Easy to use
Two tiers to steam foods simultaneously
Lacks advanced features
No audible alert
The Oster Double-Tiered Food Steamer has two tiers, allowing you to keep certain foods separate from one another while steaming them simultaneously. All you have to do is fill the reservoir with water, place your food in the trays, and set the timer to the recommended cooking time. It seems easy as can be, but we wanted to try this food steamer out for ourselves. We picked one up for our kitchen and got to steaming fish, veggies, and more. After a few weeks of use, we then assessed components like design, performance, and cleanup. Read on to see whether the Oster Double-Tiered Steamer gets our stamp of approval.
Design: Stackable and compact
This versatile 5-quart food steamer is designed to cook a wide variety of foods including fish, poultry, meat, vegetables, and rice. Thanks to two stacking tiers, you can separate and cook two types of food simultaneously. If you’re only preparing one type of food, it can also be used as a single-tiered steamer.
In this day and age, we were surprised that it didn’t have a digital control panel.
In theory, the transparent steaming bowls are ideal for observing the cooking process, but sometimes they get so steamy that it’s impossible to see in. Measuring 8.4 x 8.4 x 8.8 inches, the unit has a small footprint and won’t take up much counter space. Its compact, stackable design makes it easy to store when not in use. Likewise, its small size means a limited cooking capacity—this steamer is ideal for a single person or small household.
Since it is a budget model, don’t expect any bells and whistles. This food steamer only has one control—an adjustable dial that can be set up to 60 minutes. In this day and age, we were surprised that it didn’t have a digital control panel. The timer is marked in five-minute increments, so setting the cooking time isn’t an exact science (though it’s still fairly accurate). For example, we thought our broccoli was a little undercooked and we decided to put it in for another minute. We moved the dial a little past zero where we estimated the one-minute mark to be. A digital touchpad would be more precise because we could enter an exact cooking time and eliminate any guesswork.
We had a healthy and hearty lunch prepared in less than 20 minutes—and very little effort was required on our part.
A power light illuminates when the food steamer is in use. The machine shuts off automatically when the food is finished cooking, which is a great feature. We do wish there was an audible alert to let us know when our food was ready, though. It would save us the trouble of having to stay by the kitchen and keep checking the indicator light.
Performance: Steams food easily and efficiently
The user guide is clearly written and easy to follow. It provides the suggested cooking times for a variety of foods based on their weight. We found this incredibly helpful since it was our first time using a food steamer. We decided to make a filet of cod and half a head of broccoli, which we cut into florets. The instructions recommend cooking broccoli for 13 to 17 minutes, while the suggested time for a 1-pound fish filet is 21 to 28 minutes. Since we had about half a pound of cod, we decided to reduce the cooking time by half.
The machine shuts off automatically when the food is finished cooking, which is a great feature.
First, we filled the reservoir with water using a measuring cup. We then placed the broccoli florets on the bottom tier and the fish on the second tier. The instructions advise that you put the largest piece of food with the longest cooking time in the bottom bowl. We cooked both items for 15 minutes. The fish came out fine, but the broccoli was slightly undercooked so we steamed it for another minute. Even though we didn’t use any cooking oils, seasoning, or spices, both the cod and the broccoli tasted great—moist, flavorful, and evenly cooked. We read several reviews in which users complained that the fish taste permeated other foods, but we didn’t experience this problem.
The Oster Double-Tiered Food Steamer made a great addition to our kitchen arsenal. It gave us an incentive to eat healthier and made steaming foods almost effortless. We had a healthy and hearty lunch prepared in less than 20 minutes—and very little effort was required on our part.
Care and Cleaning: Easy
All of the pieces come apart so you can easily clean all the nooks and crannies on the bowls and lid. All of the parts—except the base—are dishwasher safe, too. If you don’t have a dishwasher or prefer to wash them by hand, a soapy sponge and hot water is all it takes to get the job done.
Price: A steal for a small food steamer
If you’re looking for an affordable food steamer that delivers solid performance, the Oster Double-Tiered Food Steamer is great deal. The compact, $30 steamer is perfect for a single person or small household. If you have a larger family, you should consider a food steamer with a higher capacity, though. If you’re looking for something with more features, an advanced model may also be worth the extra money.
Oster Double-Tiered Food Steamer vs. Cuisinart CookFresh Digital Glass Steamer
If you’re looking to splurge on a high-end food steamer, the $130 Cuisinart CookFresh Digital Glass Steamer (view on Amazon) is a favorite amongst users. This 5.5-quart electric steamer has two stackable tiers and a removable center divider. The rice bowl can be used for steaming and containing small foods like peas and corn off-the cob. This steamer has plenty of advanced features to justify its steep price tag, such as a digital touchpad, a keep-warm setting, and a delay-start option.
A solid budget pick.
Although we would have appreciated a few more features—like an audible alert and a digital touchpad, we can only expect so much of a food steamer at this price point. Considering its ease of use, efficient cooking, and its ability to steam different foods at once, the Oster is a great buy.
- Product Name Double-Tiered Food Steamer
- Product Brand Oster
- MPN CKSTSTMD5-W-015
- Price $29.99
- Weight 1.15 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 8.4 x 8.4 x 8.8 in.
- Warranty 2-year limited
- What’s Included Lid, two steaming bowls, separator ring, steaming base