How do I choose the best steamer basket?

Metal steamer baskets are affordable and easy to store.

If you want to preserve the nutritional content of foods such as vegetables and fish during cooking, use a steamer basket. There are three main types of steamer baskets: metal steamers, bamboo steamers, and electric steamers. If you are looking for an affordable and easy to store steam basket, you can choose a metal model. If you want a durable and stylish basket that can be stacked while you cook, consider a bamboo model. Finally, if you want a steamer basket that won’t take up space on your stovetop and you’re willing to spend a little money, you may find an electric model to be a good option.

For an affordable, easy-to-store steamer basket, choose a metal model. These baskets, usually made of stainless steel or aluminum, feature a unique flower-shaped design in which movable, perforated metal “petals” fan out around a central handle to which they are hinged. In unfolded mode, the basket is filled with raw food and placed over a pot of boiling water. Between uses, the basket’s “petals” can be folded down to a compact size that requires little cabinet space. On the other hand, some metal steamer baskets are brittle and can break easily.

Consider a bamboo steamer basket if you’re interested in a model that’s durable, stylish, and can be stacked while cooking. As the name suggests, these shallow, round baskets are made entirely of bamboo, making them durable and also giving them an elegant look reminiscent of dim sum restaurants. Plus, using the baskets is easy. They are simply placed on top of a pot of boiling water or placed on a rack inside a steaming wok. Its flat shape allows for easy stacking of multiple baskets, allowing you to cook multiple foods at once.

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Finally, if you want a steamer basket that won’t take up space on your stove, you may find that an electric model is a good option. Electric steamers are powered by a wall outlet and therefore can be operated away from the stove, a feature that can come in handy when preparing a multi-course meal. They usually feature removable plastic baskets that are usually dishwasher safe. It should be noted that the convenience that electric steamer baskets offer comes at a price, as they tend to be more expensive than their metal or bamboo counterparts.

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