Compare steamer insert with the lid that’s designed to rest on the rim and steamer basket that collapses to fit inside of any pot.
Steamer insert or steamer basket? What is the difference? The steamer insert is not a complete food steamer. It’s an accessory with perforated base that can be used with a pot or pan to steam foods. Some steamer inserts come with lids, some don’t. The steamer insert that comes without a lid and sits inside the pan is also called a steamer basket.
The steamer insert and steamer basket are designed to steam vegetables, fruits, dumplings, meat, poultry and seafood.
Steamer insert & steamer basket types
There are many steamer inserts and baskets on the market. Some of them are made of stainless steel, some are made of silicone.
Stainless steel steamer insert with 2 or 3 step base fits any circular pots with different capacities, from any brand and called a “universal steamer insert“.
Steamer insert can be inserted inside of a pan that has 1 inch of water or placed over the pan to rest on the rim.
The collapsible steamer basket expands to fit any pot size and collapses for easy storage.
There are also plastic and food-safe nylon steamer inserts, but we don’t recommend them because nylon inserts are usually made with plastic parts (that melt on low or medium heat).
We reviewed best steamer inserts and steamer baskets that are made by different brands and listed them below.
Best Steamer Inserts & Steamer Baskets
Sunsella stainless steel vegetable steamer is a collapsible steamer basket with stainless steel legs that requires additional pot with lid. It opens like a flower from 5.3″ to 9.25″ diameter. It prepares 1-2 servings of food. It’s safe to steam baby … Read Review
Anolon 77447 stainless steel universal steamer insert is made of stainless steel and comes with a glass lid. It has tapered shape and works with taper-shaped, straight-sided and tulip-shaped deep circular pots by any brand. Due to its 3 steps on the side, Anolon stainless … Read Review
WMF perfect plus 8-Inch steamer insert set is designed for WMF perfect plus pressure cookers. WMF perfect plus 8-Inch steamer insert set features Prepares 2-3 servings. Stainless steel construction. Diameter-8 “. Fits all WMF perfect plus pressure cookers. Great for … Read Review
Cuisinart 7116-20 chef’s classic 20-centimeter universal steamer insert with cover is made of 18/10 stainless steel polished to a mirror finish with aluminum core and fits 2, 3 and 4 quart chef’s classic saucepans. Cuisinart chef’s classic stainless steel universal steamer insert … Read Review
All-Clad 4703-ST stainless steel 3-quart universal steamer insert is one piece cookware that doesn’t come with a lid. All-Clad 4703-ST stainless steel 3-quart universal steamer insert features Steams poultry, vegetables and seafood. Insert fits All Clad 3-4 qt sauce pans, 3-4 quart … Read Review
All-Clad 59915 stainless steel all-purpose steamer with lid is not complete steamer. It’s a steamer insert and requires circular cooking pot or pan with 6 inch and 8 inch diameter. All-Clad stainless steel all-purpose steamer insert with lid features. Steams poultry, seafood and vegetables. … Read Review
Norpro red silicone food steamer insert 10.75″ is FDA approved silicone steamer insert made by Norpro. Steamer fits 8″/20cm diameter pot & sits on top of it. Norpro red silicone food steamer insert 10.75″ features. Easy to grab outer rim. Nonstick. Small legs add stability when … Read Review
Norpro 176C vegetable steamer is stainless steel collapsible steamer insert that expands from 5.5″/14cm to 9.5″/24cm with 2 loop handles for easy lifting. Stainless steel vegetable steamer insert can steam, large vegetables such as heads of broccoli, artichokes, sweet potatoes, squash, … Read Review
Norpro red knockdown 8 inch steamer insert strainer is made of silicone and requires pan with the same 8 inches/20cm diameter to create a complete seal for steaming. Nonstick silicone steamer is easy to clean. How Norpro red knockdown 8 … Read Review
Norpro microwave silicone vegetable steamer with insert, green is made of flexible, non toxic and non stick silicone for small family of 1 or 2 person and great for steaming 1 or 2 servings of vegetables, meats and fish. Norpro microwave silicone vegetable steamer with insert. … Read Review
Norpro Large No Post Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer is not a full steamer, it’s a steamer insert and can be used with any medium or large size pan. It’s similar to other Norpro collapsible vegetable steamer with post, but this … Read Review
Norpro 175 Stainless Steel Collapsible Vegetable Steamer is not a full steamer with pot, it’s just a steamer insert which can be used with any pot. Norpro stainless steel collapsible vegetable steamer features and measurements. Steamer expands to fit pot size. … Read Review
Secura steam rack basket set . This set was designed by Secura for 6 quart pressure cooker, but it can also fit other pressure cookers models made by other brands. (Check dimensions below). Secura 6-quart electric pressure cooker steam rack basket … Read Review
Circulon 70135 stainless steel universal food steamer with lid is not a complete full steamer, it’s just a steamer insert with a lid and requires an additional pot. It fits 2-quart, 3-quart, 4-quart capacity pots and works almost with any circular … Read Review