When choosing a seafood steamer, the two most important things to consider are how much seafood will be cooked, and where the cooking will be done. For those who intend to cook relatively small amounts of seafood at home, a one-piece steamer would probably be more than enough. On the other hand, those who intend to cook large amounts of seafood, or will be doing the cooking outdoors, might find a three-piece steamer to be preferable. There are many advantages to steaming seafood, chief among them being steamed food doesn’t lose its flavor the way foods cooked with other methods, like boiling, often do. Steamed seafood also retains most of its vitamins and minerals, and is a healthier choice than fried seafood.
When shopping for a steamer, cooks should consider where they will use the steamer and how much seafood will be cooked. For those who intend to cook small amounts of seafood in a home kitchen, a one-piece seafood steamer is probably the best option. These types of steamers are small to medium in size, and can have a capacity of from 12 quarts to 36 quarts. With a one-piece seafood steamer, the seafood is placed in a basket or rack, which is then suspended over the water in the steamer pot.
For those who intend to cook large amounts of seafood for big gatherings, a one-piece seafood steamer might not be enough. In these cases, a larger, three-piece seafood steamer might be more suitable. These large steamers can have a capacity of up to 100 quarts, and have three parts: a pan to hold the liquid that will be creating the steam, a pot to hold the seafood, and a lid to hold in the steam. Many people who plan to cook outside, at a seafood beach boil for example, will often use a three-piece seafood steamer.
A seafood steamer can be used to cook all types of seafood, including fish, clams, crab, lobster, and shrimp. There are many advantages to choosing steaming over other cooking methods. Seafood that is steamed doesn’t lose as much of its natural flavor as food that is boiled in water, where most of the flavor is lost to the liquid. Cooking seafood in a seafood steamer also helps it to retain its vitamins and minerals, making it a far healthier choice than fried seafood. Finally, steaming seafood is fast and easy, requiring few extra ingredients, and minimal prep time.