The most health-conscious people look forward to dishes cooked using a food steamer. Various food items can be prepared through steaming, which is healthier than most cooking methods. Technology has undoubtedly upped the game when it comes to steamers sold in the market.
Here, we have a buying guide fact-checked by Chef Terence Fereday Jr., which delves into what makes a good steamer and other things you should think of when looking into investing in a good steamer that fits your budget. Also, check out the list of our top picks for the best steamer you can buy online.
Chef Terrence has 30 years of experience working in the professional kitchen. He graduated from the Professional Culinary Institute in California, USA, and he was a former Culinary Instructor, Corporate Chef, and Executive Chef. He also won several awards in culinary competitions and is the founder and owner of Zilla Pizza.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Food steamers come in various types, from a standalone type to ones that you can just pop in the microwave. Read more below to know more about which type of food steamer best fits your lifestyle.
By far, the most convenient and affordable are the collapsible baskets, which you can easily either expand or contract to fit a variety of pot sizes, saving more on storage design spaces. You simply place it on top of a pot of boiling water, and you're good to go! Keep in mind that with this option, you can only cook 1 layer of food at a time.
The material of steamers can either be stainless steel or silicone. Stainless steel does not rust, chip, or melt in certain external heat conditions; however, silicone food steamers are more gentle as they do not scratch your pots. However, remember that silicone, like other plastic materials, can hold bacteria since they are porous.
Stovetops steamers are easy to operate as they come in a full set, starting with the bottom pot where you put the water alongside another layer or multiple layers for cooking. This is a versatile, no-fuss option if you feel more comfortable cooking on a stovetop than using a different appliance. Stovetop steamers usually have handles on both sides and have cleaning instructions similar to your pots and pans.
For people who are always on the go or too busy, a microwavable steamer can do wonders to your meals with the least amount of time and effort. Pop these multi-tiered models inside a microwave, set the timer, and worry less about your food.
With this option, keep in mind that the food you are going to steam depends not just on the size of the steamer itself but also on your microwave. Make sure to measure the steamer before buying it to make sure it fits inside your microwave. At best, you can heat around 1-3 servings in a microwavable container considering its capacity.
This type is a free-standing machine on your countertop. On the cheaper and affordable side, you can check out electric steamers with 2 or more layers and a built-in timer. On the more high-end side, some steamers have water indicators, digital timers, and programmed settings that you can choose from depending on the food that you want to steam.
Make sure you check the capacity of the steamer and if it works even with just one layer for the days that you are steaming a smaller batch of food. Moreover, don't forget to find a place in your kitchen where you can plug this appliance in so you can enjoy the convenience of not having to watch over the food that you are cooking.
Think about who you are cooking for. Use your family size as a basis for choosing the steamer. Naturally, the greater volume which you can fill it up with, say 5 liters and over, is the more practical as it allows for more food items to be steamed all at the same time. The only downside is you have to make room for proper storage for this cooking tool.
For those who cook in smaller batches or those who live alone, a small steamer may suffice for their daily needs. Smaller steamers can also be ideal for those with small kitchens since they are easier to clean up in small sinks and easier to store on countertops or cupboards.
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Multi-purpose Steamer 9L (Black/Gray)
Steam Food in Larger Batches With This Large Capacity Steamer
An Efficient and Easy to Use Steamer With Auto Temperature Control
Stainless Steel Food Steamer Basket
Enjoy This Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Collapsible Steamer Basket
3-Tier Food Steamer
Consider This 7.5L Steamer if You Have Limited Countertop Space
Rice Cooker With Steamer
Cook Both Rice and Vegetables With This Steamer
A Steamer for a Small to Average Sized Household
Stainless Steel Steamer
A Sleek and Easy-to-Clean Multifunctional Steel Steamer
Steamer 30 cm
A Trusty, Utilitarian Design for Larger Food Servings
Microwave Steamer with Removable Steamer Basket
A Steamer for Those Always-on-the-Go
Bamboo Steamer Basket
A Chinese Restaurant Experience at Home With This Bamboo Steamer
With a 9L capacity and three tiers for multiple steaming, Imarflex is here to show you how food steamers should be made. The layers it comes with are collapsible, enabling you to store the rest and take them out only as you need them.
Running on 750 watts, this multi-purpose steamer is BPA (Bisphenol A) free and, therefore, safe for human health. You can use this steamer not just for food but to sterilize your utensils as well. Additionally, this steamer is equipped with both water level and power light indicators for your convenience.
Love steaming vegetables or planning to start a business selling steamed food? This electric steamer from Caribbean is a great candidate for your first investment. With a 3.5L capacity, indicator lamp, automatic temperature control, and timer, you can steam food in here without having to shell out that much money for your business!
This steamer provides an efficient and affordable way for business starters and households to steam their food. In addition to that, both customers and your family members can enjoy the health benefits of steaming food as compared to other forms of cooking.
If you just want to try steaming and you want to skip shelling out money for a steamer, you can consider this multi-purpose collapsible steamer instead. It is made of stainless steel and has a removable handle and solid triangular support. Due to its simplicity, it is the cheapest option on this list.
Aside from being a steamer to put on top of your regular pans, it's also suitable for microwaves and ovens. You can also use this product as a fruit basket to display your fruits on your dining table. This gives it another purpose, especially when you don't find yourself steaming that often.
For those with smaller kitchens, you might be worried about how to fit another appliance on your countertop or cupboards. This Dowell 3-tier food steamer might just be the one to fit your specific needs! First, it has a small base for those with limited countertop space. Second, it has a space-saving collapsible basket for easy storage.
Despite the perks that it offers when it comes to saving space, you can still cook a lot in its 3 tiers with a total of 7.5L volume capacity. It also has a 60-minute time and an automatic shut-off function, so you don't have to worry about keeping an eye on your steaming dishes every minute!
Another item on this list that is perfect for a new family or for those living solo is this rice cooker with steamer from Micromatic. With a holding capacity of 5 cups to 1L, this product can hit 2 birds with 1 stone and can save you time, energy and money in the long run.
In a single appliance, you can steam your meat and vegetables while cooking rice, a staple in the Filipino diet. Using the "Keep Warm" setting, you can keep your dishes warm until they are ready to be served. With this one product, you can enjoy the benefits of having both a steamer and a rice cooker.
Tough Mama, one of the most well-known brands in the country when it comes to appliances, has produced a 5L capacity electric steamer perfect for the needs of small to average-sized households. It has a 60-minute timer, a power indicator light, and an automatic safety shut-off, which you can maximize for your cooking needs!
If you plan to serve rice alongside your steamed dishes, you'll find the rice bowl that comes with this steamer pretty handy. Whether it be preparing one layer of food or two layers with rice, you can make this steamer your next best friend!
When cooking a large batch of food, the pots and appliances that are available in the market are usually not very easy on the eyes. This sleek countertop steamer made from stainless steel will provide you not just durability but also convenience and efficiency. This steamer is suitable for all kinds of heat sources and can serve your kitchen needs longer than traditional pots.
It has 3 stackable layers made of food-grade material. The bottom layer is also advertised as a standalone pot for soup, stew, and hot pot. Even though it has 3 layers, you don't have to worry about storage since you can stack the tiers inside the bottom pot with the steam plates at the very top.
A steamer with a utilitarian purpose, this trusty design from Crown allows you to cook as much food that fits inside its tiers with a 30cm cookware diameter. This is best for those with big families or groups to feed. It's also made from stainless steel, so you can count on this steamer to be sturdy and easy to clean!
Its capacity and straightforward design make it excellent for steaming different types of food, from poultry to vegetables. This is also a good choice for home-based food catering businesses to make scrumptious delicacies and other home-cooked meals!
For busy individuals who want to quickly pop their meals in a microwave to steam them, this steamer by Sistema is a great option. This 1.4L capacity microwavable steamer has a removable steamer basket where you can put your meat, vegetable, and other meals in.
If you already have a microwave at home, you can opt for this affordable steamer to enjoy the benefits of having steamed food without having to buy a separate appliance. This item is also BPA-free, freezer-safe, and dishwasher-safe. Compared to other steamers, though, the amount of food you can fit into this basket is very limited.
Do you remember the bamboo steamers that Asian restaurants use to serve dim sum and other steamed dishes? You can actually have that experience in your home! A bamboo steamer is something that you put on top of a pot or wok with boiling water to steam your food, and it can double as a plating for your dishes since it also has an aesthetic value.
This bamboo steamer is made of woven bamboo and is actually a more sanitary option than its plastic counterparts. Wood and bamboo have natural antimicrobial properties making them less susceptible to bacteria growth. However, you might want to use parchment paper as some food, like dumplings and fish, might stick to the bottom of the bamboo steamer when cooking.
To avoid getting steam burns, it's best not to reach in immediately inside the steamer when the food is done. As you open the steamer, let the steam trapped inside release and lose pressure before removing the food in the chamber.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
As compared to other forms of cooking, steaming is a great option if you aim to maximize vegetables' nutrients. It's considered a healthy way to prepare food since it does not require oil, unlike frying; in addition to that, it's also a better option than boiling, which may make the vegetables' nutrients leech into the water instead of staying inside.
Up your food preparation game during this quarantine period by looking at these kitchen appliances for that perfectly gorgeous plating and sumptuous taste.
Author: A. Ugay
Editor: Katrina Balingit
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Imarflex ｜Multi-purpose Steamer 9L (Black/Gray)｜IST-3000S
No. 2：Caribbean ｜Electric Steamer ｜CPS-2005
No. 3：Annil｜Stainless Steel Food Steamer Basket
No. 4：Dowell｜3-Tier Food Steamer｜FS-17S3
No. 5：Micromatic ｜Rice Cooker With Steamer ｜MRC-5038/538D
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