Food steamer suggestions?
August 2, 2009 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Looking to purchase a new good quality food steamer, price no bar.

I've been looking into purchasing a food steamer appliance (electrically powered or otherwise).

I've been researching them online; however each model seems to have a major drawback (electric shocks, water leakage etc). All the same I imagine there's this perfectly designed food steamer out there, I just haven't found it yet.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for reading.
posted by the_ancient_mariner to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
Chinese food wholesalers, or large Chinese supermarkets often have a good range of rice steamers, many of which will also steam other foods too.

I recently bought one for £25 which I use solely for steaming rice, but it did come with a tray for (according to the picture on the box) steaming fish/vegetables, but there are no instructions for using the tray.

The one I bought was the least expensive - there were about 6 other models in the shop, going up to about £100. Mine works a treat - perfect rice for frying.
posted by curtj at 4:15 PM on August 2, 2009

I have one of those cheap chinese rice makers with a steamer tray. I highly recommend against getting one of these if your intent is to use it as a steamer. Why? First off, the cheap tray is really just an afterthought, a free feature added to what is primarily meant and sold as a rice cooker. Second, the tray has large-ish (maybe 3/8 inch) holes, and small veg like corn will fall right through them. Third, the tray is nearly impossible to remove when loaded and hot. Prepare for burned hands, because there is nowhere to grip it and being flimsy plastic it flexes a lot. You either let it cool or try to grab it with a couple of forks and hope you don't drop it into the water below.

Why not just get one of those nice metal steamers that you can use with any standard saucepan? They work great for about $8 and have none of the disadvantages of the above, in addition to not being a whole uni-tasker appliance.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:29 PM on August 2, 2009

I've used a Black and Decker food steamer for years. Cooks rice, steam things, what more can you ask. Well, I guess a two item steamer (mine isn't but it was a while ago).
posted by CodeMonkey at 5:53 PM on August 2, 2009

How about this one?
posted by bunny hugger at 6:31 PM on August 2, 2009

You can use a steamer basket in a rice cooker (steamer). Rhomboid is right about the useless little rack that comes with the cookers.
posted by orme at 6:37 PM on August 2, 2009

I have used the Nordic Ware Microwave Vegetable and Seafood Steamer in my microwave for at least 8 years. It has stood up to everything and is still going strong. Can't beat that for $12. For fresh veggies, I put a little water in the bottom (you only need 1/4") and the veggies on top of the rack included with the streamer. They cook quickly and taste really scrummy. If you need huge quanties cooked at once, get two. Mine does 2-4 portions of vegetables, depending on how hungry you are ... :-) I have cooked just about everything in this steamer: fresh veggies, fish, frozen veggies (don't need water), pasta to reheat, etc. The grid is nicely small-grained (stuff does not fall through). Studies of microwave cooking show that cooking in the least amount of water maximizes nutrients. So steaming for as short a while as possible keeps the food most healthy.
posted by Susurration at 9:23 PM on August 2, 2009

Heres a couple of Stainless Steel options Hahn, Le Creuset, Silga a lot of money for a pan, but they will last forever.
posted by Lanark at 11:54 AM on August 3, 2009

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