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The best steamers for healthy cooking

Similar to pressure cookers, steamers go way back and are sometimes viewed as an outdated way of cooking. However, the health benefits of steaming your food are too good not to try. The method of steaming allows you to prepare food quicker, while retaining all the nutrients and vitamins that would otherwise escape through other cooking methods such as frying or baking. In addition, all of the bad fats that are usually retained in foods are able to escape; lowering cholesterol and calorie intake. 

If you are someone who despises vegetables or if you have trouble getting your little ones to take in their 5-a day, then using a steamer can encourage your taste buds to give them a chance. The best steamers will cook veggies without them losing taste, colour or shape; so you’ll get the freshest taste from your chosen greens. For anyone who is trying a weight-loss scheme or simply working towards a more balanced lifestyle, a steamer should be an essential piece of equipment in your kitchen. 

The best steamers on the market are also energy saving, which is great for eco warriors or those who live alone as you won’t waste too much energy on just one meal. You’ll also appreciate a cleaner kitchen without the array of smells from frying and stubborn pans laden with grease. 

Most steamers these days are electric and work by circulating steam in a bowl. Some are more complex than others with more than one bowl, pre-set programmes and a host of other features for creating tasty meals, and some are extremely simple and can even be used in the microwave for really can’t be bothered to cook. Still think they’re full of hot air? Take a look at our top picks for the best steamers 2017 has to offer. 

1. Russell Hobbs 3 Tier Steamer

A generously sized kitchen staple that will stand the test of time

Best For: Family Kitchens | Capacity: 9L | Timer: Dial | Dishwasher Safe: No | Price: RRP £49.99

Good value for money
Large capacity
Tricky to clean

For best steamer for big families, the Russell Hobbs 3 Tier Steamer is a great way to get you eating healthy at meal times. It has a huge 9 litre capacity, making it quick and easy to rustle up a fully balanced meal all in one go. This steamer is ideal for cooking anything from rice and vegetables to meat and fish. It is easy to use simply by refilling the two reservoirs on either side. If you have heard that steaming food is good for you, and you want to give it a low-risk try, this is a perfect first time purchase.

2. Morphy Richards Intellisteam Food Steamer

The new, healthier way to enjoy fast food

Best For: Multiple Meals | Capacity: 8.2L | Timer: Digital | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Price: RRP £109.99

Multiple cook times
No supervision required
Not the cheapest

This is an incredibly intelligent steamer which allows you to cook different things with different cooking times due to its horizontal layout.  The Morphy Richards Intellisteam is the best steamer for cooking two different meals at once rather than having to wait for one thing before beginning with another. This also makes it ideal for those who hate slaving over a hot stove. This is a steamer that can be left to its own devices and you’ll get to enjoy a delicious healthy meal at the end of it.  

3. Andrew James LCD Digital Food Steamer

Delicious healthy meals at the touch of a button

Best For: Cooking Novices | Capacity: 9L | Timer: Digital | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Price: RRP £37.99

One-touch cook
Prone to limescale

Do you dread the thought of cooking? Well the Andrew James LCD Digital Food Steamer is guaranteed to change your perspective when you can cook anything at the touch of a button. This steamer comes with six pre-programmed settings which will automatically set the timer to perfectly cook anything from meat and fish to rice, vegetables and even eggs. You won’t have to worry about undercooking or burning anything when this trusty piece of equipment has your back in the kitchen.  

4. Tefal Simply Invents Steamer

A large-capacity, multi-tasking steamer for a three-course meal in one

Best For: Family Kitchens | Capacity: 9L | Timer: Dial | Dishwasher Safe: No | Price: RRP £49.99

Cook three meals in one
Keep-warm function
A bit fiddly

If your children all demanded something different for dinner then I’m sure you’d say they’ll get what they’re given and be grateful. However, the Tefal Simply Invents Steamer now makes cooking individual meals incredibly easy. If your partner is a vegetarian or you have fussy eaters in the family then this is the best steamer for cooking multiple meals at once. It has a large 9 litre capacity and each bowl is dishwasher safe, making cooking for individuals incredibly quick and easy. 

5. Sensio Home Steama

Fresh food to go

Best For: Meal Prep | Capacity: 9L | Timer: Dial | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Price: RRP £34.99

Compact fridge storage
Prone to limescale

Meal prep has become a popular way to ensure you eat healthily throughout the week, and with the Sensio Home Steama you can save even more time. This steamer features handy lockable air tight containers that allow you to store your ingredients in the fridge before cooking and are also freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. These contains are durable and are designed for daily use so you never have to skip a meal again. The boxes can be used all at once or on their own depending on how many people you are cooking for.  

6. Sistema Microwave Medium Steamer

The microwaveable cooking tool for people who hate cooking

Best For: Students | Capacity: 2.4L | Timer: N/A | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Price: RRP £7.99

No effort required
Quite large

If it’s time to fly the nest then make sure you still get your 5-a day with this easy to use microwave steamer that can recreate home cooked goodness in an instant. This is the best steamer for great value at under £10; making it a great buy for students or those who have just bought their first home. If you’re still sceptical about steamers, then this product is a great way to test the water and see what you think. Simply pop in your ingredients and bung in the microwave! Be sure to check the size of your microwave as this steamer is quite large. 

7. Russell Hobbs Compact Steamer

A compact and stylish piece of kit which won’t take over your kitchen

Best For: Space Saving | Capacity: 7L | Timer: Dial | Dishwasher Safe: No | Price: RRP £20.99

Compact design
Large capacity
A little flimsy

If you’ve got a small kitchen then the last thing you’ll want to do is buy a massive piece of equipment that takes over the room. However, the Russell Hobbs Compact Steamer is neatly stacked with a modern design that would fit neatly on any worktop. Despite its compact design, it can hold up to 7 litres and you can cook different foods at the same time with the multiple compartments. It also includes a rice bowl for making the perfect accompaniment to any meal.  

Read more:

The Best Slow Cookers