Food steamers are very easy to use and can be very helpful in cooking the food quickly.
Steaming locks the moisture from the food within to retain all the necessary nutrients. This way, the color and the structure of the food are preserved while you are cooking.
You can cook a variety of dishes in a food steamer starting from green vegetables, meat, seafood, and so on. The best part about them is you can cook anything without losing its original flavor and moisture.
Check the factors mentioned below before buying a food steamer for your kitchen.
There are two types of steamers available in the market: Electric and Stovetop.
When compared, electric steamers are considered as the best options as they can cook food really fast. They also offer many options like timer, keep warm option, etc.
The capacity of food steamers ranges between 2 liters to 10 liters. You can select the capacity depending on the number of members in your family.
If you stay alone, you can simply buy a tiny stovetop steamer or a small electric steamer. If there are 4 or more members in your family, you can buy a large and multi-tiered steamer.
The power of most electric steamers is about 500-800 watt. If you are using the steamer for household purposes, this power should be sufficient.
Number of tiers:
Steamers come with multiple baskets so that you can keep food items separately. You can also remove these baskets of foods at different times, depending on the amount of time it requires to get cooked properly. You can select the number of tiers as per your requirements.
Some other factors that you should also check for before buying a food steamer are a timer, steaming process, etc. You can learn more about them in the buying guide below.
To help you buy the best food steamer for your kitchen, we have shortlisted some of the best options available in the market. Let’s have a look!
7 Best Food Steamers
|Food Steamers||Type of Steamer||Capacity||No of Baskets||Warranty||Buy Now|
|Panasonic Food Steamer||Electric||650 W||2||5 years||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Black & Decker Appliances Food Steamer||Electric||775 W||3||2 years||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Russell Hobbs England Food Steamer||Electric||800 W||3||1 year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Trendz Food Steamer||Electric||400 W||2||1 year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Steemo Food Steamer||Electric||600 W||2||1 year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Pristine Tri Ply Food Steamer||Stainless Steel||N.A||2||N.A||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Vinod Cookware Food Steamer||Stainless Steel||N.A||2||2 years||CHECK ON AMAZON|
Reviews of Best Food Steamers in India
- Panasonic – Rice cooker with extremely durable polycarbonate steaming basket.
- Black & Decker Appliances – 3 tier food steamer perfect for cooking family-sized meals.
- Russell Hobbs England – Comes with an egg holder for boiling eggs separately.
- Trendz – A lightweight electric food steamer.
- Steemo – Comes with a non-stop soup cum sprout maker.
- Pristine – 3 tires stainless steel food steamer for healthy cooking.
- Vinod Cookware – Has smooth mirror finish making the steamer look good and for ease of cleaning.
Panasonic brand makes products that would contribute to better living, just like its extremely durable food steamer cum rice cooker.
The steaming basket is made of polycarbonate, a material known to be lightweight, flame resistant, and shatterproof.
- The rice cooking pan is made of anodized aluminium which makes it corrosion resistant.
- This Panasonic SR-WA 18H can keep your food warm upto 5 hours.
It is a 4.4-litre compact food steamer that does not take up too much space, and hence can be kept anywhere.
In addition to the pan, the food steamer also has 2 baskets and a cooking plate for cooking food and vegetables separately.
Panasonic cooker is integrated with thermostat that allows you to regulate the temperature as per requirement.
- The upper containers are transparent allowing you to check if the food is cooked or not
- Comes with 5 years of solid warranty
- Also provides a cooking plate to
- May take a bit longer to cook bulk items
Black & Decker is a variable-size basket steamer, that comes with a 60 minutes timer that allows food to cook perfectly.
Also, the mechanical timer is automatic, that shuts the steamer off once the time’s up, helping you to relax or multi-task.
- The food steamer is dishwasher safe.
- The parts of the steamer can be easily detached making it easy to clean the appliance.
- The baskets are stackable, hence it contains the steam and ensures the food is cooked evenly.
Black & Decker is a 10-litre food steamer that comes with 3 tier cooking bowls, that allows you to prepare 3 different types of food at the same time.
If the family members are less, you can even use one or two tiers only.
The appliance requires 220-240 operating volts to cook food, helping you to save both gas and electricity.
Warranty: 2-years warranty against manufacturing defects
- No worries of burning or overcooking of food
- Comes with 2 years of warranty
- 10Litre hence can be a bit heavy
Russel Hobbs England food steamer is equipped with boil-dry protection, that gives the steamer a longer life.
Also, it is a unique feature that switches off the appliance automatically when there is no water in the reservoir, and also when water runs out during use.
- Comes with an egg holder for boiling eggs separately.
- Just like Black & Decker even this one has a 60mins timer that provides worry-free cooking experience.
- The steamer has a drip tray that collects waste water, making it easy for you to clean the appliance.
Russel Hobbs England is a 9-litre food steamer with 3 tier steam baskets, that allows you to cook large meals.
Also, the turbo steam ring design of the steamer creates a plume of steam in less than 40 seconds, that cooks food faster and requires less energy.
Warranty: 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects
- Stackable baskets that retain flavour, salt and other necessary vitamins, offering healthy digestible food.
- One year warranty confirms the durability of the product.
- May take a lot of time to cook hard grains like pulses.
If you are looking for a small-sized food steamer then take-up Trendz. It is a 4-litre food steamer ideal for cooking and reheating food items.
The compact design allows you to place the steamer in any corner of the house.
- Has 60mins timers that help in perfectly cooking your food.
- It is a plastic food steamer, and hence lightweight.
Trendz comes with 2 steamer baskets, allowing you to cook two separate meals at the same time.
The appliance is apt for steaming momos, vegetables, fish, eggs, etc.
Warranty: 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to store
- You will not be able to cook too many items at a time
Steemo is a unique food steamer that comes with a non-stop soup cum sprout maker and a 30 seconds turbo steam generator.
The turbo steam generator makes the food steamer more time-efficient, and also helps in saving a lot of energy.
- Steemo just like other products in our list has a 60minute timer that allows you to carry on with other work while cooking.
- The steamer only consumes one unit of electricity in approximately one and a half hours.
- The steamer also has safety vents on the upper cover to release air pressure and avoid blowing up risks.
Steemo food steamer is a complete food making package that includes – 2 steaming baskets, and a lid and soup cum sprout maker, an egg tray, and a 4×4 idli tray.
Pressure die casting process is used to manufacture this food steamer. It is quick and reliable way to metal compress the air within the steamer. The metal used is aluminium.
Warranty: Comes with a 1 year extended warranty against manufacturing defects
- Power indicator light lets you know when the unit is on
- Cleaning up the appliance is easy
- Price a bit on the higher side
Pristine is an affordable food steamer made of stainless steel. You can use it for both gas as well as induction steaming.
The food steamer is manufactured with heavy-duty gauge steel, that gives it a long life.
- It is a multi-purpose steamer that comes with a glass lid allowing you to check the food when cooking.
- The baskets are closely stacked, that does not allow steam leakage, thus cooking food faster.
- The glass lid also has a steam release to avoid blow-up accidents.
Pristine is a 3 tier food steamer that helps you to cook and steam items separately. You can also use the steamer as a pot to boil soups and broth.
Because of its attractive look, you can also use the steamer as a serving utensil.
- Ideal for making momos, boiling pasta, steaming vegetables and more
- Lustrous appearance
- Cannot cook heavy meals in it
The first thing that you will notice in this Vinod Cookware food steamer is its smooth mirror finish. A feature which makes it ideal to be used for cooking and serving.
Just like Pristine, even Vinod Cookware is made of solid gauge steel that gives the product a longer life.
- The covering lid is made of tempered glass, to help avoid scratches.
- The lid also has a steam release option to release extra pressure
- You can also use it for boiling items like soups, etc.
Vinod Cookware is an equal-size 2 tier basket steamer with a 20cm wide pot and a 20cm wide steamer, that allows you to cook two different items at a time.
The handles are made of hollow stainless steel, which keeps them cool for long, allowing you to lift the appliance easily from the burner.
Warranty: 2-years warranty against manufacturing defects
- Easy to clean
- Can be used for boiling and steaming food
- Not ideal for heavy cooking
If you check online, you will find a variety of steamers available in the market and this can get you confused too. Here is a buying guide that will help you pick the best one for you.
1. Type of Steamers:
On the basis of the source of power that they use for steaming, food steamers are categorized into different types. Let’s learn more about all the basic types of food steamers that you can find in the market.
Electric steamers are standalone kitchen appliances that need AC power to run. These steamers require timely maintenance.
Electric steamers feature a chamber where you can add water that will be used for steaming. There is a heating element that heats water to generate steam to cook food. Electric steamers generally come with perforated and stackable trays so that the steam can pass through the holes easily.
There are multiple trays so that you can cook multiple foods at the same time. Electric food steamers are portable and hence, they are travel-friendly too. These steamers don’t usually release a lot of heat in the kitchen or wherever you are using it. In some electric steamers, you will find dividers in a container.
Most of the electric food steamers feature great and advanced functions like an LCD control panel, audible alerts, digital timers, and different cooking modes. There are some rice cookers that can be used as a steamer too. They have special basket inserts.
Pressure steamers make use of steam and pressure to cook varieties of food items. These models can be either stovetop or electric pressure cookers.
They generate steam under optimal temperatures and promote heat transfer in an adequate amount. Pressure steamers generally come with a locking lid that helps in holding high pressure inside the cooking chamber. The lid also prevents the heat from escaping out.
After steaming, it takes some time for the steamer to depressurize completely. You can open the lid and take out the food only after depressurizing is done completely. Even though these steamers use low temperatures to cook food, the cooking time is reduced drastically because of the pressurized way of cooking.
Using a steamer basket is an easy and simple way to cook food on the stovetop. You can simply place the food in the steamer basket and place it in the pot or pan containing water. This pot is then kept over the stovetop. You can begin the steaming process after shutting the lid.
The pot must contain enough water so that the food cooks properly in the steam. Some models of stovetop steamers even have one or more platforms that fit properly on the pan.
These platforms are generally perforated so that you can add them or remove them whenever required. They can also be used as double boilers. In some models, you can even find stovetop steamers where one pan can be placed on the top of the other.
Microwave food steamers can be put directly in a microwave. These steamers are less expensive and are generally made using plastic. However, you can find some models that are made using microwave-safe materials like ceramic, silicone, and polycarbonate.
Microwave steamers made using plastic can affect the overall quality of the food.
The non-stick materials used are resistant to heat and have scratch-resistant surfaces. They come in different shapes and are dishwasher safe as well.
The materials that are used to make steamers can also make a huge difference. While some materials are eco-friendly, others are heat efficient. Some materials also promote a healthy way of cooking. You should look for a steamer that offers a combination of all these useful factors.
You can use these metal steamers over both gas stoves and inductions. Metal steamers have been around in the market for a long time.
They either come with one or multiple tiers and are made using aluminum or stainless steel. They mostly have glass lids. Even though glass lids are more prone to breakage, it is easier for you to monitor the cooking process without removing the lid multiple times. In this way, you can prevent the steam from escaping out.
When compared to aluminum steamers, the models of steamers made using stainless are more expensive. Not only these models are eco-friendly but are stable and durable too.
Bamboo steamers are also eco-friendly options and usually come with 2 or more identical baskets that can sit on top of each of them. Foods that take a long time can be placed in the bottom-most basket.
Items that take less cooking time like vegetables can be put on the upper baskets. When the foods in the upper basket are cooked, you can remove them.
However, you cannot use a bamboo steamer on a gas stove, induction, or any other heating device directly. Instead, you will have to keep the steamer in a large and closed cooking pot with water. This water will be used to build the stem inside the pot.
Also, it is important that you should use liners like parchment paper or banana leaves while cooking in bamboo steamers. Using liners prevent the base of the bamboo basket from staining.
In glass steamers, both the cooking pot and the lid are made using glass. It is then attached to an electric steamer. The container is placed above the water tank.
Glass steamers can be used to make a variety of dishes. You can even use these cooking pots as serving dishes and you can keep them in the fridge too. They are dishwasher safe.
Some models of electric steamers have plastic containers and trays. They are very light in weight. However, these cheaper options of containers can have a negative impact on the taste of the food.
Some users feel that plastic is not healthy when it comes to cooking. Hence, while buying, make sure that it is BPA-free and safe for cooking. The advantage of using plastic steamers is they are transparent like glass. This helps you in monitoring the cooking process.
3. Capacity or Size:
You can select the size of the steamer depending on the number of members in your family and your style of cooking,
Food steamers are available in different capacities. Smaller steamers are available from 1 liter and the size can go up to 10 liters or more.
If you live alone, you can buy a mini stovetop steamer or the smallest model of an electric steamer. But, if there are 4 or more members in your family, you can opt for a large and multi-tiered steamer.
For people who plan to steam dishes only once in a while, you can go for tiny and space-saving models of food steamers.
But, if you want to make a complete meal for the entire family, you should buy a steamer with a minimum of 5-liter capacity. If there are more members in your family or if you want to make food for a special event at your place, you can even go for an 8-liter capacity.
Electric food steamers generally have a power of about 850 to 1000 watt. It is recommended for household usage.
The timer option in an electric food steamer prevents the food from getting overcooked. You can set the timer and let it cook. The steamer will turn off automatically after reaching the designated time. While the old and conventional models feature mechanical dials, advanced and modern models have digital displays.
There is another feature called Delay-start that can be helpful too. The steamer will start work at the time that you have set already using this function.
6. Keep Warm:
A few models of food steamers have an automatic keep-warm feature while in a few models, you have to set the steamer to warm function manually after the steaming is done. Most of the steamers can keep the food warm for a long time.
However, the steamer must have enough water to keep this keep warm function working.
7. Visible Water Gauge:
A visible water gauge option is available in electric food steamers so that you can check the water levels. Some models of steamers even come with an external water inlet so that you can fill the water in the container without taking the container out. This also prevents the chances of accidental burns.
8. Counter Space:
Electric steamers are those types of kitchen appliances where you can simply keep the food and let it cook without the need for monitoring. Hence, they require some counter space, preferably near an electric outlet. This might be an issue for people with smaller kitchen space.
If there is less space on the kitchen counter, you can buy a traditional stovetop steamer. Even though these models require constant attention when required to the electric models, they are helpful in maximizing the space available in the kitchen. They can easily fit inside pots and can be stored easily.
An ideal kitchen appliance is the one that can be stored in a kitchen cabinet easily. Sometimes, it is a bit difficult to store the entire unit in the cabinet. Some units can be disassembled and stored.
If there are bowls available with the steamer, they should be nested within each other. This makes it easier to store the unit. There are some collapsible models available too. It is very easy to store such models.
10. Number of Tiers:
Before buying a steamer, you should think of the type of food that you are making and the total number of members in your family. Steamers that have multiple tiers allow you to cook different types of foods at the same time. It allows you to keep the food items separately.
You can also add or remove the food items at different times. This is especially important if the cooking time for each item is different.
11. Steamer Baskets:
Most of the steamers contain three stackable baskets with holes at the bottom so that the steam can pass through. These steam baskets are either of the same sizes of different sizes.
There are 3 different types of baskets that come with food steamers:
You can stack these equal-sized baskets in any order as you want. These types of baskets are very helpful in controlling the intensity of temperature.
You can also rearrange the order of the baskets so that the food does not get overcooked or burnt.
Since the size of baskets is different, you will have to plan the cooking sequence in advance and then keep them or arrange them in that order.
The advantage of variable-sized baskets is you can stack them inside each other so that it is easy and convenient to store.
Baskets with Removable Bases:
In some models of food steamers, you get an option to remove the base. By removing the base, you can fit all the baskets together to make a tall steam compartment. This is very helpful while cooking food in large quantities.
These baskets that have removable bases are easy to clean.
12. Steaming Process:
Not all steamers are designed to make all types of food. Hence, you must decide the type of food that you want to steam before only and then buy a steamer accordingly.
Apart from this, you should also consider the steaming time. It should meet your cooking requirements too. Thus, you must consider the water holding capacity as well.
13. Ease of Cleaning:
Similar to any other kitchen accessory, food steamers should also be easy to clean. There are a few models that are easy to clean whereas some models are a bit difficult to clean. Thus, you must consider this factor and check whether it is easy to clean or not.
Some models even have containers and lids that are dishwasher safe.
It is always suggested to buy a steamer from a trusted brand as they offer guaranteed services. With new or infamous brands, you might face quality or service issues.
Buying a steamer from a well-known brand will prevent you from facing such issues. You also get a warranty with such products along with good after-sale service.
If you are buying a food steamer for the first time, you must always do some background research and check all the pros and cons of the model that you are willing to buy. You can check the reviews of the customers who have already bought that steamer to get more about it.
Even after buying a steamer form a well-known brand that is made using good quality materials, there are chances that it might be defective. Hence, you must check if the brand offers a warranty period or not.
Using this warranty, you can either replace or get a refund for the defective product. The longer the warranty period is, the better it is.
How to Use Food Steamers?
By handling the food steamer in a proper manner, you will increase its life-span. Follow these rules to ensure that your steamer runs for a longer period of time:
1. Do not add too much water
Water is the most important ingredient required for cooking in a food steamer. But, if you fill too much water, that goes above the steamer basket, then that will ruin the metal faster.
Hence, we recommend to read the instruction manual before using the steamer or better buy a steamer with water gauge to keep a check on the water level.
2. Boil the water first
Boiling the water first, and then adding vegetables or other food items gives the right taste to the meal.
Another benefit is that with the water boiling, your food will cook faster than when you add both food and water together.
3. Do not steam for a long time
Cooking your food for a long time will make the food soggy, and ruin its taste too.
Hence, to get the right food texture we recommend you to turn off the steamer after a few minutes and check if your food is getting properly cooked or not.
Also, make sure that the bowl is filled with ice water, to keep the vegetables crisp and fresh for a long time.
4. Enhance the taste adding herbs and stocks
Adding stocks and herbs in the water adds a special flavour to the food.
You can also add some salt or lemon in the water before it starts boiling, as that too adds an extra taste to the vegetables and other foods that you are cooking.
Benefits of Food Steamer:
Some of the benefits of using a food steamer to cook food are as follows:
- Easy to use: The food steamers are very easy to use and come with simple controls. Even if you are not a pro, you can go through the manual and learn how to use it.
- Energy-efficient: Since the cooking time in a steamer is quicker than that of a frying pan, it helps in saving both energy and time.
- Healthy cooking: Steamers allow you to cook food in a healthier way without using oil.
- Versatile: You can cook a wide range of food items in steamers such as vegetables, rice, chicken, pasta, etc.
- Retains essential nutrients: Cooking food in a steamer helps in retaining all the essential nutrients like vitamin C, B1, etc.
- Holds the texture: unlike boiling, steaming the food helps in retaining its texture and flavor.
Here are some tips that can be helpful in making your entire cooking process easier:
- Some of the best things that you can steam are tender proteins such as chicken breast (boneless), fish, and vegetables. To make sure that the vegetables are cooked evenly, cut them in equal sizes.
- Ensure that there is enough water in the steamer that will be sufficient for the entire steaming process. If you are adding water in the middle of the process, there will be a drop in the temperature. Check the water levels at correct intervals, especially while using stovetop steamers. If the water has dried completely, it can damage the pot too.
- While making food items like dumplings or fish, keep some space in between them so that there is space for steam to circulate. If you are adding veggies like beans or broccoli, don’t pile up everything tightly. Keep them loosely so that steam passes through and the food is cooked evenly.
- Don’t remove the lid of the steamer very frequently. The temperature inside the pot can drop due to this.
- While opening the steamer, maintain a distance so that your face and hands don’t get burned.
- If you are steaming bland food, you can add a flavor to it by adding some aromatic ingredients like leeks or onions, or anything of your choice to the water. Or else, you can even make a flavored sauce to serve with the food.
- Never add salt to the water container otherwise it might lead to residual decomposition.
- If you are preparing meat, make sure you defrost it properly before cooking it in the steamer.
Useful Tips to Clean and Maintain the Steamer
These tips will be helpful to maintain the food steamer so that you can use it for years:
- Don’t turn on the plug while the steamer is empty.
- After you are done cooking, unplug the steamer and let it cool before opening the lid.
- Remove all the trays and empty the water from the container after each cooking session.
- Clean the steamer with soapy water. Wipe it off using a dry cloth and then store it.
- Avoid cleaning the steamer with harsh scrubbers.
- It is better if you use a steamer for indoor purposes only.
Frequently Asked Questions
When compared, steaming veggies is always better than boiling. When you boil vegetables, you end up losing a lot of nutrients. And, if you boil it for a very long time, the nutrients will escape in the water completely.
However, when you are steaming vegetables, nutrients remain within. Also, steaming is a quicker process too.
The level of water fills in a digital food steamer depends on the amount of time that is required for cooking. If the cooking time is less than 13 minutes, you can go ahead with the minimum fill guidelines.
But, if the cooking time is more (up to 60 minutes), you will have to follow maximum fill guidelines.
Assembling the steamer is one of the features that you should check before buying a model. Always go for a model that does not include an assembling process that is very difficult.
All models of food steamers come with a manual that has instructions on how to assemble that particular model.
The water reservoir should be at the base with the dip tray above it. All the trays/baskets should be arranged properly.
Convection steamers are larger than the regular steamers that are used at home. These convection steamers are generally used at restaurants where food is cooked in large quantities.
These steamers have a small fan that is used to circulate both steam and air inside. This helps in distributing the heat uniformly and promote a better way of cooking. Convection steamers have many perforated trays so that you can cook different food items at a time, without disturbing the flavors.
They cook food at low temperatures and slow mode. Because of slow cooking, the nutrients remain intact in the food.
Electric food steamers are the best according to us, as they cook food fast, allow you to see the level of water, delay your cooking time, and is safe for health too.
The perforated base of the steamer allows the steam to pass through.
The base of the steamer contains a thick wire that resists the flow of electricity and generates heat.
This results in evaporation of water at the base, which upon condensation on the food and vegetables, cooks them.
A food steamer retains the nutrients that are otherwise lost in pressure cooking, frying or other types of cooking. Hence, we would say it is the healthiest form of cooking.
But if you are going for a microwave steamer then look for one that is BPA free to stay away from harmful chemical intake.
Yes, some food steamers do come with keep-warm option. You would have to set this option before starting to cook, and also keep the water level full.
Yes. some steamers come with a rice bowl that sits within the baskets. The steam then cooks the rice.
While leading a fast and stressful life, what keeps you stable is your health, and hence you need to take special care to stay fit and healthy.
Buying a food steamer would be the first and best step to health, as steamers retain the food’s nutrients, and you need no oil to cook food in a steamer.
While buying a food steamer the first thing to consider would be what type you wish to buy.
There are various types of steamers in the market, but we would recommend electric food steamers are they are fast and provide number of options for fast and easy cooking.
From our list of food steamers, we found Panasonic SR-WA18H (SS) Food Steamer is the best, and the major reason for that – it comes with 5years warranty.
If you have used any of the food steamers listed here, then do share your thoughts.
Also if you wish to add any other specific information then please do that and help other buyers too.
Stay fit, eat healthy!