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Steaming is one of the best ways to cook veggies without destroying their nutritional value. Since steaming doesn’t require as much water as boiling, you’re able to preserve more of the water-soluble vitamins found in the vegetables, such as vitamin C.

In fact, a 2009 study determined that steaming was the only cooking method that preserved the chlorophyll, vitamin C, and soluble proteins and sugars found in broccoli.

Keep reading to learn more about steaming veggies and our recommendations for the best food steamers in Canada in 2023.

The Best Veggie Steamers of 2023

We’ve analyzed dozens of food steamers in Canada to find you the best options. Here they are: 

Cuisinart STM-1000 Glass Electric Food Steamer

Why we like it:

  • 5 preset programs to choose from 
  • Easy to use with digital display
  • Sleek stainless steel & glass design 
  • More evenly steamed foods 

The Cuisinart STM-1000 is one of the best electric food steamers. Made from stainless steel and glass, the steamer features a sleek and modern design. It has 5 preset food programs, including one for grains, vegetables, and a manual program. While it only has one steaming section, its large 5 litre capacity can accommodate around 4 people. 

The best part about the Cuisinart steamer is the simplicity of its design. With just one steaming section and a few simple settings, there’s no getting overwhelmed with settings. It has a stainless steel steaming tray and a glass lid with a handle. Since its cover is see-through, you can keep an eye on the steaming process and prevent over-steaming. With minimal components, it’s also quite easy to clean. 

The steamer’s unique horizontal design not only looks good, but it helps steam food more evenly. Instead of producing steam from the bottom, the Cuisinart produces steam from the top. The steam circulates throughout the steamer, allowing for a more evenly distributed steam. 

Hamilton Beach Electric Food Steamer

Why we like it:

  • Has two steaming trays for steaming different foods 
  • Also lets you cook rice
  • Very easy to use with digital display 

With a 6-quart capacity, Hamilton Beach’s electric food steamer is an easy and efficient way to steam vegetables and cook grains at the same time. Simply add your food to the steamer trays and set the timer using its easy digital touch display. When the steaming process is complete, the machine will keep your food warm for up to an hour. 

What’s also great about the Hamilton Beach food steamer is that it has two steaming compartments and an insertable rice bowl. For that reason, it’s convenient for steaming different types of food at the same time. If needed, its divider section can be removed, allowing you to steam larger food items. 

It has a built-in timer with an automatic shut-off feature, so you don’t have to monitor the steaming process closely. If you feel like monitoring the process, it’s easy to do so since the steaming trays are made from clear plastic.

Oster Stainless Steel Stop-Top Steamer

Why we like it:

  • Sleek stainless steel design 
  • Doubles as a multi-purpose Dutch oven
  • No need for wires or electrical outlets

If you’re looking for a sleek and budget-friendly steamer, the Oster stainless steel stove top steamer is for you. Instead of being an electric food steamer, the Oster is simply a stainless steel pot that comes with a stackable steamer basket and glass lid. When not being used as a steamer, the Oster doubles as a Dutch oven, which is quite convenient. 

While it’s not an electric steamer, the Oster steams just as well, provided that you have a reliable stove. What’s also great about the Oster steamer is that you can cook your rice (or any other grain) in the bottom pot and use the top section to steam your veggies at the same time.

The steamer is available with a 3-quart or 6-quart capacity. 

Buydeem G563 Instant Digital Steamer

Why we like it:

  • Multipurpose design 
  • 5 preset programs to choose from 
  • Easy to use with digital display 

With its unique and multifunctional design, the Buydeem Electric Steamer is one of the best food steamers on the market. With 5 smart programs to choose from, it’s also the most technologically advanced steamer. In addition to steaming food, the steamer lets you slow cook, make yogurt, sterilize items, cook rice to perfection, and more. It has two steaming sections and generates steam in about 1 minute. 

What’s also great about the Buydeem steamer is its large capacity. Its large 5-quart steaming capacity can efficiently accommodate around 4 people. With its large steaming area, the steamer can also accommodate large items, like corn on the cob. The downside is that it’s quite bulky. 

While it may appear daunting, the steamer is quite easy to set up and use. It has 3 straightforward touch buttons, a timer, and a digital display to let you know what settings are in action. You’ll conveniently find suggested steam times or slow cook times printed directly on the side of the steamer (as well as in the manual). 

We also appreciate the Buydeem steamer’s safety features, such as an automatic shut-off function when the steamer runs out of water. 

Rosewill 3-Tier Stackable Food Steamer

Why we like it:

  • Three steaming sections
  • Doubles as a rice cooker  
  • Large capacity of 9.5 quarts 
  • Compact stackable design 

With three individual sections, the Rosewill stackable food steamer is perfect for steaming a large quantity of a variety of veggies at the same time. It’s electric, easy to use, and generates steam in just 40 seconds. To make sure your food is perfectly steamed, it has a built-in 60-minute timer. 

The steamer’s water reservoir is easy to fill and has a clear window to let you know when it’s time to refill it. With inlets on each side, you can even refill the reservoir throughout the steaming process if needed.

The steamer baskets are made from BPA-free plastic that’s dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. They’re also easy to store since they have a compact, nested design. In fact, with its vertical stackable design, the steamer really won’t take up much space in your kitchen. 

In addition to steaming vegetables, the Rosewill doubles as a rice cooker. It comes with a 1-quart rice bowl that can be inserted into one of the steam trays. 

How to Steam Vegetables?

Steaming is the best way to cook vegetables while retaining their nutrients. Of course, if you don’t over-steam them. 

When it comes to steaming vegetables, there is no one size fits all approach. The method really depends on the vegetable you’re steaming. 

There are a few rules that should be followed, however. In order to ensure that your vegetables are evenly steamed, it’s important to make sure they are uniformly sized. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up with a mix of overcooked or undercooked vegetables. 

If you want to steam a combination of vegetables in the same pot, it’s important to add the more dense vegetables first, since they will require more time to steam.  

It’s also important to set a timer when steaming. When it comes to steaming, time will make or break your vegetables. Just one extra minute can take your spinach from a vibrant green to brown mush. Our favourite kitchen timer is the VOCOO Digital Kitchen Timer. Keep reading to learn how long it takes to steam different vegetables. 

How Long Should You Steam Vegetables?

How long you should steam vegetables really depends on the density of the vegetable you’re steaming and how small they are cut. Root vegetables like potatoes or carrots are dense and will therefore take longer to steam than vegetables like spinach or broccoli. Similarly, a whole potato will take longer to steam than small cubes. For that reason, make sure that your vegetables are uniformly cut before steaming. 

Here is how long it takes to steam vegetables, based on their category:

  • Leafy greens like kale and collards: 10 minutes
  • Root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and squash: 8 to 20 minutes
  • Non-fibrous greens like spinach and arugula: 3 minutes
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts: 5 to 7 minutes
  • Asparagus & green beans: 5 to 10 minutes 

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