Serious Eats

Gadgets: Trudeau Silicone Vegetable Steamer

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[Photograph: Cooking.com]

I've watched The Biggest Loser enough times to understand the value of steaming. Yes, it's good for you, and it preserves the flavor and nutritional value of your vegetables. I know.

But for far too long I've resisted steaming my veggies because there's simply no space in my kitchen for those clunky dual-level steaming contraptions (which I'd never be able to fill up when cooking for one, anyway). All that changed when I found this cute-looking silicone steamer by Trudeau, which does away with pretty much all my steaming woes.

The size and material make it an easy option whether you're cooking for one or four, since it can fold up and fit into smaller or larger pots. Some steamers specify that you should keep your veggies in one layer, but piling them high is no problem for this gadget.

Better yet, the handles make it easy to move back and forth, even after it's been sitting in boiling water for a while. Metal models require some crafty maneuvering, like sticking a fork through the holes to lift, and never seem to cool off. I loved that I could handle this one without flinching the whole way through, roll it up, and pour its contents onto a dish without the slightest hassle.

I'm torn over the last feature: the silicone feet. I wished they were a little taller so that I could use just a bit more water without it touching the bottom of the bowl, but I loved the secure feeling that no metal would scratch the base of my pots as I jiggled it around.

It's hard to find much fault with a gadget that performs such a straightforward function, but in the end, I was pleasantly surprised as to how much the advantages went beyond the purely nutritional.

The steamer is available for $12.95 from Cooking.com.

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