The Best Vegetable Steamer For An Easy Supper Routine

In today’s busy and time-sensitive world we live in, we all need ways to speed up every day mundane activities. Cooking hits the top of most people’s lists.  I know it does for me! And if we are, to be honest eating healthy is also another niggle that we need to attend to but feel it will take up too much of our valuable time. Takeaways and fast food are so much easier – right? Wrong!

So, what could help us to, firstly save us time and secondly help us cover our five a day promise? A vegetable steamer! That’s what!

QUICK OVERVIEW OF MY FAVE STEAMERS

Vegetable SteamerQualityPriceOur Rating
Hamilton Beach Digital SteamerA$$
Oster 5-Quart Food SteamerB$
Cook N Home Stainless Steel SteamerB-$$

WHY STEAM YOUR VEGETABLES?

Steaming vegetables allow for the natural nutrients and vitamins inside the vegetables to remain after they are cooked, thereby giving you maximum benefit from that food.  There is no point in cooking vegetables, say by microwave or in a frying pan and not retaining the goodness. And that's exactly what those methods do - they suck the goodness from the food.  Steaming uses water, a natural source of nutrients in itself, and infiltrates the steam through the vegetables, leaving you will soft, flavorful perfection.

And steaming couldn't be easier.  Gone are the days of watching a boiling pot on the stove.  So that it doesn't boil over the sides!  (worse than watching paint dry!)  Today we have the luxury of technology that allows us to set up the food for cooking and walk away to allow us time for other important activities.   You know, like watching that last episode of Game of Thrones!

TIME-SAVING HEAVEN!

Time-saving heaven, indeed!  And we all need ways to save time, don't we?  Do I see those hands up?  Yes, I do! And I have the best vegetable steamer reviews right here.  Of course, I do!

But instead of inundating you with a ream of options as long as your arm, that will have your head spinning and your pockets clamping up, I have narrowed it down to my top three.  And not broken the bank in the process!

DUAL DELUXE

Now, it must be said that most steamers can deal, as not only vegetable cookers but cookers for meat. Meat being fish, lamb, chicken, pork and everything in between.  As you are steaming we recommend sticking to chicken and fish, as most other meats don't cook very well through the steam technology.  If you don’t like mixing your vegetables with your meats, in terms of the strong meaty or fishy scent infiltrating the vegetables, then cook them separately.

Most steamers come with separate levels or compartments so that the different foods don’t touch each other, however, the steam permeates through all of the areas so you have been warned.

Vegetable SteamerQualityPriceOur Rating
Hamilton Beach Digital SteamerA$$
Oster 5-Quart Food SteamerB$
Cook N Home Stainless Steel SteamerB-$$

Let us begin with a firm favorite on the market.

Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer

This is a 2-tier system and is adjustable, depending on the quantity of food or types of food that you wish to cook.  Just the other day I cooked a succulent piece of salmon along with mushrooms and marrows.  Oh wow!  What a combo! I love their easy digital touch pad which allows you to program the time and a variety of other functions very easily.  Such simplicity!

Once your food is done, the alarm will beep and the automatic warmer will turn on to keep the food warm without drying it out – how perfect!  Just love this function! I found this little guy perfect and super compact.  This steamer will fit neatly into your cupboard or not take up too much space on your counter top. In addition, it looks great too. As I have mostly a stainless steel kitchen, his lovely modern silver and black finish fitted wonderfully into my decor.  I'm happy to leave him on the counter.

This clever Trevor will alert you when the water level is too low thereby preventing a burnout and/or ruined food.  And I won't tell you how many times I've burnt the veggies on the stove top before! Always particular about how my plastics are made up, I was a wee bit disappointed to find that the plastic wasn't BPA free. Another downer for me was that the manufacturer specifically says use only water for steaming when there are so many cool recipes that use beer.  Whose going to be the first to test it out on beer?

Steaming vegetables, including rice (brown or white) has never been easier. You can go about other household chores whilst your food cooks away. Just know that it isn't the largest steamer out there, so we talking smaller meals, which, I suppose in this day and age of eating less, is not a bad thing at all. So, don't look at the price and give it a whizz!

Oster 5-Quart Food Steamer

Our next guy is our real cost saver and a super efficient friend too! He is double tiered, similar to the steamer before, but more ideal for smaller meals.  For a family of 3 or even a single person dinner, this steamer does the job perfectly. A bummer is that you cannot cook a whole chicken in here nor is it very good for steaming rice.  It is super small!

I do like that the containers are transparent and make for easy checking. With their 60-minute timer, which shuts off when cooking is complete and/or when the water tray is empty, this means, again, no more burning out that element!

Cleaning heaven!   All the parts can be washed in the dishwasher except the base, which I found I could wipe down with a little soap and a damp cloth.

Cook N Home Stainless Steel Steamer

Think hot pot. Think pressure cooker-style. This next contender fits this bill perfectly.

What do you get in the box? An 8-quart stock pot which is stainless steel mirror finished, a lovely tempered glass lid including very generously-sized steamer insert and pasta addition (the pasta addition makes for easy transition from pot to bowl, by the way!  However, for thin long strands of spaghetti - they just fall straight through!) Again, easy washing here!  I just popped all the parts in the dishwasher and didn't have to think further – how wonderful and easy!

One thing I realized right off was that, on a closer look at the manual, the encapsulate aluminum bottom provides even heat distribution, ensuring all your food is cooked the same (and we know how frustrating it can be if there is a veg or two that is still hard!  Not nice!) The silver did discolor a bit, though, but not too badly.

6 VEGGIES TO AVOID STEAMING

While steaming is awesome there are some veggies that should be avoided for cooking in this manner. The first veg is Kale. It loses most of it's nutrients through steaming, so stick to eating this veg raw or in shakes. The second no-no is broccoli.  In fact, broccoli shouldn't be cooked at all.  It's a super food and best eaten raw.

rsz_2rsz_img_6882Cauliflower, as with broccoli is best eaten raw.  Huge cancer-fighting veg this one and you don't want to steam the bejeebies out of him. Surprising number 4 is carrots.  Now who doesn't love sweetened carrots?  Well, if you want to retain the Vitamin A in these Bugs Bunny favorites, then eat them raw too. Brussels Sprouts are preferable when grated into a salad and come on, they do honk a lot when cooked up!

Another surprise is Bell Peppers which most of us cook up with onions to add that extra vuma to most meals, but in fact steaming or cooking in general strips them of 75% of their antioxidant power!

So, with a neat little package of choices, you can know, with certainty, that your next meal will be quick, healthy and delicious! Surprise the family, why don't you?  The entire meal in one shot - AND you got to do the ironing and/or read that magazine you have been eyeing out for a week! Perfect!

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