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When we moved into our first house there were lots of things we needed to buy so opted for hand me downs from family whenever possible. My mum gave me a steamer which she didn't use anymore and, after just over a year it gave up the ghost so I decided to buy a new one as I do like to use my steamer on a regular basis. I bought the Russell Hobbs 19270-56 steamer from Amazon about eighteen months ago; it cost me just over £40, although it now sells for just under £40. I wouldn't usually pay so much but I've decided that when I replace items in my kitchen to buy a decent brand in the hope that these items will last. The steamer itself is very modern in design, with the body being brushed stainless steel with black plastic handles. There's a 60 minute timer dial on the front of the steamer which is really clear and easy to use, next to this there's a water fill gauge. I keep my steamer in the cupboard the majority of the time as I don't have a lot of work top space but it's something I would have no problem with keeping out and I think it would fit into both a modern and traditional kitchen. Using this steamer is really straight forward, all you have to do is plug it in and pour some water in, and you can put water in from both sides of the steamer so you don't have to worry about where you place it on your work surface. The steamer has three baskets, but it can still be used with just one or two baskets depending on what you're cooking in it. There's also a rice bowl and egg holder which comes with the steamer, I've cooked rice and it's it absolutely delicious and cooks perfectly. The egg holder creates a poached egg which cook perfectly too although I wouldn't get the steamer out just to do an egg. The steamer cooks absolutely delicious vegetables; they're full of flavour and lose none of the goodness which is why steaming food is so healthy. The three tier baskets work really well because you can have meat or fish in one, rice or potatoes in the second and vegetables in the third, meaning you can steam a whole meal for many people. As I mentioned the steamer is really easy to use and the timer runs for 60 minutes, an alarm goes off when your timer comes to an end and the machine automatically shuts off. Overall, I'd really recommend this Russell Hobbs steamer, although it's not the cheapest on the market it works brilliantly and I hope to be using it for a long time to come. Steaming is a very healthy way to make a quick and simple meal, and coupled with the design and features of this steamer there's nothing else I could want from this type of machine.
Russell hobbs steamer The hob on my oven was renectly broken and I needed to cook vegetables etc so in the interim decided to buy a steamer. I bought the steamer from amazon and costing under £20 it wasn't too expensive which was a bonus because I knew that once the hob was working again I wouldn't use the steamer as much. This isn't an especially big steamer but with its 7 litre capacity it's plenty big enough for our vegetables. The steamer itself has 3 tiers in the form of three plastic, and quite flimsy bowls. They have little handles on the sides to lift them up. The tiers are separated by putting in black plastic separator a so for me the whole thing is quite diddly and there are lots of bits and pieces to store and to keep in one place. When the food is steaming there is a lid which sits on the top of however many bowls are being used at the time, presumably to stop all of the steam escaping. There is also a a separate rice bowl, but I haven't attempted rice yet. The base unit has a small reservoir where the water goes and the minimum and maximum levels are clearly indicated. On the front of the base unit is the timer which just has to turned to the time required up to 60 minutes. To use the steamer is quite simple. The base unit should be on a flat level surface and the reservoir needs to be filled to maximum level. Sit however many baskets you need on top of the base unit remembering to put the mounts between each bowl, and then put the lid on top. Plug in the steamer, and the light comes on to show that it's steaming then just leave it to do its business. There is a thermostat fitted so that the unit cuts out and the reservoir doesn't become damaged. The steamer can be bought in major supermarkets and department stores and the RRP is £21.99. It also comes with a three year guarantee which seems to mean it will touch all bases for things going wrong. VERDICT... I'd never before used a steamer so the little instruction booklet with tips and advice came in handy and even more handy at the back of the booklet there is a list of suggested cooking times. I do find that vegetables take longer to cook and so the whole thing has been a learning curve. The small plastic bowls aren't especially sturdy and I find myself taking extra care when putting them into the cupboard in case they smash; I don't fancy their changes if they fell from a height onto the floor. At first I was nervous about all of the water drying out but I find that if I fill the reservoir to maximum then even if it's on for 60 minutes, the reservoir doesn't dry out. I have used this only for vegetables and whilst they do cook, it is for me an eventually. They seem to take much longer than in a pan but the advantage is that they don't got soggy. Cooking things really is a bit of trial and error, because they obviously cook at different speeds depending on which basket they are in. Handy to have in the kitchen but I will in general stick to my pans of boiling water Thanks for reading Daniela xx