9 Best Food Steamer: Buyer’s Guide 2020

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    Rosewill

    Our Top Choice...

    Top Reasons to Buy

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      3-tiered stacking baskets
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      Specialized rice bowl and egg holders
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      Easy set 60 minute timer
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      Auto-off safety mechanism when water runs out
    • 800W power generates steam in less than 40 seconds
    • Dishwasher safe baskets

    Steamed bunDid you know that steaming your food might be the healthiest way to cook it? Where a lot of vitamins and minerals can be lost with conventional cooking methods like baking or frying, steaming works more gently to preserve all these essential nutrients.

    But steaming your meals can be a real hassle if you don’t equip yourself with the best food steamer for your needs. We’re huge fans of the Rosewill Electric 9.5 Quart Food Steamer for its ability to heat up quickly, cook thoroughly, and accommodate as many servings as you need.

    Because everyone’s steaming needs can be slightly different though, we’ve put together this list of the 9 Best Food Steamer Options for 2020. In it, we’ll be covering everything you need to know to choose the right steamer for your kitchen, with options for splurges, value buys, and tools to fit existing kitchen implements.

    So when you’re ready to cook in a healthy, no-mess style with a food steamer, read on!

    For the complete product list, please continue reading...


      Top 9 Best Food Steamers Reviews

    Specifications

    3-tiered stacking baskets
    Specialized rice bowl and egg holders
    Easy set 60 minute timer
    Auto-off safety mechanism when water runs out
    800W power generates steam in less than 40 seconds 
    Dishwasher safe baskets

    Because food steamers are such a broad category, with so many potential variants, our top pick goes to the steamer that is the best all-round. No other steamer that we tested could match the Rosewill’s combination of size, ease of use, steaming speed, and price, making it an amazingly versatile, all-purpose steamer that’s well-suited for just about any kitchen.

    With three stacking trays on top of a modestly-sized base, the Rosewill’s 9.5 Quart capacity takes up significantly less countertop space than other similarly sized models we reviewed. What’s more, all of the baskets nest into one another for easy storage after you’re finished cooking.

    With lots of thoughtful extras, the Rosewill Electric Food Steamer really performs well above its price point.

    Pros

    • Generous 9.5 quart cooking size
    • Easy to use timer
    • Very quick heating
    • Small footprint
    • Dishwasher safe steamer baskets

    Cons

    • Function over form; not much to look at
    • Plastic may warp over time, making small leaks while steaming

    Specifications

    7.4 Quart capacity 
    Two steaming trays 
    Special accessory for steaming grains 
    Quick start heating system 
    Auto shutoff for low water 
    Dishwasher safe steamer baskets 

    Combining many of the same qualities that exemplify our #1 choice, the BELLA 7.4 quart food steamer works in many ways as a smaller, more affordable alternative to our top pick.

    A larger, wider, two-tiered steaming system may make it easier to accommodate whole filets of fish, but offers little benefit outside of that over the 3-tier system of the Rosewill. Of course, these larger, wider baskets also end up taking up more counter space.

    To make up for this change in size, the BELLA steamer features slightly more power than the Rosewill. At close to 1000 Watts, it will start steaming in as little as 30 seconds. Not bad at all for a value priced option!

    These differences aside, nearly everything else about the BELLA is equal to our top pick.

    Pros

    • Exceptionally affordable
    • Wide trays for steaming large cuts of fish
    • Easy use timer
    • Quick heating

    Cons

    • Takes up a fair bit of counter space
    • Imperfect lid fit may leak just a little

    Specifications

    Steaming equipment is constructed only of glass and stainless steel 
    Comes with preprogrammed settings for easy cooking 
    Dishwasher safe steaming tray and lid 
    SIMPLE: 5 auto-cook options & 5 power levels
    Set it and forget it countdown timer with pause and reheat options 

    Have you already been bitten by the steaming bug? Once you’ve gotten the hang of this supremely versatile cooking method, you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to a top of the line electric steamer that does away with the plastic of cheaper models.

    When this is the case, let us introduce to you the Cuisinart STM-1000. It’s a sleek, digitally-controlled 5.4 quart steamer with a remarkable difference from our previous reviewed products: Every part that touches food is made of glass or stainless steel, making your food both look and taste better.

    Cuisinart is well known for the quality of their kitchen equipment, and this digital steamer does not disappoint. While its wide base may not be the most efficient for countertop space, there’s simply no better choice if you’re looking to do away with the leaks that come with plastic steamers.

    Pros

    • No leaks, no mess -- ever
    • Dishwasher safe steaming tray and lid
    • 1-touch digital steaming options
    • Beautiful design showcases food while cooking

    Cons

    • Pricey
    • No option for multiple stacking tiers

    Specifications

    Two steaming trays 
    5 quart capacity 
    400W power source 
    Automatic 60 minute timer 
    Dishwasher safe steaming trays 

    Oster has been in the kitchen equipment game for decades, producing simple and efficient equipment for at-home use. Their steamer definitely lives up to this reputation, providing a fine balance of features at an affordable price.

    With two tiers totaling 5 quarts of capacity, you’d be hard-pressed to cook enough food for more than two people with this food steamer. For a single person, though, this may be the absolute best steamer in our review — offering plenty of space for cooking a full meal.

    Transparent, dishwasher safe steaming trays and a 60 minute timer set it in the same category as our top pick, but a somewhat underpowered 400 Watts will take significantly longer to heat up. In short, if you’re on a limited budget, this steamer is a great option for one or two people.

    Pros

    • Highly affordable
    • Great for one or two people
    • Dishwasher safe steaming trays
    • Automatic timer for easy steaming
    • Saves on countertop space

    Cons

    • Small capacity limits how many people you can cook for
    • Low power takes longer to heat and cook

    Specifications

    3 quart steaming capacity 
    Dual purpose as a Dutch oven with glass lid 
    All stainless steel and glass construction 
    Completely dishwasher safe 
    Vented tempered glass lid 

    While stovetop steaming lacks the incredible ease of use and speed of electric steamers, kitchen purists appreciate it for its cleanliness, conservation of space, and hands-on cooking.

    Oster has really put together a fine stovetop steamer set here, complete with a 3 quart bottom pot, 3 quart steamer basket, and glass lid. You won’t find any plastic here, which also means that you’ll rarely if ever have to deal with leaks and messes while steaming.

    What the Oster stovetop model lacks in speed, it makes up for in classic good looks and multi-purpose versatility. So if you cherish the process of putting together a meal (and don’t mind waiting for water to boil), there’s very little reason not to get this slow food style cooker.

    Pros

    • Beautiful, classic design
    • Takes up no countertop space during cooking
    • Dual-purpose design is great for small kitchens
    • Dishwasher safe

    Cons

    • Small steaming capacity
    • Takes longer to cook than electric models

    Specifications

    20 Quart capacity 
    1000W power source for fast heating 
    3 tiers of steamer trays 
    Digital timer 
    Auto shut-off for low water 
    Dishwasher safe steamer trays 

    So what can you do if you need to cook for a larger group of people? Look towards the Costway for its supersized steaming capacity, of course!

    With 3 tiers totaling a massive 20 QUARTS of steaming space, the COSTWAY more than doubles the capacity of any other model we reviewed. For steaming large amounts of food, there’s no better option — and this is backed up by a beefy 1000W power source for almost instant steam production.

    Easy to operate and convenient to clean, it’s a steamer that does a lot of things right. Our only gripe is that after repeated use, the plastic has a tendency to warp and produce leaks; for the price, we wish that wasn’t the case.

    Pros

    • Massive steaming capacity
    • Super fast heating
    • Easy to use timer
    • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

    Cons

    • Plastic warps over time
    • On the pricier side

    7. Fastest Heating - Secura Electric Food Steamer

    Specifications

    8.5 quart capacity 
    1200 Watt power source 
    2-tier stainless steel trays 
    Dishwasher safe 
    2 year warranty 

    So far, we’ve reviewed steamers with a power range from 400 Watts to 1000 Watts. On the lower end, these steamers can take over a minute to begin producing steam, while the higher power options start in as little as 15 seconds.

    With this in mind, the electric food steamer from Secura may almost seem like overkill: Boasting a superpowered 1200 Watts of electricity combined with all stainless steel construction, it produces steam almost instantaneously, and can keep food warm for hours. 

    We love this steamer for its impeccable combination of function and form, being both a stunning piece of kitchen equipment to look at and to use. Its 2-tiered, 8.5 quart capacity is plenty for a family of four, and its digital timer makes it exceptionally easy to cook with.

    Easy clean and dishwasher safe, it’s another great option for someone looking to make a more substantial investment in their food steamer.

    Pros

    • Extremely fast heating
    • Large steamer capacity
    • All stainless steel construction
    • Dishwasher safe trays
    • 2 year warranty for repairs

    Cons

    • Pricey
    • 3 steaming trays would be better for this capacity

    Specifications

    2 cup capacity 
    Microwave safe 
    Dishwasher safe 
    Dual-purpose strainer and colander 

    Every kitchen is not outfitted equally — and if yours includes little more than a microwave and some silverware, thinking of investing in a food steamer might seem a little over the top. If this is the case, consider this miniaturized, microwavable food steamer from Progressive International.

    It’s not fair to compare this particular steamer to the others in our review, as they’re just not intended to serve the same purposes. What this microwavable mini steamer does really well is act as a fast, no-mess solution to cooking a small portion of food in a microwave without it getting dry.

    Designed for just a single serving size, its 2-cup capacity will hold not much more than a few florets of broccoli and a sliced up carrot. It’s completely dishwasher safe (and microwave safe, of course), and the steamer basket can double as a colander in a particularly small kitchen.

    Pros

    • Only microwave steamer on our list
    • Ideal for small kitchens
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Very convenient

    Cons

    • Only one serving
    • Not very versatile

    Specifications

    2 tiers 
    Natural bamboo base 
    Steel bands for durability 
    Includes chopsticks and wax steamer liners 

    Traditional Bamboo Steamers like this one from VonShef have been the food steamer of choice in Chinese restaurants for centuries. Lightweight and portable, they’re a quick and natural option for making the most out of whatever space you have in your kitchen.

    For truly authentic asian cooking with a food steamer, bamboo is essential. It does a fantastic job of retaining moisture, nutrients, and food flavors in a way that plastic, stainless steel, and glass just can’t do.

    As with any stovetop steamer, it’s not the fastest option. You’ll need to wait for water to boil before getting started. With bamboo steamers, you’ll also need a liner to keep food from sticking; thankfully, VonShef has included 50 single-use liners with this steamer.

    Pros

    • Essential for traditional Asian cooking
    • Retains flavors and aromas better than other materials
    • Steel bands help lids keep their shape and stop leaks
    • Included chopsticks and liners make it easy to use right out of the box

    Cons

    • Need a matching size of pot
    • Have to wait for water to boil
    • Must use liners for food not to stick

    Final Verdict

    Rosewill

    As the most versatile all-round option for a food steamer, we absolutely recommend the Rosewill Electric 9.5 Quart Food Steamer for almost every kitchen. If it doesn’t exactly match your needs, take another look through our thoughtfully curated list of specialty products to find your perfect fit, always keeping in mind the questions listed in our buyers guide.


    How to Choose the Best Food Steamer

    With a history dating back to the earliest Chinese civilizations thousands of years ago, food steamers have been an essential kitchen tool for millenia. It may not surprise you, then, to find out that there are lots of options for what makes the best food steamer!

    When we’re shopping for a steamer, we keep these 3 questions in mind:

    #1 How Many People Do You Usually Cook For?

    Steamer baskets come in all shapes and sizes, from individual serving microwavable bowls to massive bamboo steamers you’re likely to only find in dim sum restaurants. First and foremost when deciding on the best steamer for your kitchen, consider how many people you’re going to be steaming food for.

    Someone cooking for themselves can easily get away with a tiny stovetop steamer or the smallest electric model, while a family of 4 is more likely to need a large, multi-tiered steamer. When in doubt, err on the side of a larger steamer. It’s easier to work around a larger steamer than it is to not have enough room for a whole meal.

    #2 How Much Counter Space Do You Have?

    Electric food steamers offer the most convenient option for “set it and forget it” steaming, but often require a fair bit of counter space next to an electrical outlet. For smaller kitchens, this can be a total dealbreaker.

    If you’re tight on space, consider using a traditional stovetop steamer setup. While these steamers require more constant attention than an electric model, they also have the benefit of maximizing available space in your kitchen — and often fit inside of pots for easy storage, too.

    #3 How Much Time Do You Have for Steaming?

    When you’re busy in a kitchen or just coming home from work and need a healthy dinner, FAST, choosing the right type of steamer is crucial. 

    The higher the power on an electric model, the faster it will heat up (with some models we reviewed taking only 15 seconds to start steaming!). Our favorite models are also equipped with timers that automate the process, making it simple and easy.

    Traditional models may save space and allow for greater control during cooking, but you’ll have to wait for water to boil in a pot before getting down to cooking. In addition, they’ll require fairly constant monitoring until your food is finished steaming.

    Needing other cooker that do have steamer? We recommend our top list of best electric pressure cooker, rice cooker and pressure canner.