Finding the best bamboo steamer can change your cooking game. Unlike metal steamers that often come with sets of pots and pans, a bamboo steamer offers a slower, more natural cooking method for steaming foods.
Bamboo is also the traditional method of steaming foods like vegetables or dumplings in Chinese cuisine. Using a bamboo steamer can also be great for healthy eating since no minerals or vitamins are lost in this traditional method of steaming.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 5 Best Bamboo Steamers
- 5 Best Bamboo Steamer Reviews:
- Features to Consider When Purchasing The Best Bamboo Steamers
- How to Use Bamboo Steamers
- How to Clean Bamboo Steamer Baskets
- So, What's the Best Bamboo Steamer?
Quick Comparison: Top 5 Best Bamboo Steamers
5 Best Bamboo Steamer Reviews:
1. Helen's Kitchen Natural Bamboo Steamer
1. All Natural Bamboo
Everything about this bamboo steamer is bamboo, even the intricate side lacing. This bamboo has been pre-treated, so oiling or seasoning your bamboo steamer will not be an issue right out of the box.
The 100% bamboo materials will ensure your food will be steamed in the most traditional cooking method possible. This bamboo material also makes the unit safer to touch when hot, unlike other models that may have stainless steel or other metal banding around each tier.
2. Two Tiers
The two tiers of this bamboo steamer allow your food to be cooked well and fast. Each tier is large and has a one-inch depth that can accommodate foods like fish, vegetables and even most dumplings.
Two tiers also make it possible to cook more than one type of food in one cooking session, which can eliminate the need for multiple pots and pans.
3. Spacious 10 Inch Diameter
The 10 inch diameter of this bamboo steamer provides ample room to cook things like dumplings and large items at one time. The diameter combined with the two tiers maximizes your cooking surface area.
If you are cooking a larger meal or a meal that is meant for more than one or two people, the 10 inch diameter size can come in handy and allow you to cook more food faster.
4. Beautiful Woven Lacing
While this steamer is functional it is also beautiful to look at. The beautiful lacing on the sides of this bamboo steamer makes it look great sitting on your stove or anywhere in your kitchen when not in use.
Each of these small details is made out of the all natural bamboo material that make this unit uniform in appearance. These small details are understated yet still very attractive.
5. Safe for Nonstick Cookware
This bamboo steamer is safe to use with any nonstick pot or pan that you may use as your water vessel. A lot of cookware is nonstick and bamboo steamers with metal casings or bands run the risk of scratching the important nonstick coating of these pans.
However, with an all-bamboo steamer like this model, scratching your nonstick cookware does not have to be a concern. If a nonstick pot or pan is all you have, you will not have to purchase any additional supplies to get the most out of this steamer.
6. Interlocking Tiers
The interlocking tiers of this steamer put it above other models that have to be stacked in just the right way. You can store this unit without worrying about which part goes where since each tier is interchangeable.
The tightly woven lid can fit on either tier, too, so when you are in a rush you won't have to be concerned about setting up this bamboo steamer just right.
- Interlocking tiers save time and worry
- Attractive design with lacing details on side
- Will not scratch a nonstick pot or pan
- Large 10 inch diameter creates more cooking surface area
- 100% bamboo material is traditional
- Pre-treated so minimal care beyond washing is needed
- Two tiers enable more food or multiple foods to be cooked at once
- Lid fits securely on either tier
- Care should be taken with hot pans
- May be prone to breakage after heavy use
- May warp over time without metal banding
2. HUANGYIFU Chinese Handmade Bamboo Steamer Basket
1. Aromatic Japanese Cedar
This steamer is made from Japanese cedar, also known as cryptomeria fortunei. This type of wood has a subtle aromatic smell that can provide a beautiful hint of flavor when it steams food.
This type of wood is also extremely durable. In this model it has been pre-treated so the care and maintenance of the wood beyond regular washing with a light dish soap is minimal.
2. Deep Baskets
For those who regularly cook large or unwieldy foods, this steamer may fit the bill. Each of the three tiers is approximately two inches deep. Cook large dumplings or dim sum with ease.
Each dumpling will be sure to have plenty of room to sit and be steamed evenly and cooked thoroughly every time. More room in each basket means that more steam is able to envelop the food and provide a more consistent cook.
3. Three Tiers
Maximize your space and minimize cooking time with these three tiers. Each tier is properly vented with wooden slats to allow steam to pass through it to the next tier.
The expertly woven lid sits on top and traps the steam within the unit, making sure all three tiers of food will be cooked simultaneously. Having three tiers can also enable you to cook multiple types of food at one time, You could make an entire meal within this one steamer basket.
4. Reputable Brand Name
The HuangYiFu brand name has been known in China for years as a top-quality manufacturer. The company makes products that are meant to last for a long time with repeated use and minimal care.
5. Fast Cooking Times
Cook your veggies or rice fast with this steamer. Because of its three tier design and seven-inch diameter, this steamer can finish cooking your food in anywhere from five to 12 minutes.
The contained space of this model concentrates the steam and allows food to cook thoroughly yet quickly. The flavor and nutrients that the steaming method offers are locked in throughout the process.
6. Seven Inch Diameter
The seven inch diameter of this bamboo steamer is super convenient for storage and use. This smaller diameter can also accommodate more pans or woks since it is a smaller size, ensuring that you won't need to purchase more products in order to start steaming. The three tiers of this unit makes up for what it lacks in diameter, so no functionality or cooking space is lost.
- Convenient seven-inch diameter
- Aromatic Japanese cedar creates a fragrant steam
- Three tiers maximizes utility and cooking area
- Quality craftsmanship of the HuangYiFu brand name
- Lid fits securely onto the basket tiers
- Can cook food fast and well
- Deeper basket tiers provide more room for food like dumplings
- Will last through repeated uses without cracking or bowing
- Japanese cedar is not true bamboo
- Smaller diameter may limit cooking area
- No stainless steel to provide heat protection
3. VonShef Premium 2 Tier Bamboo Steamer
1. Stainless Steel Banding
This bamboo steamer features a stainless steel band around each tier. Each band helps the levels of the bamboo steamer to securely fit on top of one another. The stainless steel material ensures that these bands will never rust or corrode.
Sometimes bamboo steamer tiers can warp slightly over time due to repeated use and exposure to moisture. These steel bands will make sure that the tiers will never lose their shape or fit. Steam will be able to cook food thoroughly without any water loss.
Be ready to eat all of your freshly steamed vegetables, rice, fish or other food with these chopsticks. They come with the package and are made from the same quality bamboo as the steamer.
These chopsticks can be washed with regular dish detergent and used again and again. Two pairs of chopsticks are included for maximum convenience. Both sets feature an attractive striped design that make them fun to look at as well as eat with.
3. Wax Liners
One thing every bamboo steamer needs is liners. These liners are made from the best wax paper. The waxy nature of these liners is safe to use around food and ensure that nothing sticks to your steamer.
Line each tier with these sheets of paper, place your food on top of them, and achieve the perfect cook. These wax liners may be a step above the average paper liner. Fifty are included with this package, which will last for at least 25 cooks in your double-tiered bamboo steamer.
4. Two Basket Tiers
Cook more food at once in this two-tiered bamboo steamer model. Another advantage of having an extra tier is that you can cook more than one type of food. This bamboo steamer allows the user to steam multiple things at once with ease. Cook fish and vegetables all in one vessel with this steamer.
5. Ready to Use
Some bamboo steamers require the bamboo to be treated before use. This model, however, does not require that. It is ready to use straight out of the box. The natural material of the bamboo has been woven and pre-treated beforehand so that the washing and care requirements for this unit are minimal.
6. 10-Inch Size
The generous 10-inch diameter of this steamer provides plenty of surface area on which you can cook multiple foods. Place several dumplings on one tier and cook multiple servings of vegetables in another tier.
Each level provides 10 inches of bamboo slats and cooking space. This space can even accommodate larger foods like whole cuts of fish or foods that tend to take up a lot of room like bok choy.
- 10-inch diameter can accommodate larger amounts of food
- Two sets of attractive chopsticks are included
- Comes with 50 wax paper liners that will prevent food sticking
- Stainless steel banding will keep the shape of the steamer
- Two tiers allow for a larger variety or amount of food to be cooked
- Bamboo does not need to be pre-treated before use
- Can be washed and dried normally
- Lid is tightly woven
- Stainless steel banding may become hot to the touch
- Bamboo may need moisturized over time
- Bamboo may impart unwanted flavor to food
4. Joyce Chen Best Bamboo Steamer Set
1. Two Tiers
This bamboo steamer has two spacious tiers so you can get the most out of your cooking time. Each tier has a diameter of 10 inches, which is more than enough room to place several dumplings and large vegetables for steaming.
You can even cook a substantial amount of rice in this steamer with ease. With two tiers you might be able to cook a composed meal within this single bamboo steamer.
2. Real Bamboo
Cook the traditional Chinese way with this authentic 100% bamboo steamer. Some steamers are made out of other composite woods, but this model is guaranteed to be all bamboo.
Even the detailing at the side and top is constructed out of thick, natural bamboo, so you can rest assured you're getting the real deal. This bamboo does not need special seasoning before use and is ready to cook right out of the box.
3. Tightly Woven Lid
A tightly woven lid is a bamboo steamer's best asset, and this model definitely provides. The top of the lid is made of tightly woven bamboo that displays a unique pattern.
This attribute makes the bamboo steamer appealing to look at whether it's cooking on the stove or sitting on a kitchen shelf. There are small details on the side too. Each basket fits snugly within the other basket to maximize the steam.
4. Celebrity Chef Approved
Not only that, but she was committed to bringing traditional ways of cooking to the mainstream. This bamboo steamer is no exception. If you're cooking with products that have her name on it, you can feel sure that you're getting the best.
A bamboo steamer makes for a great holiday or birthday gift, and this model comes with its own gift box. You can also give yourself a present by purchasing it, and store your bamboo steamer inside the attractive box. Whomever the recipient is they will be pleased and impressed by the steamer itself plus its attractive wrapping.
6. Sturdy Construction
Say goodbye to wobbling or lopsided cooking with this bamboo steamer. Each tier is made from reinforced natural bamboo strips, and the lid is woven and thick.
The tiers are bound together with bamboo twine, and have a good heft to them. The steamer is not heavy, but it is substantial enough to stay in place within any stock pot or wok it may be sitting inside.
- Joyce Chen name guarantees quality
- Made of all natural bamboo
- Comes inside a pretty gift box
- Made to last with sturdy construction
- It has an attractive tan color
- Two tiers can increase cooking possibilities
- Lid and tiers fit tightly together
- 10 inch diameter is very spacious
- Does not come with heat-proof ring
- Paper liners are not included
- Bamboo may need to be seasoned over time to prevent breakage
5. Juvale Bamboo Steamer Basket
1. Stainless Steel Rings
The stainless steel rings on this bamboo basket can help keep the shape of this model for a long time. The rings also make your cooking experience safer by creating a heat-safe barrier between the water vessel and your bamboo steamer.
Another advantage of these rings is their tendency to create an extra-tight seal around the lid and sides. This can trap more moisture within the steamer and cook your food faster and more evenly.
2. Double Tiers
Two tiers make it possible to cook your food healthfully and thoroughly. Each of these baskets are interchangeable with the lid, so you can use one tier at a time when cooking less food, or both at once for higher volume cooking.
3. Durable Construction
This unit uses 100% natural bamboo, and the bamboo is woven on the top and on the sides. Even the bottoms of each tier are woven together for a stronger, more durable product.
These strong bottoms can hold plenty of food and withstand the hot steam without concern about breakage or bowing. Always be sure you're getting a good cook with this bamboo steamer.
4. Deep Baskets
Place your fattest dumplings and largest vegetables within either of these baskets with room to spare, The 10 inch diameter of this bamboo steamer makes it a great choice if you regularly cook a high volume of food, or if you cook several servings at once.
Having more room in the basket provides space for the steam to penetrate each tier thoroughly and cook food fast.
5. Great for Reheating Leftovers
Though this bamboo steamer is great for regular cooking, it can also be good for reheating leftovers too. Get experimental by mixing leftover foods together in the large tiers, or recook something that has been cooling overnight in the fridge. The possibilities are endless.
6. Plenty of Room
At a diameter of 10 inches, these bamboo steamer baskets provide a cooking area for a wide range of food items from veggies to seafood. The slats in each tier are loosely woven but allow steam to emerge from several places at once. Both tiers of this bamboo steamer are designed to work together to get your food consistently cooked.
- 10 inch diameter size provides plenty of room
- Each basket is deep
- Leftovers can be reheated
- Solid construction
- Steel rings provide reinforcement and extra tightness
- Two tiers diversify cooking options
- Rings make the bamboo steamer heat safe
- Made of pre-treated bamboo
- Does not come with liners
- Steel rings may scratch nonstick cookware
- Wok not included
Features to Consider When Purchasing The Best Bamboo Steamers
Number of Tiers
A bamboo steamer is an excellent cooking tool since it is an all-in-one device. The more stacked levels you have in a steamer, the more food you can cook at one time.
You can even cook multiple types of food within one steamer if you have more than one level. However, cook time will be longer in a steamer with more vertical compartments. The steam will need a little longer to reach the top level.
Steel Rings vs All Natural
Ideally, the bamboo steamer basket will have steel rings or bands around each tier. Though these bands do interrupt the beautiful natural appearance of an all-bamboo steamer, they can lengthen the life of your steamer by helping it keep its shape.
Steel bands can also make your steamer a little more heat-safe where it contacts the stock pot or wok that contains the water. However, no steel rings makes for a beautiful unit that is still very functional and will last a long time.
Consider the wok or pan your steamer basket will sit inside. You want to make sure you choose a bamboo steamer that will fit within this pan easily with room to spare on the sides.
Having about one inch of space around your basket is important for safety reasons. You don't want your bamboo steamer basket to catch fire accidentally.
Make sure the bamboo quality is available. Avoid any steamer baskets that have a chemical or strong smell to them. Natural bamboo has very little scent and will not be cracking or splintering. A high quality bamboo steamer will feature bamboo that is smooth and tightly woven.
Each level of a bamboo steamer has small open slats. Look at these closely when shopping for a bamboo steamer. These slats should be sturdy enough to create a sturdy base that will securely hold your food and paper liners, but thin enough to allow steam to rise evenly.
Sometimes these slats are formed in a crosshatch pattern or are simply straight. As long as everything is evenly spaced a steamer should be suitable.
How to Use Bamboo Steamers
What You Will Need
- Large pan or wok
- Bamboo steamer
- Paper liners
Fill your wok or pan with two to three inches of water. Make sure to keep the water level low so it does not touch the food.
Also make sure your pan or wok is large enough so that your steamer can sit in the middle with plenty of room around the sides of the pan. Bring your water to a simmer, but do not boil the water.
Take a paper liner and line the bottom of your bamboo steamer. Then place the food you wish to steam on top of the paper liner.
The paper liners will prevent the steamer from taking on the flavors or smells of the food you are cooking. Place the top lid over the steamer.
When the water in your wok or pan comes to a simmer, place your bamboo steamer into the middle of the pan. Make sure the water never reaches a boiling point, as you do not want the water to evaporate or cook your food too quickly.
The best bamboo steamer basket will be able to withstand high heat and will cook your food evenly and slowly.
Set your timer. Steaming can take anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour. If you are steaming for a long time, replenish the water in the pan if it gets too low.
Avoid opening the lid to the steamer until you are sure your food is cooked. Taking off the lid prematurely may let out the steam.
When the time is up, remove the basket from the wok or pan and turn off the heat. Remove your food from the bamboo steamer, dispose of the used paper liners and enjoy your dinner!
How to Clean Bamboo Steamer Baskets
What You Will Need
- Mild dish soap
- Plain water
- Vegetable oil
- Sponge or rag
Rinse out your used steamer with plain water and dispose of any used paper liners. It's always best to do this immediately after use.
With your cleaning sponge or rag, wipe down each level of your steamer with mild dish detergent. Wash each level separately and rinse them thoroughly. Be sure that you wash and rinse all the soap suds off the woven parts and any nooks and crannies.
Towel each one off, but allow them to air dry on a towel or counter top. Let them sit out for at least 30 minutes to prevent mold or mildew. Do not stack them up for the drying process.
Make sure each level is turned upside down to allow maximum airflow. Since the bamboo is tightly woven and will take longer to dry completely, it's important that they sit out for as long as possible before being stored.
After it has been thoroughly dried, season your bamboo steamer with a thin layer of vegetable oil. This will keep the bamboo from drying out. Make sure the layer of oil is extremely thin and just enough to moisten the bamboo.
So, What's the Best Bamboo Steamer?
Overall, the best bamboo steamer can increase your enjoyment of cooking by adding a unique spin on steaming food.
It can also enable healthier eating habits, since slow steaming retains all the vitamins and nutrients that other cooking methods can destroy.
Knowing what to look for when shopping for a bamboo steamer will help you confidently choose the right model for your needs.