Do you Need a Rice Cooker or a Food Steamer?


Rice Cooker . . . or Food Steamer?

Everyone is more concerned about health these days and that preserving of nutrients in food, particularly vegetables, is key.

The largest plus to using a food steamer rather than a rice cooker is its versatility.  The standard food steamer lets you cook  a complete meal from, meat to vegetables to rice all at the same time.  Most food steamers have tiers so you can cook more than one type of food at the same time, and each with their own compartment and herbs. You can successfully cook meats, rice and vegetables preserving both flavor and nutrients in a food steamer. Using a food steamer has a big advantage in versatility. Food steamers come with timers and you can enjoy your meal all ready to go when you come home from that hard day of work. As you consider whether you need a Rice Cooker or Food Steamer, here are some selections to consider:


T-fal VC1338 Balanced Living Compact 2-Tier Electric Food Steamer, 4-Quart, Black   by T-fal

This an easy and healthy way do make dinner!

This unit is a 4-quart capacity, 2 tiers of 2 quarts each.
• 2 tiers with one containing a removable plate for larger items
• This unit has digital controls with 60-minute timer
• Thus steamer is compact for easy storage
• This unit has a 1-year limited warranty

“My husband and I are enjoying our steamer. It makes dinner a snap! Chicken breasts in the top and potatoes and broccoli in the bottom and dinner is done in 30-45 minutes. Cleaning up is pretty easy. ” –Amazon Review

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Viante CUC-30ST Intellisteam Counter Top Food Steamer with 3 Separate Compartments

This unit has separate food compartments, each having a  separate temperature and timer controls.
• Automatically sets start times so all foods are finished at same time
• Healthy eating/cooking at its best
• It has dishwasher safe accessories
• There is a visible water gauge and programmable digital control

Happy owner of this unit reviews it on Amazon:

“I received this steamer just yesterday, and have used it to prepare wild-caught salmon fillets both the day of receipt and this evening. Along with the salmon, I have prepared both small new potatoes and fresh asparagus. I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is to be able to program everything at once, and have it all ready simultaneously, without having to watch over anything. The salmon came out so naturally juicy (both times); all I added was a sprinkle of Herbs De Provence on top of the fillet, prior to steaming. The new potatoes were tender, and the asparagus was “al dente”; just the way I like them! Cleanup was so easy; a rinse under hot water for the veggie compartments, hot water and a soft “tuffie” scrub pouf to the fish compartment to remove the residue, and the task of cleaning my new steamer was complete! My next venture (tomorrow night), will be steaming some bay scallops…yes; I do love my new steamer!

I was mulling over the purchase of this item for a while time, due to the price and the fact that I already own a “basic” steamer from years ago, but realize now that it was a great investment, and so glad I made my purchase.”

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What to Look for in a Good Rice Cooker:

You want a good rice cooker that cooks your rice perfectly very time!  If you and your family is eating rice several times a day or if you have a large family, then you are sure to want a rice cooker. A good rice cooker that produces ten cups of cooked rice gives you approximately twenty servings ( 1/2 cup servings).

For really great perfect fluffy rice look for a rice cooker with “fuzzy logic.”

These are microprocessors that sense and automatically adjust coking tines and temperatures.  These advanced rice cookers cook perfect fluffy rice every time!

Zojirushi Micom NS TSC10 Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1.0-Liter   

If you and your family consume a reasonable amount of rice and you’d also like a rice cooker that performs multiple functions, this model might just be perfect. It’s a versatile piece of cookware that features the most modern of technology. It uses “fuzzy logic” technology and has an LCD display with digital controls. This means you can customize it and program the machine to do whatever you want. This model offers more standard settings than most rice cookers on the market. These preset buttons include white rice, brown rice, porridge, quick cooking and more. With its stainless steel exterior, it’s easy to clean. On the inside it features a time-delay setting that allows you to postpone serving times while maintaining the perfect taste. This one has the automatic keep warm feature discussed earlier – a huge asset to those of us who love rice. As multifunctional as it is, Zojirushi Micom NS TSC10 occupies relatively little space on your countertop. It measures just 14” x 10” x 8.5″ – so it’s quite compact. Surprisingly, this unit can prepare 5 1/2 cups of uncooked rice at a time. So you could serve 10 to 12 people at once – without a problem. If there is a downside to this model, it would be the Teflon coating inside the pot. Most people prefer ceramic or stainless steel, although Teflon provides an excellent coating that is certainly stick-free, so you’ll never have to worry about your rice getting stuck on the bottom of the pot.
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For a full review of several of the top rated Rice Cookers, click here:


If you are looking for the most versatility in cooking several items and a full meal at one time, you want a Food Steamer. If you need to cook large volumes of rice at one time and rice is a staple in your home, then you want an Electric Rice Cooker.  The two are compatible in the same kitchen, and you may decide you need one of each!