The 3 Best Microwave Steamers

The same technology that enables a microwave to cook food in record time also makes it an ideal appliance for efficiently steaming foods like vegetables, fish, and dumplings. The best microwave steamers will be sized for your cooking needs and storage limitations, and they'll also do double-duty as storage containers, so you can keep leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

When it comes to shopping for microwave steamers, your main consideration is size. You'll want one that's small enough to fit in your microwave, but big enough so that you don’t have to cook in batches. (If you have a compact microwave, be sure to check the steamer’s dimensions to confirm that it will fit). You’ll also want to consider storage. If you're tight on space, you can opt for a steamer that collapses to take up less room in your drawer or cabinet.

Finally, microwave steamers that double as refrigerator- and freezer-safe storage containers offer a lot of convenience, since you can do more with one convenient product. If you’re ready to explore what else your microwave can do, check out the best microwave steamers.

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1. The Best Microwave Steamer, All Things Considered

What’s great about it: The high sides of the medium-sized Sistema microwave steamer give it enough capacity to hold up to 2.4 liters, making it ideal for steaming multiple servings of greens or bulky vegetables, but it's also available in a smaller 1.4-liter capacity, which is still roomy, but compact enough for smaller microwaves. Both sizes feature a steamer basket with a center post to make loading and removal of ingredients easy and safe, and the four snaps secure the steamer’s lid shut during microwaving,

Made from BPA-free plastic, this option is versatile — all parts are dishwasher-, freezer-, and refrigerator-safe, so cleanup is a breeze, and you can use the container on its own to store cooked items. Plus, when used without the steamer insert, the Sistema can keep your microwave splatter-free when heating up soups or other saucy recipes.

One reviewer wrote: "I have 2 of these Sistema models and they work perfectly. About a quarter an inch of water, toss the veggies like cut broccoli, cauliflower, or shredded cabbage, and zap them for 5-6 minutes on high. [...] It also works great for frozen vegetables."

  • Available sizes: Small (6.6 x 6.6 x 4.2 inches), Medium (8.2 x 8.3 x 4.2 inches)

2. The Best Collapsible Microwave Steamer

What’s great about it: If storage space is limited in your kitchen, this silicone microwave steamer has an innovative, collapsible design that compresses to just 2.5 inches in height, so you can stash it in a drawer. And while the manufacturer doesn’t list the exact capacity, reviewers reported that the small size is perfect for up to two servings of vegetables, while the large can easily handle up to four servings.

When removing contents from the BPA-free steamer, two tabs on the perforated tray help keep hands at a safe distance from hot steam, but unlike other options, this pick doesn't have a vented lid. However since the material has a little give to it, some steam escapes naturally, helping to prevent any splatter. This option is also listed as dishwasher- and freezer-safe (and should likely be safe for fridge storage as well).

One reviewer wrote: "Love this! Was looking for a steamer that we could use in the microwave, but not made of plastic. This was perfect! And it folds flat so it's easy to store."

  • Available sizes: Small, (10.8 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches), Large (13.5 x 9.0 x 4.2 inches)

3. The Best Value Steamer

What’s great about it: The low-profile design of this microwave steamer from Progressive International is ideal for prepping up to two servings of food, and the basket itself can hold up to 1 quart (or just slightly less than 1 liter). An adjustable vent on the lid can be set to release more or less steam, depending on the quantity or density of what you're cooking, which can help prevent messes on the inside of your microwave. When the basket is removed, you can use the container to reheat food.

The BPA-free plastic is durable and dishwasher-safe, and while it's technically suitable for fridge and freezer storage, the lid doesn't snap on so it isn't airtight. The brand recommends running warm water around the lid edges after freezing to release frozen condensation.

One reviewer wrote: "This is literally the easiest way to make the perfect veggies. I'm super picky about how soggy/crunchy I like my vegetables to be, and it's super easy to make them perfectly with this item. I use it every day. It's easy to use and easy to clean."

  • Available sizes: One size (10.75 x 7.8 x 3 inches)