The 10 Best Bamboo Steamers for Bao, Broccoli, and Other Vegetables

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If you’re seeking for a fat-free cooking option, the bamboo steamer is the way to go! Not only does steaming your food allow you to prepare it without adding any oil, but it also retains the majority of its color, texture, and, probably more significantly, nutrients when compared to other cooking techniques.

In this review, we go through bamboo steamers in depth, including what to look for when buying one and how to prepare or season one before using it for the first time. We also look at some of the things that may be cooked in the steamer and how to clean it afterward. We also provide evaluations of a variety of the top bamboo steamers available to assist you in making your decision.

Best Selection

The Joyce Chen two-tier bamboo steamer, which is a typical 10 diameter bamboo steamer that also comes gift packed, is our top pick.

Budget Selection

Our Affordable Pick: The Helen Chens Asian Kitchen two-tier bamboo steamer basket, which also includes instructions and a recipe booklet to help you get started!

Product Name Grade
Joyce Chen 26-0013 Bamboo Set Steamer A
Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen 10″ Bamboo Steamer Basket A-
VonShef Premium 2 Tier Bamboo Steamer A-
Mister Kitchenware 10 Inch Handmade Bamboo Steamer A-
Hcooker Three Tier Bamboo Steamer A
Happy Sales HSST-BMB08, Three Piece 8 Inch Bamboo Steamer B+
Hcooker Three Tier Bamboo Steamer A-
Zoie + Chloe 100% Natural Bamboo Steamer Basket A-
Flexzion Bamboo Steamer Basket Set A-
Juvale Bamboo Steamer Basket A-

1. ​Joyce Chen 26-0013 Bamboo Set Steamer  

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A natural bamboo steamer with two tiers
  • Designed by famous restaurateur Joyce Chen
  • Has a 10″ diameter and stands 6″ high
  • Comes presented in a gift box
  • Steaming papers can be purchased from the manufacturer

Joyce Chen invented the Joyce Chen two-tier bamboo steamer (26-0013), which was inspired by the legendary restaurateur Joyce Chen, who launched her first restaurant in Massachusetts in 1958. This is a 10 diameter steamer basket that stands 6 high; it is suitable for use inside a wok or over a stockpot that is two inches bigger in diameter than the steamer.

This steamer requires basket liners from the manufacturer. The two stacking baskets are constructed of woven bamboo, and the steamer’s domed top traps moisture. This should be hand cleaned in warm water and let to dry before storing. It also comes in a gift box, and you can purchase steamed papers separately.

The odd customer has mentioned that this steamer has an odor that takes some time to fade, and that being a natural bamboo steamer, there is a danger of some peeling or natural movement with the bamboo.


  • Two tier
  • Pure bamboo steamer
  • 10″ diameter
  • Comes gift boxed
  • Basket liners available


  • It may take some time for the odor to wear off the steamer
  • There is a risk of some peeling or natural movement of the bamboo

2. Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen 10″ Bamboo Steamer Basket 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • This is a two tier natural bamboo steamer
  • Has a tightly woven construction
  • Is 10″ in diameter and stands 7.5″ high
  • Includes instructions and a recipe booklet

The 10 Helen Chens Asian Kitchen two-tier bamboo steamer basket is tightly woven and built to hold steam within for speedier cooking. This two-tier steamer is 7.5 inches tall and includes an instruction and recipe booklet.

This should be hand cleaned without dish soap and air dried. Some consumers have remarked that this may have an odor to it, while others have been upset with the quality of this, since it has been arrived in some instances without the lid fitting correctly. This bamboo steamer might also be more difficult to use than other bamboo steamers.


  • Two tier
  • Pure bamboo steamer
  • 10″ diameter
  • Includes instructions and recipes


  • Some buyers have been disappointed in the quality of this
  • There is a chance that the lid may not fit properly
  • The bamboo can be rougher than other steamers

3. VonShef Premium 2 Tier Bamboo Steamer

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A traditional and woven bamboo steamer with stainless steel bands for durability
  • The steamer also comes with 50 wax basket liners and two pairs of chopsticks
  • This two tier steamer is 10″ diameter

A quality two-tier bamboo steamer, 50 wax steaming sheets, and two pairs of chopsticks are included in the VonShef two-tier bamboo steamer set. The bamboo steamer 10 is organically woven with stainless steel rings around the baskets for added strength and longevity.

Several consumers have been dissatisfied with the quality of the steamer baskets, discovering that they are susceptible to mold growth even when cleaned and kept correctly. You may also notice that the baskets are not as deep as those seen in other bamboo steamers.


  • Two tier steamer
  • Includes papers
  • 10″ diameter
  • Steel banded for durability


  • ​May be at risk of going moldy even when stored properly
  • ​Some consider the baskets are not as deep as other bamboo steamers

4. Mister Kitchenware 10 Inch Handmade Bamboo Steamer 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Bamboo steamer with a 10″ diameter
  • Traditional design with slatted bases and woven and domed lid
  • The kit also includes 10 reusable basket liners, a sauce dish and pair of chopsticks
  • Comes with a 60 day money back guarantee

The Mister Kitchenware two-tier bamboo steamer package includes a classic bamboo steamer as well as 10 reusable steaming liners, a sauce dish, and a pair of chopsticks. The steamer has a 10 diameter, two baskets with conventional slatted bottoms, and a woven and domed cover. This is also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.

There is a chance that the lid will not fit well on the steamer, preventing it from sealing properly, and the odd customer has discovered that this may grow mold rather quickly after purchase. Several owners have also discovered that the reusable liners can only withstand moderate washing after use.


  • Two tier
  • Traditional bamboo
  • 10″ diameter
  • Includes reusable liners
  • ​Money back guarantee


  • May start to turn moldy quite soon after purchase
  • The reusable liners will only tolerate gentle washing
  • Some buyers have received lids that do not fit properly onto the steamer

5. Hcooker Three Tier Bamboo Steamer 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A traditional bamboo steam with stainless steel bands for durability
  • Available in a range of diameters, this has three tiers
  • Includes three cotton basket liners that are reusable

The Hcooker three layer bamboo steamer, available in a variety of sizes, is a classic steamer with a woven top, but it also incorporates stainless steel bands on the basket and lid edges to increase sturdiness and longevity. This steamer also includes reusable cotton liners. Since it has metal banding, it is more costly than the other three-tier bamboo steamers.


  • Three tier
  • Available in different diameters
  • Steel banded
  • Includes reusable liners


  • Is more expensive than other three tier bamboo steamers due to the metal banding
  • As a three tier steamer it will take longer to cook foods

6. Happy Sales HSST-BMB08, Three Piece 8 Inch Bamboo Steamer 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A two tier bamboo steamer
  • Traditionally designed with a domed woven lid
  • Has an 8″ diameter and is ideal for smaller woks or pots

The Happy Sales two-tier bamboo steamer (HSST-BMB08) has an 8-inch diameter, making it perfect for tiny woks or stockpots, however one customer noted that it may need a steamer ring to operate properly in smaller pots. This is a classic steamer with a weaving domed top to retain the steam within.

Some consumers believe it is a bit too little, and you may be dissatisfied with the quality of this specific bamboo steamer.


  • Two tier
  • Traditional style
  • 8″ diameter
  • Woven domed lid


  • Some buyers consider this 8″ bamboo steamer to be too small
  • May need a steamer ring in smaller pots
  • The quality may not be as good as you would expect

7. Hcooker Three Tier Bamboo Steamer

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A traditional style bamboo steamer with a woven lid
  • This is a larger three tier steamer
  • Includes three cotton liners that can be reused
  • This is available in a range of diameters

The Hcooker three-tier bamboo steamer comes in diameters ranging from 6 to 12 inches and is a traditional style bamboo steamer with a woven top to retain moisture in. This should only be hand washed and dried naturally. These steamers also have three washable cotton liners.

While you may purchase this in a variety of diameters, be sure the one you choose is the proper size, as some are quite little and will only steam single buns.


  • Three tier steamer
  • Traditional style
  • Various diameters
  • Includes reusable liners


  • Some sizes are very small, so do double check your diameter measurement before ordering
  • Will take food longer to cook if all three baskets are used

8. Zoie + Chloe 100% Natural Bamboo Steamer Basket 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Traditional steamer made from 100% bamboo
  • Available with an 8″or 10″ diameter
  • This also comes with two cotton reusable liners

The Zoie + Chloe two-tier bamboo steamer is a traditional steamer used to keep moisture in during cooking. This 100% bamboo steamer is available in 8 or 10 diameter sizes. This set also includes two reusable cotton liners. Several consumers were dissatisfied with the durability of this steamer, and one buyer got it without the replaceable liners.


  • Two tier
  • 8″or 10″ diameter
  • 100% bamboo
  • Two reusable liners


  • There is a risk that you may receive this steamer without the reusable liners
  • Some buyers have not been impressed with the quality of this steamer

9. Flexzion Bamboo Steamer Basket Set 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A steamer kit that includes an 8″ or 10″ diameter bamboo steamer
  • Traditional style steamer with a bamboo woven top
  • The steamer has stainless steel bands for extra durability and strength
  • Also comes with 50 perforated liners and two pairs of chopsticks

The Flexzion two-tier bamboo steamer set comes with either an 8 or 10 diameter steamer. The classic bamboo steamer includes a woven top and stainless steel banding around the edges for strength and longevity. This set includes 50 perforated basket parchment basket liners as well as two sets of chopsticks.

There is a slight chance that you may get this steamer damaged, and as a banded steamer, it is built of materials other than real bamboo.


  • Steamer kit
  • Two tier
  • 8″ or 10″ diameter
  • Steel banded
  • Includes parchment liners


  • Not all buyers are keen on buying a steamer with metal banding
  • There is a risk of receiving this steamer kit with shipping damage

​10. Juvale Bamboo Steamer Basket 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A 10″ diameter two tier bamboo steamer
  • Made from natural bamboo and traditionally constructed
  • Also has stainless steel bands for strength and durability

The Juvale two-tier bamboo steamer, 10 diameter, is a classic steamer with the addition of stainless steel bands to reinforce the steamer. This may not last as long as intended, since one customer reported minor damage to the basket after just a few uses.


  • Two tier
  • 10″ diameter
  • Traditional style
  • Steel banded for durability


  • Even though this is steel banded it may not last as long as expected
  • May become damaged after occasional use

Points to Think About Before Purchasing a Bamboo Steamer

Steaming is a moist-heat cooking technique that uses hot vapor to surround food and cook it in an enclosed setting. This method of cooking permits the color, taste, texture, and more nutrients to stay in the steamed meals. Since there is no need to add oil to food while steaming it, it is also a highly healthy cooking technique.

Steaming also decreases the danger of overcooking food, and a steamer keeps items like bao fluffy and light.

A bamboo steamer may be used to prepare vegetables, fish and shellfish, chicken, steak, tofu, dumplings, bao, and many other meals. You can also steam rice if you soak it for an hour or two before cooking, and a steamer may be used to keep dishes like tortillas warm.

Selecting a Steamer

The traditional bamboo steamer is made up of one to three bamboo levels (or baskets) that interlock with each other, as well as a tightly fitting bamboo woven cover.

When selecting a steamer, opt for one made of excellent bamboo and one that is attached organically with bamboo wick or nails rather than any glue, wires, or stainless steel bands, though they may provide stability and endurance.

The bamboo slats at the base of the tiers or baskets should be broad enough to let steam through to cook both layers, and the lid should be tightly woven bamboo that can also rest snugly on the steamer.

The usage of a bamboo steamer goes back roughly 5000 years in Southern China. While most bamboo steamers are no longer handcrafted, the original production of a bamboo steamer might take several hours.

To build a steamer by hand, the skin of the bamboo plant is removed and soaked in water to make it more flexible. This skin is then molded into a circular using bamboo nails to secure it in place. The basket’s foundation is then formed of bamboo strips, and the steamer’s cover is manually woven.

Steamers are available in a range of diameters; however, keep in mind that the diameter is the outside diameter, so always cut this by around one inch to have a better understanding of the cooking area available in the baskets. The steamer should be of sufficient size to fit in a wok or pot that is slightly broader than the steamer.

The steamer should be put far enough into the wok to be balanced and steady. Steamers work best in a wok, not only because of the bigger diameter and rim, but also because woks are thinner, making it simpler to not only heat the water, but also to adjust the temperature during steaming.

If you want to use a wok with a bamboo steamer, keep in mind that boiling water in a seasoned wok will remove the seasoning. With a bamboo steamer, you may also use a larger pot, such as a stockpot, or even a big pan (depending on its depth).

A 10 diameter steamer is the finest all-purpose steamer to consider since it will fit snugly in most woks and should easily enable you to steam a dinner for two or appetizers for more.

Making a Bamboo Steamer Ready for Usage (Or Seasoning)

When you purchase a new bamboo steamer, you must prepare it before using it to steam meals. This means you should always let a day or two before cooking your first meal in it.

Then, soak the steamer in hot water with a little dish soap in the sink. Cleanse each component of the steamer, then drain the soapy water and thoroughly rinse the steamer. Fill the sink with hot water and soak for an hour. Then, fill a big pot halfway with boiling water and soak for another two hours. Take the steamer from the pot and set it aside to dry.

Lastly, assemble the steamer and steam it for 30 minutes. It is now ready for use in the kitchen.

Soaking a bamboo steamer not only ensures that it is clean for use, but it also improves heat dispersion inside the steamer.

How to Make Use of a Bamboo Steamer

Unless you’re preparing veggies that won’t stick, food should never be put straight into a steamer basket without some kind of covering.

Liners are often parchment or wax paper that may or may not be perforated and are only intended for single use. Cotton or other natural fabric liners, as well as silicone liners, may be cleaned and reused.

If you don’t have basket liners, cut some parchment paper to size. Other lining possibilities include cabbage or lettuce leaves, which will offer a moderate taste to the dishes. Liners may also be made from maize husks or banana leaves.

Foods like bao and dumplings should be arranged in an equal layer in each basket, with foods like bao and dumplings about half an inch apart to avoid them from sticking together.

If your cuisine has a lot of liquid spice, put it in the basket on a shallow dish or plate for steaming.

The food that will take the longest to steam should be placed in the bottom basket, but be prepared to switch baskets around to ensure that all layers receive adequate steam, particularly if everything has to be ready to eat at the same time.

Place the bamboo steamer in the wok or stock pot and check how deep it sits in the pot to determine how much water you will need in your wok for steaming. Next remove the steamer and fill to just below this point with water. This is usually around the 2 mark in most woks and pots. To enhance flavor, you may add crushed garlic, lemongrass, or slices of ginger to the water, or you can use broth or stock as the liquid to give the dishes being steamed a fuller taste.

Never add more liquid to the wok or pot than is necessary to cover the steamer; otherwise, the excess liquid will partly immerse the food in the bottom basket, resulting in boiled rather than steamed food.

After the water is in the wok, put it to medium heat and let it to come up to a simmer but not boil. Next, over the water, set the bamboo steamer with your basket liners and food to enable the food to cook.

Keep an eye on the water level in the bottom of the wok, and if it begins to run low, add additional water. If the water level falls too low, not only will the bamboo steamer burn, but the food will also cease cooking.

Use tongs to move the baskets around or retrieve the food. While checking on your food, always open the steamer lid away from you to limit the danger of scalding, and wear an oven mitt and gloves.

Cooking Periods

Arugula and other leafy greens steam quickly, broccoli takes around 7 minutes, and smaller diced butternut squash or thinly sliced potatoes take about 10 minutes. Onions might take up to 20 minutes to cook. The thinner the veggies are cut, the quicker they will cook, and if parts of the vegetables are over-ripe, they will cook faster.

Dumplings may take up to 20 minutes to cook, depending on the filling, and you may wish to lightly fry them afterwards for crispy dumplings.

Fish fillets may take between five and ten minutes to prepare, depending on size, however a whole fish might take up to 30 minutes. Chicken breasts will take 20 minutes or longer to cook, but make sure they reach a safe internal temperature of at least 160F. If your chicken breasts are thicker, make a few tiny slits on the top and bottom to help them cook evenly.

When steaming food, no oil is required; instead, spice or a marinade is used.

Anything cooked in a steamer should always be served promptly, and although it does take some experience to become accustomed to operating one, you’ll soon get the hang of it.

How to Clean a Bamboo Steamer

If your steamer is not very unclean, a hot water hand wash will typically enough. If there is any food residue, a soft nylon brush should be able to remove it. Scrubbing too forcefully, on the other hand, may harm the bamboo. You could also just soak it in water overnight.

A bamboo steamer should never be put in a dishwasher, and dish soaps should be avoided in general since the aroma will permeate into and remain in the bamboo. If you must use one, use a non-fragranced or mildly fragranced soap.

If you used detergent and have some dish soap odour in your bamboo steamer, steam it empty for a few minutes with a slice of lemon in the water to help eradicate the stench.

After your steamer is clean, rinse it well and allow it to dry completely for up to two days before storing it someplace aired. If a steamer is kept moist or in a place with little ventilation, particularly if you reside in a high humidity zone, the bamboo is at danger of developing mold.

It may produce scents depending on the things you cook in your bamboo steamer. There are many methods for removing leftover scents from your steamer. Fresh lemon may be used to eliminate dish soap as well as smells. Just spread lemon over the steamer’s surfaces, then steam it in the wok for a few minutes before allowing it to dry.

To eliminate odors, a used tea bag may be used as a cleaning. The steamer should then be thoroughly washed and dried.

Wipe the surface of the steamer with an equal mixture of white vinegar and water. If you clean it in this manner, you must next steam it for five minutes to eliminate the vinegar odor and allow it to dry. Once the vinegar residue dries, it should dissipate.

You might also use baking soda for a few hours, then rinse well and let to dry.

Why Is Bamboo Sustainable?

While bamboo steamers have been in use for millennia, the appeal of bamboo as a household material has only recently increased. Bamboo is inherently antibacterial, and its antibacterial function is not lost after processing.

Certain bamboo species may develop up to three shoots per day, and bamboo will sprout a new shoot rather than having to be replanted if removed in as little as one year. Bamboo can grow in a variety of environments, including harsher climes, and it does not need fertilizers or other chemicals to thrive. It may also provide chances in nations in need of economic stability.

Since a bamboo plant can generate 35% more oxygen than a tree of the same size, huge bamboo plantations may operate as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


This article has gone over bamboo steamers in depth, including how long they have been around, the significance of the basket liner, and what you should look for when purchasing a new bamboo steamer. We’ve also touched briefly on bamboo and why it’s becoming such an essential sustainable resource.

If you’re new to bamboo steamers, we hope this article has provided you with enough knowledge to not only pick the finest bamboo steamer for fat-free and healthy cooking, but also how to prepare it for use, use it, and clean it up afterwards!

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