Which steamer to choose

Which steamer to choose

The steamer is a special device for healthy eating. She processes food and meals with steam, preserving the maximum of vitamins and minerals. For healthy eating, easy cooking, this is the most indispensable device.

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Advantages

The main purpose of such a machine is to cook healthy and tasty food. Initially, the device was only used by people with digestive problems. Some people cannot eat fried, stewed or baked foods and the best option in such cases is to purchase a steamer. Due to steam, this device processes products in such a way that they become as useful as possible..

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The steamer consists of:

  • the foundation – this is the main part on which the baskets are located. At the very base, several important components of the structure are located, and it itself represents the fastening part;
  • heating part – is located inside the base and consists of heating-type mechanisms. Due to them, water is condensed into steam;
  • water tank – is used as the main “fuel” part of the steamer. Water is poured into it so that the steamer functions correctly. There are some restrictions on the use of this device. For example, it is impossible to apply and turn on the mechanism if there is no water in it, as well as if it is at a minimum level. Many steamers have an automatic warning that the water level is close to critical;
  • control Panel – depending on the type of steamer itself, it can be touch-sensitive or push-button. Includes a menu, several buttons for control;
  • baskets – the upper part of the steamer, which allows you to hold a large amount of processed food.

How to choose?

This device must be checked upon purchase for many indicators – it will depend on them how fast it will work, what functions it will perform and how much it will be able to hold products for one use.. Choosing the right one.

Power

This indicator will determine, first of all, the speed of work, and secondly, the possibilities of its functionality. Actually, the more power, the more a steamer can do – this is the main designation of these numbers..

Modern models are produced in the range of values ​​- from 500 W to 2100 W. And this variety speaks about the amount of time spent on cooking (more or less), as well as how much money was spent on the device. The higher the cost, the faster and better the steamer works and the more power, and hence the functionality. The simplest mechanical steamers have a low power – from 400 W, are able to cope only with the main functions: steaming vegetables, cooking meat and some cereals a little longer.

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Bowls (baskets)

It should be remembered that having multiple baskets is a great advantage. In such a steamer, you can cook several dishes at once. If the family is large, this is the best option. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of options – from a single bowl to multiple baskets. However, with a large number of additional bowls, the cooking time will increase. It’s better to prioritize right away, which is more important: cook a lot and for a long time, or quickly, but a little bit.

An important point: bowls should be made of heat-resistant plastic, glass or stainless steel. Glass and metal are much heavier. Such materials make the structure unbearable, but they retain heat better and create proper heat transfer. In addition, this material maintains the temperature inside at an optimal level and does not emit harmful substances. Plastic bowls are easier to use, easier to clean and quick to remove.

Excellent steamers – with a large number of quality bowls – represent the models BORK – F500 and Philips – HD 9120/91. They have good power and are also distinguished by high performance..

The volume of baskets is an important criterion. Depending on the needs and application of the steamer, the optimal indicator should be selected: from 1.5 liters to 4 liters. Small bowls are good for fast, small amounts of food at a time, while large families need bulky containers..

Add-ons

Attachments include additional cooking containers. Cooking rice, cereals, soups and simply heating food is possible thanks to the hole-free container. In this case, the steam completely processes the food without coming into contact with food. The best models that have such additional bowls are presented from BORK – F500 and Braun – FS20.

Another interesting container is for spices. For example, in some models there are special compartments where you can put herbs, hot peppers or other seasonings to add a special flavor to dishes. The device is present in the steamer from Philips – HD 9150/00.

A nice bonus that the steamer is equipped with is a container for coloring juice. It is used when processing, for example, beets or carrots. The juice flows into a special compartment without staining the rest of the vegetables and without staining the steamer. This fixture can be found at Braun FS20.

According to these characteristics, you can easily choose a unique, suitable for all parameters of the steamer. There are additional nuances that you need to know in order not to make a mistake in choosing.

Views

The design of the steamer itself can be different. It can be mechanics or electronics, and in addition to different control options, it can include functions such as preserving vitamins or automatically replenishing the water level..

Mechanical control method

The simplest control method, which does not require additional study of instructions and operating books, is mechanics. As a rule, the buttons are round and are immediately a control method. By switching them, you can easily observe the remaining cooking time (they serve as a timer and rotate as time passes). For example, a qualitative model that has a given type of management – Tefal VC 101733.

Electronic

This mechanism implies a large number of additional functions. Activation of the steamer is possible only after reading the instructions or the quick start guide, otherwise it will not be used even at half its capacity. The display of such devices has a panel with illuminated buttons (usually touch-sensitive). With them, you can save data, set cooking times, and also use smart cooking modes..

With an electronic control steamer, it is even possible to set the mode and go for a walk, and come – and a hot lunch will already be waiting. In addition, it is easy to prepare the necessary meals and put them in the heating mode – the steamer will keep the food warm for several hours. Many models from the company Bork or Braun have this function in automatic mode. The best quality steamers according to most buyers are BORK F500 and Philips HD 9150/00.

Smart-mode capabilities: standard cooking levels of certain dishes can be stored in the memory of the mechanism. For example, the menu may contain symbols for cooking meat, cereals, or vegetables. It is enough to press one button, and the steamer will set the optimal temperature and time required to process food by itself..

What to look for?

When choosing a steamer, it should be borne in mind that the presence of an additional function to alert the lack of water will be a pleasant bonus. The system can automatically shut down if there is no required fluid level. In this case, there is a choice: either wait for the containers to cool, manually remove them and fill in water, or buy a device with the possibility of instant water filling during operation.

Indicator and refilling

This function implies the presence of a small hole on the side where you can pour water. Thanks to a special indicator, you can not only receive an alert about insufficient liquid level, but also find out the volume of water inside. Models to look out for: BORK F500, BORK F700 – the best model cannot be chosen from them, both steamers are at the same quality level.

For optimal operation of the mechanism, the container should be filled with water completely or half..

Special protection

A nice (even necessary) bonus is the presence of special protective linings. Steam formations must disappear somewhere, and just the presence of such pallets solves the problem. When purchasing a double boiler, highlight:

  • lining height. It should not be too small, otherwise, during active work, you need to turn off the steamer, manually drain the accumulated water – the likelihood of its overflow onto the heating mechanism in this case is very high;
  • the presence of handles. Special devices for quickly pulling the lining out of the base – greatly simplify the maintenance of the steamer. For example, the need to wait until the device cools down is not required.

Attachments and add-ons

Containers and other add-ons go with almost any steamer.. The main accessories that should be present in each standard set:

  • a bowl for a side dish;
  • lattice – a special stand for processing eggs;
  • rice container. As a rule, it can be recognized by the absence of holes around the perimeter;
  • a lattice-type device for processing whole products;
  • condensate drain pads;
  • cups or separate utensils for spices, dripping juice or fat – is used for the correct combination of products, without mixing their juices and odors;
  • special device (in the form of a stand) for products with coloring pigment – for example, for beets;
  • a special-purpose mechanism with which the temperature inside the steamer is easily controlled (if this accessory is not included in the standard set for the steamer, then it can be purchased separately at any electronics store);
  • sometimes to the standard set there is a recipe book. If it is available, then you can prepare the most delicious and unusual culinary masterpieces..

Additional functions

At the moment, manufacturers are keeping up with the times: they are equipping a steamer for the home with the necessary functionality, making life as simple as possible. In addition to the basic operating parameters, steamers can surprise with additions. The main ones are:

  • vitamin preservation function – present on some models as a separate button. Using this mode, steam heats up to maximum in a short time, processing food in fast mode. Due to this, as nutritionists comment, the harmful effects of heat treatment are reduced and all trace elements are preserved. This function has a double boiler Vitamin + by Tefal;
  • function “ready-made recipes” – Allows the steamer to operate in automatic mode when selecting a product marked in the panel menu. Thus, the most appropriate cooking mode is selected;
  • automatic checking mechanism. This option is present in all devices, except for the cheapest Chinese assemblies. The latter should be discarded;
  • time timer – present in the form of an electronic pointer on electric steamers. Shows the total cooking time as well as the remaining cooking minutes;
  • sound alert – signals on, off and end of cooking.

Professional advice

The main fact: the quality and speed of work does not always depend on the power. For example, a steamer Braun FS20 with a power consumption rating of 850 W, it works much faster than a powerful machine Scarlett Sc-1142 with a power of 1000 watts. The time spent and the method of cooking is influenced by a large number of factors..

For proper care of the steamer, it is better to use pre-purified water – since the liquid from the tap contains heavy substances and metals that can settle on the walls of the device itself.

Once a month, it is necessary to carry out cleaning procedures: instead of plain water, pour a highly diluted concentrate of water and citric acid into the cooler, and then leave the steamer in automatic (standard) mode. When steam is generated, all scale and heavy metals move away from the walls and the internal mechanism.

Rating of the best according to people’s reviews

After the subtleties and all the capabilities of the steamers have been studied, you can read the reviews and find out which of the devices is the most budgetary, what needs to be purchased for the kit, and which models you shouldn’t even pay attention to.

Zauber X-560

Zauber X-560 presents an excellent model with a metal case: voluminous and spacious, with several bowls and in a glass design. It has a small price tag. The bowls themselves have handles for convenient use, and the containers at the base have stainless steel, so they do not fog up when the mechanism is active.

The steamer can use three cooking baskets at the same time. Thanks to the water level indicator, you can easily control and add water while cooking. 700 W power allows you to cook food as quickly as possible. Equipped with all standard features and easy to use.

Advantages:

  • large size of containers;
  • production material – stainless steel;
  • optimal steaming time;
  • average cost.

Disadvantages:

  • adding liquid during operation is inconvenient;
  • small stand for condensation.

The average cost is 3500 rubles. According to reviews, the main advantage of the steamer is its compactness, the durability of the material, and also the speed of operation. Disadvantages include long cooking time..

VITEK VT-1560

The most pleasant design and application in the middle price segment is the VITEK steamer – VT-1560. Equipped with a backlit LCD display, it has several types of grills for cooking various products. Thanks to the same accessories, you can cook up to four dishes at the same time. There is a function of preserving vitamins, there is also a special indicator of the water level. In addition, the appliance has a built-in spice compartment. The disadvantages include the inability to remove the fat pan – it is inconvenient to clean it.

Pros:

  • separation of cooking zones;
  • large containers;
  • optimal power;
  • on timer.

Average cost – 6550 rubles.

Braun FS 5100

In the segment of expensive models, the Braun steamer is the best. The water in it boils quickly – in 30 seconds, and the bowls are presented with a volume of 6.5 liters. The material of manufacture – plastic in tinted color – is not painted. The containers can be washed in the dishwasher, and the set contains compartments for boiling eggs, cereals and even cooking casseroles. There is also a sterilization mode. According to reviews, the steamer processes food easily and saves time. Suitable even for the office.

Advantages:

  • vitamin preservation function;
  • large containers;
  • timer;
  • pallets.

Disadvantages:

  • small amount of cooked food at a time.

Average cost – 7400 rubles.

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