Healthy eating is at the core of every kitchen to ensure health and longevity. While it is okay to have guilt-free days where you give your body what it wants, healthy or not, it is also important to balance the two. Steaming food is an ancient cooking technique in many Asian communities that has so many benefits to offer.
Whether you want to cook vegetables, fish, or dim sum, steaming provides a good alternative that is fast and efficient. Using the best bamboo steamer ensures that you stay on top of your health goals by avoiding butter, oils and other additives. In addition, the best bamboo steamers are gentle and retain the different natural flavors in your food.
Over the years, steaming food has become a popular technique since enjoying Asian cuisine at home is now as easing as pulling out a bamboo steamer and preparing your food in minutes. For this reason, there are varying options on the market which makes finding the right steamer a task. Therefore, we have created the best bamboo steamers list and a buying guide to help you kickstart your journey towards making healthy meals.
What size bamboo steamer should I buy?
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What is A Bamboo Steamer?
A bamboo steamer basket is a type of circular cookware made of bamboo. It is comprised of layers of cooking trays that have perforations at the bottom. In addition, these trays are put together to cook food with the use of steam.
Bamboo steamers are made so that food is placed above the hot water that has steam. Food is then cooked with moist air in a technique known as steaming. The best bamboo steamers ensure that the food retains its natural color, flavor, size and nutritional value. This is unlike when boiling or simmering food in the water. In addition, steaming food is recommended for its benefits, such as retaining flavonoids and other elements necessary in healthy food.
Now that we know what a bamboo steamer is, let us delve into the best bamboo steamer baskets on the market today.
1. Prime Home Direct Bamboo Steamer
- STEAMER BASKET + BONUS ITEMS: Our Prime Home Direct Bamboo steamer is made of 100% organic bamboo....
- DYNAMIC 2-TIER DESIGN: This vegetable steamer allows more cooking options than traditional steamers....
- EFFECTIVE STEAMING MECHANISM: Our dim sum dumpling steamer has water resistant walls plus the...
- A HEALTHIER COOKING METHOD: Cooking food with a steamer pot is a lot better than frying or grilling...
- CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Our Steamer Basket includes complimentary chopsticks pair and wax paper liner for...
The Prime Home Direct bamboo steamer is 12-inches wide to accommodate family-sized meals, including a whole fish. It comprises a two-tier layer that provides flexibility to make more of the same meal when serving many people. In addition, you can easily prepare different dishes in the tiers in one go and save time on cooking.
This steamer from Prime home is non-sticky and makes it easy to prepare vegetables, fish and other meals. You are also assured that your food will retain its original size and won't end up soggy. For this reason, this steamer can serve as a rice cooker to bring to life your at-home Asian cuisine.
The Prime Home bamboo steamer has a woven lid that absorbs condensation water and prevents it from falling back into your food. It also has water-resistant walls and a firmware design to transport heat equally throughout the steamer. This ensures that your steamed food is evenly cooked. As a bonus, this steamer comes with 50 parchment liners, a sauce dish and two chopstick sets to get you started on steaming.
2. BirdRock Home Bamboo Steamer
- PREPARE TRADITIONAL ASIAN FOOD: easily prepare traditional Asian food without any extra kitchen...
- HEALTHY COOKING: steaming allows your food to retain more of their nutrients making them taste...
- FITS MOST KITCHEN POTS: steamer is very versatile allowing you to use pots, woks and pans you...
- 100% BAMBOO: steamer basket is designed using 100% bamboo giving you a natural option to cooking
- INCLUDES 2 TEIRS: designed with 2 tiers letting you cook the meat separate from the vegetables and...
Preparing traditional Asian food, such as rice, dim sum chicken and vegetables, is easy with the BirdRock home bamboo steamer. It is versatile and has outstanding features that make cooking easy and fast. In addition, this steamer is compatible with several types of pans, pots, or woks, some of which you already have in your kitchen.
The BirdRock home steamer is made of 100% bamboo to ensure that you consume natural and healthy food. It is 10-inches wide and fits most dishes making it suitable for the main course and side dishes. Additionally, this steamer features two tiers that enable you to make more food as need or different dishes simultaneously.
This BirdRock steamer has a domed lid that facilitates steam circulation around the food. This ensures that your food cooks faster without drying up. In addition, the steamer has spaces between tiers that allow steam to pass during the steaming process.
3. Mister Kitchenware Handmade Bamboo Steamer
- 1. ✅STEAMING IS A HEALTHY COOKING METHOD - Steaming is a more gentle process than simmering,...
- ✅2 TEIR CONSTRUCTION - Bamboo steamers can have stackable layers with slatted bottoms. Such...
- ✅STEAMED FOOD TASTED BETTER - Bamboo steamers absorb the excess moisture which in turn prevent...
- ✅HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR BAMBOO STEAMER - Bamboo steamers aren't dishwasher safe. Vinegar is a...
- ✅BACKED BY OUR 60 Day 100% HASSLE FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If you are not completely satisfied...
The Mister Kitchenware Handmade steamer is 10-inches wide to accommodate most Asian cuisine meals, such as dim sum. It comes in two tiers which allow for efficient cooking of multiple dishes. In addition, if you are serving more people, you can prepare the same meal in both tiers to increase portions.
The Mister steamer has a slatted bottom to allow for steam circulation through and around the food. The stackable tiers are well spaced to give space to steam vegetables efficiently. In addition, reheating your food in this steamer is quite easy and retains your food's original flavor.
The Mister Kitchenware lid is domed and mesh type to allow proper heat circulation. This, in turn, lessens the cooking time. Since it is not dishwasher safe for cleaning, it is recommended to use a warm vinegar solution to sanitize and remove odor from the steamer. Buying this steamer gets you ten steamer liners and a pair of chopsticks to get you started on steaming.
4. Helen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo Steamer
- Helen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo Steamer for gently cooking and warming vegetables, dumplings, eggs,...
- Made from 100-percent natural bamboo, a fast-growing alternative to traditional materials for a more...
- Foods hover above the hot water to cook or reheat gently with steam; 2-tiers offer ample room for...
- Steaming food helps retain fresh textures and flavors, and preserves precious nutrients
- Safe for use with non-stick cookware; wipe with a dry cloth or brush before first use, and after...
If you love enjoying Chinese cuisine, you might have come across the Helen Chen Company for its quality kitchenware. The Helen's Asian Kitchen Bamboo steamer is straightforward to use, especially for a beginner. The steamer's diameter is 10-inches to fit most meals such as veggies, dim sum, fish and meat.
This food steamer features two tiers that give you the flexibility to prepare food according to your desired portions. In addition, Helen's Asian steamer has a tightly woven lid that prevents steam from escaping during the steaming process.
The bamboo used in the steamer's construction is 100% natural, eco-friendly and does not contain BPA. It is heat and stain-resistant and less absorbent than wood. This feature makes it relatively easier to clean and maintain. In addition, the bamboo absorbs condensation to prevent water from dripping back into your food.
5. Trademark Innovations Bamboo Steamer
- Made from 100% natural bamboo
- Measures 10 inches in diameter
- 2 tiers plus a domed lid
- Hand wash with warm water
- By Trademark Innovations
Trademark Innovations is known for its amazing products, among which is the bamboo steamer. It is made of 100% natural bamboo to protect you from health risks from products with BPA and other chemicals. In addition, you are guaranteed that the steamer is all-natural and eco-friendly.
At 10 inches in diameter, this bamboo steamer is big enough to make wholesome meals for the entire family. It also has two tiers that allow you to simultaneously prepare food, either of the same type or multiple dishes. This is very convenient and offers you the flexibility to make more food portions and save on the cooking time.
This bamboo steamer from Trademark Innovations comes with a matching domed lid. The design of the lid allows for better heat circulation, unlike a flat lid. In turn, this results in faster cooking. In addition, when it comes to cleaning, you only need to use warm water to sanitize while washing by hand since it is not dishwasher compatible.
Why Should You Get the Best Bamboo Steamer Basket?
You may not see the need or value of using a bamboo steamer until you use one. Here are the reasons why getting a natural bamboo steamer will change your life.
- Steaming is a healthy alternative cooking method that ensures you don't lose Vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. Unlike boiling and baking, a bamboo steamer is gentle and even retains the appearance of your food.
- Fatty foods such as fish and meat can end carrying more oils, especially when baked. A natural bamboo steamer enables you to keep tabs on the amount of oil you are consuming. This is because excess oils in fatty foods drip directly into the water rather than remaining in your food.
- Steamers are easy to use, even for beginners and only take a short time to cook your food. However, if you are new at steaming, you might want to look at your food frequently as it cooks faster than other methods.
- In addition to faster cooking, bamboo steamer baskets allow you to cook multiple dishes simultaneously. This means that you take a shorter time to prepare your food. For example, you can cook rice in one tier and fish or veggies in the other.
- When steaming, you do not need any accompanying equipment such as wooden spoons. All you need is a wok or a pan to place the steamer on, which you will find that you already have in your kitchen.
- Steaming is a gentle food cooking technique and does not dry out your food. Apart from maintaining the food's nutritional content, color, size, and texture, you are guaranteed that your food will not burn when using a bamboo steamer basket. In addition, reheating your leftovers with a steamer ensures that the food does not lose its flavor and taste.
- Bamboo steamers are available in varying sizes, allowing you to choose one based on the number of servings you would like to have. In addition, they are inexpensive and hence a kitchen staple that is easy to get your hands on.
How Do You Use the Best Bamboo Steamer Basket?
Using a bamboo steamer basket is easy and does not require any prior training or a load of YouTube videos. However, knowing how much time is needed to prepare food is the only learning curve if you are a beginner. This is because food cooks faster when steaming than baking or boiling.
Below we have given a simple step-by-step guide on how to use a bamboo steamer.
- Before commencing your cooking process, you need to line every tray to prevent your food from sticking on the bamboo. To do this, you can use steamer liners such as silicone and reusable cotton liners. In addition, a cabbage leaf or parchment paper with holes will also get the job done.
- Having lined your baskets, place your ingredients while ensuring that there is adequate space between every item. Additionally, leave some space around the basket's edges. This enables the steam to flow around the food. Do not fill the ingredients to the brim.
- Use a woven lid to cover the steamer, then place it on a wok or pan with simmering water. Covering the steamer helps maintain the steam when cooking.
- Ensure that you have put enough water in the pan or wok to allow the rim of the bamboo basket to rest on the water surface. Additionally, cook on medium to high heat and add water as needed to the pan. This ensures that the pan does not dry out, resulting in your food also drying out.
- Once the food is ready, take off the lid to allow excess steam to leave the basket. You can now serve your food on a platter and enjoy the delicious taste.
- When cleaning, use warm water and a brush to remove oils and food particles from the steamer. Leave it to air dry. Also, avoid using dish soaps that are strongly perfumed as the smell may linger on the bamboo and in your next steamed meal.
How Do You Choose the Best Bamboo Steamer?
The size of steamer baskets is measured in inches. A 6-inch bamboo steamer is the smallest size which you will often find in restaurants. This size is convenient for individual portions but not so much for home use.
You will need a big enough steamer if you cook for several people, such as in a family setting. For example, a 12-inch bamboo steamer is conveniently big and can make a whole fish. For most homes, however, a 10-inch steamer will do well to make enough food.
The bamboo steamer size you will get determines the wok or pan size that you will need. In addition, having more tiers in a steamer will allow you to make additional food. Therefore, 2 or more tires will increase the food size you can make in one go.
The bamboo quality used in making the steamer will affect its performance and durability. Therefore, the best bamboo steamer should be made of 100% natural bamboo. In addition, look for a BPA-free design to avoid health risks posed by products containing BPA.
High-quality bamboo steamers will be tightly woven and the tiers will fit well together. This will prevent excess steam from escaping. In addition, to enhance durability, you will find that some steamers have plastic or metal rims. Although they will be more expensive, you are guaranteed that their durability will outlast that of plain bamboo steamers.
3. Pan or Wok
The traditional bamboo steamer is meant to be used with a wok. This is because it is big enough to accommodate any steamer size. When cooking with a steamer, you'll need to put water in the wok, ensuring that the water is high enough but does not enter the food.
While a pan works just as well, it might be difficult to find the right size to fit the steamer. However, you can use a steamer ring to fit the bamboo steamer. A benefit of using a pan is that you can prepare a dish at the bottom and use the steam produced to cook food in the steamer.
Having more tiers in your bamboo steamer will give you the flexibility to make more of the same food simultaneously. Alternatively, you can prepare multiple dishes in each tier simultaneously. Either way, more tiers will allow you to feed more people. In addition, if you want to make less food, you can remove some of the tiers.
Most bamboo steamers will have two or three tiers. Each tier will have bamboo slats placed together on the cooking surface to prevent food from spilling through. Additionally, this distance allows steam to flow through and over the food easily. Finally, the tiers fit perfectly on top of each other to prevent steam from escaping.
5. Steamer Rings
A steamer ring is a metal adapter that sits on the lip of a pan or pot to give a bed to a steamer. It provides a stable surface that can rest a bamboo steamer of any size. Steamer rings are important when you can't find a pan or pot that fits your steamer.
The best bamboo steamer lid should perfectly fit the body of the steamer. You should also look for a lid that is tightly woven. The reason for this is that a loosely fitted lid will let steam escape when cooking. In turn, this will lengthen the cooking time. In addition, when heated, the tight handwoven fibers absorb and swell up with water to create a hot cooking environment.
Safety is paramount when preparing meals on any cooking appliance. However, when it comes to bamboo steamers, the steam may catch you off guard and cause burns. In addition, chemical treatments used when making the steamers may pose a health risk so always make sure that it is chemical-free.
Below are a few tips to ensure safety
- Don't place the bamboo steamer directly on a fire or a heat source.
- Make sure that the water level is at the rim of the steamer when cooking.
- In case the water level decreases, top it off with hot water to prevent rapid temperature changes.
- Be extremely careful when removing the steamer from the wok or pot. This is because the food contents are very hot and could cause burns.
8. Ease of Cleaning
Bamboo steamers are easy to clean because of their material. All you need to do is toss away the liners if you are not using reusable types, such as reusable cotton liners. However, cleaning requires warm water or a brush to remove food remains and oils. In addition, you need to leave the steamer to bone dry. Otherwise, it will become moldy. If you want convenience when cleaning, you can opt for steamers that are dishwasher safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best bamboo steamer?
The best bamboo steamer will vary from person to person, depending on the person's preference. For example, one person will prefer a smaller size for individual portions while another will prefer a bigger size for family servings. The same case will apply to the number of tiers. In addition, ease of cleaning will vary, with one person finding handwashing to be easier than using a dishwasher and vice versa.
2. Is a bamboo steamer worth it?
Yes. A bamboo steamer helps ensure that you consume healthy and nutritious food. It maintains the natural flavor of food and ensures faster cooking. In addition, a bamboo steamer basket is easy to use and allows you to make several dishes simultaneously.
3. What size bamboo steamer should I buy?
The size will inherently depend on what you intend on cooking. For example, if you wish to make dumplings and other types of dim sum dishes, a 6-8 inch bamboo steamer will suffice. However, if you make food for a large family or make different dishes simultaneously, a 10-12 inch bamboo steamer will serve.
4. Is a bamboo steamer better than a metal steamer?
Natural bamboo steamers absorb moisture from the steam, while metal steamers do not. This is the primary difference between these two steamers. In addition, depending on your cooking preferences, since metal steamers get hotter than bamboo ones, your food may get crispy at the bottom.
5. How do I prevent a bamboo steamer from burning?
The first step of preventing your bamboo steamer from burning is to avoid placing it directly on the pan or wok or source of heat. Next, ensure that you put adequate water in the wok. If the water amount is enough, it will reach the steamer's rim. You can increase the water level if it is not high enough. First, however, top-up using hot water to ensure that the heat stability remains the same.