Product Type: Russell Hobbs electrical appliances
Newest Review: ... product is very easy to use. In the base unit is the resevoir tray where you add you water. You can add up to 1 and 3/4 pints which will ... more
I'd like a steaming hot one!
Russell Hobbs 3501
Member Name: Sparkled_pixie
Russell Hobbs 3501
Advantages: Easy to use, cheap to buy, does what it promises to do .
Disadvantages: None unless you dont adhere to safety rules .
I don't quite know what I used to do before I bought a steamer to cook my food. I was always at a loss on how to prepare and cook certain foods in particular fish, I try not to fry foods as I know it isn't good for me, no matter how good they taste and it was when I was doing my weekly shop that I decided to ask the fishmonger what the best way to cook the Salmon steak I had just bought was. It was suggested I tried putting it in my steamer for 15 minutes and adding the odd bit of parsley on top to add to the flavour, not wanting to sound embarrassed and say I didn't realise you could cook fish in a steamer, I thought it was just vegetables I decided to order one and quick.
My choice of steamer was the three tier Russell Hobbs 3501 Steamer. I choose it because it looked easy to use and it wasn't too expensive at £19.95 and because the box stated that it cooked "Steams rice, vegetables, fish and sea food whilst retaining maximum flavour" which sounded brilliant and something I couldn't live without. There was also the added extra of a steaming guide to cooking your food which came with this steamer, so I would be able to use it straight away and know what I was doing.
This steamer comes in the classic white colour only and holds a capacity of 9 litres. It comes with a 1.1 litre rice bowl and has three sections. Each section is made up of a hard plastic basket which you can decide whether or not you want to use them and make it one or two tier as required. The base of the steamer is also where you are required to put hot water, preferably from a boiled kettle into so that it can cook your food, there is a clear indicator based on the front so you can see how much water has been added and again depending upon what is being cooked depends on how much water you will need.
The baskets are stackable on top of one another to create the three tier system and between each basket is a divider, the baskets themselves are see through so you can watch your food being cooked and there is a one size fits all lid. On the base of the steamer you will find the 60 minute timer which has a bell ringer to indicate the cooking time has elapsed and depending on what food you cook is dependant on how long you set the timer for, it is a simple twist knob to set the timer, nothing too technical like a digital clock and the bell it quite loud so if I am upstairs I can hear it ring for a few seconds so that I know everything is cooked.
The book which accompanied the Steamer was very easy to read and gave a lot of advice when it comes to steaming your food and it seems that steaming your food has a lot of health benefits because fewer water soluble vitamins such as B an C are lost and the loss of vitamins through contact by air is reduced, steaming your food is also less time consuming and when cooking vegetables and food together such as fish there are no crosses flavors. In fact the one thing I have noticed is that in general my food actually tastes much nicer without any added salt or oil, the vegetables are crunchy which is how I like them instead of being an over boiled sloppy mess and I now each much more fish because I don't struggle with how long I should cook it for and in what I should cook it, everything is steamed. I steam lots of different foods ranging from rice, potatoes, vegetables, fish and even some meats and I have never felt let down.
To clean this food steamer is equally simple. Each of the baskets are removable so you can put them into your washing up bowl to wash them as you would everything else, although I would ask you to take care because they are made of plastic and will crack if something heavy lands on them. The base of the steamer is attached to the electrical cord, so it isn't advisable to put that in the washing bowl, to wash mine I simply use a wet cloth to wipe it clean because the only thing which has been in the bottom on the base if the water which cooks the actual food.
You must also take care when using a food steamer because the vapours which are released get very hot and can burn, so once the timer has rung to let you know that your food is cooked, wear an oven glove or something over your hand to remove the top lip to allow further vapours to escape before attempting to remove the food and take care not to dislodge the base of the steamer because it contains hot water which can scold. Without any water in the steamer it is very lightweight to move around and when it is full of water it is extremely heavy, so it is important to wait until the water has cooled down before attempting to empty it.
Overall I am impressed with my steamer, it is easy to use, it cooks the food really well, it is easy to clean and it was inexpensive to purchase and now I wouldn't be without it. If you are looking to purchase one for yourself you can find it online almost anywhere, although it does range in price quite rapidly and from memory Amazon was the cheapest. I bought mine for £19.95 from Robert Dyas on my high street.
Summary: A 3-tier food steamer