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Aside from bread, Potato is the number one starch eaten in America. We eat it baked, steamed, boiled, mashed and even fried. However, cooking potato takes quite a bit of energy and time. When you are cooking spuds for a large family, some might look for the quickest method. What might surprise you is that steaming, not boiling is the most efficient method. The Best Potato Steamer will be able to fit a large batch in one go. You waste less energy and wash less dishes.
Why is Steaming Better than Boiling
Steam is a cooking method that is employed by all culture. It is preferred over boiling because it can reach a higher temperature. In turn, it can cook food faster than boiling. Not only that, converting a small quantity of water to steam takes less energy than to boil 8 qt of water. Try boiling 8 qts of water and time how long it takes.
In a completely sealed environment like a pressure cooker, that time is cut to even greater amount. Since steam has nowhere to escape, the overall pressure increase and so does the temperature.
In terms of health, Steaming will let the food retain more of its nutrient. When you boil vitamins and other minerals can leach into the water. Since the water is dumped, most of it is lost. For potatoes, you do not really lose much “Nutrients”, most of it is just starch. But if you really want to retain it all, steaming will do that.
Potato Steamer Microwave vs Stove Top
The microwave is one of America most favorite appliance. It heats up food fast and its convenient. How it works is that it emits rays that targets water molecule. The molecule will then begin to vibrate and heat up the food. Areas that is dry will be left untouched. It is one of the most energy efficient tools in the kitchen.
In fact, I reckon that a Microwave is one of the best way of cooking vegetable. All you need to do is cover it in some butter and push the start button.
There are some disadvantage to Microwave Steaming. Most notably is the quantity and energy usage. Cooking one or two spuds will not take that much energy. As such a few minute is more than sufficient. However, if you increase that quantity to around 10-15 spuds. You will soon find that steaming is more cost effective and quicker than microwaving.
Whether you use a microwave or a stove top should really depend on the quantity you are cooking. If you plan on cooking one or two potato, microwave is a better choice. However, for large batches, I would go for steaming.
Best Potato Steamer List
There are many potato steamer on the Market. We have listed the Best Potato Steamer in each categories. Choose your preferred method.
Mauviel Potato Steamer M’Tradition 2183.16
This oddly shaped potato steamer is one of the best you can buy. Its copper construction will transfer heat fast and convert water to steam. The container on top is large and can fit enough potato for a family. One thing to note is that it uses a tin lining. If you let it run dry, you can ruin the lining. Make sure you check on it regularly when cooking. Fun fact, in some of Jacque Pepin videos, you can see a this type of potato steamer in the background.
Oster Sangerfield Stainless Steel Cookware
While Mauviel Steamer is one of the best on the market, lets face it, its pretty expensive. This model by oster is a two tiered design that will work just as well. However, since the base holds more liquid, it does take a bit longer to heat up. But for the price, I dont think that you will complain. Best of all, it comes with a glass lid so that you can peek in.
Sistema Microwave Collection Steamer, Large (Best Microwave Potato Steamer)
For smaller portion size, a Microwave steamer is a great alternative. Its quick and efficient, the only thing it lacks is size. But great if you are cooking for yourself or someone other. This model by Sistema is one of the highest rated on amazon and it works for vegetables, fish and even chicken. The body will stay cool to the touch and you can transport it for lunch.
Steaming potato is a quick and healthy way of cooking it. My preferred method is via the stove top method. However, Microwave is a great choice if you have a smaller family. There are many choices on the market and you dont necessarily need the model by Mauviel. The Best Buy one will do the job just as well and it wont break the bank.
Want more Steaming Cookware. Check out our article on the Best Dumpling Steamer.