You will retain the most nutrients in your food if you cook it through steaming rather than boiling. Steaming keeps the food separate from the boiling water, but the moist heat cooks the food through without drying it out or leaching nutrients from the food.
While this can be done with a metal colander and a cooking pot, it is much simpler if you have the device created for this purpose. For convenience, the food steamer was created. There are many brands of food steamers available.
Before purchasing a steamer, there are some things to consider.
How often do you expect to use the steamer? If you eat at home only rarely, an inexpensive steamer will probably be sufficient. If you cook for your family every day and often include vegetables, a more durable steamer would be a better choice.
For how many people are you cooking? If you live alone, a small steamer will be perfect. If you have an average family, a larger one will be necessary, and if you have a large family or regularly host parties or have friends over for meals, you will need a large steamer. If you have, or are about to have, a baby, some steamers can also be used to sterilize bottles and related items.
However, the size of steamer you choose will also need to factor in the space you have in which to store it. If you have enough counter space to leave it there, assuming you use it often, then there will be no problem, but if your counter space is limited, then storage needs to be a consideration.
You should also consider the material from which it is made. Steamers come in bamboo, stainless steel, and plastic, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, metal will likely look pretty much the same for years, while bamboo and plastic can become discolored over time. Bamboo and steel are known to be safe around food, while some plastics will eventually release toxins.
Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker and Vegetable Steamer
Up to six cups of cooked rice, or an equal volume of vegetables or meat, can be prepared in this nifty little cooker. It can even cook rice and vegetables at the same time! The inner cooking pot and the accessories that accompany this machine are all dishwasher safe.
Even dessert can be made in this multipurpose machine, but its original intended purpose is to prepare steamed vegetables along with rice or soup for tasty and nutritious meals at the touch of a button. The inner pot is nonstick, and it also includes a steamer tray, a plastic rice spatula, and a rice measuring cup.
The two-tier design of this steamer allows cooking of two different foods at the same time, and all parts are dishwasher safe allowing clean up to be easy. The trays are transparent, and the water reservoir has a window to show how much is in there.
Stainless steel and glass make this an elegant addition to your counter, and its 5-liter glass pot is dishwasher safe. Its digital controls are programmed with settings for grains, poultry, seafood, and, of course, vegetables.
A countertop stackable unit with a digital touchpad allows easy meal preparation with the divider in, with larger quantities of one item able to be processed with the divider out. It automatically switches to warmer once the food is cooked. The parts must be hand-washed; only the rice bowl and drip tray are dishwasher safe.
This two-tier steamer includes a delayed start option which allows dinner to be prepared at breakfast time and still be freshly cooked at dinner. It also includes egg holders for perfect hard- or soft-cooked eggs. Steaming trays are fully collapsible and the water fill system has a reservoir with visibility.
This steamer holds up to five quarts of vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, or any combination of these. Two transparent bowls stack for steaming and nest for storage. The bowls are dishwasher safe.
This steamer comes with three transparent, stackable baskets and rice bowl. Its timer goes for sixty minutes and automatically turns off if the water runs out. Inlets on both sides make adding water simple and the baskets are dishwasher safe.
This steamer comes in analog or digital and contains two stackable tiers and a lid with a non-slip knob. The water line is visible, allowing users to monitor the water level easily. Stay cool handles allow you to lift the tiers apart without potholders.
For use with your regular cookware, there are also steamer baskets.
Made by a popular stovetop cookware company, this stainless steel stovetop steamer is regular cookware with a steamer insert and can be used as a saucepot without the insert. All parts are dishwasher safe.
This 10-inch bamboo basket set has stainless steel binding. Two baskets that can be stacked also come with steamer liners and two pairs of chopsticks, also made of bamboo.=
These collapsible steamers are made of stainless steel and coated with silicone. They are dishwasher safe and adjustable to fit a variety of pot sizes.
This set includes accessories – a safety tool, a peeler, and an eBook – and is made to fit nearly any pot, including the Instant Pot. It is easy to use and it is dishwasher safe.
This 100% stainless steel steamer basket is collapsible and fits a variety of pot sizes. The central ring makes it easy to remove, and the central post is removable for using the basket with larger items.
This inexpensive stainless steel collapsible steamer expands to fit large pots and pans and collapses for storage. It is dishwasher safe.