Buying Guide: Steamers

Buying Guide: Steamers

What’s the healthiest way to cook vegetables? Steam them, of course! Vegetables retain more nutrients, natural colors and flavors when you steam them with water instead of smothering with oils. The fastest way to this delicious dish? A commercial steamer! Steamers are quickly becoming a work horse in the kitchen for fast vegetable cooking and reheating. They have faster cook times which lead to increased productivity.

Chef's Tips

Chef's Tips

 

  1. Always preheat your steamer
  2. Break up frozen vegetables and season after steaming, not before
  3. Always steam vegetables in perforated pans
  4. When steaming meat in a perforated pan, use a solid catch pan underneath
  5. Use a drain that is no more than 6 feet away from the steamer

Convection - Gotta Have It

Like convection ovens, convection steamers have a fan mounted in the oven that forces the heated air to move around the cabinet, maintaining an even temperature throughout the oven. They can cook up to 25% faster and with a 30% reduction in temperature! So while they may cost more up front, consider the savings in time and energy with a convection steamer.

Do You Want a Boiler?

Another pretty big decision you'll make in the buying process is whether you go with a "pressureless" model or one that is "boilerless" or "connectionless." The pressureless models are a bit more affordable, but they must be drained daily and de-limed regularly to operate optimally. They also require a condensate drain and a condensate-cooling water connection, and will use more water. The other option is the connectionless or boilerless model. They are more expensive, but will use up to 10% less water, and don't require de-liming. 

 

What to Look For

What to Look For

Groen’s polished mirror stainless steel interior and their reputation for quality make them a top consideration.

Steamers are an investment! Always size your needs carefully and account for some future growth.

As with any gas appliance, be sure and include a new AGA commercial gas flex hose. They are designed fo extremely heavy duty use and usually come equipped with a brass quick disconnect. Standard, plumber supplied residential flex hoses are not designed for commercial applications and are not NSF approved.