“ Brand: Hinari / Type: er „
During university term times, I usually don't have time to cook proper meals or feel too tired to cook. However, I still want to keep good eating habits and so I decided to purchase a steamer. I don't want an expensive one, just one small enough to feed me properly. I saw this steamer on sale at local Morrison and I thought to give this a go. I purchase this steamer for £19.95, which I think is a good price considering this product is retailed at around £25.00.
This is my first Hinari brand product, I haven't heard of this brand before so I didn't know what to expect. Just from the appearance alone, the design is tidy and simple to use. It is a two-tiered steamer, which I think is more than big enough for me as well as my friend who lives with me. The packaging is good and compact and it is very easy to set up. It also comes with an instruction booklet with easy steps. The bowls are quite spacious and one bowl is enough for me to cook vegetables for one meal.
Making a healthy meal with this Hinari HTP109 Compact Steamer is very easy. It comes with a separate rice bowls which I use to cook fish and other seafood. I usually steam carrots and beans on a separate bowl. The water capacity is 5 litres, so I usually fill it to max and it would be enough to steam two meals. When everything's ready and in place, just turn the dial to the time you want. The maximum time limit is 60 minutes, but the meals I cook never take more than 40 minutes. I don't like my fish to be overcooked, so I would take it out at 25-minute mark or so and leave the vegetables to be done at about 35-minute mark.
Moreover, the steamer is useful to make snacks as well. I usually make my own pudding; put two eggs, about 0.25 pint of milk, suger and some condensed milk for my sweet tooth and just steam the bowl for 20-25 minutes. It's not a real pudding, but it comes close to it. I usually fridge the rice bowl with the pudding and eat it cold. Also, I steam dumpling and other asian snacks that can easily be purchased from my local chinese supermarket. These snacks certainly pack a lot of healthy-eating points compared to cakes and chocolate bars.
As for cleaning the steamer, it is quite easy, As long as I make sure to sponge it clean after each use, I have no problems with residues and dirt. Also, the steamer and the bowls are quite light-weight, so I don't have to worry about dropping them during the washing up.
Overall, I'm impressed with the quality and performance of this product. I don't usually buy brands I don't know but this time, Hinari hasn't let me down. For the price I've paid, I believe it is worth every penny. It makes my life a lot easier as I don't have to too much time on cooking and instead I can focus on doing other things. Healthy eating is very easy with this steamer. I do make stir-fries and eat take-aways, but steaming my meals is a more frequent occurrence nowadays. All in all, this is a good buy for me.
Thank you for reading. :) x
Having recently installed solar panels on our roof, we are beginning to re-think how we do many things. Instead of cooking on our gas hob or in our gas oven, we're looking at electric options including slow cooker, steamer and other things. Like my slow cooker which I used for the first time last week despite having owned it for some time, I've had this kicking around in the cupboard for some time. It's had very little use till recently because we are so used to using the pressure cooker for cooking vegetables and things.
However, with the recent sunshine, we've been making a substantial amount of electricity throughout each day and as a way of trying to use more of what we make and have to buy less power, we've hauled this out of the cupboard and started to use it more.
The version we have is just two tiers but you can also buy a larger one as well, however as there are just two of us the size of this one is of a reasonable size.
I'll be honest, I can't honestly remember exactly how much this cost me when I got it, or how this came packed - in a box I'm pretty sure, but that's about all I can recall. It's now priced at £20 on Amazon however if anyone's looking to buy one.
The booklet that came with it I still have, and it details the various parts you get, which bits are removable and can go in a dishwasher so on. It also explains to you how to use the thing - quite a simple process - and that if it runs out of water there's a boil dry protection feature so that if the water level drops too far it will turn off and not boil dry. The most important thing in the booklet however, is that it has details of the cooking times for many different things from rice to vegetables. It also talks about steaming fish and chicken but doesn't give much information about how long to cook them for so a better cookbook or looking some info up on the net will be necessary if I ever try to do this. I doubt it's likely that I'll want to cook meat or fish this way however, but it's nice to know I can if I want to.
Power consumption on this is 400watt maximum, and it has a 5 litre capacity. The power lead is fairly short, but has been long enough for purpose whenever I've used it.
Looks & Style
To be fair this isn't the most stylish looking piece of equipment, and if I was looking now and thinking of buying one which I'd use several times a week and that would therefore be living on my sideboard more of the time, I might have chosen something a little nicer looking. The base is white plastic, and there are two tiers of clear plastic as well as a clear plastic lid and a white plastic rice bowl. The timer dial is quite large and easy to use and it's easy to see if the device is on or not by the indicator light above the dial.
Overall for a pretty cheap steamer it's reasonably sturdy looking and feeling, but I get the feeling that over time and using it more, it may start to look worn more quickly than some might.
Using the Steamer
Fill the base with water to somewhere between the minimum and maximum fill lines - not being used to this fully yet I'm still filling it fairly full so that I don't risk it running dry, however hopefully as I get more used to how long things take and how much water they use, I'll be able to judge better how much to use so that I'm not heating water that I don't need to.
Place one or two of the plastic tiers on to it with your vegetables or whatever in, with the larger one at the bottom if you're using both of them, and then pop the lid on. The whole thing is fairly secure when stacked which is good, as I'd hate to knock it and have everything collapse. Luckily it's built well enough that I think this is pretty unlikely.
Set the timer - for up to 60 minutes - and then leave it to do its thing. When the light goes out, your food is cooked (well the time you set has finished anyway), and you can dish up.
I don't own a dishwasher, so I can't comment on how easy it is to clean this way, however, using regular washing up liquid and a sponge in the sink, cleaning it is pretty simple and being plastic there's no worry about being careful with non-stick coatings or anything.
A Few Thoughts
One thing I would suggest is that the first few times you use this you may need to play with the times somewhat. I've figured out that if you put hot water into the steamer, or add the time it takes to heat up the water so that it's ready to produce steam, then the times given in the book aren't too far off. However, if you start with cold water and go with the time given only, then you're likely to have pretty al dente vegetables to eat!
Another thing you may want to do is invest in a timer with beeper or ping or something as this doesn't make any noise when it's finished. I don't really understand why they would think this wasn't a necessary thing to include, but for some reason Hinari deemed it so. I can see why having decided on not including a timer, they did include their boil dry protection however, as it would be very easy to let it boil dry in error.
In terms of the amount this cooks, it states that it has a 5 litre capacity, but that's based on the size of the two tiered containers, and as you don't want to cram the veg in or it won't cook well, you really can't think of this in those terms. I've found I can do broccoli and leeks for two of us in just the larger tier if we're eating them as a side dish along with meat and potatoes. On the occasions I've done potatoes and vegetables for both of us in here, it's been pretty much at full capacity. I've not used it for cooking rice so I can't comment on how well that would do in terms of capacity, but looking at the size of the rice bowl I think we might say two medium/small portions of rice rather than two good size ones.
Although overall, this is not a bad product particularly for the price, I think if I were looking to replace it, I'd go for a different model or brand. The lack of timer is a pain in the bum, and although this does just about meet our needs most of the time, if I had anyone visiting, its capacity would be lacking. Also, it does seem to be quite slow to heat the water up which means it's taking longer to cook things than many other models seem to - my mother's steamer for example seems to heat the water almost instantly while this takes several minutes.
As many of you may have read in my previous reviews I'm not the most healthy of person. I suffer many ailments and have an eating disorder. I struggle with my mobility, have M.E and a spine condition and whilst I love cooking, some days (most days actually if I'm honest with you) I don't have the energy to stand about preparing food.
This has led to a poor diet for me, which you can see if you read my food reviews on here lol. I eat a lot of processed and fast food and basically...... well junk. I didn't think it was doing me too much harm, I'm not overweight, I don't have blood pressure problems and enjoy immensely, usually what I do consume. However that all changed for me when I was diagnosed as being allergic to alot (and I mean lot of foods), which I find impossible to avoid having a knock on effect to my fatigue condition. Also with a lack of fruit and vegetables in my diet I recently had to have blood tests which showed up that I have an Iron and Potassium deficiency and all. Ok I shouldn't of been surprised by those results really but like me I'm sure there's plenty of people about who eat poorly!
So I decided to take action knowing full well that if my Mother found out that I wasn't doing so well she'd kill me before my bad diet ever did! I tracked this down online in Freemans (wwwfreemans.com) after thinking about other people I know that have and love their steamers. This cost me £17.00 for the two tiered option (other options were available) however I felt that this would be more than big enough for one person, this could possibly even feed two (and it does depending on what you cook of course!).
The steamer comes well packaged and with an instruction booklet in a grey coloured box with a photograph of the steamer in use all over it and we are told that it is of course Hinari Compact Steamer, HTP109 'Ideal for healthy cooking of fish and vegetables, 5L capacity, up to 60 minute timer, max performance with 400W power'. Other information listed on the box includes us being told about other features this steamer has such as its compact size and that its easily collapsible, that it includes a rice bowl and has a boil dry protection if out of water, that all parts are removable and that its dishwasher safe and that it has a blue illuminated On/Off indicator and contact details for Hinari are given. All of the packaging is very informative indeed and very well laid out.
The Steamer Itself:
When the steamer arrived I was immediately impressed with the appearance of it. The base is a white plastic but feels solid and smooth and it just looks classy really with Hinari written on it in grey writing and with an easy to use dial which is the timer and with a little light that shines blue when its in use above that.
Putting it together couldn't be simpler, even for me lol. You get two plastic see-through tiers/bowls, one smaller than the other and place them over the base unit to which you add water to one of the fill lines, ones a minimum fill line, the other a maximum. You then get one big see-through lid that covers the top tier/bowl and it all stands very securely indeed! It isn't huge or obtrusive this at all though like I stated earlier it is a good size and for me, even with a big appetite too big lol.
With this there comes a white plastic, largish tray and this is for steaming rice with and we are advised for best results to use this in the larger of the two bowls. Course you don't have to use it as a two tier you can just use the larger of the bowls and have it as one if you prefer and we are advised that ingredients should go in the larger bowl as that is always the one closer to the steam action and lighter and things like that, that need less cooking time should go in the small.
In the booklet that comes with this steamer you do get, at the back of it some ideas on cooking times which is great for us newbies to steaming. Course you soon get good at guessing how long you want your food to be cooked for but as a rough guide we are told that this cooks peas and asparagus in about 8 minutes, runner beans, broccoli, Carrots and cauliflower in about 20 minutes, rice (white) 30 minutes (brown) about 45-50 minutes, sweet potatoes 20-25 minutes and boned fish fillets take about half an hour. Meat such as poultry is mentioned in the booklet to be steamed but no cooking times for meat is given, personally though I don't want to use this to steam meat anyway so I'm not bothered personally on the lack of information on that subject!
The first time I bought some prepared cauliflower I set the timer (which is easy to do with times stated around the dial) for the said 20 minutes. Disgusting! The veg was still rock hard and I have now learnt to add another 20 minutes to most foods unless they are really thinly cut/sliced so it is better and more edible for me.
I cook loads in here and like I just let you know I use prepared vegetables so I don't have to cut/peel them and whatever and I buy them fresh. I love corn on the cob done in here, ready prepared stir fry, sprouts all sorts really, food just tastes so naturally fresh. The other day I steamed a small cod fillet with a sweet potato and it took me 40 minutes for my potato and about the same for my fish and it was gorgeous and took no effort from me at all.
This unit looks nice and is so very functional too and it certainly won't be a dust collector as my Mother predicted it would be. It is, as stated on the box easy to clean and the only very small issues I have with this is that the electric power cable is really short an that there is no noise on the time letting me know it has finished in my selected time via the timer. Also I have to watch that I don't burn myself (an issues with all steamers, I'm sure!) when removing the lid and the likes but other than that I am more than happy to eat food containing their natural vitamins and minerals and all round goodness. This is simply wonderful and a great way of eating healthier...I'm a convert now!
Google if interested or this is available from Freemans.com
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
The Hinari HTP109 is ideal for the healthy cooking of fish and vegetables / ing retains more vitamins and nutrients in food than other cooking methods such as boiling, where nutrients leach away into the water / The er has a 5 litre capacity, yet is compact in size and collapsible for easy storage / It features 2 Layers with a removable base for large items and also includes a rice bowl / All removable parts are dishwasher proof for easy cleaning / The HTP109 has a 60min timer, blue illuminated On/Off LED and Boil Dry Protection with Auto Shut off if it runs out of water / Short name: Hinari HTP109