Benefits Of A Food Steamer (Common Questions Answered)

A food steamer is an appliance found in the kitchen that uses steam to cook food.

It’s one of the most recommended ways of cooking vegetables, fish, and foods that can be cooked rather than baked.

Many recommend it because it retains more nutrients, and you get to skip the oil for a better and lighter meal.

Steaming cooks food by surrounding it with hot vapor in the enclosed container using no oil or fat to your liking. 

As healthy eating continues to be encouraged, many people are looking into purchasing food steamers, and in this article, frequently asked questions will be answered.

What Are The Benefits Of A Food Steamer?

As we’ve learned above, steaming is the healthiest cooking method, and many people are looking into getting one for themselves.

One thing about a food steamer is that the simplicity of its cooking makes it so versatile and easy to use.

The following are the benefits of the food steamer:

  1. It Makes the cooking process easy and faster, reducing the prep time in the kitchen, which we all want. You don’t need to ditch cooking your favorite meal with a food steamer because the food will be done in a matter of minutes. It’s not only easy and faster, but you get to save your time, energy, and money while at it. It saves you money and energy because you can cook food simultaneously.
  2. A food steamer locks nutrients in retaining the much-needed minerals and natural vitamins. It preserves them, giving you the most benefits from your food. Despite using steam, do not worry that the flavors will be lost because it preserves the taste.
  3. It needs little to no supervision, unlike using the oven and stove. It requires no regular checking, fearing that you will burn your food or overcook it. They come with timers, so there is a low possibility of over steaming.
  4. The same way it locks in the food nutrients and flavor, it also keeps the structure and color of the food. Cooking over an oven or stove makes food lose its bright colors and makes the food brown and dull, but with a food steamer, the food’s texture, color, and structure are maintained.
  5. Cleaning up is less messy and easy than other cooking methods. Of course, no one fancies cleaning those stovetops, but with a food steamer, that is a thing of the past.

What Can You Cook In A Food Steamer?

When it comes to the food, team vegetables head the list, and yes, almost all vegetables are viable.

Steaming helps prevent the vegetable from losing the water-soluble vitamins since they don’t sit in the water, restricting heat exposure.

Such foods are broccoli, rice, lentils, fish fillets, seasoned fish, shellfish, meat dumplings, pork patties, chicken, grains, egg custards, bread, buns, etc.

Can You Reheat Food In A Steamer?

steaming is the healthiest cooking method

Absolutely yes! Good thing you do not get that re-cooked taste you get when you microwave your leftover food.

The only downside is that it takes a bit longer but is definitely worth the wait.

Try always to remember when you are reheating maybe pizza or a pie, to cover it to prevent the steam from wetting it.

Can You Descale A Food Steamer?

Descaling is possible with a food steamer because you need to clean it properly.

Since there’s a lot of water vapor going around, there may be build-up, which isn’t pleasant to see when cooking.

To descale it:

  • Pour three cups of white vinegar into the steamer reservoir if there is scale build-up.
  • Fill it with water till full.
  • Heat the steamer for twenty minutes, then disconnect, let it cool and pour the vinegar mixture.

If you want to remove the limescale in it:

  • After it cools, remove the steamer’s bowls, drip tray, and anything else and wash them in hot soapy water thoroughly.
  • Next, fill the base with1 quart of vinegar till the mark, which will remove the calcium build-up, then rinse it with water.

Can You Sterilize Bottles In A Food Steamer?

Baby bottles need to be cleaned frequently, and using a food steamer is very convenient.

You can create a bottle sterilizer by putting a metallic pasta drainer on the boiling water and putting your washed bottles then cover.

Let them steam for 5 minutes, then remove.

How To Clean A Food Steamer

You could choose to clean by hand or put it in the dishwasher but only ensure it is cleaned thoroughly and dried.

Use these steps to clean it thoroughly:

  1. Unplug your food steamer and let it cool completely. Make sure to remove any water from the drip tray and reservoir by turning it upside down.
  2. Soak the steamer in warm soapy water to remove any leftover food. Do not put the plug, the base, and the cord in the water for obvious reasons. Instead, only place the lid, drip tray, and inner steaming container for the electric steamer.
  3. Use a washing cloth to wash off the residue in the warm soapy water, then rinse with col tap water. If the steamer is dishwasher safe, put it in a secure spot.
  4. Use a clean, dry towel to dry and store it accordingly.
  5. Make sure to descale the hard water areas that heat the steamer by following the above information on descaling.

Can You Boil Eggs In A Food Steamer?

You can quickly cook eggs in a steamer by boiling water first then placing the steamer above it, which will now hold the eggs.

Cover them with the lid and cook for 10 minutes to the desired doneness.

Make another bowl of ice-cold water as the eggs cook so that when you remove and put them in, they stop cooking.

Let them rest for about 10 minutes, then peel.

How Hot Does A Food Steamer Get?

Steam is water converted to vapor state by its boiling point, which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit; the highest steamer temperature is the same.

Best Steamers To Consider

Cuisinart STM-1000 Cook Fresh Digital Glass Steamer

Cuisinart STM-1000 Cook Fresh Digital Glass Steamer, One Size, Stainless Steel
  • SUPERIOR FUNCTION: A powerful steam system delivers steam from top down in this 5-liter glass pot for 5 pre-programmed food settings – seafood, poultry, grains, vegetables and manua
  • EASY TO USE: LCD control panel with display, start/stop, pause & reheat buttons with audible alert
  • MUST-HAVE FEATURES: 60 minute countdown timer, stainless steel steaming tray, glass lid with stainless steel rim & glass lid, steaming tray flips to hold different types of foods – dishwasher safe glass pot with 1-liter removable water tank
  • CAPACITY: The 5-liter glass cooking pot is large enough for family-size portions of vegetables, fish, chicken, rice and more
  • LIMITED 3-YEAR WARRANTY: Refer to user manual for troubleshooting steps and questions surrounding warranty policies – this product is BPA free

The Cuisinart Digital Glass steamer has a five-liter glass cooking pot, a glass lid with stainless steel trim, and a stainless steel steaming tray, making it dishwasher safe hence easy cleaning.

It has an LCD control panel with pause, start/stop and reheat buttons with preprogrammed food setting, which makes cooking easy.

It is also possible to set it manually for your custom cooking.

The steam is delivered from the top down by its steaming system, which surrounds the food cooking it evenly.

The steamer tray has two handles that make it easy to remove the cooked food.

Bella Two-Tier Food Steamer

BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer with Dishwasher Safe Lids and Stackable Baskets & Removable Base for Fast Simultaneous Cooking - Auto Shutoff & Boil Dry Protection, 7.4 QT, Black
  • COOK A VARIETY OF FOODS: Whether you're in the mood for japanese or chinese cuisine, or just want to steam some fresh vegetables, tofu, fish or meats for dinner, this steamer and rice cooker can do it all. Turn the switch and make a full meal with sides
  • TWO TIERS FOR SIMULTANEOUS COOKING: With the electric food steamer, you can cook multiple items at the same time without mixing them together! The steam pot comes with a guess-free steaming guide chart that makes it easy to make your favorite dishes
  • STACKABLE BASKETS & REMOVABLE BASE: The removable base makes it easy to clean your electric cooker and veggie steamer. The stackable glass baskets make it easy to store your food once it's done and can be removed safely washed in your dishwasher
  • EASY TO READ WATER LEVEL INDICATOR: No more guessing when it's time to refill your water! BELLA's vegetable steamer is equipped with a clear water level indicator that tells you exactly how much liquid is left so you can refill the steamer pot comfortably
  • AUTO SHUTOFF & BOIL DRY PROTECTION: The auto shutoff and boil dry protection will turn the rice steamer off automatically if it's left on for too long or runs out of water. This prevents any accidents from happening and makes it simple and safe to use

Now the BELLA Two-tier steamer is one of a kind because it has two steaming containers to cook your full meal hence saving you time.

Moreover, it is made of stainless steel, making it dishwasher safe.

Unlike the Cuisinart digital glass steamer, its reservoir has a view window helping you know if you need more water to steam your food.

It also has a hassle-free and guess-free steaming guide chart, hence perfect steaming results.

Hamilton Beach 37530A Digital Food steamer

Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer, 8 Cups Cooked (4 Uncooked), With Steam & Rinse Basket, Stainless Steel (37518)
  • ENJOY MAXIMUM COOKING VERSATILITY FROM BREAKFAST TO DINNER. Prepare a practically endless variety of dishes with this one multi-function cooker. Make rice, whole grains and hot cereal, or steam seafood, eggs, vegetables and more
  • PREPARE MEALS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: The removable nonstick pot of the Hamilton Beach rice cooker steamer is large enough to feed your whole family — it fits up to 8 cups/2 quarts of cooked rice.
  • ONE-TOUCH COOKING WITH PREPROGRAMMED OPTIONS: Simply press the right button to perfectly cook white rice, whole grains or hot cereal. A countdown timer shows you how much time is left. The rice cooker automatically switches to warm when cooking is complete
  • VERSATILE 2-IN-1 STEAM/RINSING BASKET: The versatile steam basket on the electric rice cooker doubles as a colander. It's great for rinsing rice or grains before cooking, or use it to steam everything from salmon to brussels sprouts as your rice cooks
  • PERFECT FOR ONE-POT MEALS. Steam seafood or vegetables while rice cooks below for fast, easy one-pot meals. Great for making homemade fried rice, shrimp with rice and more.

The Hamilton Beach food steamer has an easy-to-use timer, two steaming trays, and a steam delay setting.

An upside of getting it is that it can steam taller items.

It is a five ½-quart electric steamer, and like the BELLA Two-tier steamer, it has two tiers that can stack when cooking though one is smaller than the other.

This comes in handy when you feed many people, so believe that it is a good investment.

However, the tiers have a removable divider on the center, so this steamer would be better if you want to steam a large-sized fish.

Another upside of this steamer is that when it is done, it automatically sets to a keep-warm setting for an hour before turning off altogether, avoiding overcooking.

For cleaning, the drip tray and the rice bowl are dishwasher safe but for the food containers, wash them by hand.

Also Read: Pressure Cooking Vs Steaming Vs Slow Cooking Vs Boiling