The 5 Best Steamer Baskets of 2024

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A steamer basket full of broccoli.
Credit: Culinary Hill


 

If you find yourself still microwaving frozen vegetables for every meal, then it’s about time you invest in one of the best steamer baskets. Steaming is a quick and easy way to prepare vegetables as a healthy side, and it only requires minimal cleanup! It’s a great way to get in some extra servings of broccoli, green beans, and more, and you can even use them to prepare things like dumplings and fish.

Whether you’re cooking in a pot or pressure cooker, I teamed up with Meggan to find what she recommends looking for in a steamer basket, including her personal recommendation from OXO. So skip the microwave and start steaming your veggies with one of our top picks for the best steamer baskets!

Our Top Picks

  1. What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: OXO Stainless Steel Steamer – $22.95 at Amazon
  2. Best Budget: Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket – $8.48 at Walmart
  3. Best Metal: KitchenAid Universal Steamer Basket – $19.26 at Amazon
  4. Best Bamboo Steamer: Hcooker 2-Tier Kitchen Bamboo Steamer – $32.99 at Amazon
  5. Best Silicone: OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer – $17.46 at Amazon

Reviews of The Best Steamer Baskets

1. What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: OXO Stainless Steel Steamer

A steamer basket with broccoli in it.
Credit: Culinary Hill

This high quality stainless steel steamer basket from OXO is simple, but it gets the job done, which is why it’s been Meggan’s go-to for years! “I love it because it’s easy to use (you just drop it into a pot of simmering water and let it expand), and it works perfectly,” Meggan says. The steamer fits pots 8 inches in diameter or larger, and it has foldable feet, so you can configure it to fit the pot or your storage space. The steamer basket’s most unique feature is its nifty, extendable, removable handle that will keep your hands out of harm’s way when removing the steamer basket from your pot. 

Meggan has had this steamer basket for three years now and is frankly obsessed with it. “It’s a simple product but does its job well and makes my life easier,” she says

The Specs:

  • Type: Basket
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 7″ L x 7″ W x 6.5″ H
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

The Pros:

  • Ease of use
  • Doesn’t rust
  • Extendable long handle keeps your hands safe
  • Foldable legs make it better for compact storage

The Cons:

  • Stainless steel feet might scratch cookware
  • Only fits pots 8 inches or larger

What Others are Saying:

America’s Test Kitchen named it the best overall steamer basket and Epicurious picked it as the best collapsible steamer basket. The steamer has almost 6,500 reviews on Amazon with a 4.6-star rating.

Buy the OXO Stainless Steel Steamer: 

2. Best Budget: Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket

Credit: Walmart

The Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket is an affordable steaming option whether you own a pressure cooker or not. Made with silicone, this steamer basket is flexible with pleats along the sides that allow it to fit into 6- and 8-quart pressure cookers or pots. Plus, it has interlocking handles, is dishwasher-safe, and it can double as a colander. Unlike the expandable stainless steel options above, this steamer basket comes in one piece, and the silicone material will be gentle on your cookware.

The Specs:

  • Type: Basket
  • Material: Silicone
  • Dimensions: 11.4” L x 7.48” W x 6.41” H
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

The Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Perfect for Instant Pot owners
  • Flexible 

The Cons:

  • Absorbs smells
  • Food can fall out when removed from pot
  • Small holes are hard to clean

What Others are Saying:

Instant Pot’s Silicone Steamer Basket is recommended as the best overall by Storables and the best silicone option by Epicurious. The steamer basket also has more than 14,000 reviews on Amazon for an average 4.7-star rating.

Buy the Instant Pot Silicone Steamer Basket: 

3. Best Metal: KitchenAid Universal Steamer Basket

Credit: Amazon

Many people opt for a stainless steel steamer basket for its durability because as long as it’s cared for correctly, it will last a long time, and it won’t rust. This steamer basket from KitchenAid boasts a similar design to our top pick from OXO, including the extendable handle and expandable petals ranging from 6.4 to 10 inches wide. The feet are also padded, so you don’t have to worry about scratching your cookware. 

It can also be folded inward for easy storage. Hand washing is recommended for longevity, but the steamer basket is also dishwasher safe if you want convenience.

The Specs:

  • Type: Basket
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Dimensions: 6.4” L x 6.4” W x 2.8” H
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

The Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Padded feet prevent scratches
  • Extendable handle
  • Expandable sides

The Cons:

  • Difficult to open
  • Hard to clean
  • Handle sometimes doesn’t lock in place

What Others are Saying:

The KitchenAid Universal Steamer Basket was named the best overall steamer basket by Serious Eats, Food & Wine, People, and Vice

Buy the KitchenAid Universal Steamer Basket:

4. Best Bamboo Steamer: Hcooker 2-Tier Kitchen Bamboo Steamer

Credit: Amazon

Bamboo is a great alternative to stainless steel and silicone, and bamboo steamers are often stackable, allowing you to cook different things in each basket. This two-tier bamboo steamer from Hcooker has a durable twist: The edges are reinforced with stainless steel. Not only does this addition make the steamers more sturdy, but it also ensures that all the steam will be trapped inside while cooking. 

The Hcooker bamboo steamer is a great pick if you also want to steam vegetables, dim sum, dumplings, meat, and fish at once, and you can place it directly on your table for serving. We recommend the 8-inch size, but it also comes in 9- and 10-inch sizes if you need a larger one.

The Specs:

  • Type: Stackable
  • Material: Bamboo and stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 8.27” L x 8.27” W x 5.87” H
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

The Pros:

  • Two tiers give you more cooking space
  • Sturdy edges reinforced by stainless steel
  • Doubles as serving dish

The Cons:

  • Needs careful cleaning and maintenance
  • Requires liner
  • Shallow baskets
  • Doesn’t expand to fit pots

What Others are Saying:

Serious Eats and Business Insider named the Hcooker 2-Tier Kitchen Bamboo Steamer as the best bamboo steamer. Saveur and America’s Test Kitchen also included the 3-tier version of the steamer on their lists of the best bamboo steamers.

Buy the Hcooker 2-Tier Kitchen Bamboo Steamer:

5. Best Silicone: OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer

Credit: Amazon

This is another great pick from OXO, but it sports a very different look. This silicone steamer basket is very flexible — you can even roll it up for easy storage or place it in a pressure cooker for steaming. You can hand wash it or throw it in the dishwasher, and its long, interlocking handles make it easy to pull it out of boiling water. Plus, it boasts the same longevity as its stainless steel counterpart.

The Specs:

  • Type: Basket
  • Material: Silicone
  • Dimensions: 7.25” L x 3.75” W x 10.5” H
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

The Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean
  • Flexible and compact
  • Handles are easy to use 

The Cons:

  • Handles get in the way of some lids
  • Handles get hot
  • Silicone can hold onto smells

What Others are Saying:

Food & Wine, The Spruce Eats, Serious Eats, and People all recommend it as the best silicone steamer basket. The OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer also has more than 3,300 Amazon reviews for an overall 4.5-star rating.

Buy the OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer: 

Other Steamer Baskets to Consider

Our Place Spruce Steamer

Although Our Place’s popular Always Pan comes with its own double-duty steamer basket and colander, the add-on Spruce Steamer gives you the option of a bamboo steamer basket. However, this steamer didn’t make the list because it only comes with one tier, isn’t reinforced with stainless steel, and — most importantly — is only compatible with select Our Place pans and pots. The Our Place Spruce Steamer is available at Our Place for $20.

Concord Stainless Steel 3-Tier Steamer Pot

This all-in-one pot and steamer is Cuisine at Home’s top pick for best steamer pot, and it was tested by Consumer Reports. The three tiers of the steamer pot can be broken down into three different configurations, but unless you need a new pot, one of the steamer baskets above will be more functional, affordable, and easy to store — one of Meggan’s biggest concerns when buying a new gadget. The Concord Stainless Steel 3-Tier Steamer Pot is available at Amazon for $75.98.

Mobzio Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer Basket

The Mobzio Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer Basket has a similar retractable design to the stainless steel KitchenAid and OXO picks above, but this steamer is about a third of the price. However, the steamer doesn’t come as highly recommended as the others on this list, and we would rather go with Meggan’s top pick. The Mobzio Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer Basket is available at Amazon for $7.99.

Alimat Plus Large Steamer Basket

If you’re low on space and have a tight budget, then this $8 minimalist silicone steamer basket could be a good option. But the product’s flat design could prove difficult to keep food in place, and the short handles may make it tricky to remove from a hot pot. For just a few more dollars, our budget pick from Instant Pot will be easier and safer to use while still being relatively compact to allow for easy storage. The Alimat Plus Large Steamer Basket is available at Amazon for $7.99.

Why You Can Trust Us

I’m Grace, a lifestyle writer specializing in kitchen appliances and home products. Over the years, I’ve tested everything from cast-iron skillets to coffee makers to toasters. For this roundup, I teamed up with Meggan, the chef and creator behind Culinary Hill, to find the best steamer baskets for every household.

Raw cauliflower being chopped on a wooden cutting board.
Credit: Culinary Hill

To come up with a list of the best steamer baskets, I first learned about the steamer basket Meggan uses and what she likes about it. For the options Meggan hasn’t personally used, I researched on the internet for recommendations from major publications, prominent bloggers, and popular retailers. We wanted a list of picks that would not only be durable, easy to use, and compact to store but would also vary in design and material for different consumer needs.

Everything to Know Before Buying a Steamer Basket

Steamed asparagus in a steamer basket.
Credit: Culinary Hill

What to Consider Before Buying a Steamer Basket

If you don’t know where to start on your search for a steamer basket, here are a few factors to consider before making a purchase.

Materials: As you can see from our picks above, the main categories of steamer baskets to look for are: stainless steel, silicone, and bamboo. The best one for you will depend on what and how you’ll be cooking.

Size: While some steamers are flexible or expandable, others are not. Make sure you check the dimensions of your pot or pressure cooker before purchasing a new steamer basket.

Ease of Cleaning: Most stainless steel and silicone steamer baskets will be dishwasher safe, but it’s always good to double-check. A kitchen tool is only going to be useful if you use it, and you can ensure that by opting for a steamer basket that is easy to use and maintain.

Storage: Before you invest in a new cooking gadget, make sure you have room for it. Are you working with limited storage space? Then maybe look for a steamer basket that’s foldable or collapsible. 

How Do You Use a Steamer Basket?

First, fill your pot with water to the point where you’ll still have space between the water and the bottom of your steamer basket (usually about an inch or two). Add your steamer basket and bring to a simmer. Then add your food and put on the lid. “Steam as long as it takes depending on your food (could be just a few minutes or longer),” Meggan says.

If you’re using a steamer basket in a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, simply add the water, steamer basket, and food, then program your appliance accordingly.

How Do You Steam Without a Steamer Basket?

If you want to try steaming out before investing in a steamer basket, you can substitute it with something similar, like a metal sieve or wire rack. Just make sure whatever you’re using is heat-safe. However, it may be difficult to fit those items in your pot and create the same seal with the pot lid to allow the steam to cook your food properly.

What Can You Put in a Steamer Basket?

Vegetables are probably among the easiest and most beneficial foods you can steam. Not only will steaming your veggies help them retain nutrients that can get lost during boiling, but most only take a few minutes to cook. “It works perfectly for broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, potatoes, peppers, onions, and more,” Meggan says. “You can also steam chicken or other proteins in a steamer basket.”

How Do You Use a Bamboo Steamer Basket?

Similar to how you would use a metal or silicone steamer, bring a couple of inches of water to a boil, let it simmer, and add your bamboo steamer with the lid on. For easier cleanup, you need to line your steamer basket with either a disposable liner or a reusable mesh liner.

The Best Healthy Recipes

A bowl of steamed broccoli next to a steamer basket.
Credit: Culinary Hill

If you haven’t used a steamer basket before, here are a few recipes to get you started. And note that recipes that call for blanched vegetables could also be substituted for steamed veggies. If you need some help preparing your vegetables for steaming, Culinary Hill has guides for cutting broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, and corn.

Prices were accurate at time of publication.

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Grace Cooper is a freelance commerce and lifestyle writer, specializing in home, food, and beauty products. Her work has appeared in Apartment Therapy, Gear Patrol, The Penny Hoarder, Pittsburgh Magazine, and more.
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