food steamers work by creating steam heat that cooks the food inside an enclosed vessel.
The use of food steamers is not exactly new. History showed that the Chinese people had been using the power of steam in cooking rice and other food items although food steamers have definitely evolved in the past few years.
New food steamers are divided into three types: the in-pot steamer basket insert, the collapsible stove top, and the electric steamer. Of the three, the in-pot steamer basket is the least expensive since you would only need to put the food in the basket then the basket inside a pot with little water and enclosed with the pot’s lid. The only concern is how to remove the basket from steaming pot.
The second type, the collapsible stove top, has two varieties: metal and bamboo. You can usually find these in Chinese restaurants that offer steamed buns and dumplings in the menu. The base holds the water and the tiered baskets have small holes at its bottom to allow the circulation of the steam for even cooking. Asian households still have this steamer though it is hard to clean.
The third type and the most that can be seen in most household nowadays are the electric steamers, which are more convenient to use than the two types. It produces steam the fastest and the cooking is automated. Cheap food steamers that are powered by electricity are hard to find. The price usually starts at $100 though you might find the smaller ones that can cost less than this.
In buying food steamers, you need to consider its volume capacity. Most electric food steamers are tiered up to three stacks but you can still find those one-tiered models in the market. The bigger your food steamer basket is, the more food you can put in it to steam simultaneously. It would save you a lot of time and energy.
Of course, if you are leaving alone or have a tiny household, the smaller ones should do. If you are going for the tiered model, choose a food steamer with movable dividers so you can accommodate larger food items like fish or chicken.
One concern for buyers is the plastic composition of the basket. Although most electric steamers are FDA approved, families with small children or those with pregnant mothers tend to stay away from food steamers that are not certified BPA-free. The chemical compound Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a major compound for some plastics and posed several health issues because of its hormone-like properties. Still, this is debatable as FDA has not yet issued a ban on the usage of BPA though they did stop giving authorization for use in infant formula packaging.
Additional features that the in-pot basket or the collapsible certainly don’t have are the timer and the keep warm functions. Most electric steamers are armed with timers that have an optional time delay function for accurate cooking and a keep warm function to keep food warm for a couple more hours after it had already finished steaming.