Best Steamer | Bamboo, Ceramic, Electric, Silicone, Stainless Steel

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Price: $144.95
Or buy: Amazon, Wayfair

This steamer set comes with a ceramic pot and lid, as well as a cedar steamer basket and a terracotta steamer base. Our reviewers unanimously agree that this steamer would be a nice addition to the kitchen. But for the price, it’s better.

In our ratings, it took about twice as long to boil water as a pot of regular water, but the dumplings we steamed came out evenly cooked. The cedar basket even gave off a light, pleasant cedar scent. And the pot retains heat, which can be a plus, especially in cooler weather.

“The pot was made of a smooth, hug-worthy ceramic,” says Perry Santanachote, a CR writer who has reviewed each of the steamers we mention here. “It was a cold, wet day, and I literally hugged the pot for warmth while eating dumplings.”

But like many expensive things, it’s pretty high maintenance. Jia, the manufacturer, says that before using this steamer for the first time, you should make congee (rice porridge) by filling the pot with water until it is filled to about 80%, adding a cup of rice and letting it simmer. By making this porridge, you’ll fill the pores of the jar with starch, which can improve its durability, the maker told Consumer Reports.

Even then, you may want to avoid using metal utensils in this pot. In our reviews, scooping out the congee with a metal spoon left marks on the bottom. Additionally, its white exterior may darken due to heat. If this happens, Jia says the marks can be removed by applying water and baking soda in a 10:1 ratio and letting it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

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