I have a pressing dilemma. I once again have a gift certificate to use at CSN Stores, and I’m debating between two different types of steamers: either a funky lime green silicone insert or an austere and refined bamboo set. What ever shall I do?

First, a little background information about my cooking style: I rarely steam vegetables. I find steamed veggies to be rather bland and boring. I do, however, steam things like dumplings and shumai, and once I used my rice cooker to steam chicken.

With that being said, I must take a critical look at this steamer situation. Fascinating pros and cons after the jump. (And if all this talk of steamers has put your mind in a scatological place, all the more power to you.)Let’s look at the options:

Silicone Steamer
Pros: Easy cleanup, dishwasher safe, microwave safe, space-saving.
Cons: Limited capacity.

Bamboo Steamer
Pros: Stackable for multitasking, plenty of volume, level surface.
Cons: Not dishwasher safe, takes up space.

At first glance, it seems as though the silicone steamer has more pros and fewer cons, but the thing is that the bamboo steamer’s pros are really useful pros. Hence, I’m torn and am seeking the sage advice of my readers.


8 replies on “The Great Steamer Debate Of Our Time”

  1. Having owned a bamboo steamer, I recommend you go with the silicone steamer. I found my bamboo steamer took up too much space in both the kitchen cabinet and on top of the stove (w/the addition of a wok or large pan). The bamboo absorbs odors; it’s hard to getting rid of some food odors, such as fish. For soup dumplings, you have to remember to line the steamer with a thin layer of lettuce or parchment/wax paper, otherwise they stick and break when trying to loosen from steamer. More care is needed for a bamboo steamer. Clean up right away and dry well otherwise it may get moldy…

  2. I vote for the silicone steamer. Kitchen space in an apartment is valuable and who wants to deal with all that extra upkeep anyway?

  3. No metal steamer? I’d definitely pick the silicone one if they don’t have one in metal, the bamboo ones may look cool but they absorb everything and start looking grimy in no time…

  4. I would go with the silicone one soley based on it’s ability to go into the dishwasher. I have pots and pans that I don’t use hardly as often as I should due to their need to be hand washed. But whatever you decide, I look forward to a full review so I can decide if this is also something I need in my kitchen.

  5. I also recommend you get the silicone steamer. I have one and love it, small enough to store away and you can also put it in the dishwasher.

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