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Steamers Buying Guide

Steaming is a fast and easy way to cook delicious vegetables while retaining their color and nutrients. Steamers come in a variety of types and styles. Decide if you want to control the cooking duration or set a timer to do it for you. Vegetables can easily become soggy and overcooked when steaming; a timed method is a surefire way to have crisp-cooked vegetables with your meals.

Types of Pots & Steamers

Types of Pots & Steamers

A steamer is a relatively fast cooking method. Food is placed in a steamer basket, set over boiling water, and covered. Steam from the boiling water cooks the food -- usually vegetables -- while helping to retain color and nutrients. Electric and microwave steamers come with cooking guides so the steam time can be set and the machine does the rest. A steamer basket is just as easy but requires the cook to pay attention to cooking time for perfectly steamed foods.

Steamer Baskets

A stainless-steel steamer basket fits into a bigger vessel and keeps moisture in with a lid that fits the pot. Very little water is required to steam foods. Some basket styles have adjustable sides to fit a variety of pot sizes. The steam time needs to be monitored for perfect vegetable doneness with this type.

shop Steamer Baskets
Thunder Group
at Amazon

50 Quart aluminum steamer basket for stock pot. Aluminum cylindrical steamer basket with perforated holes for steaming vegetables,... seafood, or deep frying large poultry. Fits inside stock pots, with easy lift pail handle. Smooth mirror finish that's easy to wash and maintain. Available in 20 to 80 quart capacity. Perfect fit for Thunder Group's aluminum stock pot: Item # ALSKSP008 read more

Royal Doulton
at Amazon

Gordon Ramsay Professional Stainless Steel Cookware features restaurant-grade "tri-ply" construction - an 18/10 stainless steel ex...terior and interior cooking surface bonded to a heavy-gauge aluminum core - which ensures rapid and even heat distribution to allow effective cooking on low to medium heat. Safe for stovetop, oven, broiler and grill use. All-round rim allows easy pouring from any side. "Perfect Fit" lids lock in temperatures, ensuring flavors are preserved. Vent hole reduces the chances of boil-over. Extra long, ergonomic riveted stainless steel handles add increased durability characteristic of professional grade cookware. Dishwasher safe makes clean-up easier than ever. read more

at Amazon

These commercial steam baskets come in various sizes to fit into any size pot. Made of high quality, durable material to withstand... the busiest kitchens. read more

at Amazon

These commercial steam baskets come in various sizes to fit into any size pot. Made of high quality, durable material to withstand... the busiest kitchens. read more

Bamboo Steamers

Generally tiered to accommodate steaming more than one kind of food at a time, this style of steamer is a cooking fundamental in Asian cuisine. Like a steamer basket, it is placed in a cooking vessel with very little water. Because this steamer has a lid, any style of cooking vessel large enough for the steamer to sit in can be used.

shop Bamboo Steamers
$58.99 $74.95
at Wayfair

Size: 7 Cup, Color: White Oyama Rice Cooker, Warmer and Steamer The stainless steel cooking bowl has a triple-layered bottom with aluminum inner core for uniform heating without burning of the rice. This cooker is tailored for people looking to cook... read more

$96.51 $98.88
at Walmart

Gift yourself the Aroma 60-Cup Commercial Rice Cooker and forget the hassles involved while cooking rice. You only need to put in ...the required amount of rice and water and set the button on. The cooker automatically senses when the rice is cooked and... read more

Island Bamboo
at Amazon

Two tools in one, plus a space-saving design. This 8-inch stand-alone colander/steamer comes in handy for everyday culinary tasks ...and food steaming, then it collapses flat for easy storage putting an end to the clutter caused by conventional steamers. Prepare healthy steamed vegetables with ease. This ingenious design folds down into two different sizes to fit shallow and deep pots. Use it to rinse and serve fruits and berries. Great for rinsing pasta or cooked grains. It?s a handy helper collecting food scraps during food prep. Made of premium grade, food-safe silicone that will not absorb food flavors or odors. Dishwasher safe. When it comes to great design, it?s all about hue. read more


Electric steamers manage the steam time for you. These steamers, which look like crock pots, come with a removable pot or bowl for holding the vegetables. Some three-tier steamers include warmers for keeping freshly steamed veggies warm while the rest of the meal is prepared.

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Chef's Choice
at Lowe's

Large 1-3/4 quart capacity. Automatically shuts off when water boils plus double boil-dry safety shutoff. Safety lock on lid. UL o...r ETL and Canadian Approval. read more

at Amazon

The Ovente food steamer is a convenient and efficient yet brings out the nutrients from food. An easy way to serve healthy options... for home cooked meals. Transparent steaming bowl lets one see through the food as it transforms into a healthy and delicious meal. Transparent steaming bowls can be interchanged and can be removed depending on your needs. 1 hour timer with 15-minute intervals; rice bowl included! read more

at Amazon

Whether hosting a business meeting, catering an event, or simply upping the convenience quota of everyday life, Panasonic's electr...ic thermal hot pot makes it easy to quickly and safely boil and dispense hot water--perfect for anything from tea, instant coffee and hot cocoa to instant soup, noodles, baby food and more. The exceptionally versatile unit can be used throughout the day for various applications and at different temperature settings. The pot's fold-down carrying handle makes it effortless to transport from the sink for filling to the buffet table or counter when entertaining guests or working in the kitchen. Choose between heating water to a rolling boil (212 degrees F) or keeping it hot at one of the following Keep Warm temperature settings: 208, 190, 180, or 140 degrees F. The unit can also be set to start boiling up to six hours later thanks to its energy-saving timer. read more

Euro Cuisine

Euro Cuisine 17-Quart Electric Food Steamer: Create a delicious, healthy meal with this electric food steamer that offers a 2-tier...ed design with removable trays for customized food prep. The large LCD and automatic warming function help ensure your finished dish suits your taste. EURO CUISINE 17-Quart Electric Food Steamer: Stainless-steel design; 2 removable 8.5-quart trays; 4.5-quart water tank; LCD; 90-minute timer; automatic warming function Color: Stainless-Steel. read more


Most microwave steamers are plastic, shaped like a cake pan, and include a lid for steaming.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Before buying a steamer, think about how often you plan to use it. If you serve cooked fresh vegetables daily, a quality steamer that will last for several years is a good investment. If steaming is a method you use rarely, a less expensive option such as a steamer basket is sufficient. An electric or microwave steamer does have the advantage of freeing up cooktop space.


Many steamer baskets are designed to expand and collapse to fit pots of varying sizes, while others are designed to fit a specific pot. Bamboo steamers come in a couple of sizes and have the advantage of multiple tiers for steaming more than one food type at once. Electric and microwave steamers are fixed in size.


If storage space is limited, consider the simple collapsible basket. Steamers of other varieties are fixed in size, so more storage space is needed.

Material Type

Most basket steamers that fit in a pot for use on the stove top are made of stainless steel or bamboo. Although a stainless-steel basket will look the same use after use, a bamboo steamer will darken with age. Microwave steamers are plastic. Electric steamers come in a variety of material types but commonly have plastic inserts for steaming.

Steaming Process

Cook times and water amounts vary based on size, quantity, and type of food. Look for cooking guides with each product.

Kitchen on sale

$30.73 $40.99
at Kmart

Oster 5711 Mechanical Food Steamer-Generates steam in less than a minute, letting cooking start immediately-Double-tiered 6.1-quar...t capacity holds a variety of foods-75-minute timer, auto shut-off setting for safety-See-through external reservoir helps to ensure steady steaming-3-4/5-Quart and 2-3/10-quart steaming bowls, collapsible steaming trays; includes 8 egg holdersNeed more information on this product? Click here to ask.Made in the USADimensions: 10.25″ x 11.9″ x 15.3″. read more

5711 Mechanical Food Steamer
$39.99 $59.99
at Sears

Instant Steamer Prepares Variety of Foods Oster's tiered food steamer is equipped with instant steam so you can start cooking imme...diately. It has a combined 6-qt. capacity. The large bowl includes eight egg holders for making soft- or hard-cooked eggs. It also has an external water fill system with a see-through reservoir: monitor the water level and you'll never run out of steam. The LCD display has a 95-minute timer. Oster 5712 Electronic 2-Tier 6 Quart Food Steamer: 2-tiered 6-quart capacity steamer creates instant steam for preparing all kinds of food Delay cooking up to 12-hours External water-fill system with see-through reservoir Fully collapsible steaming trays Includes 3.8-quart and 2.3-quart steaming bowl, plus 8 egg holders for soft-or hard-cooked eggsDimensions: Measures 10.8 in. x 10 in. x 14.4 in. A Closer Look: Cooking can be delayed for up to 12 hours, and with the Keep Warm setting, your food will stay warm while you prepare the rest of the meal. Take Care: Fully collapsible steaming trays make for easy cleaning. read more

Digital Food Steamer
$24.96 $39.96
at Walmart

The versatile Stack 'N Steam Farberware Steamer with 3-qt sauce pot can be used for cooking a wide range of food items. This singl...e pot can cook foods that need to be simmered, boiled, and steamed. The pot and lid of this steam pot are constructed of... read more

Farberware Stack 'N Steam 3-Quart Stainless Steel Sauce Pot Steamer
Metal Fusion, Inc.
$7.35 $15.99
at Walmart

Great for use at the campsite or in the kitchen, the King Kooker Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 14 oz Pot is perfect for warming or meltin...g foods. Great for use in the smoker, oven or on the grill, the pour spouts allow for easy clean up and serving. Cast iron construction allows for even heat distribution, eliminating cold spots. It is pre-seasoned and ready to cook. read more

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 14 oz Pot with Pour Spouts
Metal Fusion, Inc.
$22.56 $35.69
at Walmart

The King Kooker 12-Quart Polished Stainless Steel Pot is great for use in the kitchen or in the outdoors. Stainless steel means clean up and durability. The King Kooker 12-Quart Polished Stainless Steel Pot is perfect for all types of cooking. read more

12-Quart Polished Stainless Steel Pot
T-Fal US
$15.99 $23.99
at Kmart

T-Fal 3 Quart Handy Pot Non-stick interior for easy cooking and easy clean up 2 Non-stick exterior which makes it fast and easy to... clean, dishwasher safe 3 Even heat base delivers even heat distribution for reliable cooking results read more

3 Quart Handy Pot, Model A8572494, 1 ea
Le Creuset Stainless Steel
$229.95 $305.00
at Crate & Barrel

High grade stainless steel and a dash of aluminum are the ingredients for Le Creuset's 3-ply stainless steel range of pans. Engine...ered for high performance, Le Creuset's 3-ply stainless steel construction, with a pure aluminum core from base to rim, ensures quick and even heat distribution, which prevents hotspots. Le Creuset's 3-ply cookware is equally at home on gas or electric hobs and has been designed to work brilliantly on induction hobs too. The ergonomic handles and the entire rim of each pan has a cleverly designed lip that lets you pour from any angle without messy drips. Le Creuset's stainless steel cookware will become a staple in your kitchen! read more

Stainless Steel Multi-Function Pot
$59.95 $120.00
at Crate & Barrel

A must have for health-conscious cooks. Made of heavy gauge stainless steel and fits All-Clad's 2, 3 and 4-quart saucepans as well... as their 3 and 4-quart casseroles. Designed to extend deeper into the cooking vessel, it features the flexibility to fit in a range of pots, allowing the home chef to prepare a wide array of steamed foods for small or large crowds. read more

59915 Stainless Steel 3-qt. All Purpose Steamer Insert AAC1206

A lightweight, high-capacity choice for large groups, the Jetboil FluxRing Helios cooking pot is made of durable anodized aluminum... and features an insulating plastic lid that doubles as a serving plate. Available Colors: SEE PHOTO. read more

Fluxring Helios Cooking Pot - 3L
$60.99 $140.00
at Wayfair

Cuisinart 6-qt. 3-Piece Pasta Pot Set Twice the performance - this pasta pot and its insert make cooking angel hair to lasagna eas...ier than ever. The large capacity is perfect for big portions of potatoes or vegetables, and draining off liquid is a... read more

Cuisinart 6-qt. 3-Piece Pasta Pot Set 44-22

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