Steamed food has become a recent trend in cooking owing to the incredible amount of nutrients of such meals. Steaming is known to be a cooking method that requires no fat, only water to produce healthy meals. Apart from vegetables, you could steam meat, fish, rice, eggs, and other ingredients.
Nevertheless, instead of steaming food traditionally, you are advised to purchase an electric food steamer, which is equipped with a myriad of features for more adventurous cooking. These kitchen appliances come in a variety of sizes, designs, and features that facilitate the steaming process.
The following tips will help you choose the best model.
Consider its size
One of the initial factors to consider when selecting an electric steamer is its size, thus being advised to purchase an appliance that matches the amount of food you cook for the family. In case you live on your own, a small-size electric steamer would be more than enough to fit your requirements. Anyhow, large households would undoubtedly need a much bigger model of approximately ten liters. If you are the family party planner, make sure you purchase a model that is large enough to steam food for the entire family.
Moreover, most of the models come equipped with three containers of different sizes, which you can use in accordance with the amount of steamed food you need. You can use these containers individually or all at once, particularly when preparing a huge family meal. These containers can be repositioned in the course of the cooking process, but make sure you put on your oven gloves to prevent unpleasant burns.
Consider the water level feature
Since water is of essential importance during the cooking process, it’s paramount for the electric steamer to have an exterior visible device that measures the water levels. This gauge will help you keep track of the amount of water inside the appliance, which has to be properly filled.
Furthermore, electric steamers are supposed to have an alarm that beeps every time the appliance runs out of water. It’s the perfect way to notify you to fill up the external inlet with water in order to continue with the steaming process. These inlets are amazingly convenient, as you aren’t obliged to remove the containers to add water, thus risking terrible burns.
Choose a model with a timer
Although not all electric food steamers are equipped with timers, most of the advanced models come with either dial or digital timers. The former are 60-minute timers that you can easily set to the cooking time required for the meal to be prepared. Once the pre-set cooking time runs out, the appliance automatically stops working.
In addition, the more advanced models feature digital timers, regulated via LCDs. The greatest thing about these models is their delay-start function, which allows you to turn on the appliance when being out of the house. You are only supposed to determine the time at which the steamer is expected to commence cooking, thus saving the time that you would waste on cooking after coming home from work. This function is ideal for busy homeowners whose hectic lifestyle includes no time for preparing a decent meal.
Look for a keep-warm feature
Another important feature to consider when purchasing such an appliance is the keep-warm function, which maintains a warm temperature for up to two hours after the cooking process. Consequently, your food won’t get cold until you choose the right time to eat.
Moreover, the more advanced models require no manual switching to warm mode, as they automatically use the keep-warm feature after cooking is completed. However, in order for this feature to be functional, there has to be enough water inside the steamer. Remember to check the water levels prior to using the keep-warm function unless you want to end up eating cold food.
Additionally, top-notch models provide customers with a rice bowl, which is particularly designed for steaming rice. This method of cooking rice is considered to be one of the finest ways of preparing such a meal, but you’d have to wait for at least half an hour for the rice to be cooked. Click here for some useful tips on preparing steamed rice.
Consider cleaning and safety
Kitchen appliances are known to be tricky when it comes to cleaning, which applies to electric steamers as well. In order to ensure simple and quick cleaning, make sure you select a model whose containers are considered to be dishwasher-safe.
The dip tray needs to be removed effortlessly so as to clean it more efficiently. Additionally, you are advised to purchase a model with safety features to minimize the risk of potential problems that might result from the contact between water and electricity.
Don’t forget the price
Although most homeowners are discouraged from purchasing electric steamers due to their costliness, these kitchen appliances aren’t as expensive as people believe. In fact, the most basic models can be purchased for a price of £15, which is considered to be highly affordable.
Naturally, the more technologically advanced models tend to be significantly costlier due to the variety of additional features. The more features the steamer has, the costlier it is. The models with delayed-start features are doubtlessly the most expensive in the market.
Purchasing an electric steamer is a worthwhile investment.
It’s definitely a valuable kitchen asset!