Types of steamers
- What it is: device and principle of operation
- Varieties: advantages and disadvantages
- Material and accessories
- New models: reviews
In modern kitchen there is a lot of equipment, which greatly facilitates the life of housewives. An example of such a technique is the double boiler. It is very popular among fans of healthy eating.
There are different types of double boilers, so it is sometimes too difficult to understand which apparatus is worth buying in the end. This article will help you to deal with all the differences between them and the subtleties of the choice of steamers.
What it is: device and principle of operation
If you have never encountered such a technique, then you should, first of all, deal with what it is. Steamer is a convenient electrical equipment that allows you to process food with hot steam. This method of cooking is much more useful because it allows you to keep all the important trace elements in products. As a result, the food is more healthy and nutritious.
If you look at its description, you can understand that the technique consists of several components. The main base stores all the heating elements. When you turn on the steamer, it begins to heat the liquid poured into a container specially available for this purpose. There you can pour water and, when it warms up, steam will begin to stand out. It was he who applied to the processing of products.
On the same part there is also a control panel, which allows you to select different modes and just turn the steamer on and off. Depending on how modern and multifunctional you have a double boiler, the number of modes varies.
Above are steam baskets. They should be made of durable material, but not too heavy, so that the pallet does not bend under pressure. Their number varies, depending on what your unit. Capacities for products can be from one to three. This is very convenient, since you can put one basket on another, preparing several dishes at once. Since the power of 2000 watts is not uncommon for double boilers, baskets are made of durable plastic, stainless steel or specially glass, so that they do not emit any harmful substances under the influence of high temperature.
At the bottom of the baskets, regardless of how many of them, special openings should be present. They let in steam and allow you to get tasty and nutritious food.
Also in each double boiler must be a pallet. It collects all the excess fluid. After all, when processing products with steam, condensate is released. As a rule, in steamers it is only one for all baskets. But there are more expensive models in which their number is equal to the number of baskets. This option is more convenient, but it also costs more.
Now that we have dealt with the main technical issues, let's consider the advantages and disadvantages of this kitchen appliance.
First of all, such a double boiler, of course, will delight those who monitor their health. At home, with the help of such a technique, you can cook delicious and complex dishes without effort. A steam treatment instead of frying makes any food more useful, which is confirmed by more than one study.
Another useful function of the double boiler is that with its help you can defrost food and heat food. And mommies will be pleased with the fact that it can also sterilize children's dishes. Hot steam treatment instantly kills all bacteria, which is very convenient.
Another undoubted advantage is that when you buy a steamer with several massive baskets, you can cook several dishes at a time. This is convenient for large families and those who often host guests. This technique will make your life easier and save you a lot of time.
The temperature of the steam in the lower basket will always be higher, so if you put in there something that will cook longer, and upward - that will be ready faster, then you will get your food almost simultaneously. So, you can put meat in the lower container, and vegetables in the upper container, and get a delicious and satisfying dinner for the whole family, cooked at the same time.
Steamer is very easy to operate, because it does not burn anything, even for those who are not very good at cooking. The fact is that when the time that is needed to prepare a specific dish is expired, the appliance automatically switches off or goes into heat preservation mode. So, even if you are distracted by extraneous affairs, your dish will not burn anyway.
In addition, under the influence of steam food always turns out juicy and very tasty. So, if your dishes often turn out dry, then a double boiler will definitely save you.
This technique is also very easy to clean. To do this, simply open the steamer and rinse the grate and containers with warm water and detergent. After washing, the parts of the double boiler need to be dried thoroughly, and only then closed. Thus, you extend the life of your equipment for several months or even years.
Another useful effect of the double boiler, which is worth paying attention to is the function of delayed cooking or heating of food. With a simple steamer, you can put food to cook in slow motion in the morning. And she will be ready just in time for you to come home. The maximum time that you can postpone the process of full cooking is twelve hours.
You can also immediately prepare food and put it on a timer. So she will immediately prepare, but will not cool down to your return home. This is a very convenient feature. She will save both working women and those who cook for the whole family. If you have dinner and dinner at different times, then this function will be very useful for you.
Such steamers and students were chosen. In dormitories it is always forbidden to keep electric stoves, but a double boiler allows you to make a fire or be evicted without risk, to cook delicious food. In this case, it is not necessary to buy a multi-level model. You will only need one basket to cook delicious food for yourself.
As is clear from the description, a quality steamer is a very multifunctional unit. She will find use in any home. Its characteristics make the double boiler suitable for young girls and experienced housewives. The main thing here is to choose the right technique.
About what good induction steamers with mechanical or electronic control system, and will be discussed further.
Varieties: advantages and disadvantages
Among the many varieties of steam boilers there are different types of aggregates. The main thing is how they differ - power and control features. It is recommended to pay attention to these characteristics when purchasing.
In most boilers, power is a parameter that can be adjusted. But remember when buying, it should not be below 650 watts. In this case, the food will be prepared too slowly.
The size of the baskets also affects the speed of cooking. In a large capacity food will be cooked much longer. Even in the event that you do not fill the container completely with products. But too compact baskets, or containers of poor-quality material - this is not the best option for the double boiler.
Another important point is that the double boiler must have the simplest possible control system. It can be mechanical or electronic. Professional steamers are always complemented by an electronic control system. This is exactly what makes it possible to use such convenient functions as deferred cooking. On such equipment there is a display that shows which mode is selected and how much time is left until the end of cooking.
Another option is a unit with a mechanical control system. Such steamers are easier to manage. When cooking, you just need to press a few buttons, including a double boiler, and set the cooking time. And she herself will do everything for you.
There are also steam cookers with additional features. If you need a smokehouse, convection oven or food processor, then the double boiler may well be a replacement for all the above-listed units. The main thing - pick up equipment with the modes you need. After all, a folding double boiler with a grinder, no matter how versatile it is, will not be needed in any kitchen.
Another convenient option for a pressure cooker is a foldable road model. Mini Steamer - this is the thing that will save you while traveling to another city or rest. A good compact steamer taken on the road will save you from having to spend a lot of money on food in public places.
An important point when choosing - the number of baskets in the double boiler. As already mentioned, they are single-tier, two-tier and three-tier. The most convenient option is the technique, which has 3 tiers at once, and each of them is supplemented with a pallet. This allows you to cook several dishes at once, without mixing their tastes and smells.
After all, if in a three-level steamer there is no separate pan for each tier, then the food from the lower one will be saturated with condensate or broth. And the insert in the form of a pan, in which all the liquid is collected, is easily prevented.
A multi-level steamer at first glance seems too cumbersome. But, considering how many functions it performs right away, this is fully justified. By installing such a multifunctional thing in your kitchen, you can get rid of pans, microwaves and even aerogrill. So, despite the fact that the multi-level steamer is quite large, you should not abandon it only for this reason.
But if you have too little space in the kitchen, and you are just starting to be interested in proper nutrition, then you can buy a two-level steamer. This is a kind of golden medium. It does not look too bulky, and allows you to cook a little more than the usual single-level model.
Material and accessories
As well as the number of baskets, an important role is played by the material from which they are made. Most often in steamer containers are transparent. This is both aesthetically appealing and very convenient, because you will constantly see what is happening inside your steamer and control these processes.
Such baskets can be made of glass or plastic. But these materials are far from the most durable. In addition, they eventually lose their attractiveness, and mechanical damage may not survive. Both glass and plastic can easily crack under the pressure of the upper container.
A more durable option is a stainless steel steamer. It is more durable than glass. In addition, a metal basket retains its visual appeal longer than a glass product.
By the way, the shape of the baskets plays an important role. They can be square or round, but it is not important here. Far more important is whether they are all the same size. If one of the baskets is smaller and the second is larger, then you will not be able to swap them. And it very often saves when the products are prepared at different speeds.
In addition, such dishes may have a different volume. For a large family, a capacity of 12 liters is suitable, but for those who live alone, you can choose a smaller steamer with a basket the size of a small deep plate.
But durable and resistant to damage should be not only the bowl, but also the mesh, through which the steam passes. The sieve should be of high quality so that the food does not get the taste of cheap plastic.
This technique is often complemented by additional nozzles and all sorts of functions. The most popular are the functions of slow cooking and heating.
A less useful feature is the water indicator. It allows you to determine how much fluid is in the tank. But you will still pour water before each cooking process, so this detail is not particularly important.
Some models are also equipped with a special hole that allows you to pour water into the tank directly during the cooking process. So, if you notice that the liquid evaporates, and the food is not ready at all, then this problem can be solved. When you do not use it, it can hide an inconspicuous valve.
New models: reviews
Technical progress does not stand still, and manufacturers are constantly producing more modern and multifunctional steamers. It is difficult to determine which model of the new is the best. It is even more difficult to understand whether the next new feature will be useful to you. To facilitate the search for the perfect technology reviews help customers.
Today, among experienced housewives and fans of proper nutrition, the means to process food products from five leading brands are popular. If you want to find a good technique, we recommend looking at technical innovations from Braun, Moulinex, Philips, Tefal and Scarlett brands.
Let's look at them so that you can make a comparison, and highlight for yourself what suits you best.
Let's start with the company Tefal. This brand has recently pleased its fans with high-quality steamers, which can do a little more than their predecessors. Among them it is worth highlighting the options with the ability to support heat, start cooking and quickly heat the food with hot steam.
Have brand Philips You can choose high-quality three-tier steamers. They are very powerful, but at the same time, they are not so expensive. This technique is perfect for a home in which a large family lives.
Among the range Moulinex Two-level models deserve special attention. They are very compact and lightweight. Therefore, it will perfectly fit both in the family kitchen and in the room in the dormitory.
Budget steamers can be found at the brand Braun. They are quite powerful, and quickly cope with any portion of food, and even with the most complex dishes. An interesting novelty in the assortment of this company is a double boiler, supplemented with a special bowl in which products can be placed that color light or transparent plastic.
Scarlett - This is another cheap brand that is popular among married couples with a low budget. For a little money, you get a practical and compact steamer that will delight you with tasty and healthy dishes for a long time. The service life of the equipment from this brand is quite long, so you will use it for more than one month.
In addition to these popular brands, good reviews are received and high-quality Japanese and German technology. And if you are in search of a budget option, then pay attention to Korean firms. Among domestic consumers, Russia and Germany are known as the countries in which high-quality kitchen appliances are produced. Therefore, many people buy domestic-made boilers with pleasure.
But, whatever the reviews on specific brands, they all boil down to one thing - it’s still worth buying a double boiler. If you do not fit the parameters of one model, then look at the other, which is more suitable for you and its functions and size. As a result, the time spent on the search will pay off, as well as the cost of the double boiler. After all, all customer reviews confirm that this is a very necessary and multifunctional thing that is useful not only for athletes and losing weight, but also for adherents of other lifestyles. Choose a model that suits you completely and enjoy all its advantages in everyday life.