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How to Choose a Commercial Steamer?

Nov. 26, 2020

Cooking with steam has many operational and health benefits. Since this is an effective heat transfer method, food can be cooked quickly without drying it out. Steamed vegetables retain their bright colors and natural texture, as well as vitamins and minerals that may be lost by other cooking methods. In addition, compared to some cooking methods, cooking with steam is also very healthy because you don't need any cooking oil or fat. Read on to learn about the various types of Steam boiling pots and equipment that use steam to provide the best choice for your business!

 Steam Jacketed Kettle

How to choose the right size

When deciding which size and type of commercial steamer to buy, you need to consider your own menu and output requirements. Since the size options range from small countertop steamers to large multi-compartment floor steamers, you need to adjust the equipment size appropriately to meet current and future needs. The size of the steamer depends on how many full-size or half-size food pans can be accommodated in its compartment. When determining the best size for you, consider the following questions:

  • How many items on the menu can you steam (or steam), and how many more can you add in the future?

  • What type of items are you steaming?

  • How many copies or copies need to be produced in a given time?

What is a pressure steamer?

The pressure steamer allows the steam pressure to gradually build up in the compartment during the cooking process, up to 5 to 15 PSI. This allows them to cook food at temperatures up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. They are generally larger and are often used for high-volume mechanism operations due to their faster cooking speed.

Purchase considerations

  • High yield and fast cooking time, suitable for dense and starchy foods and root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes

  • Can cook large amounts of food quickly

  • Not recommended for delicate food

  • Will not prevent flavor transfer between foods

What is a convection steamer?

The convection steam cooking food at 212 degrees Fahrenheit without pressure. It is the convection effect of steam that transfers heat to the cooked food. Because of their generally lower purchase prices and other advantages, they are the more popular choice.

Purchase considerations

  • Because of lower cooking temperature, it produces higher quality results than pressure steamer

  • More versatile; can be steamed, boiled, stewed, reheated, melted and cooked

  • Easier to use and forgiving than a pressure steamer

  • Not as fast as a pressure steamer

Steam source

The steamer can generate steam for the cooking process in many ways. Keep in mind that in addition to the fully equipped model, in addition to the gas or electricity required to power the equipment, you also need influent water and wastewater/condensate discharge. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, as shown below.

Direct steam

The direct steam vegetable steamer can be connected to the existing steam supply of the building. It is important to note that if you connect directly to this type of source, you need to make sure it is drinkable.

  • If your building has a ready-made steam supply, it is a cost-effective choice

  • You can also use the steam produced by an independent steam generator

  • If your business does not have a steam supply or steam generator, it is not a viable option

Steam generator

Some commercial steamers will use an internal steam generator to generate steam. Their exact design varies from manufacturer to manufacturer; some will use steam nozzles, while others may spray water on the heating element.

  • Compared with boiler type steamer, it is not easy to produce scale

  • Easy to clean and maintain

  • Compared with the model equipped with a boiler, the output power is lower and the recovery speed is slower


A boiler-style steamer may have a boiler built into its cabinet. Other models can be placed on top of the boiler base to provide steam to the equipment.

  • Very suitable for mass production

  • A large amount of food can be steamed, and the recovery time between batches is fast

  • Diligent maintenance and cleaning are required to maintain efficiency and performance


No boiler

The boiler-less steamer generates steam by heating the water in the compartment or spraying the water onto the heating plate.

  • Very suitable for small batches and small-batch operations

  • Compared with other types, maintenance and utility costs are lower

  • Longer cooking time than steamer with steamer

  • Provide a compact, no connection model, you can fill it manually, it is a good choice if there is no water inlet or drain connection available at any time

Microwave steamer

You might not initially think that you can use a microwave oven as a steamer, but some manufacturers have designed high-power models specifically for steaming. These microwave ovens have high-power magnetrons and large internal cavities that can hold several food pans of vegetables or other items you want to steam. Since they do not require a floor drain, water supply, and may not need to be placed under the hood, this is a very cost-effective way to add steamed food to the menu with minimal trouble.


Quick steamer and partial steamer

These compact kitchen countertops are often referred to as tortilla steamers, and can quickly spray steam to rejuvenate old baked goods, rejuvenate cooked meats, heat a small portion of chilled or frozen vegetables, or heat tortillas for repairs. They are small and easy to use, making them ideal for operations with limited space.


Steam jacketed kettle

Another multifunctional steam equipment is the steam kettle. It is an excellent choice for preparing large amounts of soups, sauces, pasta, rice, and gravy. They can also stew meat quickly or cook a lot of water. Through all these units, steam is contained in the cavity between the outer and inner walls of the kettle. To generate steam, the water in the cavity can be heated by gas or electric burners. In the "direct steam" model, steam is piped directly into the cavity from the steam supply of the building. Some of the benefits of cooking with a Steam cooking kettle include:

  • Compared with stoves and soup pots that only heat at the bottom, the surface area of the steam contact is larger, so the heating speed is faster.

  • Compared with a pan, it cooks more evenly and has less chance of burning and hot spots. This makes them ideal for foods that are sensitive to heat.

  • It is safer and easier to use; smaller models may be inclined and have an inverted spout for easy emptying. Larger models may have a discharge valve on the side or bottom of the kettle to easily discharge the contents into the waiting container.


Expert tips

No matter which type of steamer you choose, we recommend that you filter the water. Frequent descaling of equipment is also very important because the accumulation of scale has a negative impact on the performance and life of the steamer.

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