I'm not sure how anyone else feels about steaming at home but I always found it a pain in the ass. I always felt like I was going to burn myself taking the food out of the steamer. My experienced mother in the kitchen never seemed to take issue with it and seemed to happily steam away in her traditional way but currently she's away on holiday and I was left to my own devices.
My solution to my issues with the traditional method of steaming food? Go buy an electrical kitchen appliance that solves my problem of course! Off I went trotting along to K-mart. Can you believe it that they only have one type of steamer available in the whole store? Apparently steamers aren't very popular in Australian households. I thought they might have taken off given the hype about healthy methods of cooking but nope, therein lies the proof where I was given only one option: the Homemaker Steamer for $35.
I purchased it as I figured a device that's sole purpose is to heat up water given today's extraordinary technological advancements shouldn't be much of a challenge and anything on the shelves should pretty much do the job in a satisfactory manner.
I wasn't sure about the timing or amount of water for the food (the booklet helpfully suggested that you'll gain a better gauge with lots of steaming experience - no s*** sherlock). There is a minimum and maximum line for water on the steamer and the booklet told me if you fill the water up to the minimum line, it'll go for 20 minutes.
Since this was the first test-run, I filled it up a little above the minimum line and set the timer at 20minutes. I didn't want to stuff up my food so I put in some food that was almost impossible to stuff up: frozen dim-sims.
|Homemaker Steamer $35|
Honestly, I thought the device looked pretty decent and the dim-sims came out fine. The main cause of concern when steaming is when your food is covered in water and becomes soggy - this didn't happen at all in this device which is great. One word of caution, when I opened the lid, a lot of water that had collected on the lid crashed down onto my kitchen counter. Pity the device didn't have anything to deal with that.
I'm only cooking one layer in the above photo, but the device has more equipment for you to be able to do two layers at one time. If you really like steamed foods and want to cook for the entire family, there's plenty of space in this steamer to fit your steamed meal.
Overall though, it's a good looking device for a fair price and seems to do the job just fine - and you're safe from getting burnt. Seems to me that it's a lot simpler than the traditional method of steaming of using pots and raised apparatus, and special kitchen tools to take the really hot plate out.