Cooking is a very important and responsible process, our mood and health depends on its effectiveness. Such device as the steamer can be a very good helper in this process. Tips about choosing the best steamer will be reviewed in this article.
What is steamer?
Food steamer (steam cooker) is a special electrical device in which food is cooked using hot steam Steamers, as bread makers, are primarily tools to facilitate and automate the kitchen work.
Cooking with steam has several advantages over other methods of cooking, among them it is worth mentioning the following:
– Lack of carcinogens and fats.
When we cook using steamers we don’t need to use vegetable or animal fats. There will be no fatty substances and carcinogens in steaming food due to this.
– A significant degree of preservation of vitamins and minerals.
The food is influenced by not so high temperature when using steam, as in other methods of cooking. As a result, vitamin substances exposed to not very strong thermal effects, and much of it is stored not damaged.
– Preservation of the appearance and taste of food.
Steam has delicate impact on appearance and taste of food that are cooked. Steamed products retain most of its appearance and taste, so food prepared in steamer is quite appetizing.
As we can see from the above information, an electric steamer is a very useful thing in the kitchen and to the question: “Do I need a steamer?” We can confidently say: “Yes”.
So let’s look at the basic steamer features and functions, a review of which will help you to determine what steamer to choose.
1. Steamer power.
Speed of cooking depends on steamer electrical power. Higher power allows you to accelerate cooking speed. Modern steamers have power from the 600 to 1800 or even to 2000 Watts.
850-1000 Watt power steamer can be recommended for the average family.
2. Quantity of steam bowls (baskets).
Steam basket or bowl for steamer is a special container where products are placed for cooking.
From one to three steam baskets can be in steamer. Steamers with one basket are quite rare, so the choice will be between devices with two or three baskets.
If you use a steamer to cook at the same time one or two dishes, two bowls will be enough to you, but if you want to cook more dishes it is better to buy a steamer with three bowls.
It is necessary to mention about the “rice bowl”. Rice bowl is a separate bowl, which used for various cereals (not just rice) cooking. Rice bowl is installed in one of the basic bowls.
Pay your attention to the presence of “rice bowl” when purchasing steamer, because in some models this bowl can be missing.
3. Steam baskets volume.
Amount of food you can cook at one time depends on the volume of steam baskets. Steam basket can have a volume from 1.5 to 3.5 liters.
You can easily determine which steam baskets volume you need, based on the needs of food.
Separately, look at the volume of “rice bowl” – it can significantly differ from volumes of basic bowls.
4. Type of steamer control.
Two types of control (mechanical and electronic) can be used in steam cooker.
Mechanical control is carried out with a simple turn of the control handle (handles) to the desired position.
Electronic control provides selection of the desired mode on a special board with the buttons.
Mechanical control type is easier and can be chosen in most cases. If you want to use these additional features, such as support of food in a warm condition or turn on the steamer on schedule, then stop your choice on electronics.
5. Quantity of pallets.
Pallet is a place where steam condensate and the juice from prepared products flow down.
There is one pallet in most steamer models. Juice and condensate from all bowls flow down to it.
Each bowl has its own pallet in some models.
You can choose steamer with individual pallets in case you want to liquids with different baskets did not mix with each other. This can be useful, for example, in cooking of various sauces.
These devices are not critical, but they do using of steamer more comfortable. Such attachments include:
– Water level indicator. It allows you to ensure that there is enough water in the steamer;
– The hole for adding water. Through it you can add water if its level is insufficient;
– Holes for eggs. Their presence helps to cook eggs quite comfortably.
After reading the above characteristics, you can quite easily determine what reliable steam cooker is better to buy for you.