I Cooked an Entire Three-Course Dinner with This Steamer
- Buttons are easy to understand and navigate
- Allows for multiple dishes to be placed or taken out any time whilst steaming
- Collapsible compartments are easy to clean and store
- Preset timings are limited to a couple of dishes
- Steamer lid can be a bit slippery and hot to grasp
- Steamer compartment may be too narrow for round plates
Best For: Time-starved professionals who want a healthier cooking option
As much as we love having a wide spread of dishes for dinner, whipping them up is a different story altogether. While takeaways are a convenient option, they can be costly (and unhealthy) in the long run.
Enter the Philips Multi-Steamer - with three tiers for steaming all sorts of dishes at once, the appliance is the perfect tool for putting together a quick, healthy meal. However, how does it live up in practice? Does it steam just as well or as fast? Here, homeowner Patricia attempts to cook a three-course feast with the unit at home.
1. Opening the Box:
Patricia (P): Besides the steamer base, the package came along with 3 stackable baskets, an anti-drip lid, a rice steamer tray plus an Aroma infuser, a small attachable compartment for placing herbs in.
2. Setting up and using the Steamer
P: Set up was easy; I simply had to plug it to a power source and the steamer was ready to go. Though the box also came with an instructional booklet, there was only a single timer knob to handle, so things weren’t too difficult to figure out. All I had to do was to set it to the indicated timing (based on the symbols shown) required for each dish. As I was steaming multiple dishes at once, the trick was to start steaming the dish with the longest time required, adding the other ‘quicker’ dishes along the way.
P: Like traditional methods, you’ll need to fill up a water tray which will provide the steam. I liked that the unit had a side opening which I could pour and refill the water level anytime if needed without opening any lids.
3. Cooking Performance
P: I used the steamer to cook rice and three accompanying dishes – steamed crab with egg, minced pork with preserved vegetables and Lady’s Fingers with Chinchalok chilli. In this case, the Aroma infuser, which is supposed to imbue your dishes with the fragrance of herbs placed in it was not used.
P: Referring to the indicators on the knob, I set a steaming time of 10 minutes for both the steamed crab and minced pork. As per the knob indicators, I set a longer time for my vegetable dish. For the most part, following the indicators worked well and I didn’t have to make any adjustments. The first two dishes came out evenly cooked, firm and juicy to bite into. However, the vegetable turned out slightly overcooked – some tweaking would be needed, depending on the type of ingredient as well.
P: The biggest steaming basket was large enough to accommodate an entire fish if needed, which is a useful alternative to using the traditional wok and steaming grill. However, due to its oval shape, it might be harder to fit in circular trays or bowls (e.g. for steamed eggs). I also liked that the unit came with a dedicated rice steaming tray – my cooked rice came out fluffy and soft!
P: Overall, I was really impressed by its cooking performance. The end result is practically same as a traditional steamer, albeit with the ability to cook multiple dishes at once. You’ll just have to catch the right timing for different dishes and take them out before they get overcooked.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
P: The smooth plastic surface is a breeze to wipe clean, and so are the detachable baskets. It also helps that the appliance is space saving. Accessories can be taken apart and easily stored within the collapsible baskets for easy storage.
P: Overall, I feel that the Philips Multi-Steamer is a good gadget for efficient and healthy cooking. Being able to steam 3 dishes at once really cuts down the amount of cooking time and effort spent whipping up a healthy meal. While its roomy capacity allows users more flexibility in the types of food being cooked and its controls are easy to understand, there are some slight design quirks that can be improved.
For instance, the lid holder at the top can get hot and slippery due to the steam coming out. Also, the steaming baskets may be a tad bit narrow for rounder plates to fit.