There are a large number of well-known brands available to you when it comes to choosing a steamer. There are also some less well known, and often cheaper brands, which are also worth considering depending on your budget.
Among the top steamers out there are those made by Morphy Richards. The best models tend to cost upwards of £50, though you can sometimes get a good deal on them (see the last part of this article). The Morphy Richards 3-tiered steamer is a fantastic model well worth a look. This model features a nine litre capacity and it also has a 60 minute timer and a warning bell that lets you know when the food is done. On top of this it has a visible water gauge so that you can easily manage the amount of water in the machine and easily refill when it’s getting low. Needless to say, the trays and lid are dishwasher safe and the removable drip tray makes the steamer easy to clean. You should expect to pay for a model like this, but at around £50 it’s a snip as it can cook 3 different types of food at once to a perfect steamed level.
Other brands to consider at the top of the range include Breville and Tefal. These models come in at slightly cheaper, costing around £30 to £40. The Breville models are particularly geared towards the cooking of large quantities of perfectly cooked rice which is very useful for those cooking oriental foods. They also have steamer trays which are ideal for vegetables but also suitable for more ambitious dishes such as dim sum and oriental dumplings. The Tefal model is more akin to the Morphy Richards model discussed above but comes in slightly cheaper at the cost of a bit of quality.
There are several brands offering more basic steamer that are worth considering. One such is Cookworks, a reputable manufacturer of cheaper basic kitchen appliances. The Cookworks steamers start at £12 for a simple rice cooker to £15 for a 2-tiered mode and £20 and above for the 3-tier version. These are genuine competitors for the above models. Whilst they are not as easy on the eye or stylish, they do function well, have a timer and automatic switch-off mechanism so you don’t overcook your food. For the price, they offer a very decent product and will come with a warrantee if you buy from a good vendor (see the last part of the article again). Another good value option is Russell Hobbes, a more well-known company. They charge a little more at around £23, but their steamer is both function and in an attractive style.