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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2006
Steam Heat has so many features that can't be found on a standard vertical steamer. The best feature is that I can program different times for differnet types of food so that each is steamed to perfection and they are all ready at the same time. The steamer switches to keep warm mode for 60 minutes after the food has finished steamer so that is really cool too.

Another plus, because of the horizontal design, the flavors stay in their own bowl and don't mix with the other foods being steamed.

I made a deliciously decadent chocolate cake in the steamer too. Yes, you can make desserts in the Steam Heat as well as healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and appetizers too. If you thought steaming was just for fish and veggies, think again.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 4, 2008
I love this steamer. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because there are so many parts to clean and dry after using it. I used it the first time tonight, and made steamed salmon using the recipe in the book that came with it with a couple of modifications, basmati rice with my usual herbs and spices, and baby asparagus. Each food went into a separate container and the timers were set for each. The only problem I had was that I didn't allow more time for the asparagus because it was frozen. After I started the steamer, I had time to make fresh salads for my husband and I, and actually had time to sit down and enjoy it. Each of the foods started steaming at the appropriate time so that I didn't have to keep jumping up from the table to start something cooking like I normally do. Everything was done and ready to serve at the same time.

There was a little more to clean-up than usual because I normally line baking pans with foil to eliminate having to clean them, and most other cooking containers are corningware. So they are rinsed and go into the dishwasher. For this unit, containers, tops, and the drip tray were washed and dried by hand. I guess they can be put into the dishwasher, but I tend to baby new appliances. So this could just be a personal problem.

At any rate, the food was wonderful. The salmon was moist and perfectly cooked. The rice was fluffy but a little dry for my tastes(next time I will start with more liquid), and the asparagus was cooked but still a bit crisp. I have cooked rice since this first time, and realized that the problem occured because I use chicken broth instead of water and it was refrigerated. Warming the broth in the microwave before putting it in the steamer solved this problem. Recommended cooking times in the cookbook are for fresh, not frozen. So allow extra time for frozen, or defrost before steaming.

I also bought the Oster 5712 steamer to compare it to the Richard Simmons steamer.
The differences are:
- The rice cooker with the Oster is much larger than the Richard Simmons.
- The two stacking steamer containers with the Oster are larger than any of the 3 with the Richard Simmons. So larger portions can be steamed.
- When using the 2 stacked steamer containers on the Oster, juices from the food in the top container can drip to the lower one. The containers with the Richard Simmons are side-by-side. So foods, odors, and juices don't mix.
- The Richard Simmons has separate timers for each container that count down so that food start cooking at appropriate times so they are all done at the same time. For the Oster, there is one timer for the whole unit, and the cook has to put each food in at the right time to make them come out at the same time.
- The Richard Simmons has a small flavor tray over the heating element that can be used for spices that flavor the food through the steam. The heating element on the Oster is not covered and must be cleaned to remove juices.
- The handles for the cover on the Oster are on the sides of the lid so taking off the lid you have to be more careful not to be burned with steam. The Richard Simmons has a handle on top of each lid so you can take the lid off to let steam out the back.
- The Oster has a delay time set for up to 12 hours, the Richard Simmons does not have this feature.
- After cooking is complete, the Oster enters a keep warm cycle for up to 1 hour. The Richard Simmons does not have this feature.
- The steamer containers and rice bowl fit inside each other for storage and the unit is much smaller than the Richard Simmons. Much more storage space is needed for the Richard Simmons.
- The cook times shown in the book for the Oster are much longer than those in the book for the Richard Simmons. At this point, I can't say if the Oster just takes longer or which times are correct, but the salmon was perfect using the Richard Simmons timing.
- The Richard Simmons includes recipes to get you started. The Oster includes no recipes.

Once I use the Oster steamer, I will submit a separate review for it, but I thought a comparison of the two units would be helpful for someone considering them.

I have now used both steamers, and both have some advantages depending on what you are making for dinner. I didn't think I would used a steamer much, but, boy was I wrong. I have made fish a number of times in the steamers, and prefer this method of cooking fish to any other. I have also made various vegetables and chicken.

The Oster unit is useful if you are making larger portions or only want to steam a couple of foods. It's easier to clean because there are less compontents to clean. The disadvantages are that the smaller bowl must be below the larger bowl, and you have to plan for cook times of the foods. This adds more to the planning and personal involvement in cooking a meal. The Oster unit takes less storage space since the cooking containers fit inside each other for storage. Since the cooking units are stacked, you must think about putting foods that release liquids while being cooked being in the lower container. For example fats from fish cooked above will drip on veggies cooked below. There isn't this problem with the Richard Simmons cooker.

In conclusion, I have, and use, both depending on what I am cooking for dinner. I wouldn't part with either one of them. When I can, I use the Oster steamer because it's much easier to clean, but the Richard Simmons unit makes dinner preparation so much easier once everything is setup in it. Once food is in it and times are set, you can sit back and relax until it's all done at one time.
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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2008
I bought the steamer to cook vegetables to live a healthier life. It certainly cooks vegetables in a convenient manner, but I looked at the bottom of the hard plastic food trays included with this unit and I observed the number "7," which suggests the plastic food trays might contain Bisphenol A, a chemical that has been the subject of numerous recent news media reports that raise questions about heating and the possibility of Bisphenol A leaching into foods where it might be linked to potentially serious health issues. I wrote Salton, the company that manufacturers this unit and I asked if the company could confirm if the food trays contained Bisphenol A. Several weeks have passed and there has been no response to my letter. In my letter, I also asked Salton to consider providing alternative trays made of a different material. I wish the company would answer my letter.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I purchased the steamer because I love veggies and wanted to eat healthy.I had a old steamer but was excited about the 3 compartments of this one.when it arrived,I couldn't believe my eyes at the size of it.This is no little dinky cheap Steamer.I can steam enough fish,and veggies to last a few meals.I can put in a couple of Talapia filets,add all kinds of veggies, set the timers and go about my business until the timers let me know when it is done.It is so nice to have everything done at the same time without a lot of work.It is the best thing I have ever bought and is well worth the money.I reccomend it to everyone.Richard,you did good again.....
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2007
THIS IS A GREAT STEAMER - MY ONLY OBJECTION IS THAT IT'S LARGE WHICH MEANS IF YOU'RE JUST STEAMING SOME VEGETABLES, USING ONE COMPARTMENT,
YOU HAVE TO CLEAN THE ENTIRE STEAMER (3 COMPARTMENTS) AFTER STEAMING.
I'VE DECIDED TO ALSO BUY A SMALL STEAMER FOR MY ONE ENTREE STEAMING AND USE THE LARGER ONE FOR ENTIRE MEALS.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2009
I purchased the Richard Simons EST7 Steam-Heat Electronic food steamer last year and I just loved it. I ended up purchasing 3 more as gifts for my family. I had no problems until I happend to look to see what plastic number the trays were made of. To my surprise it was a #7, the worst plastic made. The food is placed directly on these trays for steaming. I did lots of research on this plastic and found out how dangerious it was. This plastic is normally seen as a bad plastic because it is made with Biphenyl-A, which is a synthetic estrogen. This can leach into food products as it ages as well as under heat (STEAM). Biphenyl-A is thought to be a hormone disruptor than may simulate the action of estrogen when tested in human breast cancer studies. I also found studies that claim #7 plastic can cause all kinds of medical problems, especially cancer. I was horrified. I tried to contact Richard Simons through his web site to inform him of what I discovered with this product that he was endorsing. That was over a month ago and still no response. He promotes a healthly lifstyle but I don't think this product would qualify. I feel that it is important to imform people of the risk with using this steamer and how it may contribute to health problems. Please research the kinds of plastics that are used for our food. We have to put the word out about these hazards before it's too late.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2007
It came with avery nice little recipe book and instructions. I have no complaints and it's been very easy to use.
I haven't used the bowl that comes with it yet which the book says can be used for steaming 1 cup of rice at a time. If you really need a rice steamer I would say it would be too small but we don't eat a large amount of rice at one time here so it will work for us.
Very nice 10 minute keep warm feature on it too.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2007
This is an excellent steamer that is capabale of preparing man sized meals or at least two average meals. I like the fact that all the steamers can be programmed to shut off at the same time. The food is prepared with the same superior quality as the Black and Decker steamers that I've been using for seventeen years. There are quite a few parts to clean but that's the price of having three steamers in one. The unit is large but then again, it's three steamers. I wash it in the top rack only of the dish washer with no coil heat. I would have liked to have seen a better cookbook and cooking chart. I hope to see cookbooks in the store some day. I highly recommend the Richard Simmons EST7 Steam-Heat Electronic Food Steamer.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2007
I purchased the food steamer a little over a month ago, and I would hate to be without it . I use it daily. The vegetables are exceptionally good when steamed, while preserving all the vitamins. You can also steam a variety of other food [fish,chicken, potatoes,etc.]which cook for different lenghts of time, but the timer can be set so they are all ready at the same time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2007
I was so surprised when I opened the box, it is big but WOW does it do a good job. Everything steams to perfection thanks to the cleaver way of being able to set the time for each bowl. I just can't say enough about it or the many features, I will say that this steamer beats the competion hands down.
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