Steaming 101: How to Choose the Right Steaming Equipment for Your Kitchen

Steaming is a healthy and easy cooking method that can help retain nutrients and flavors in your food. However, with so many types of steamers on the market, choosing the right one for your kitchen can be overwhelming. In this article, we'll guide you through the different types of steamers and offer tips on choosing the right one for your needs. We'll also provide some tips for achieving the best results when steaming food.

Types of Steaming Equipment

There are several types of steamers available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common types of steamers:

Bamboo Steamers

Bamboo steamers are a traditional type of steamer that are commonly used in Asian cuisine. They are made from bamboo baskets that are stacked on top of each other, with each basket holding a layer of food. The baskets are placed on top of a wok or pot of boiling water, and the steam rises up through the baskets to cook the food.

Bamboo steamers are a great choice for those who prefer a more natural and sustainable option, as they are made from renewable materials. They are also affordable and easy to use. However, bamboo steamers can be tricky to clean, and they may not be as durable as other types of steamers.

Electric Steamers

Electric steamers are another popular option for home cooks. These steamers are powered by electricity and are designed to be used on the countertop. They typically have multiple compartments, allowing you to steam several different types of food at once. Many electric steamers also have a timer and automatic shut-off feature, making them very convenient to use.

Electric steamers are a good choice for those who want a versatile and easy-to-use option. They are also generally easier to clean than bamboo steamers. However, they can be more expensive than other types of steamers, and they may take up more space in your kitchen.

Stove-Top Steamers

Stove-top steamers are designed to be used on the stovetop and are typically made of stainless steel or aluminum. They work by placing the food in a steaming basket, which is then placed on top of a pot of boiling water. The steam rises up through the basket and cooks the food.

Stove-top steamers are a good choice for those who want a simple and affordable option. They are also typically very durable and easy to clean. However, they may not be as convenient to use as electric steamers, as they require you to monitor the cooking process.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Steaming Equipment

When choosing a steamer, there are several factors to consider:

  • Size: Consider how much food you typically cook and how many people you are cooking for. Make sure you choose a steamer that is large enough to accommodate your needs.
  • Capacity: Different steamers have different capacity levels. Make sure you choose a steamer that can hold the amount of food you need to cook.
  • Ease of use: Consider how easy the steamer is to use and clean. Choose a steamer that is user-friendly and easy to clean to save time and hassle.
  • Maintenance: Look for steamers that are durable and require minimal maintenance. Choose a steamer made of high-quality materials that won't deteriorate easily.

Here are some of the most popular brands and models of steamers on the market:

  • Instant Pot: The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can also be used as a steamer. It is a popular choice for those who want a multi-purpose tool that can handle a variety of tasks.
  • Oster Food Steamer: The Oster Food Steamer is an electric steamer that has two tiers and can hold up to 5 quarts of food. It is a good choice for those who want an affordable and easy-to-use option.
  • Calphalon Stainless Steel Steamer: The Calphalon Stainless Steel Steamer is a stove-top steamer that is made of high-quality materials and is designed to last. It is a good choice for those who want a durable and easy-to-clean option.

Tips for Steaming Success

Here are some tips for getting the best results when steaming food:

  • Prepare food properly: Cut food into evenly sized pieces to ensure that it cooks evenly. You can also marinate the food beforehand to add flavor.
  • Time the cooking process: Make sure you time the cooking process correctly to avoid over- or under-cooking the food. Use a timer to ensure that you don't forget about the food while it's steaming.
  • Use a steaming basket: Use a steaming basket to keep the food out of the water and allow the steam to cook it. This will prevent the food from getting waterlogged and soggy.
  • Clean the steamer regularly: Clean the steamer regularly to prevent bacteria from building up. Use hot, soapy water to clean the steamer, and make sure you dry it thoroughly before storing it.


In conclusion, choosing the right steaming equipment is essential for getting the best results when steaming food. Consider the size, capacity, ease of use, and maintenance requirements when selecting a steamer. Bamboo steamers, electric steamers, and stove-top steamers are all viable options, each with their own pros and cons. Some of the most popular brands and models include Instant Pot, Oster Food Steamer, and Calphalon Stainless Steel Steamer. Use these tips to help you get the best results when steaming food, and enjoy the healthy and delicious meals that you can create with your steamer.