A steamer or steam cooker is not to be confused with a steam oven. A steam oven looks like a microwave or small conventional oven and has the capacity to stream food as well as cook in a conventional way. On the other hand, a steamer is usually a circular device that sits on your work top and simply steams food. Steam ovens are a newer invention and they are much more expensive, but what should you go for if you are purchasing now, a traditional steamer or a new steam oven? Is it worth paying the extra for this new machine, or are you better off sticking with the cheaper traditional steamer? The answer is: it depends.
Steam ovens do more than steamers. Whilst a steamer simply steams food, a steam oven cooks in the same way an over does, only with additional steaming capacity. If you’re thinking of replacing your oven, it might be worth considering one, and if you do so you will have no need for a steamer as well. Steam ovens are state of the art machines. They have a range of programs and settings and they can be set to cook particular types of food to perfection. You can also get a built-in steam oven in your fitted kitchen meaning that it matches the style of your kitchen and can even be hidden away from view. Steam ovens are essentially ovens and steamers in one, and they make use of the very latest and most expensive state of the art technology, meaning they are the best steaming system on the market. Pretty much everything a steamer can do, a steam oven can do too.
All of this doesn’t mean that a steam oven is necessarily the right choice for you, and there are lots of reasons why you might decide to stick with the more traditional steamer. The first and perhaps most significant reason is that a steamer is of course much cheaper than a modern steam oven. For £20 to £50 you can get a perfectly good steaming machine which will simply supplement your oven and allow you to cook great rice and fresh healthy vegetables to have alongside your normal meals. Another reason to choose a steamer is that they can easily be put away in a cupboard. You may want to experiment with healthy eating or oriental cooking without installing a whole new kitchen unit and making a big commitment. Another thing to think about is that with rice cooking the steam oven is not going to help you, whereas a steam cooker or steamer produces incredible rice at the touch of a button. For those who have trouble making the perfect rice, a very common problem, the steamer is likely to be the machine for you. Whether you think a steam oven or a steam cooker is the device you need, the steamer is so cheap that it might be worth making the investment and getting one of these first so that you can experiment with steaming and steam cooking before you make the big purchase of a steam oven.