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Steamers & Inserts

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Choosing the right steamer for your kitchen

Prepare nutrient-rich meals for family and guests by opting to steam cook your food instead of frying. Enjoy all the nutritional and health benefits of steam cooking as your food will retain nutrients, texture, and flavour. 

What to look for in a steamer

Material: There are various steamer materials such as glass, BPA free plastic, silicone, bamboo, stainless steel, and more. Some avoid using plastic food steamers due to concerns about BPA leaching. The best type of material to steam would be stainless steel, bamboo or BPA-free, food-safe materials like food-grade silicone.

Number of tiers: Think about how many types of food you want to steam at a time. Multi-tiered steamers let you separate different foods and remove or add them individually, especially when one is ready before the others.

Compatibility: Consider whether the steamer is compatible with the pots and pans you already own. Some steamers are designed to fit on top of specific pot sizes, while others are more versatile and can be used with a range of cookware.

Types of steamers

Steamers come in different styles, but there are three main types of kitchen steamers that most home cooks and chefs use for a quick and easy steaming process:

Chinese bamboo steamer

Chinese bamboo steamers sit on top of your standard saucepan or stockpot, just select the same size as your pot. They are ideal for steaming dim sum, dumplings, and vegetables, and imparts a unique flavour and aroma to the food.

Stainless steel steamers

This Western-style food steamer made from stainless steel, is designed to sit on top of a saucepan or casserole. Durable and versatile, a stainless steel steamer is suitable for cooking a wide range of dishes, from seafood and vegetables to tamales and desserts. Stainless steel steamers typically come with a lid, a steaming tray, and a base that holds water. Scanpan stainless steel steamers are a great choice if you’re considering this type of food steamer.

Foldable steamer basket/steamer insert

The foldable steamer basket (or butterfly steamer) is a collapsible and expandable steaming basket that can be placed inside any generic pot or pan to steam food. Ideal for steaming small or delicate items like fish fillets, shrimp, and vegetables. 

Benefits of steaming food

  • Retains natural nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that may be lost during other cooking methods, such as boiling or frying.
  • Reduces fat and calories—perfect for those wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Preserve the natural flavours and textures of the food, resulting in a healthier and more delicious meal.
  • Requires minimal preparation and clean-up, making it a convenient option for busy individuals or families.

Best brands for steamers

Scanpan offers a range of stainless steel steamers that cleverly fit their cookware and are stackable, making them perfect for steaming different types of food at once and double as a colander for draining foods like pasta. They are durable, easy to clean, and there's a few which come with a tempered glass lid, allowing you to monitor the cooking process and keep steamed foods warm after cooking. 

Avanti offers stainless steel steamer inserts and bamboo steamers perfect for cooking traditional Chinese dishes like dumplings and buns. 

Joseph Joseph offers a range of innovative steaming baskets with adjustable sides that can fit into different sizes of pots or pans. They are made from BPA-free silicone and can steam various foods, from vegetables and fish to dim sum and desserts. 

Other cookware to consider when buying a steamer

We also offer a range of multi cookers that have a steamer function with steamer attachments that can also be used as a convenient way to steam foods.

FAQs

What type of food steamer is best?

The best type of food steamer for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Bamboo steamers are popular for those who want authentic, traditional style steaming. Stainless steel steamers are durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean. Consider factors such as ease of use, durability, and the types of food you plan to cook when making your decision. 

Which steamer is best for dumplings?

Bamboo steamers are generally considered the best option for cooking dumplings. The natural bamboo material allows even heat distribution, ensuring that the dumplings are cooked evenly and thoroughly. Bamboo steamers also help to absorb any excess moisture, which is important for ensuring that the dumplings remain firm and don't become soggy. Bamboo steamers are lightweight, easy to use, and can be stacked, allowing you to cook multiple batches of dumplings at once.