Steaming is one of the many cooking methods, but the highlight is that it is one of the healthiest. More nutrients are preserved, and the negative effects of unhealthy fats, oil, and butter are eliminated. Today, there are numerous food steamers available, but many are made from plastic materials with BPA content. Bisphenol-A is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that's used to harden these plastic materials. When used in steamers, steamed food is exposed to harmful chemical content that could cause several medical problems. This is why it is important to buy a BPA free steamer. To make it less overwhelming for you to make an informed selection of the best food steamer BPA free, we have selected and reviewed some of the best options available today.
Comparison Table of Best BPA Free Steamers
|BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer||2 Tier||Check|
|Aicok Food Electric Steamer||3 Tier||Check|
|Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer||2 Tier||Check|
|Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer||2 Tier||Check|
|Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer||1 Tier||Check|
|Faberware Classic Series Saucepot with Steamer||3- Quart||Check|
|BLACK + DECKER Rice Cooker and Food Steamer||6 Cups||Check|
|i-PLAYLOFT Premium Handmade Bamboo Steamer||2 Tier||Check|
Top 8 Food Steamers
1. BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer
The BELLA Two Tier Food Steamer is so easy to operate. It's an electric BPA free steamer that comes with some exciting smart features. It has a unique two-tier design that allows you to cook different food items at the same time. We love that the cooking containers are see-through. This means you can always assess the status of your food without having to open the lid. The 7.4 quarts capacity is decent enough to cook for an averagely-sized family.
In addition to the ease of use, cleaning is also a breeze, as the steaming containers, grain tray, and lid are all dishwasher safe. What's better? It features a quick-heating system that gets ready to steam in as little as 30 seconds. Furthermore, features like the auto shut off and boil-dry protection make it even safer to operate. The guess-free steaming guide chat embedded in the unit is sure to come in handy for perfect steaming results. If you favor electric steamer models over the other types, this is one of the best electric food steamers you can get today.
2. Aicok Food Electric Steamer
This is another perfect electric steamer option to consider whenever you're ready to get one for your kitchen. It has an impressively large capacity of 9.5 quarts and three tier design that allows you to cook a variety of food items simultaneously. Like you would expect, the steaming baskets are free from BPA and have a high resistance to temperature, being able to withstand temperatures up to 284°F. With an 800 watts rating, the steamer is powerful. It heats up quickly and cooks evenly.
3. Hamilton Beach Digital Food Steamer
Hamilton Beach is famous for its several home appliances and kitchen equipment. The 37530A Digital Food Steamer is just one of their numerous offerings, but it is just as functional and dependable as their more popular products. It is designed for two-tier steaming, with the first tier designed for small food items and the second tier designed to handle whole foods. However, if you need to steam more than either tier can contain, the center divider is removable to convert to one single compartment.
While it is not so expensive, it does come with some premium features. One of such is the Delay Start timer feature that lets you put food in and set the time you want the cooking to commence in advance. While this feature is perfect for grains and vegetables, it should not be used for raw fish, meat, and other foods that could easily spoil. Another exciting feature is the automatic warm \feature. The steamer switches to warm automatically when the food is ready. The control panel consists of a digital touchpad that makes control and customization so easy.
4. Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer
Check out another reasonably priced electric food steamer. This Oster Food Steamer- like many of the other models we have reviewed- has a double-tiered design that allows you to cook different food items simultaneously. At 400 watts, it is pretty decent, and it heats up quickly. The steaming bowls are transparent like they should be, so you can always assess your foods' steaming progress. The 5 quart capacity is perfect for the typical average family. However, if you have to cook for a large group of people, you may want to consider a higher capacity steamer.
The automatic 60-minute timer is sure to come in handy when you need to multitask. Thanks to the auto shut-off feature, the steamer is automatically turned off when the 60 minutes is up or when the water dries up. This prevents burning and helps to lock in more nutrients. Furthermore, the bowls are dishwasher safe, and they nest into each other for convenient storage.
5. Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer
If you can make do with the single tier 5 liter capacity, this Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer is one of the best compact glass steamers you can get. It features a powerful steam system that produces steam from the top down, surrounding the food for quick and even cooking. Also, the steamer features 1 liter tank that lifts off easily for refilling. The 5 liter glass pot that comes with it is dishwasher-safe, so you should not have any cleaning problem.
We love the preprogrammed food settings, as they make it easier for you to steam different food items appropriately. The settings are seafood, poultry, grains, vegetables, and manual. It is quite interesting that the stainless steel steaming tray is flippable to hold different food types. Regardless of its relatively small size, it features exciting smart features like the 60 minute countdown timer, the audible alert, the pause, and the reheat features.
6. Faberware Classic Series Saucepot with Steamer
This multipurpose Saucepot with Steamer Insert is a versatile offering from Faberware. It is a combination of a sauce pot and a steamer basket that serves various cooking functions. As it is a stovetop steamer, you'll need to put on a heat energy source to get your cooking going. The saucepot has a 3 quart capacity, while the steamer insert has a 2-quart capacity. The kitchenware boasts a full cap base with thick aluminum core that is accented by durable stainless steel for quick heating. The stainless steel is polished to a shifny finish for aesthetic effect.
Furthermore, it comes with comfortable, heat-resistant handles that are oven safe up to a temperature of 350 degrees. Both the saucepot and steaming basket can be washed in a dishwasher. Admittedly, the capacity of the steamer is on the low side but combined with its other exciting features, it is one of the best baby food steamers you can get today.
7. BLACK + DECKER Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Our list is not complete without the inclusion of this amazing rice cooker and food steamer combination from BLACK + DECKER. It is designed to hold a removable bowl for rice cooking and a removable steaming basket for when you need to steam-cook your food. With its high level of functionality, we are quite surprised that the unit is still so affordable. The cooker can prepare as much as 6 cups of cooked rice in a single go. A measuring cup is included in the package to that effect.
The rice pot has a non-stick characteristic and is safe to be washed in a dishwasher. On the other hand, the steaming basket fits easily into the unit for quick and even steam cooking. When the cooking process is complete, it switches automatically to the "keep warm" function to keep the food ready-to-serve for extended periods after cooking. Also, there are indicator lights on the unit that show the status of the steamer at all times. If you need a higher capacity, it is available in other size options.
8. i-PLAYLOFT Premium Handmade Bamboo Steamer
The i-PLAYLOFT Premium 10 Inch Steamer is quite different from the other steamers on this list in that it is a bamboo steamer. It is particularly a perfect steamer option for all your Asian recipes. Unlike many of the bamboo steamers out there, it is made from high-quality bamboo material for a durable and lightweight effect. It has a two-tier design - like many of the electric models- that allows you to cook multiple foods at the same time. We must comment on the impeccable craftsmanship.
While it may cost more than many electric steamers, the plethora of additional accessories that come with it makes it one of the most valuable. It comes with a sauce plate, two chopsticks set, and 20 wax steamer liners. It is not as easy to use as electric steamers but is still a great steamer choice if you are cool with bamboo steamers.
Aicok Food Electric Steamer
The Aicok Food Electric Steamer is our pick as the overall best BPA free steamer, and for good reasons. The steamer's most impressive thing is the large 9.5 quart capacity that is divided over a three-tier design, such that you can cook separate food items simultaneously. It is a powerful steamer that heats up quickly and cooks evenly. It also comes with smart features like the programmable digital time and the auto shut-off that makes it safer to cook with. If the water dries up while cooking, there are two side intakes through which you can feed-in water without having to remove the lid.
Features and Factors to Consider when buying a BPA Free Food Steamer
With a large number of food steamers on the market, you need to consider certain criteria if you hope to make a good choice. Here are some features and factors to consider before choosing a BPA free food steamer.
The next thing after deciding to buy yourself a food steamer is to establish the type you need. You have the option of an electric steamer, a microwave steamer, or a steamer basket. While it majorly comes down to personal preference, you should also consider the peculiarities of these different steamer types.
Microwave steamers are cheap for those with a limited budget. If what you're concerned about is the ease of operation, you'll be better off with an electric steamer. However, they can be quite expensive at times. Steamer baskets require a higher level of maintenance than the other types, and they are not the easiest to use.
This is another significant thing to consider when it comes to food steamers. The capacity is determined by how much food it can hold and cook. The capacity is mainly rated in liters, and the higher the liter, the more food a steamer can cook. Consider the number of people you cook for to make the right choice of steamer size.
Food steamers are made with various materials: stainless steel, plastic, glass, and bamboo. Your material choice has a direct effect on durability, but the important thing is to make sure that the material is BPA-free. Plastic steamers are more likely to have this harmful chemical, as it is commonly used to harden plastic materials. Thankfully, there are BPA free options to get. Glass, stainless steel, and true bamboo materials don't have BPA.
Apart from the material, it would be best if you also looked at how the steamer is designed and how that design affects its functionality. You could either go with a single-tier design with only one cooking compartment or a multi-tier design that allows you to cook several foods at a go.
Auto Shut Off
This is a safety feature that comes with electric food steamers. Steamers need water to work, but when you're multitasking, you will find the auto shut off feature useful as it will automatically shut the steamer off at a set time or when the water dries up to prevent your food from burning.
This is another functionality feature that comes with electric steamers. If you don't serve your food as soon as it gets done, it will get cold after a while. The keep-warm function turns on automatically when the cooking is done to keep the food warm until you're ready to serve.
Ease of Cleaning
If you've used many steamers, you know that cleaning them can be quite tasking. For easier cleaning, you may want to go with models that feature dishwasher-safe parts. The steaming container and trays, in particular, should be easy to clean.
Generally, food steamers are quite affordable. Still, you need to establish your budget before you select a model. The relative affordability of steamers, nonetheless, there are expensive and affordable options. What you want is a steamer that fits right into your budget and gives you value for whatever amount spent.
What is BPA?
BPA is Bisphenol-A, a chemical compound used in epoxy resin and plastic manufacturing. The chemical has adverse effects on human health. Food containers and several kitchen equipment feature plastic materials, and there are indications that BPA can seep into food from these plastic materials
Can Plastic Steamers be BPA Free?
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is peculiar to plastic construction. When these plastic materials are used in food steamers, users are exposed to health-damaging effects. Many of the plastic steamers advertised as BPA free have very low BPA levels and are certified as safe to use. So, one could say plastic steamers can be BPA free.
What Can You Cook in a Steamer?
Food steamers can cook various food items, but the highlight remains that steaming is a healthy cooking method that preserves much more food nutrients than other cooking methods. Here are some of the food items.
Vegetables lose nutrients easily when overcooked, so steaming is the perfect way to cook them. You can cook almost any vegetable in a steamer, from spinach to broccoli and many more.
Not all meats can be cooked in a steamer. Only tender meat cuts should be cooked in a steamer, as tough meats will require more intense heat to cook properly.
Fish is another perfect food to cook in a steamer. They are very tender and don't require very high temperatures, so the subtle heating of a steamer is ideal for them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a food steamer cook rice?
Not all food steamers can be used to cook rice. You can only cook rice with steamers that come with dedicated rice bowls.
How to clean a food steamer?
Ensure you follow the manufacturer's instructions on how a steamer should be cleaned. Some steamers come with dishwasher-safe parts, but hand-cleaning remains the safest cleaning method.
How to use a food steamer?
There are slight variations in the operating process of food steamers, dependent on the steamer type. Nevertheless, they all work on the same underlying principle. The first thing to do is prepare your ingredients and food items. You should add the seasoning at this point.
Next, fill the steamer with water and put your food in. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how much water to add and how to add. If you’re using an electric steamer, set the timer, and start cooking. If you’re cooking multiple foods at once, start with those that take longer to cook.
Steaming is one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, method of cooking. As a result of low heat intensity, fewer nutrients are lost in the cooking process. Many of the steamers available today feature plastic materials known for their BPA content, which can cause health problems, especially for young children. These are some of the best food steamers on the market today that are free from BPA. We have also discussed some of the important features and factors to consider when buying a food steamer.