* Prices may differ from that shown
I recently purchased this steamer to replace an older tefal model, but was surprised to see that the design had been radically changed.The baskets are more of an oval shape, rather than the old round shape which wasted space. This new new design incorporated a larger capacity, therefore i was able to steam more food over a shorter period of time. Since i use this steamer almost everyday, i was happy that it was so easy to clean and use.This steamer has a keep warm function which automatically then keeps the food warm when the cooking time is over.
I was mostly pleased that it collapses into a third of it's size for easy storage since the baskets make it compact. If you are health conscious like me, you will love this model as it cooks vegetable quickly and it comes with a rice bowl which makes it slightly better than the entry level model.
Unfortunately it does have some design flaws like the black water bowl at the bottom make it difficult to see the water level. Another design flaw is that the trays can sometimes wobble which is a bit dangerous.
Some of the vegetables can come out soggy if you over cook them, so you have to constantly check up on them.
This model is ten times better than the previous model, even with a few design flaws it is still good value for money. i would recommend it
This device was a replacement of my old Tefal steamer/slow cooker (but I never liked the slow cooker, so didn't use it much). My old steamer took up so much space, but this one it all fits together and has given me much more space to fill! I just put it in the back of the cupboard and it fits fine. The steamer itself is great and easy to use. Just remember to check the numbers on the bowls - if you get them the wrong way around as I did the first time I used it, you may find that when you put the second bowl on top of the first it slots inside instead of sitting on top - oops! The removeable bases are a bit fiddly, just as others have said, but not enough to put anyone off buying it for that reason alone. I find that by gently pulling the sides apart the base is easier to slot in. There is a keep warm function, check the amendment to the instructions first and set this function AFTER the cooking has started. A great buy - and check out the book Steaming which has opened my eyes to steamer cooking!
After many years use my battered old electric steamer finally gave up the ghost, it was discoloured from steaming carrots and the pegs that held the bottoms of the baskets in place had snapped making filling and moving the baskets quite a dangerous manoeuvre as misbalance vegetables would collapse the bottom of the basket and pour all over the work tops.
My old electric steamer was a Tefal, so I thought I would purchase another Tefal steamer, a quick look online and I was soon ordering a Tefal VC101616 (catchy name). I was seduced by its brushed steel base and large 9 litre capacity and its claim to compact storage.
When my steamer arrived I duly unpacked and inspected it, to my dismay I discovered it had the loose bottom baskets held on by two little pegs again, the undoing of my previous steamer. Rather than send it back I threw caution to the wind and decided to keep it, my old steamer had lasted a good 5 years before the pegs snapped rendering it useless, unless I wished to steam tree branch sized pieces of broccoli.
The base is as promised brushed stainless steel and is proving impervious to my rather messy approach to cooking; a quick wipe after use soon has it looking like new. There is a large plastic water level indicator window which lights up with a friendly orange glow when steaming is in progress.
Although the Tefal VC101616 (rolls straight off the keyboard that name) boasts a large 9 litre capacity I have to say I was most disappointed by its largeness (maybe it was measured by a man). The steamer can easily hold enough vegetables for a family of four, but anymore than that and it would seriously impede upon its cooking time. My stamer can usually hold 3 pounds of new potatoes, a pound of carrots and 2 pound of broccoli. While there is more room in the 2nd and 3rd baskets for a few more vegetables the 1st basket is full to capacity.
When I filled the base of the steamer with water from my filter jug I had trouble finding the max fill level, I assumed it was to the top of the water level indicator window but it is not. Inside the base there is a small line that goes ¾ of the way up the base with the word max underneath it; this is the max fill level.
Inside the base is the element, this is fully concealed so can be given a quick wipe over to dry before putting away. When filling the base I noted that there is nowhere to top the water up during cooking, my previous steamer had a little pull out draw where extra water could be tipped in during cooking. The only option for water top up during cooking is to lift all the baskets off, remove the stock/juice collection tray and fill directly into the base, this is not something I advise as you would be handling hot steaming food and could be in danger of burning yourself. So far I have not had to refill during cooking as a full base gives 1 hour of steam.
I was pleased to note that the inner of the base and the stock/juice collection tray are all in glossy black plastic, my previous steamer was white plastic and it did not take long to become discoloured from cooking juices and take on an orange hue that no amount of scrubbing would shift. While I don't think the black plastic is impervious to stains I know it will conceal them much better than white.
The steamer comes with three baskets, all of roughly the same size there must be a size difference as they can slot inside of each other for storage. The baskets all stack neatly onto each other for cooking up to three different foods at once. Unfortunately Tefal have chosen to go with small pegs again to hold the bottom of the bases in. When the steamer is first used the pegs are very sturdy and stand up to the bases being removed for cleaning purposes or for using two baskets at once to steam large food items, but over time I fear they will become brittle like my old steamer and snap off. The baskets are made of nice clear plastic and the lid is clear plastic too with holes in to vent the steam, the handle is also clear plastic and is glued onto the lid not moulded as part of the lid. The lid is easy to lift off with out getting burnt by the steam vents.
The base of the steamer has two dials, the black one is the timer, it is easy to turn it to the amount of time you want the steamer to run for, and is marked in one minute increments to 60 minutes. At the end of steaming the timer will ping to let you know it has finished. The large white dial is a keep warm dial this has two options, yes/no and needs setting before steaming starts. I do not use the keep warm function so can't comment on it, but Tefal say it is an auto warmer to prevent food drying out.
The steamer comes with a large rice dish, again I have not used this so can't honestly comment on it.
When it comes to storage the steamer is very compact all the baskets slot inside each other and then can be stored upside down on the top of the base taking up not much more room than the base itself, unfortunately there is no cord storage and the cord has to be wrapped around the base. The power cord is 28 inches long, which is enough for it to be plugged in without it dangling dangerously every where.
I have been using my steamer for a couple of months and have only used it for steaming vegetables so far, I usually fill the baskets and pop the timer on for 60 minutes, the steamer only takes a few minutes to heat up and then steadily steams for an hour or until the water dries out, the steamer has a safety cut-out for if it boils dry, I have never had the steamer boil dry when I have used it, one fill to max is enough for an hour of steaming. The vegetables come out perfect for me after an hour but everyone's tastes are different and may want to cook for less/more time.
In conclusion I am fairly happy with my new electric steamer I paid £45 for it from littlewoods.com. I would of liked the baskets to of been different and would quite happily swap the auto-warmer for an easy fill draw, maybe I will learn my lesson this time and actually read about electrical items before clicking the buy button.
Thank you for reading.
The Simply Invents by Tefal Steamer is a fantastic all-in-one food steamer and vegetable steamer with three levels for different food types.The automatic keep warm function keeps food warm until you are ready to eat whilst the ultra compact storage bowls stack upside down over the base for more room in your kitchen.Features a 60 minute mechanical timer external water level and 9 litre capacity.