REVIEW – Cooking with steam is a very old method. It’s probably not the first, but I’m sure it was soon after we learned that tossing stuff over an open fire made things tastier. Our current technology has brought this ancient method into the modern kitchen in forms old and new: steamer baskets for your wok, double boilers with baskets for rice (my grandmother’s preferred method for perfect rice!), electric rice cookers, and today’s gadget under consideration, the Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer. Tasty treats are in my future!
What is it?
The Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer is an electric multi-tier steaming system that allows for slow-cooking, steaming, and other healthy food preparation methods.
What’s in the box?
The system I am reviewing is actually two items that work together. The main unit is a single-level steamer that consists of:
- Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer base unit (water container and heater)
- Riser core for steam
- Collection tray
- Steamer rack
- Porcelain food plate
- Riser to hold cover above food
- Power cord
The second shipment contains the following:
- Second steamer riser
- second steamer tray
- two glass stew pots with glass lids
- rack to hold stew pots
From the product website
- 5 SMART PROGRAMS FOR ONE TOUCH COOKING – This cooking machine has multiple functions, integrating steamer, stew pot, yogurt machine, sterilizer, thawing machine and baby food supplement into one. It is very convenient for you to live a healthy life.
- TIMING FUNCTION & EASY OPERATION – This digital steamer produces steam quickly within 1 min., without leaking air or spraying water. It can keep the nutrition and freshness of food while ensuring the cooking speed. The booking starting function is very convenient, pre-programed and you can eat at your desired time.
- AUTO POWER-OFF PROTECTION – It has dual protection functions. When the water level is low, the cooker will automatically suspend running and prompt you to add water. When there is no water, the power shut down automatically and the pot will not burn.
- LIGHTWEIGHT & SPACE SAVING – The cooking machine weighs only 9.47lb, and its compact design does not take up much space in the kitchen. Featured with large capacity, it can steam the whole fish without cutting off the head and tail.
- DURABLE AND SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – It is made of food-grade materials with FDA certifications, ensuring long lifespan. We offer a 30-day money-back and 1-year warranty. If you have any problems about our product, please feel free to contact us.
Design and features
The Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer has a really clever design. The cover over the heating element, which I am calling the steam riser core, limits the amount of water being heated at any one time. The steam from this is funneled up to a baffle that makes it into the food chamber. As the steam condenses and runs down, it is collected by the rest of the baffle piece, so that if any of that food gets out of the container (or if you’re steaming something directly on the steamer rack), it doesn’t get back into your water for making steam. This baffle can hold a lot of condensation/food-contaminated runoff.
There are recipes included in the book that came with the main unit and more with the instructions for the add-on. It is very Asian, so things like towel gourds and fish heads are not something I’ve eaten, cooked, or even seen in a store. I’m trying to eat healthier, and this steamer is something that can help, so we’ll see how that progresses, but it’ll take a little research. I don’t think I’m ever going to find towel gourds at Wegman’s.
Setting up the Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer is pretty simple. All the pieces besides the heating unit are dishwasher safe, so they got a quick dishwasher run to remove any detritus from manufacturing and shipping. Putting the unit together is very intuitive, and the manual has good pictures. Place the steam riser core over the heating plate, slide the little side flaps into place, put on the baffle plate and a steamer tray, and build up from there according to your desired foodstuffs.
First off, I put a couple of ears of sweet corn on the bare tray and steamed them for 30 minutes. Perfect.
Next, I used the porcelain plate and put some raw rice, marinated sliced pork loin, onion, celery, and spices on top. I put in a little liquid more than the marinade￼ for the rice to soak up. This needed 90 minutes, and I checked on it several times. When the water in the tank would run dry, the unit would beep and hold the time in place. I added cold water via the little side flaps, and it would start back as soon as the level was safe and the water was up to temp. This meal turned out quite nicely – much better than many of my other improv dinners in the past, and probably healthier than the sautéing I would usually have done to the pork chop. I’ve repeated it a few times – it’s a great 2-serving meal so I have lunch for the next day.
The Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer performed flawlessly. The manual helped somewhat with how to program for certain foodstuffs, but the internet has a lot more in this regard. There are a lot of pieces to this steamer, but they fit together into one piece, except for a single tray and the power cord, but it’s not “compact” by any means. I like that it’s light and easy to set up, and, for the most part, easy to clean up. Corn on the cob in my stock pot takes 15 minutes, and in this steamer, it takes 30, but then I have this huge pot of hot starchy water to pour out, instead of maybe a half-cup in the steamer. I like steamed meats more than I thought I would, but I really need to research more into how to do stews for my very American tastes. The difference in steamed veggies made in this unit versus my old silicon or metal steamer insert is noticeable. The food tastes richer, due to a lack of lost nutrients.
What I like
- Easy to Clean
- There is no lost nutrient value like boiling or sautéing or even steaming directly
- All pieces fit into a single unit for storage
What I’d change
- It’s big (bulky), but the portions it makes are small. I’m not sure we can out-engineer the physics needed to get steam around vessels, however.
- The recipes are well done but could use some North American localization
While the Buydeem Electric double-layer steamer performs as advertised, this is not going to turn you into a Pan Asian chef overnight. If you have a bamboo steamer or eat a lot of rice, this will be a huge upgrade. It’s a serious upgrade from a steamer insert, double boiler, or rice cooker. It’s not going to make dinner for four easily, but what it does cook, it does without a lot of attention or worry. With simmering and sautéing, you have to “mind the stove.” With this, you really can’t “burn” the food. The auto-hold for when the water level gets low means you can’t even boil the pot dry.
I like steamed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and asparagus, so I’m going to have to branch out in my diet to include these again. I’ve been cooking for myself for a good while and need a change. I’ll be back later to let you know how it’s going. Meanwhile, this steamer will make things a bit healthier.