How to choose a double boiler
Steamer is a special device for a healthy diet. It processes foods and dishes with steam, keeping a maximum of vitamins and minerals. For a healthy diet, simple cooking is the most indispensable device.
The main purpose of such a machine is to cook healthy and tasty food. Initially, the device was used only by people who have problems with digestion. Some can not eat fried, stewed or baked products and the best option in such cases is to purchase a steamer. At the expense of steam, this device processes products in such a way that they become as useful as possible.
Steamer consists of:
- the foundation - This is the main part on which the baskets are located. At the very base several important components of the structure are placed, and it itself represents the fixing part;
- heating part - is located inside the base and consists of heating type mechanisms. Due to them, water is condensed into steam;
- water tank - used as the main "fuel" part of the double boiler. Water is poured into it so that the double boiler will function properly. There are some restrictions on the use of this device. For example, the mechanism cannot be used and turned on if there is no water in it, as well as if it is at a minimum level. In many boilers, there is an automatic notification that the water level is close to critical;
- Control Panel - depending on the type of steamer itself, it can be touch or push-button. Includes a menu, several buttons to control;
- baskets - the upper part of the double boiler, which allows you to hold a large number of processed products.
How to choose?
This device needs to be checked upon purchase in many respects - it will depend on them how fast it will work, what functions it will perform and how much it will be able to hold the products in one application. We choose correctly.
From this indicator will depend, first of all, the speed of work, and the second - the possibility of its functionality. Actually, the more power, the more can double boiler - this is the main designation of these figures.
Modern models produce in the range of size - from 500 W to 2100 W. And this diversity indicates the amount of time spent on cooking (more or less), as well as how much money was spent on the device. The greater the cost, the faster and more efficiently the steamer works and the more power, and hence the functionality. The simplest mechanical steamers have low power - from 400 W; they are capable of coping only with the main functions: steaming vegetables, cooking meat and some cereals a little longer.
It should be remembered that having multiple baskets is a big advantage. In this double boiler you can cook several dishes at once. If the family is big - this is the best option. Manufacturers offer a variety of options - from a single bowl to several baskets. With a large number of additional bowls, nevertheless, the cooking time increases. It is better to prioritize at once what is more important: to cook a lot and for a long time, or quickly, but a little bit.
The important point: the bowls should consist of heat-resistant plastic, glass or stainless steel. Glass and metal is much heavier. Such materials make the construction unaffordable, but they better retain heat and create the correct heat transfer. In addition, this material maintains the temperature inside at an optimal level and does not emit harmful substances. Plastic bowls are easier to use, easier to wash and quickly removed.
Perfect steamers - with lots of quality bowls - are models BORK - F500 and Philips - HD 9120/91. They have good power and are also distinguished by high productivity.
Basket volume is an important criterion. Depending on the needs and application of the double boiler, you should choose the best indicator: from 1.5 liters to 4 liters. Small bowls are suitable for fast and small amounts of food at a time, and large containers are needed for a large family.
Applications include additional containers for cooking. Cooking rice, cereals, soups, and simply heating the food is possible, thanks to the container without holes. In this case, the steam completely processes the food without coming into contact with food. The best models that have such extra bowls are presented from BORK - F500 and Braun - FS20.
Another interesting container is presented for spices. For example, in some models there are special compartments where you can put greens, hot peppers or other seasonings to give a special flavor to dishes. The device is present in the double boiler from Philips - HD 9150/00.
A nice bonus that equip a double boiler is a container for coloring juice. It is used in the treatment of, for example, beets or carrots. The juice flows into a special compartment, not staining the rest of the vegetables and not soiling the steamer. This device can be found at Braun FS20.
According to these characteristics, you can easily choose a unique, suitable for all parameters of the double boiler. There are additional nuances that you need to know to make the right choice.
The design of a double boiler can be different. This may be mechanics or electronics, and in addition to various control options, it may include features such as preserving vitamins or automatic replenishment of the water level.
Mechanical control method
The simplest control method, which does not require additional study of instructions and operation books, is mechanics. As a rule, the buttons are round and are immediately a way to control. When switching, you can easily observe the remaining cooking time (they serve as a timer and rotate as time progresses). For example, a quality model that has this type of control is Tefal VC 101733.
Such a mechanism implies a large number of additional functions. Activation of the double boiler is possible only after reading the instructions or a brief guide, otherwise it will not be used even in half of its capabilities. On the display of such devices there is a panel with illuminated buttons (as a rule, touch buttons). Using them, you can save data, set cooking time, and use smart cooking modes.
With a steamer of electronic control, it is even possible to set the mode and go for a walk, and to come - and a hot lunch will be waiting. In addition, it is easy to prepare the necessary dishes and put them in heating mode - for a few hours the steamer will keep food warm. Many models from the company Bork or Braun have automatic mode this function. The best quality steamers in the opinion of most buyers are BORK F500 and Philips HD 9150/00.
Features of the smart mode: the standard levels of cooking of various dishes can be laid in the memory of the mechanism. For example, the menu may contain signs for cooking meat, cereals or vegetables. It is enough to press one button, and the double boiler itself will set the optimum temperature and time required for food processing.
What to look for?
When choosing a double boiler, it should be borne in mind that the presence of an additional function to alert the lack of water will be a nice bonus. The system can automatically shut down if the required fluid level is missing. In this case, there is a choice: either wait for the containers to cool down, remove them manually and fill up with water, or buy an appliance with the ability to instantly fill up with water during operation.
Indicator and dosed
This function means that there is a small hole on the side where you can pour water. Thanks to a special indicator, you can not only get a warning about insufficient liquid level, but also find out the volume of water inside. Models to pay attention to: BORK F500, BORK F700 - the best model cannot be chosen from them, both steamers at the same quality level.
For optimal operation of the mechanism, the container must be filled with water completely or half.
A pleasant (even necessary) bonus is the presence of special protective linings. Steam formations have to go somewhere, and just the presence of such pallets solves the problem. When purchasing a double boiler, select:
- lining height. It should not be too small, otherwise during active work you need to turn off the double boiler, manually drain the accumulated water - the probability of its overflow to the heating mechanism in this case is very high;
- the presence of pens. Special tools for quickly removing the lining from the base - greatly simplify the care of a double boiler. For example, the need to wait until the device cools is not required.
Nozzles and accessories
Practically to any double boiler go containers and other additions. The main accessories that must be present in every standard set:
- a bowl for garnish;
- lattice - a special stand for handling eggs;
- container for rice. As a rule, it can be recognized by the absence of holes around the perimeter;
- a lattice-type device for processing products entirely;
- linings for draining condensate;
- cups or separate spices, dripping juice or fat - used for the right combination of products, without mixing their juices and smells;
- special device (in the form of stand) for products with coloring pigment - for example, for beets;
- special purpose mechanism by which the temperature inside the double boiler is easily controlled (if this accessory is not in the standard set to the double boiler, then it can be purchased at any electronics store separately);
- sometimes to standard kit there is a book with culinary recipes. If it is available, you can cook the most delicious and unusual culinary masterpieces.
At the moment, manufacturers are keeping abreast of the times: they equip steamers for the house with the necessary functionality, making life as easy as possible. In addition to the basic operating parameters, steamers can be surprising additions. The main ones are:
- function "preservation of vitamins" - present on some models as a separate button. Using this mode, steam heats up to a maximum in a short time, processing products in a fast mode. Due to this, as nutritionists comment, the harmful effects of heat treatment are reduced and all trace elements are preserved. This function has a double boiler Vitamin + by Tefal;
- function "ready recipes" - allows the steam cooker to work in automatic mode when selecting a product marked in the panel menu. Thus, the most appropriate mode of cooking is selected;
- mechanism of automatic check of a working condition This option is present in all devices, except for the cheapest Chinese assemblies. From the latter should be abandoned;
- time timer - is present in the form of an electronic pointer on the electric steamer. Shows the total cooking time, as well as the remaining cooking minutes;
- sound alert - signals the on, off and end of cooking.
The main fact: the quality and speed of work does not always depend on power. For example, double boiler Braun FS20 with an energy consumption of 850 W, it works much faster than a powerful machine Scarlett Sc-1142 with a power of 1000 watts. A large number of factors affect the time spent and the method of cooking.
For proper care of a double boiler, it is better to use pre-purified water - as in the liquid from the tap there are heavy substances and metals that can settle on the walls of the device itself.
Once a month it is necessary to carry out cleaning procedures: instead of simple water, pour into the cooler a highly diluted concentrate of water and citric acid, then leave the steamer in an automatic (standard) mode. In the formation of steam all the scale and heavy metals depart from the walls and the internal mechanism.
Top rated people reviews
After the subtleties and all the possibilities of the steam boilers have been studied, you can read the reviews and find out which of the devices is the most budgetary, what needs to be purchased for the kit, and which models you should not even pay attention to.
Zauber X-560 is an excellent model with a metal body: large and roomy, with several bowls and glass design. It has a small price. On the bowls themselves there are handles for convenient use, and the containers in the base are made of stainless steel, due to which they do not fog up when the mechanism is active.
In a double boiler, you can use three baskets for cooking at the same time. Thanks to the water level indicator, you can easily monitor and add water during cooking. The power of 700 watts allows you to cook as fast as possible. Equipped with all standard features and easy to use.
- large size of containers;
- production material - stainless steel;
- optimal steaming time;
- average cost.
- adding liquid during operation is inconvenient;
- small stand for condensate.
Average cost - 3500 rubles. According to reviews, the main advantage of the double boiler is its compactness, durability of the material, as well as speed of work. The disadvantages include long cooking meat.
The most pleasant in design and application in the middle price segment is the VITEK steam cooker - VT-1560. Equipped with a backlit LCD display, it has several types of grids in the set for making various products. Thanks to the same accessories, you can cook up to four dishes at a time. There is a function of preserving vitamins, there is also a special indicator of water level. In addition, the device has a built-in compartment for spices. The disadvantages include the inability to remove the grease tray - it is inconvenient to clean it.
- separation of cooking zones;
- large containers;
- optimum power;
- on timer.
The average cost is 6550 rubles.
Braun FS 5100
In the segment of expensive models, the double boiler from Braun is the best. The water in it boils quickly - in 30 seconds, and the bowls are represented by a volume of 6.5 liters. Production material - plastic in tinting - is not painted. Containers can be washed in a dishwasher, and in the set there are compartments for boiling eggs, cereals, and even cooking casseroles. There is also a sterilization mode. According to reviews, the double boiler handles dishes easily and saves time. Suitable even for office.
- vitamin preservation function;
- large containers;
- small amount of cooked food at a time.
The average cost is 7,400 rubles.