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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2005
One day when my Sweetie came over he had this steamer tucked under his arm and a look of uncertainty on his face. "I bought this through my Gold Box" he said "but I don't know if it was a good idea or not." That was nearly 2 years ago.

I didn't see the point of it at first since it was easy enough to steam veggies on the stove but we decided to give it a try. We unpacked it from the box, plugged it in and have enjoyed better veggies and fluffier rice ever since. We've tried all kinds of things in it including broccoli, asparagus, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, squash, rice and shrimp to name a few, and not once have we been the slightest bit disappointed!

The look of uncertainty disappeared quickly after the first time we use it as the veggies looked and tasted so much better! It was clear that this was a wise choice, and in time proved to be an exceptional value for the money!

It's so easy to use, just fill the bottom with water to the designated line (low or high), put the veggies in and set the timer according to the chart. Everything comes out perfect with vibrant color, and just the right texture and all of the flavor! No more pale, limp broccoli. No more mushy cauliflower, no more clumpy or nasty under or over-cooked rice!

There are 5 pieces to this steamer, the base - which is where you put the water, a drip tray - which collects drippings, a clear bin - which is where you put the veggies, an inner basket - used for rice and finally the lid. The pieces all fit well together and have little edges that fit inside each other so there's no fear of the bin being knocked off while it's steaming.

We both like to cook and sometimes make elaborate meals that take hours. Often we'll steam shrimp as an appetizer to munch on while we prepare the meal. In about 15 minutes the shrimp is steamed to perfection, we have a tasty treat to hold off starvation, and as a bonus, the tray is filled with what is now shrimp stock that pours easily through the little end slots into a container for use in other recipies such as seafood gumbo. The drippings in the tray from veggies can be used as vegetable stock for soups or stews or as a treat for your houseplants (after it cools).

Not all of our meals are elaborate or time consuming, and this steamer works great for a quick side dish... just toss in some veggies and in a few minutes you're done. Broccoli = 13 minutes, carrots = 16, summer squash = 12 minutes.

The tray has an area in the center to put herbs or seasonings if you want to add a touch of something different to your veggies. Try a sprig of rosemary or thyme, or a bit of taragon, oregano, cilantro or basil. The book that comes with the steamer has a well laid out, very easy to follow chart that shows amounts, steaming time, water level, suggested seasonings and tips, and is printed in 3 languages.

Since that first day when we were both skeptical of it's usefullness, we've given this little work horse a tremendous amount of use, and after all this time it still looks new and works great! It's easy to use, cleans up well, and will always have a place on my countertop.

I like it so much that I've started giving these as gifts to friends and family.
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on January 28, 2005
Quite honestly, I do NOT understand why so many others complain about the Flavor Scenter not being made for cooking rice. I followed the directions in the included manual (exact amounts of rice & water), and I've had PERFECT results every time, and I cook all kinds of rice; white, wild, long grain, AND brown rice. This is by far the most dependable and SIMPLE way to cook rice! Throw the ingredients into the steamer, add the water, plug it in, set the timer, and you don't have to do anything else with it! I've also cooked delicious whole grains in the rice bowl; an incredible way to add fiber to your diet.

And the veggies... let it suffice to say this: I have always enjoyed veggies, but the veggies that I make with the herbs in the flavor scenter are absolutely unbelievably delicious. That flavor scenter option puts INCREDIBLE flavors into those "same old veggies". Onion & chive potatoes, rosemary carrots, fresh asparagus... WOW!

Both preparation AND clean-up are so easy with this steamer. It's an essential appliance in my kitchen!!
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on December 11, 2012
This is just one of those things every kitchen should have. It is large, so works best for families. We just gave it away and bought a smaller one, now that the kids have left home, but unbelievable that it still works perfectly!
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on August 31, 2003
This steamer does exactly what it states in the description. It's a great buy. I just moved into my first apartment and couldn't afford the expensive rice cookers at stores and a friend reccommended this steamer to me. So far, I have only used it to steam rice and it works great. I can make up to 7 bowls at a time and refrigerate it so I don't have to cook rice everyday. The only thing you have to be careful about is the rice bowl is made of plastic and it scratches easily if you use a spoon to scoop the rice out. There is a manual included that tells you the exact timing to steam foods at. However, under the section for steaming chicken, it didn't include a time for steaming chicken with bones (just without bones) so I guess I will have to experiment with the timing for that. So the manual might not include all foods you want to steam so you might have to experiment with that. Besides that, it's a great buy. Also, I am pleased with Amazon's service.
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on January 2, 2005
I have purchased this stemer about a half a year ago and have used it every single day since then! It was my first time buying a steamer and wanted to start with a relatively simple one. It's super easy to handle! It comes with time and seasoning suggestions for all kinds of veggies. Also, easy to store - although I haven't put it away once yet.

I also make rice in it which needed a little experiencing. I like my rice sticky and I found that for that I needed more water than was suggested in the manual.

Cleaning is easy and fast - and you can even keep the veggies in the steamer bowl and put it in the fridge.

If you're looking for a reliable steamer for one or two people this is the perfect buy.
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on December 3, 2016
Way too expensive but s in good shape and replaces one I've used for years. If this one lasts as long as the original I'll be a happy camper!
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on July 17, 2002
I bought this a few months ago at a time when I was really planning on eating healthily. That didn't work out so much. But two weeks ago I again wanted to start eating a lot more vegetables, so I used my steamer for the first time. IT IS GREAT! It makes eating veges so much easier. You have to play with the timer a little, I find the recommendations make the veges a little too mushy. It's especially useful when I'm making a big thing of stir-fry. You know how some veges cook more quickly (the bell peppers) and some take forever (carrots, squash), well you can just pop the ones that need more time in the steamer ahead of time. I really need this with eggplant cause there's nothing I hate biting into more than an undercooked eggplant (okay maybe a worm). I also use it with onions when I wnat to carmelize them. If I'm just going to eat asparagus, you just pop 'em in there and forget about it until it dings. Easy clean up too. Used it for corn on the cob, that worked great. Good shape for oblong veges. I haven't used it for rice yet (I'm on a low-carb program), maybe I should have waited to write this review until I did, but even if it just works okay for the rice, I'd still highly recommend this purchase.
Addendum: it's now several months later, and I still love it. One more thing it's good for, heating up rice/rice dishes. I don't own a microwave ...and reheating rice has been very difficult. Now it's simple, comes out perfectly!
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on June 13, 2000
I recently purchased the Black & Decker Flavor Scenter Steamer and I love it! I avoided cooking brown rice for a long time because it takes 30 minutes to cook on the stove. With the steamer it takes more time, but after 45 minutes I have fluffy rice. I love the fact that I don't need to stir the rice or worry about it sticking to the pan.
This is a really great product for people who are looking to watch their fat intake b/c the steamer has a drip tray that collects the fat and oil from the steamed food. I do have one complaint. Although it's called the Flavor Scenter Steamer, when I added bay leaves to the appropriate tray my rice in no way tasted like it was flavored with bay leaves.
I would highly recommend this product to anyone who is purchasing a steamer for the first time.
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on July 18, 2005
Before getting started let me say that I'm a guy and really don't know my way around the kitchen!

Pros:
Cheap! At $20 this thing costs less than going out to dinner!
Easy to use! I have yet to screw anything up that I've made using this thing and (see first line of review).

Cons:
Takes longer than a more expensive rice cooker.
Timer is just a dial so you can't program it to start cooking at a later time.

Verdict:
If you eat a lot of rice look into a more expensive model with all the bells and whistles. However, if you only eat rice occasionally and are looking for a cheap and versatile appliance that can do rice and more then the Black&Decker is well worth its price!
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on July 12, 2001
... The oval shape of the Black & Decker was the selling feature for me and the Spice screen, which works remarkably, was a bonus. I haven't had this appliance for very long and I don't use it everyday, but I can tell you that it's easy to use, easy to clean, and with a little practice you can learn to cook much healthier meals with it. I mostly use it for vegetables (especially greens) and for fish so far. The cooking guide is extremely helpful but you still need to practice to find the timing that suits your own taste. I love this product and will never be without one. I believe that Black & Decker offers great quality at fairly reasonable prices and wouldn't hesitate to try their other products as the need arises.
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