11 Best Bamboo Steamer Picks for 2022

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Arisa O. Published: June 14, 2022
11 Best Bamboo Steamer Picks for 2022

Cooking food with steam is a fast and healthy way to prepare food. It requires little to no oils or fat, less cooking time, and allows for the natural flavor of ingredients to shine. A bamboo steamer is a classic piece of cookware for this technique with a design and functionality that has proven to be effective throughout the years. Essentially, this equipment encloses hot vapors inside the cookware. This steam then surrounds the food, brings it up to temperature, and cooks it gently in a short amount of time.

Learning how to use a bamboo steamer is simple enough on its own, but choosing the right one to use is important to ensure ease in your kitchen. Continue reading to discover the best bamboo steamers to add to your array of essential cookware. We compiled a wide range of steamers that vary in size and construction to fit all your kitchen needs!

Best Bamboo Steamers at First Glance

11 Best Bamboo Steamers For Homecooks

Determining which steamer to buy can be confusing since most of them look quite similar to each other. But there are little nuances that you should keep an eye out for when choosing one for your kitchen.

Taking note of durability, safety, and reliability, we’ve narrowed the worthy options for you in this article.  Here are our top picks for the best bamboo steamers on the market:

1. Best Overall: Prime Home Direct 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer

What We Love

  • Great for beginners
  • Well-built sturdy material
  • Construction ensures effective steaming
  • Bonus items like chopsticks and steam liners are included

What We Don't Love

  • Depth is actually only 1.5 inches without the lid

This 10-inch bamboo steamer is considered one of the best steamer cookware on the market currently. It’s made from pure organic bamboo with water-resistant walls that protects food from accumulated water through condensation. This product also ensures effective steaming as its well-constructed interior carries heat equally throughout the basket which evenly cooks the food within. Not to mention the 3-inch depth that gives you ample cooking space to accommodate buns or veggies. 

We certainly recommend this size as it is the best fit for most pots, pans, or woks at home, and at the same time takes less storage space than most. The wide and uniform slats allow for maximum steam and also make cleaning fairly easy. However, we also suggest the wider, 12-inch variety for those that plan to create bigger feasts.    

This set offers great value as it comes with additional items for your steaming needs. With 50 parchment liners, two sets of chopsticks, and a sauce dish, you’re all set for multiple uses on plenty of occasions. It certainly makes for an ideal gift for those who want to explore the world of steamed goodies!

2. Best Kit: Annie’s Kitchen Premium 10-Inch Handmade Bamboo Steamer

What We Love

  • Reusable and earth-conscious accessories
  • BPA-free, no glue or other chemicals

What We Don't Love

  • Not very durable

This bamboo steamer kit comes not only with a 2-tier bamboo steamer, but with two pairs of bamboo chopsticks and four reusable and unbleached cotton liners. It also includes a dumpling press in case you want to make your own dim sum, and a spoon for the dumpling fillings. Getting these practical inclusions with your steamer will let you enjoy your steaming experience without worrying about the extra stuff.

Did we mention that the bamboo steamer is also handwoven? Made from ethically-sourced organic bamboo, this cookware also doesn’t use any glue or other chemicals to keep it together. It is a biodegradable set that is free from BPA and other chemicals which guarantees food safety and environment-friendly disposal.

If you’re looking to buy bamboo steamer sets, this eco-friendly kit from Annie’s Kitchen gives you value for your money. Aside from being affordable, it comes with all the essentials you need for steaming (and more!).

3. Best 6-inch (Mini): Joyce Chen Bamboo Steamer

What We Love

  • Ideal for individuals living alone
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Easy to clean
  • Better made than its bigger counterpart

What We Don't Love

  • Poor bottom design with smaller slats
  • Less room for steam to expand

When it comes to the dim sum cart-sized bamboo steamers, this 6-inch one may be the match for you. It is a good choice for those who live alone or those who simply want to cook smaller batches of food. It has flat and smooth bamboo slats which keep things even during cooking. This is great as you don’t want your food going elsewhere else but your tummy.

This particular bamboo steamer from Joyce Chen is commended for its durability and though it has a bigger counterpart, the smaller one is better preferred. This is because they differ in construction. Essentially, the 6-inch variety is twice-woven, making the binding tighter and more solid. Meanwhile, the larger kind is kept together using glue, making it less appealing.  

4. Best 8-inch (Small): REISHUNGER Bamboo Steamer Handmade Basket 2-Tier

What We Love

  • Perfect for two
  • Traditional, handmade design
  • Comes with reusable cotton liners

What We Don't Love

  • Not very durable

Bamboo steamer sizes are important to take note of when choosing the right one for your home. The subtle difference in diameters make a difference when packing food and estimating storage space. Turns out one size doesn’t always fit all. A tiny 6-inch bamboo steamer may be perfect for individuals but may be too small for those with bigger appetites or for couples. Meanwhile, the typical 10-inch is better preferred as a family set. This bamboo steamer from Reishunger comes in an 8-inch diameter which is an ideal middle ground for your steaming needs! 

This product is also made with bamboo twine which avoids the corrosive quality of copper or metal bands. It comes with two washable cotton liners for frequent use. With reusable liners, you can save some money to buy ingredients for more bamboo steamer recipes!

5. Best 12-inch (Large): Helen's Asian Kitchen 12-inch 2-Tier Bamboo Steamer

What We Love

  • Great value for its size
  • Eco-friendly and lightweight
  • Heat and stain-resistant
  • Can cook plenty of food 

What We Don't Love

  • Not that durable
  • Poor lid weaving

Right off the bat, this Helen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo Steamer changes the game for all you steamed food lovers out there. Its 12-inch diameter and tiers provide ample space for a large sum of dim sum or any steamed food you can think of.  It’s the perfect pick for those with big families or hosts that love a grand feast!

Additionally, it’s made with 100 percent natural bamboo that is BPA-free and also eco-friendly. It’s heat and stain-resistant, making cleanup absolutely easy for you. You can use this for cooking a huge batch of food or even for reheating purposes as it holds in steam pretty well. 

6. Best Steamer with Metal Ring: HAPPi STUDIO Bamboo Steamer with Stainless Steel Ring

What We Love

  • Sturdy material
  • Comes with a stainless steel steamer ring
  • Extra-depth of 2.3 inches

What We Don't Love

  • Blue protective film on the ring can be difficult to remove

This handy bamboo steamer set comes with a stainless steamer ring that helps fit your basket onto almost any pot, pan, or wok that ranges from 8 to 10 inches wide. Moreover, this metal ring also protects the outer surface of the bamboo basket from scorching. It also comes with two cotton cloth liners that are reusable and washable. 

You’ll not only like it for its steamer ring, but for its sturdy construction as well. Made with natural and durable bamboo, this can withstand frequent usage and soaking. Not to mention, the enhanced 2.3-inch depth of the steamer baskets makes for reliable cookware capable of cooking any dish.

The added depth is especially excellent for steaming buns as it provides ample room for the dough to expand. If you love a fluffy char siu bao, this is the best pick for you!

7. Best Dumpling Steamer: Mister Kitchenware's 10 Inch 2-Tier Handmade Bamboo Steamer

What We Love

  • Wide slats fastened with bamboo thread
  • Reinforced lid construction
  • Parts fit together nicely

What We Don't Love

  • Food can get stuck easily
  • Can be tough to clean

What makes this bamboo steamer basket an effective piece of cookware is its handcrafted quality. Due to sturdy materials and traditional techniques used, this product ensures durability. Hand-tied slats are wide enough for maximum steam and secured with bamboo thread. Its lid construction is tightly weaved with cross-dome reinforcement seals that trap heat well which cooks food evenly. 

As it is purely made from all-bamboo materials, it is essentially safe to use even in the microwave if you wish! It also has a depth of 2.5 inches which allows for expansion and better circulation of steam. Add to that the extra accessories included in the set such as two sets of chopsticks, a sauce dish, and 10 round mesh liners. 

8. Best Rice Steamer: i-PLAYLOFT Premium Handmade Bamboo Steamer with Extra Depth

What We Love

  • Extra Depth
  • Durable and made to last

What We Don't Love

  • Wax liners aren’t good quality

This premium-made bamboo steamer offers a great deal of depth perfect for steaming all types of food including rice. Constructed with a solid material that withstands stress, this product is made to last for a long time. It’s a reliable choice for those who want to expand their cooking repertoire with the use of dependable tools!

Above all, you’ll find the depth important in speeding up cook times as it better circulates heat throughout the steamer. It is the ideal cookware for dishes like a steamed wild striped bass as it will cook evenly and in a jiffy.   

This comes in a set alongside two sets of chopsticks, a leaf-shaped sauce dish, and 20 wax paper liners. It certainly is a multi-purpose bamboo basket that allows for experimentation in the kitchen. 

9. Best Wood Steamer: Hcooker 2-Tier Wood Steamer with Double Stainless Steel Banding

What We Love

  • Steel reinforcements protect fragile points
  • Doesn’t warp or split over time 
  • Tight-fitting lids

What We Don't Love

  • Might be too small
  • More susceptible to mold
  • Added weight from steel bands

The combination of traditional and modern craftsmanship results in this solid product from Hcooker that is truly sturdy. From afar, the spruce wood finish gives the design a smoother and refined finish. Add to that the double-deck bamboo protected by a stainless steel banding that resists abrasion. The band keeps the steamer in place while keeping them from burns or splitting. 

Others may prefer steamer baskets made from pure bamboo since ones with metal can potentially impart a metallic taste to food. However, you’ll find that some restaurants use this type of wooden bamboo steamer to cook and serve so it might not be a big issue at all. In fact, this makes it last for longer and keeps the shape of your steamer in place. Moreover, this is also a set that comes with carbonized bamboo chopsticks and two washable cotton liners.

10. Best Style: Noble Nest Deluxe Bamboo Steamer Basket

What We Love

  • Stainless steel rim protection 
  • Elegant design

What We Don't Love

  • Free liners have no holes for ventilation (need to be poked)
  • Banding can be too hot for transportation
  • Manufacturing error in certain products' lids (some do not fit)

At first glance, you’ll already notice the sleek design and craftsmanship of this deluxe steamer. Made with a combination of bamboo and Japanese cedarwood, this elegant cookware is also a long-lasting kind. The addition of steel bandings adds to its longevity as well. Cedarwood imparts a subtle fragrance to the food compared to just the usual bamboo smell, making your food taste more flavorful. 

With a standard size of 10-inches and two tiers or levels, this dumpling steamer basket also comes with a pair of reusable chopsticks, silicone liners, ceramic sauce dishes, and wooden tongs. It is possibly a great gift idea for your family and friends!

11. Best Budget-friendly: Yuho Asian Kitchen 6-Inch Bamboo Steamer Basket

What We Love

  • Ease of use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Dries quickly
  • Made of natural materials

What We Don't Love

  • Not fit for heavy foods

Last but not the least, this bamboo steamer set is the most affordable kit in this guide. It’s perfect for first-time bamboo steamer users! The 6-inch variety is the cheapest one, but it also comes in various sizes that you can choose from.

Though it saves your bank, it is made with 100 percent bamboo without any plastic, material, or wire materials. It’s an eco-friendly option that can be composted well. Additionally, it also comes with 10 perforated steamer liners so you don’t have to worry about purchasing extra stuff to cook buns or steamed eggs! 


What to Consider When Buying a Bamboo Steamer

Chinese bamboo steamer set 

By all means, you’d always be on the lookout for quality bamboo steamers that are properly made with sturdy materials. With lots of options to choose from, picking the right one comes down to how it best suits your needs.

At first glance, bamboo steamers may all look alike. But the differences in construction affect the condition of the equipment. Here are some factors to take note of before purchasing the best bamboo steamer:

Material

Choosing a bamboo steamer that is free from BPA or other harmful industrial chemicals is important for food safety. Given how you put food directly in the steamer, it’s best to put this at the top of your quality checklist. Alongside safety is choosing the most durable kind. Bamboo itself isn’t as sturdy compared to other materials when it comes to cookware. So make sure you’re getting one made with high-quality bamboo material.

Size and Capacity

Generally, using bamboo steamers requires other kitchen tools. Checking whether they match well will save you the hassle. 10 inches is typically the size preferred by many, as it is the perfect diameter to fit pots, pans, and woks in most homes. But you can also opt for smaller or bigger ones, too! Depending on the crowd you’re cooking for or the amount of food you want to make, finding the right size to match your kitchen is ideal. 

Additionally, bamboo steamers also come in tiers of two or three. It will be more convenient to get two tiers for fewer servings or smaller families. Take note that the more tiers there are, the more food you can cook simultaneously. You can even cook different bamboo steamer recipes in one batch! If you’re purchasing bamboo steamers to make doughy dishes such as dumplings and tofu bao buns, it’s best to select ones that provide ample space for them to expand.

Design and Construction

Picking steamers that are constructed well plays a huge factor in the quality of your cookware. When we talk about design, we simply don’t refer to just aesthetics alone but also its construction. Bamboo steamers with wider slats guarantee good steam flow that better cooks the food inside. You may want to opt for ones that are joined with bamboo wicks or stainless strips. Steamers made with glue may melt and make it fall apart easily, while ones that use copper are prone to corrosion. 

Steamers with a nice fitting lid are also important to take note of when purchasing one. They should fit tightly to cover any gaps that might let steam escape. Handwoven lids with a tighter weave are also recommended because this traps the steam better.  Moreover, having a secure lid is a key factor in having the maximum amount of steam inside the cookware. Steam entrapment is important to ensure consistent cook times and evenly cooked food. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bamboo steamer good for?

Using a steamer is great for plenty of cooking uses that include meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Also, the most common use for them is for steaming dumplings or soft Chinese pork buns.

Is a bamboo steamer worth it?

Though there are other steamers available, most still use the traditional bamboo steamer for many reasons. First is its ability to absorb moisture which helps avoid soggy food that is caused by condensation. Most electric models may also overcook your food as it retains a lot of heat. Another reason why a bamboo steamer is worth it is that it’s lightweight, environmentally friendly, and cheaper than all the other steamer options. And with proper care and treatment, this cookware can last for many years as well.

How long do you soak bamboo steamers before using them?

Before you soak your bamboo steamer, make sure to check the information sheet of the product before doing so. Alternatively, some bamboo steamers can’t withstand soaking, but good-quality ones can handle it well. Soak your steamer for 20 minutes before you use them to avoid scorching. 

Do bamboo steamers get moldy?

If the cookware isn’t properly taken care of, bamboo steamers can indeed develop mold or mildew. To avoid this, make sure to dry it out completely for at least two days before storing it in your kitchen cabinets. 

Read Next: 10 Best Kitchen Shoes of 2022

Arisa O.

Arisa is a content writer who loves tea and is constantly battling dairy and the urge to buy takeout. With admiration for connections made through food, sharing meals with people bring her comfort. A lover of spice and everything nice, she likes to try cheap recipes and trendy hacks to feed her curiosity.