Steaming your food is a simple cooking method that offers a few significant health benefits. The best food steamers allow your food to retain nutrients that might be lost with other ways of cooking, such as boiling or frying. Plus, no oils or fats are required — just add water and you’re ready to go.
If you’re looking to up your steaming game, there are two main types of food steamers that you can purchase: electric steamers and steamer baskets.
- Electric steamers are essentially foolproof: Add water and food to the machine, and turn it on. Before you know it, you’ll have perfectly steamed food that’s ready to be devoured. Electric steamers come in a range of sizes, and some even have multiple tiers that allow you to make a couple of different foods at once, which is a big time saver. However, an electric steamer is usually pricier than a steamer basket, and will take up more space in your kitchen cabinets.
- Steamer baskets are used in combination with your existing cookware. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a simmer. Place the food in the steamer basket and suspend it over the water (make sure the food doesn’t touch the water, though, or you're just boiling your food), and place the lid on the pot. The hot steam will go to work cooking your food. Steamer baskets are made from a variety of materials, from no-scratch silicone to natural bamboo, and are often adjustable to fit different-sized pots. You can also buy steamer baskets that work in the microwave. While steaming is a quick cooking method overall, using a steamer basket requires a little bit more work than an electric steamer (though not that much).
If you’re trying to find a really awesome steamer to use on the regular, Amazon reviewers say these six food steamers are the best of the best.
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