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Showing 1-10 of 110 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 124 reviews
on February 11, 2012
My daughter and I studied online videos and recipes before I tried my first meal with this tool. Its somewhat larger than you might expect but suitable to cook a meal for four up to or eight people at once. These are a few hints I would offer from that experience:

1) you must thoroughly rinse and scrub the steamer before first use. You cannot use soap or harsh tools to do so. I filled our kitchen sink with very hot water, soaked it piece by piece and use a soft rubber scrub to work away the tiny slivers that are inherent to its bamboo nature.
2) when drying, set it over towels preferably in the sun and stack it as it came....otherwise it may dry warped.
3) while a large saucepan under it may work, my IKEA sized wok was perfect for this unit. You must fill the clean and grease free wok with about one and a half to two inches of water. Bring to a rapid rolling boil (do not add salt to the water) and set the bamboo steamer with items in place and carefully sealed shut into the wok where it should not be sitting in the water but just over it.
4) DO buy the simple parchment paper that you can get at the grocery store near the tin foil and plastic wrap (don't get the wax backed paper.) Lay a cut sheet over the open steamer unit and press into the bottom, use a finger to create a crease that matches the inner dimensions of the steamer...cut to size and lay one piece in each of the two sections of the steamer where you intend to place the food. (You will be very glad you did when cleanup time comes and you DON'T have to scrub out tiny food particles trapped in the woven bamboo slats.)
5)DO NOT reuse this paper, cut a new piece each time you steam food.
6) take care to note how long foods need to steam - each item you cook may be different. I found that ten minutes of steaming was perfect for whitefish filets and asparagus spears but too long for broccoil. Place your meat at the bottom layer of the two layers of this unit and veggies on the top layer.
7) TAKE CARE to stand back when you open the steamer lid while it is cooking or just after being removed from heat. The steam is VERY HOT! This steamer is not ideal for children to work with. Get a couple pot holders to carefully remove it from the steaming wok and set it onto a towel because it will drip.

I found that the sauce I used to marinate the fish all steamed out of it while cooking. While it may work to add things like fresh herbs, lemon or ginger and peppers over the cooking meat, sauces may just steam out. Add them before serving. This first meal I steamed was very bland. I cooked rice with it and we wanted to add soy or other sauce to the veggies, meat and rice. If bland doesn't bother you, steam the fish and dip it in mayo and drizzle with fresh lemon juice. The asparagus was delicious with just butter but the overcooked broccoli just had to be eaten quickly.

I will use this unit again but hope to find some tips to make the food less bland although it is extremely healthy and very well cooked this way. Everything was tender and moist. Since there is no oil used in this cooking process you can control exactly the amount of fat that goes into your body. Once you begin steaming the entire meal will be done in ten or fifteen minutes. Better have your table set and guests at hand. If I can learn to create sauces and seasonings to give it more flavor, the art of using it will match its health qualities and ease of use.
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on February 15, 2015
I bought this steamer in 2013 for $21. When I received it, I liked it very much, it looked beautiful. I only used it when I entertained friends. I used a few times (no more than 10). After used it, I hand washed it and air dried it. I took it out for my Christmas party last year, I found that the interior rings were all falling apart (see photo). I failed to see how the rings were put together and held in place. Looked like that they were glued together. It is useless now.
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on May 8, 2014
I bought this to make Chinese pork buns in Eileen Yin-Fe Lo's The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking. I was immediately happy with the nice solid construction of these, was not disappointed when I tested them using the recipe. This can also be used to heat up frozen dumplings, such as Trader Joe's which are pretty good.

How to use: This steamer can be used directly in a wok over water without any other equipment. To figure out how much water to use, first place the steamer in the wok and see how much space is left underneath. Then remove the steamer, add water, bring to boil and place steamer directly on top; The sides of the wok will prevent it from slipping and touching the water. As the dumplings steam you can see the steam coming up through the top.

The FIRST time you use this, first wash thoroughly and rinse, soak all parts including the lid completely submerged in very hot water for a half hour (I used my sink plugged up for this). Then put the entire thing together and steam for a half hour while empty, turn off heat, and let cool. This causes the bamboo to expand and contract and the layers to fit together perfectly--I have used others without taking this step and I do see the difference in how nicely they fit together.

This item has two tiers. My dumplings came out identical in the top and bottom tiers, which is awesome.

My one disappointment with this is that there is ring adaptor attachment available that can allow this to fit on a regular pot rather than a wok. I do often use mine on a regular pot because I don't like putting water in my woks regularly. However, most regular pots are slightly smaller in diameter than this, resulting in the steamer hanging a bit off the edge. The result is if the heat is high, the flames can lap up and scorch the outside. I've ruined several and one time actually started a fire I had to put out! To combat this problem, there is a metal ring available (not from Joyce Chen) for the 10-inch steamers, but sadly not for this one! My solution is to turn the heat down a bit and sometimes moisten the bottom portion during steaming with a wet towel. Still, I sure would like an adaptor!
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on June 29, 2013
The first 2 sets of this type were the smaller ones. I didn't know they made a larger set. This is awesome. Works so much better than a double boiler type steamer, or in pot steamers. Much more room, more even steaming. You will get some drip from the open area around the steamer if you use a smaller pot to set it on, that's just that and you can't do anything about it. But, use a larger diameter pot, and it will eliminate it. Use less water in the larger pot, and it'll steam faster and hotter in my opinon. Gonna get the smaller set again soon, but crab legs fit in the larger set much easier, which is why I bought this one first. Good Steaming!!
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on December 28, 2015
One of the tiers fell apart before I even had a chance to use it. I rinsed it prior to use as specified in the instructions, and several strips of the bamboo that forms the circumference of one tier just split and hung loose. I needed to cook dumplings for a dinner party so I taped it together with strapping tape and used it anyhow, but now I can't return it. Poor product. I will make do with one tier until I need something bigger, then will purchase a different product. Waste of money.
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on February 20, 2014
First, I have lived in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Thailand and this is what you need if you want authentic steamed Asian foods. The foods my Korean wife has so far used it for is Dumplings, Dim Sum and steamed vegetables.

How to use: take some coffee filters and spread them over the bamboo shelving - this keeps the food from sticking to the wood when items cook or when they cool down. It keeps your two interchangeable cooking chambers brand new! Also, you will need to find a Wok or pan to sit this over that is used to boil the water to create steam for the cooking.

I am delighted with this product. Amazon has repackaged/returned items which is what I purchased and mine came with the factory tags but in different packaging but in perfect condition. I would recommend either the reduced priced $16 and change or brand new at $26 and change).

You will impress yourselves and make great Asian food at home. Start enjoying today!!!
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I bought this 12" bamboo steamer after reading a Bon Appetit tip that it could be used as a stackable pie caddy, but, of course, I couldn't own one without using it for cooking. I'm a huge fan of Chinese dumplings and steamed buns, and this steamer opened up wonderful possibilities, especially since I can cook two different kinds of dumplings or buns at a time, one on top of the other.

The 12" steamer needs a large wok or skillet to work properly since it must fit inside the edge with boiling water more or less sealed underneath. Smaller versions of the bamboo steamer might be more practical for most kitchens, although if I am going through the efforts of making dumplings, I want to cook many at once.

I line the bottom of the steamer with parchment paper rounds to keep the food from touching the bamboo directly (it's easier to clean that way and to lift out with chopsticks), a method similar to what I saw in China. I cut these rounds myself, although you can buy the more convenient Helen's Asian Kitchen Parchment Steamer Liners. Foods that take longer to cook must be positioned at the bottom, closer to the steam, with fast-cooking dumplings in the top tier. You can purchase two sets and stack them four tiers high.

Cleaning is easy. The instructions advise to never use soap because it will permeate the bamboo and later flavor your foods. I rinse in warm water, rubbing any food particles off the surface, and let dry. Here I go against the instructions because I stack the two trays after towel drying and let them air dry further while in place. I don't want them to warp so that they no longer fit tightly. I dry the top separately, only because if I topped the trays, they wouldn't dry.

As for using a bamboo steamer as a pie transportation caddy, kudos for Bon Appetit for suggesting this. I find that the 12" size is the right one to stack 9" pie plates because you need room to get your fingers around the pie tin to lift it out. Because the stacks are limited it height, flat pies -- such as pecan or any single-crust pie -- fit best in it. An apple pie, with its relatively high crust, can only fit in the top tier and then only without the cover. I also intend to use the steamer to transport Christmas cookies to keep them from shifting off their tray while I'm driving.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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on September 28, 2011
I've found some cheaper alternatives after doing some more research online, but can't say anything as to the quality. The Joyce Chen bamboo steamer seems to be of high quality (my first one, so I don't have much to compare it to). It had a bit of a bamboo smell when it arrived, which is to be expected, and after a good washing and several uses this became a non issue.

The 12 inch is pretty big, but fits well in my 16 inch round bottom wok. While I fear the 12 inch might even be a little too big, I've been deciding lately that I should have bigger cookware incase I have guests over. You can always take out one of the racks if you want to cook a meal for one.

I line the bottom of the trays with lettuce leaves to prevent the food from transferring bacteria (with meats) as well as smells. More natural and easier to manage than the parchment paper.

If you're thinking about buying a steamer, this is the one I would recommend.
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on December 2, 2014
Arrived broken. Returned.

That said, I will not buy another to replace it because I have the same Joyce Chen steamer from 5 years ago and although they look nearly the same, this one was clearly inferior in the quality of construction. Not even in the same ballpark. The other is a good steamer that has withstood tons of abuse. This one is just junk.
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on November 27, 2015
I steam a lot of vegetables and fish, and this is the best bamboo steamer I have owned. It's more expensive than what you typically find in a big box store, but worth it in my mind. The bamboo construction is much more durable and stronger than other steamers I have owned. This is the LARGE size, and fits perfectly on top of my large cast iron wok, but is too large to fit on most saucepans, so keep this in mind. Great if you steam for a family!
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