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A vegetable steamer is a kitchen utensil designed to cook vegetables and other foods with steam. When using this appliance, your foods can retain their natural flavor in addition to their nutritional value.
The first thing you should consider when buying a vegetable steamer is how much food you hope to cook with the steam at one time. If you only wish to steam one dish, such as a side dish of steamed vegetables, you might only need to purchase single steamer that is designed to fit inside a saucepan or pot. A single dish vegetable steamer is the least expensive option available.
If you decide to purchase a single dish vegetable steamer, it is best to purchase one made of stainless steel. It should be expandable so it can fit inside any pot you wish to use to prepare your steamed vegetables. It is also best to purchase an appliance with flattened feat so it does not scratch your pot. To make clean-up easier, be sure to purchase a steamer that is dishwasher-safe.
If you wish to steam more vegetables or other foods at one time, consider a double or triple decker vegetable steamer instead. This is an all-inclusive unit with two or three baskets stacked above the base. You can place a different food in each of these baskets in order to steam them all at the same time.
When selecting a double or triple decker vegetable steamer, it is best to purchase one that allows you to remove each dish individually during the steaming process. This is important, since different foods require different amounts of steaming time. With a bit of practice, you will be able to time your foods perfectly so they are all done at about the same time. To do this, place the food that takes the longest on the bottom, then add the next dish or dishes a few minutes later.
If you need help keeping track of your steaming, it might be best to purchase a programmable vegetable steamer with a timer. Be sure the timer display is easy to read from various angles.