The right steamer pot not only steps up your general kitchen game, it also may step up your health game. As an alternative to frying or roasting with oil or fat, steaming can reduce the number of calories you eat without sacrificing flavor or quality. Whether you plan on using your steamer pot for vegetables, homemade dumplings or seafood, there’s a perfect steamer pot for you.
The best steamer pot for any recipe is the All-Clad Stainless Steel Steamer Cookware. This oven-safe steamer pot set can withstand extreme temperatures and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
The following is an introduction to steamer pot considerations. For more information, read the steamer pot buying guide from BestReviews.
There are three main types of material for steamer pots: stainless steel, raw aluminum and hard-anodized aluminum.
Stainless steel: The most common material for steamer pots, stainless steel is a nonreactive metal so it won’t rust or transfer a metallic taste to food. Stainless steel is inexpensive, but heat doesn’t transfer well with this material.
Raw aluminum: This material also is inexpensive but with the result of very low quality. Raw aluminum is reactive as well, so using a raw aluminum steamer pot for anything other than steaming can lead to a transfer of atoms and a metallic taste.
Hard-anodized aluminum: Not as common as the other materials, hard-anodized aluminum has been hardened chemically to give it a nonstick finish and render it nonreactive. It takes a long time to heat up, but good heat transfer means more even heating.
The steamer basket is what you place the food in to be steamed. Most steamer pots only have one basket but some can hold two at once. With two baskets, you can cook twice the food, but you’ll need to swap the baskets halfway through cooking as the contents in the top basket cook slower than those in the bottom one.
Diameter: Diameter is the length from one side of the pot to the other, with larger-diameter steamer pots holding more food. However, steamer pots with a larger diameter than your cooking surface won’t work at maximum efficiency.
Depth: Deeper steamer pots typically are for steaming foods you can fill your steamer pot with, such as vegetables. Foods that cook in a single layer, such as fish or dumplings, can be difficult to remove from a deeper basket, so make sure your steamer pot is the right depth for the intended recipe.
There are many reasons you might place your steamer pot in the oven, from keeping your steamed food warm to using your steamer pot like a standard pot. However, not all steamer pots are oven-safe, so double-check before you slide it in.
You can’t steam without a lid to keep pressure and heat inside the steamer pot. Look for a steamer pot with a clear, glass lid that has a small ventilation hole. That way, you can observe your food while it steams and modify the pressure as needed.
Before you purchase a steamer pot, make sure it is compatible with an induction stove if you have one. Most stainless steel steamer pots will work just fine, but both aluminum types won’t work unless they include an induction plate.
You can find an inexpensive but low-quality steamer pot that gets the job done in the $15-$30 range, with better steamer pots costing up to $50. High-end steamer pots made with the best-quality materials and that include extra features can cost up to $100.
A. Yes. It won’t perform at the same level as a pot intended for regular use, but it will work in a pinch.
A. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Steamer pots cook food more quickly and you can use them as regular pots, making them a more versatile option.
All-Clad Stainless Steel Steamer Cookware
What you need to know: This steamer pot can withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit for use in an oven and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
What you’ll love: The design looks fantastic in any kitchen and the set includes both a 5-quart steamer and 4.5-quart steamer insert.
What you should consider: Some report the metal on this model is thinner than older models, and the handles get hot quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Multi-Pot/Steamer Set
What you need to know: Highly durable and easy to clean, this heavy-duty aluminum steamer pot retains heat very well.
What you’ll love: The coloration makes this steamer pot one of the best-looking options and the rubberized handles stay cool in use.
What you should consider: Being neither induction-stove compatible nor dishwasher-safe limits this steamer pot.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Cuisinart 77-35CG Chef’s Classic Stainless 3-Piece 3-Quart Steamer Set
What you need to know: Although this steamer pot set from trusted brand Cuisinart is considered quite basic, it more than capably performs its intended task.
What you’ll love: This steamer pot has all the best features: induction-stove compatibility, dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
What you should consider: Unlike the name suggests, the stainless steel in this steamer pot is prone to staining and discoloration.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.