Crowdstorm’s food steamers buyers guide
Welcome to Crowdstorm’s page dedicated to buying yourself a new steamer.
Above you’ll find the best food steamer selection around, available from your favourite UK online and high street retailers. While here you’ll find a guide explaining what to look for in a great steamer.
Steamers are a brilliantly convenient way of cooking healthy and nutritious food, from vegetables to meat and fish, and they’ve come on leaps and bounds over the years: steaming in a metal dish over a boiling pan is well and truly a thing of the past.
Steaming helps retain food’s nutritional value and is a favourite of dietitians and health gurus; food doesn’t’ lose as many vitamins and minerals when boiled and the process requires no additional oil or fat.
They have a lower container that is filled with water and then heated, creating steam to cook the food above it. Super easy to use and a healthy alternative to frying or boiling, steaming is brilliant for both the kitchen novice and expert.
Types of steamer
There are several terms you may have heard if you’re looking for a steamer for the first time. Here are a few of the most common:
- Vegetable steamer: While steaming vegetables is the most common use of a steamer, there aren’t specific ‘vegetable steamer’ models – it’s just a phrase people use because steaming vegetables is so common. Don’t worry – any steamer will do veg!
- Three-tier steamer: This has become the standard for most modern steamers now; and for good reason. They allow you to steam several types of food at once, with the bottom tier containing the water. You’ll find models that have both two and three tiers in which to put the food, so think carefully about the types of meal you’ll be preparing.
- Electric food steamer: Traditionally food steamers have been placed directly onto an oven hob, and this is still the most common way – but some food steamers are now self-contained units that plug directly into the mains. This can be especially useful if, for example, you only have a two-ring cooker.
- Bamboo food steamer: These are the kind of steamer you’ll typically know from, for example, a Chinese restaurant. They are typically placed in a wok or pot and used to cook and serve everything from dim sum to fish and vegetables.
Capacity includes the number of steaming baskets – usually two or three - and the capacity in litres (bear in mind that oval shaped steamers have more capacity than round ones).
Steamers come in a number of sizes, from one tray for a small household to several different trays. To get the best out of your steamer put foods that need lots of steaming in the bottom tray and layer your foods so that those that need the least steaming are at the top.
Be aware that odours or taste from the bottom could transfer to the top levels.
Important steamer considerations
While it’s tempting to go on capacity and price alone, there are a few extra considerations it is easy to overlook – but that can be super important:
- Cleaning: Food steamers and all their compartments, trays, nooks and crannies can be a little difficult to clean. Look for steamers that have removable trays and are ‘dishwasher safe’ to make it an easier process. Stock containers and removable separating disks will also help you keep your steamer clean but bear in mind that steamers with white plastic may get stained over time.
- Storage: You’re unlikely to want to keep your steamer out at all times so look for a model that is easy to pack away and store and won’t take up too much room in cupboards. Trays that can stack inside each other are an ideal space-saving feature.
Other features you may want to look for
Here are some other features you may want to consider, especially if looking for an electric food steamer:
- Water gauge: A water gauge is a handy feature on a steamer as it allows you to keep track of water levels, indicating whether you need to replenish if it’s running low.
- Timer: Timers can be great for letting you know when the steamer is ready to use and when it’s finished cooking your food. Some are also programmable in advance so you needn’t worry about forgetting to put the veg on whilst cooking your family’s Sunday roast!
- Turbo steam: These can save a bit of electricity, often claiming to be up to the perfect steaming temperature in less than a minute.
- Boil-dry safety cut-out: If you’re the kind of cook that has a tendency to wander off and watch a bit of tele (shame on you!), this may save you some serious trouble!
- Horizontal layout/compartments: Most steamers work within a single unit, but these models allow you to steam your food for different lengths of time as well as different temperatures; rather than having to later food within the one device.
I’ve found the best food steamer: What now?
Hopefully you now know enough about steamers to make an informed buying decision. But remember it’s always worth reading a few reviews before you make your final decision.
And the next part couldn’t be easier: if you find one that takes your fancy simply click and you’ll be transferred to the site of your selected retailer where you can just click and buy.
Remember Crowdstorm isn’t a retailer – we make our money from advertising. This means there are no hidden costs or commissions – just a final checkout with a retailer you can trust. Happy steaming!