Best Food Steamers
Steaming is a moist-heat cooking method that cooks food by surrounding it with hot vapor in an enclosed environment. It’s a particularly healthy and effective cooking technique since no cooking oil or other fat is added to the food. Many foods, including meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables can be prepared with this cooking technique.
Vegetables retain more of their nutrient content when steamed, as opposed to being simmered or boiled in water where the nutrients can leach out. If you’ve ever noticed your cooking water has a greenish hue after simmering green beans or broccoli, you’ve witnessed this occurrence!
There are a number of different types of stovetop and electric steamer options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a stand alone electric model to prepare a feat or a convenient steamer insert to fit in a pot you already own for veggies and baby food prep, we’ve compiled a variety of food steamers to meet your needs. Here’s our list of the best food steamers.
The 8 Best Food Steamers - Reviews & Buying Guide
Best Food Steamers in Kitchen
1.Best Overall: Hamilton Beach 37530A Digital Food Steamer
- Versatile, stackable 2-tier steaming,Nested storage – fits neatly in cabinet
- 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
- The food containers are to be hand-washed in soapy water, not to clean in Dishwasher Only the Drip Tray and Rice Bowl are Dishwasher safe
This 5 1/2-quart electric steamer has two tiers that stack for cooking then nest for more compact storage, so it’s both large and small. You can use just one tier for cooking when you don’t have as much food to cook, or use both tiers when you’re cooking for a crowd. The tiers have a removable center divider, so you can keep the broccoli from frolicking with the carrots, or remove the divider to cook a large filet of fish.
The rice bowl can be used for rice or for other small foods that need to be contained, like peas or corn off-the cob. When cooking is done, the steamer automatically switches to a keep-warm setting for one hour before turning off to avoid overcooking the food. Speaking of settings, there’s a digital touchpad that makes controlling the cooker easy.
The delay-start feature lets you fill the steamer with produce in advance and start the cooking later. This feature shouldn’t be used for highly perishable foods like fish, poultry, or meat.
This steamer includes a drip tray and rice bowl that are dishwasher safe. The food containers should be hand washed.
2. Best High-End: Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer
- Powerful steam system and glass lid with stainless steel rim
- 5L dishwasher-safe glass pot
- 5 preprogrammed food settings: seafood, poultry, grains, vegetables, and manual
- 60-minute countdown timer, LCD control panel, audible alert and start/stop, pause & reheat button
If you don’t like the idea of cooking in plastic, this steamer has a five-liter glass cooking pot, a stainless steel steaming tray and a glass lid with stainless steel trim. All parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
The LCD control panel includes start/stop, pause, and reheat buttons along with pre-programmed food setting to make cooking easy. You can also set the controls manually, for custom cooking.
The steaming system delivers the steam from the top down, surrounding the food and cooking it quickly and evenly. The water tank is removable for easy filling. Two handles on the steamer tray make it easy to remove the cooked food.
This is available with either stainless steel or white exterior trim.
3. Best Budget: Oster Double Tiered Food 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
- Double-tiered 5-quart capacity steamer with two transparent steaming bowls
- Automatic 60-minute timer
If you’re not sure you’ll be steaming enough food to warrant a high-priced appliance, this 5-quart steamer has plenty of features and a budget-friendly price. It has two tiers with transparent steaming bowls for cooking foods separately. The timer can be set for up to 60 minutes, and the steamer turns itself off when time is up. For safety, it will also shut off when the water reservoir is empty.
There’s a power indicator light that shows when the steamer is on, and easy-to operate controls for setting the cooking time. The food bowls are top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and they nest for more compact storage.
4.Best Stovetop: Anolon Classic Stainless Steel Steamer Insert with Lid
- UNIVERSAL STEAMER INSERT: Made of durable stainless steel, this steamer insert fits both tulip and straight-sided 2-quart, 3-quart and 4-quart sauce pots
- LOCK IT IN: Stainless steeel steamer lid provides a snug fit to lock in heat for perfectly steamed foods
- EASY TO HANDLE: Dual riveted handles are large enough to grip this steamer when moving around the kitchen
- TURN IT UP: The universal steamer insert is oven safe to 500 degrees F, making it easy to finish cooking in the oven
- EASY TO CLEAN STEAMER: Designed for convenience, this steamer insert and lid are dishwasher safe for easy cleanups
This steamer insert fits onto just about any 2-, 3-, or 4-quart saucepan, including pots with straight sides and those with tulip-shaped pots. The steamer rests on the sides of the pot, so the food in the steamer bowl remains well about the simmering water.
The steamer is made from stainless steel and has a shatter-resistant glass lid that fits snugly and keeps the steam contained while also allowing you to peek into the steamer to watch the progress of the cooking.
The steamer and lid are dishwasher safe. If you have a use for it, the steamer is oven-safe to 500 degrees.
5.Best Multi-Purpose: NutriChef Food Dehydrator Machine and Professional Electric Steamer
- MULTIFUNCTIONAL DEHYDRATOR: A multifunctional 3-in-1 food dehydrator which is also a cooker and steamer. Produces nutritious food with very simple preparation. No food will spoil and go to waste with this food preserver.
- ONE BUTTON OPERATION: Built with an easy to use one operational button. Choose to dehydrate or steam food with just a click. This electric machine has a RED light goes on for steaming and GREEN light for dehydrating.
- STACKABLE TRAYS: Comes with removable and stackable food trays or dryer trays. These trays can also be used to dry food without the use of the dehydrator. Since the trays are removable, they are very easy to clean including the dehydrating machine.
If steaming sounds like a great idea, but you’d prefer an appliance that has multiple uses, this steamer can also be used as a food dehydrator. You can also cook rice, steam meats or vegetables, braise meats as you would in a slow cooker, or dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
There are four stackable trays to hold layers of foods for drying or steaming, and a three-quart rice bowl. The tiers are shallower than those in the steamer-only units, so you might not be able to stack the tiers if you’re cooking large foods, but sliced foods and shorter ones will fit just fine.
6.Best Compact: 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
- Large capacity with flat bottom fits larger items such as fillets of fish
If you don’t want another appliance on your counter, this silicone steamer will fit into any pot with a 7-inch diameter or greater, and it rolls up for easy storage. The stay-cool handles make it easy to lower food into the pot. Not only can you use this steamer on the stovetop, but it also fits neatly into an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, multi-cooker, or rice cooker. The handles lock together to keep them out of the way when you seal the cooker’s lid.
Silicone is naturally nonstick, so it’s easy to clean, and it’s dishwasher safe, too. For even more versatility, it can also be used in the microwave.
7. Best Bamboo: Mister Kitchenware 10 Inch 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″
Bamboo steamers are traditional for Chinese dumplings and dim sum dishes, but they’re just as handy for steaming vegetables, chicken, and fish. This set includes two stacking steamer baskets plus a domed lid, so there’s plenty of space for dinner and sides. The two baskets can be used together when there’s a lot to cook, or they can be used separately. The baskets are 10 inches in diameter and designed for use in a wok, but can also be used over a pot that’s an appropriate size.
This set includes a sample of 10 disposable basket liners for foods that might stick to the bamboo, so cleaning is easier. Since the 10-inch size is standard, it’s easy to find additional disposable liners that fit the baskets, as well as reusable silicone liners. It also includes a set of chopsticks that can come in handy for placing and removing the foods and a sauce dish that can come in handy when it’s time to serve.
8.Best Microwave: Progressive International Fish/Veggie Steamer PS-46GY
- STEAM FISH AND VEGGIES QUICKLY: Our prep solutions microwave fish and veggie steamer allows anyone to quickly and easily steam fish and vegetables for a quick, delicious, healthy meal
- GREAT FOR ON-THE-GO!: Perfect Time Saving Tool for College Students, Busy Parents, and Anyone Looking For a Quick Meal On the Go
- ADJUSTABLE STEAM CONTROL: It is designed with an adjustable steam control vent in the lid which allows steam to escape during cooking
- 1-QUART CAPACITY: This steamer has a 1-quart capacity and includes a non-stick surface for easy clean up
Perfect for steaming vegetables in the microwave, this handy steamer holds water in the tray below, while food sits above on the perforated basket. A clear lid sits on top and has a tab on top that slides to hold or release steam during cooking. The hot steam circulates during cooking to evenly steam the food without it getting soggy from sitting in water, and without drying out. This is also perfect for steaming fish, simulating the en papillote technique without the need for fussy paper folding.
To get more flavor, the tray can be filling with flavorful liquids like stock, juice, or plain water with herbs and spices added. This holds one quart, so there’s plenty of space for cooking and it has a nonstick surface for easy cleanup by hand or in the dishwasher.
What to Look for in a Food Steamer
Steamers come in two varieties: electric or stovetop. The stovetop steamer is an insert that fits into or on top of a saucepan or other pot that’s filled with an inch or two of simmering water. The food is placed in the insert, and the perforated base of the insert allows the steam to surround and heat the food. These types of steamers can be found in the following forms:
- Folding or collapsible raised platforms (often made of stainless steel or silicone) that sit in the bottom of a pot
- A perforated metal pan that nests in a saucepan similar to a double boiler
- A bamboo basket that can rest in a wok.
Electric steamers, meanwhile, can be found with stackable, perforated trays or divided so that large batches of food or different types of food can be steamed at the same time. Water is added to a chamber, and a heating element heats the water until it turns into steam. Some appliances, such as rice cookers or multi cookers, have a steamer function. Electric pressure cookers or stovetop pressure cookers often include a steamer tray and can be used as a steamer.
Electric steamers make the job easy, since you simply add water, add food, and turn on the steamer—you just need to consider if you plan to use it enough to warrant the space it occupies on your counter or in storage.
Number of tiers
Think about how much food—and how many different types of food—you expect to steam at once. Steamers with multiple tiers let you keep certain foods separate from one another. Plus, they allow you to add and remove the foods at different times if one is finished before the others are ready.
When you’re shopping for a steamer, you might not be as focused on special features—however, depending on your cooking style, those extras might increase the product’s value in your kitchen. Whether it’s something simple like a timer or an extra function (like the ability to dry foods), it’s wise to consider what else your steamer can do.
- The best foods for steaming are tender proteins like lean fish fillets; boneless, skinless chicken breasts; and vegetables. Cut vegetables into equal-sized pieces so that they’ll cook evenly.
- Be sure to add enough liquid to the steamer so that it’ll last through the entire steaming time—if you need to add more water, the temperature will drop. Be sure to check the water level occasionally, especially for a stovetop steamer, to ensure that your pot isn’t boiling dry, which will scorch the pot and could damage it.
- Arrange larger pieces of food, such as dumplings or fillets, in a single layer, leaving a little room between each piece to allow the steam to circulate. For vegetables like broccoli or green beans, pile them loosely in the steamer. The important thing is that there is space around the food so that the steam can circulate; otherwise certain parts might not cook as evenly.
- Avoid removing the lid too frequently to check on the food as this will cause the temperature to drop. For this reason, a glass lid is helpful, although often it will fill with condensation, making it hard to see inside.
- When you open the steamer, open the lid away from your face and hands—the hot steam can cause burns.
- Very bland foods can be subtly flavored by adding aromatic ingredients to your steaming water. Try herbs, tea, onions or leeks. Or you can make a flavorful sauce to serve with the food.