Best Food Steamers For Nutritious And Easy Cooking

Discover the best food steamers to make healthy meals with little effort.

Food Steamers

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Enjoy delicious food that is good for your health, budget and the planet with the best food steamer. Embrace one of the healthiest cooking methods: steaming. Not only is steaming low-maintenance, but it locks in all the vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy way to cook. Along with the best juicer, it's one of those small kitchen appliances that can help you to eat healthier. There's a variety of food steamers that will work for your preferred cooking style: from electric steamers to ones you can use on a hob or in a microwave.

Steaming is an excellent alternative to frying, baking or roasting. Like an air fryer, there is no need to add any extra oil or fat, making it lower in calories. You may be thinking – doesn't steamed food taste bland and boring? Well, the answer is no. Add flavour to your food by seasoning it before placing in the steamer. Salt helps food to cook as it breaks down the molecules. Of course, it's worth recognising that everything is good in moderation. Use Himalayan pink salt instead of table salt as a low-sodium alternative.

Best Food Steamers At A Glance:

Best electric food steamer for small households: Morphy Richards 48775 Intellisteam Compact Food Steamer – View on Amazon UK
Best budget electric food steamer: Lakeland Digital 3-Tier Electric Food Steamer – View on Lakeland
Best compact food steamer for the hob: Joseph Joseph 45030 Bloom Folding Steamer Basket – View on Amazon UK

After you prepare your food, you can flavour it by adding some acidity, such as a vinaigrette prepared in seconds with a personal blender. Give yourself variety with soy sauce, broth or gravy. Use fresh or dried herbs as well as garlic or a little butter or oil.

A food steamer is not only one of the easiest and quickest cooking methods but it also keeps in all of the colours and flavours of your ingredients. If you're not convinced that steaming foods is fantastic for you, here are a whole host of benefits and reasons why you should try. Scroll to the frequently asked questions section below to find out more.

Best Food Steamers

Best electric food steamer for small households

Morphy Richards 48775 Intellisteam Compact Food SteamerAmazon/Morphy Richards

The Morphy Richards Intellisteam Compact is of excellent value and comes fitted with a smart timer that makes sure your ingredients are cooked to perfection and ready to serve simultaneously. The horizontal layout of the baskets provides access to each compartment individually. Not to mention you can save your favourite programme settings, so everything is prepared the way you like it every time. If you are looking for a compact model that cooks a meal for two people, this is a great option.

Customer review: "I purchased this steamer based both on reviews and on listed features. I am on my own now and getting on a bit. I wanted something easy to use. The steamer is compact and looks good on my worktop. It is easy to use, wash and dry, and has a very good digital layout."

Pros

  • Six pre-set modes
  • Has a steam basket with a divider

Cons

  • Small capacity

Best budget electric food steamer

Lakeland Digital 3-Tier Electric Food steamerLakeland

This Lakeland 3-Tier Digital Steamer is easy to use, healthy and affordable. No need to fill up pots with hot water, as this three-tier electric streamer has a 90-minute timer, well-sized baskets and a straightforward digital display to see when your meal will be ready.

Customer review: "Couldn't be happier with the purchase; there are more expensive machines in the review we read, and a few cheaper ones, but for under £50, the end results speak for themselves. I just need to think of more ingredients we can try to steam."

Pros

  • Straightforward to use
  • Three tiers

Cons

  • No pre-set modes

Best compact food steamer for the hob

Joseph Joseph 45030 Bloom FoldingAmazon/Joseph Joseph
Price: $11.99

This helpful device from Joseph Joseph is simple to use, featuring an easy-lift fork handle for safe removal and a self-adjusting design to fit into pans at least 18cm in diameter. The basket opens up into the shape of a flower and collapses in on itself for storage. This is a great choice if you are looking for something easy to store away and use.

Customer review: "Just the ideal item for steaming vegetables in the Ninja Foodie. It adjusts automatically to the size of the Foodie’s steaming bowl. When the steaming process is finished, it can easily and safely be removed from the steaming bowl without risk of scalding."

Pros

  • Non-electric
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Smaller capacity

Best electric food steamer for rice

Russell Hobbs Steamer 21140Amazon/Russell Hobbs

The Russell Hobbs 3-Tier Food Steamer has stacked baskets with a capacity of nine litres. It has a large capacity and is energy-conserving, too, with a turbo steam ring design which creates steam in less than 40 seconds. 

Customer review: "This steamer is excellent; I hadn’t steamed veg before, but this 800Watt steamer will save lots of money, and the food retains its nutrients and taste. You can use 1, 2 or all three tiers. I've cooked all the usual veg like mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, broccoli, new potatoes etc. All you have to do is allow more time for your veg to cook; for instance, 20 min mash takes 30 mins for the potatoes to be ready. I’ve done boil-in-the-bag fish, too, with this. It costs less as you replace three pans and a great price; it’s a steamer so easy to clean."

Pros

  • Three tiers
  • Automated
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No pre-sets

Best stainless steel electric food steamer

Magimix 11581 Multi-Functional SteamerHughes/Magimix

Compact and high-performance, this Magimix food steamer comprises two 5.5-litre stainless steel baskets and a lower basket with holes in the base for steaming foods. It is easy to clean and can cook food from eggs to poultry and veggies.

Customer review: "I did a lot of research and decided on the Magimix steamer; it's all stainless steel of excellent quality. I am looking to lose weight, so this has greatly supported my journey. You can do so much with this steamer; it has two baskets so that it can work for an individual or large family. Honestly, look no further; this is the best steamer in terms of quality and convenience. I time my steamer and go about doing my chores; it's just perfect."

Pros

  • Four pre-set modes
  • Larger capacity

Cons

  • Takes up space

Best sleek electric food steamer

Morphy Richards 470006 IntellisteamAmazon/Morphy Richards

The Intellisteam food steamer from Morphy Richards is sleek, easy to use, and the perfect solution for those looking to make more nutritious, balanced meals. With many pre-set modes, you just need to add in your food of choice, and when the steaming has finished, it will keep it warm for you for up to 40 minutes.

Customer review: "This is by far the best steamer I have used. It is straightforward to programme. I am heading towards 72, and I found it very easy to programme. I have found that it cooks potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, green beans and butternut squash beautifully. Well worth getting the machine with the stainless steel containers as I think they are more robust. Plus, they go to the bottom of the dishwasher, whereas plastic containers go to the top. And don’t forget to register it for your extra year of warranty. Always worth doing. Buy and enjoy."

Pros

  • Eight pre-set modes
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Larger appliance

Best food steamer for microwaves

Sistema Steamer 2.4LAmazon/Sistema
Price: $24.84

Cheap and cheerful, this steamer is an effective way to steam your food in your microwave for small portions. If you don't have enough room for another appliance, this steamer box has a release vent in the lid for splatter-free heating. The box allows steam to escape whilst maintaining moisture in your food for perfectly cooked veg, fish or your favourite steamed dish. Not to mention it is dishwasher safe.

Customer review: "I love this. Great for steaming vegetables. I was so impressed I bought a set of three different sizes and a porridge bowl."

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Microwave and dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Small portions only

Best bamboo food steamer

KitchenCraft KCBAMBOOAmazon/KitchenCraft
Price: $32.49

Not only does this bamboo steamer look great, but it is also fantastic for cooking and serving. This is as traditional as it gets, and as bamboo is naturally absorbent, it will soak up some of the steam and prevent your food from going soggy. If it's not broken, don't fix it, in our opinion. Naturally, you can make foods such as dim sum, sticky rice and steamed buns, as well as classic dishes such as salmon and veggies. 

Customer Review: "If you love Chinese dumplings as much as we do, this is def worth buying. Steams them quickly and effortlessly. Just the correct size for the two of us."

Pros

  • Great for presentation
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Hand-wash only

Best food steamer for the hob

Tower T80836, 3 Tier SteamerAmazon/Tower
Price: $106.38

If you would prefer to stick to what you know, this 3-tier saucepan steamer is made from stainless steel and has silicone handles for heat protection. This steamer is the ideal option for cooking multiple meals on the hob and contains a tempered glass lid with a steam vent for extra protection from the hot steam.

Customer review: "Decent little steamer. I use it extensively for cooking fresh fish and veg (all part of a new, healthy lifestyle), and it does the job very well - I can cook the fish on one tier and the veg on the second tier.

Pros

  • Classic steaming pots
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Risk of getting burnt

Our Verdict: Best Food Steamer

The Morphy Richards 470006 Intellisteam is the best high-quality option. Not only does it look sleek, but it is made from stainless steel, which is a more sustainable and high-quality material. Our top pick in terms of affordability, reliability and functionality is another Morphy Richards model – the Morphy Richards 48775 Intellisteam Compact Food Steamer. The simple digital display makes it easy to coordinate your meals and has two side-by-side compartments.

FAQs

What are the benefits of steaming food?

Retains nutrients, vitamins and minerals in food: Steaming locks in the vitamins, making it one of the most nutritious cooking methods. As foods are damaged by heat and water, keeping your produce separate from the water is beneficial as it will help preserve the vitamins.

Additionally, cooking with steam helps soften the fibre, colour, texture and flavour of the vegetables. It also helps preserve the water-soluble B and C vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Plus, according to Runner's World steaming retains (and can sometimes increase) antioxidants in fresh vegetables. It maintains moisture and freshness, making it tender and easily digestible.

Does not require cooking oil or fat: If you want to prepare food in a low-calorie and low in fat way, steaming is an excellent alternative to frying, baking or roasting.

It's versatile: You can steam all kinds of food, from poultry, seafood, vegetables, rice and perfect poached eggs – there really is so much you can do with this cooking method.

It keeps your kitchen clean: This method requires no oil, therefore there's no smoke and little to no mess. Plus, most steamer trays on the market are dishwasher friendly, making it all the easier to clean.

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What type of food steamers are there?

Hob: This is a classic steaming method which comes in a set of three pans which form a tier that sits on top of a pan of boiling water.

Microwave: A microwavable food steamer is one of the cheapest options – and the easiest; just add a little water to the bottom of the container. It's an air-tight container with a pressure-release vent made from plastic.

Electric: An electric steamer is the most straightforward and best method – if you have the space for it. You only need to add a little water at the bottom and add your food. These steamers come in different sizes, materials and styles, including tiers, dishes and baskets.

Which size food steamer is best?

A three-tiered steamer is excellent if you want to cook different items simultaneously or have a larger household. It's a small appliance that can help you save money on energy bills because it cooks fast and efficiently.

In terms of electric food steamers, the Lakeland Digital 3-Tier Electric Food Steamer (12 litre) is a great budget option. Alternatively, the Magimix 11581 Multi-Functional Steamer (12 litres) is super if you are looking for a high-end stainless steel model.

The size depends on how many people you cook for. If it’s just for a household of two, a smaller two-basket steamer would be the most suitable such as the Morphy Richards models mentioned above.

Can you make rice in a food steamer?

Yes, a lot of food steamers come with a rice bowl. All you have to do is place the rice in the steamer filled with cold water. The water should not be boiling when the rice is put into the steamer. Then, switch on the heat to high, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the steamer with the lid on for at least five more minutes. Enjoy perfect low-maintenance rice every time.

Ellen Kinsey was a Senior Health and Wellness Product Writer and has been a part of Bauer Media since 2020. She has left Bauer Media to study Ayurveda in India to expand her knowledge and skills in the health and wellness field, where she plans to continue making journalistic contributions.

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