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Buying a Food Steamer? 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

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Steamer Via Fotolia

Steaming is one of the healthiest methods of cooking food. It preserves the nutrients better than boiling or microwaving and at the same time locks the flavors in when cooking. What are the factors to consider in buying a new steamer? Here are some of the most common things people overlook in buying a food steamer.

Not considering if you need additional functionality

If you plan to steam food for children or babies, it is important to look for more specialized steamers. Aside from being safe and made with non-toxic materials, the food steamer may also need to serve as a sterilizer and sanitizer. Make sure your food steamer has this option so you won’t need to buy a new one later on. Food steamers for babies typically come with a large capacity lid that allow a variety of uses such as sanitizing pacifiers, teething toys, bottle accessories and more.

No timer

The timer is an important food steamer function that many may forget to check for. The best food steamers typically come with built-in timers to make steaming easier and hassle-free. Clockwork timers are the most common, but some food steamers now have digital timers for accuracy.

Not considering storage space

Food steamers can really be very bulky. It can consume a lot of space in the kitchen. One common mistake that people make in buying food steamers is not considering the storage space or where they will store the food steamer. Generally, bigger food steamers would require bigger space. Hence, if you have a limited storage area, go for smaller and compact-sized food steamers, such as those with 2 tiers of 2-quart containers.

Buying more than you need

Food steamers may come in single or multi-tier packages. Some people tend to go for multi-tier food steamers just because they think more is generally better. This is not the case all the time especially since more layers of containers would mean additional costs. Also, it is not a practical idea especially when you will end up not using the other containers at all.

Not considering the type of food you need to steam

If you are planning to steam large food items such as whole chicken or fish, it is only appropriate that you get something with a larger capacity and size. The larger food steamers can be as large as 5-quarts, and can come in multiple tiers.

With the best food steamer you have chosen in hand, here are two recipes that are easy and fast, yet healthy and delicious.

Steamed Salmon with Vegetables

This recipe works best if you have a multi-level steamer

1. At the bottom layer of the steamer, place the salmon fillets and add one squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper. Start steaming the salmon.

2. 6 minutes after steaming the salmon, add your vegetables of choice in the top layer of the steamer - good choices include watercress, broccoli, green beans and onion. Steam for another 6 minutes.

3. Finally, add an extra squeeze of lemon to the salmon and maybe some chili sauce for even more flavor.

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon

1. First, rinse the asparagus thoroughly and trim the ends slightly

2. Next, place in your food steamer, cover and steam for 12 minutes

3. The asparagus should now be tender-crisp. Drain, and sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper

Both recipes take less than 15 minutes to prepare with a good food steamer, yet allow you to prepare meals that are healthy, nutritious and tasty.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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