I currently cook with a steamer, but it's made out of plastic. It seems incredibly hard to find one made out of stainless steel (or any other good material), so : what brand do you use, and if you don't steam, do you have a good alternative to steaming?
I've always used a stainless steel colander over a pot of simmering water with an old pot lid on top of it to catch the steam. I'm sure it doesn't work as well as an actual steamer, but it does the trick for me!
For stuff like asparagus or carrots, i just cook it in a shallow pan with a little water, or sautee it in butter over low heat with the lid on. I find that a steaming rig is really only needed for things thwt cook a long time like artichokes.
I go by the Alton Brown mindset of "no uni-taskers in the kitchen". I use a stainless steel colander and set it inside a pot. Don't have to spend money on a separate steamer, nor is it another thing to try to fit in my cabinets.
I've got a stainless one. Where I live there are specialist supermarkets catering to Chinese, Koreans and other Asians, and they always stock them. You could also try restaurant supply firms. Or, instead of a steamer that goes inside one of your pots, get one of those two tier pots where the upper tier has a perforated base.
I realise this is heretical for some people, but microwave ovens provide a good alternative to steaming.
I use this. It was like $5 and works fine. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Extendable-Handle-Steamer-Basket/16565399?findingMethod=rr
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