All food steamers work essentially the same way, but there were a few steamers we tested that rose to the top. One of those is the BELLA Food Steamer, which is one of the best food steamers we reviewed. Not only did it cook food evenly and thoroughly, foods retained their moisture and flavor. It also required less time to cook than other steamers in our lineup.
Although it doesn't have as many convenient features as our top-rated food steamer, the BELLA Food Steamer measures up in almost every way – and it offers the best warranty of any of the steamers on our list.
BELLA Food Steamer 13872: Main features
Steamers are generally very easy to use. After adding water and plugging the unit in, you add food and turn the dial to start the cooking process and the timer. The BELLA Food Steamer is as simple as that, and all of the tiers and the lid fit seamlessly.
The capacity is quite generous, so you can fit large pieces of fish and big portions of vegetables without issue. The water reservoir isn't the biggest, though, so you may have to refill it occasionally, especially if you cook your food for longer than the suggested time in the manual. BELLA makes it easy to refill, though, with an external water-fill area. And you can clearly see how much water is left in the reservoir through a small window on the front of the unit. The manual timer is easy to use, and you can set it for up to one hour.
This BELLA appliance comes with a two-year warranty, which is the longest guarantee you can get of the food steamers we tested. If your steamer acts up, you can send it back to the manufacturer. If it proves to be defective, it could be replaced or repaired for free within those first two years after your purchase.
Support from BELLA includes a Q&A section on the manufacturer's website where you can ask any question about this steamer and a representative should respond within a day or two. You can also find the user manual online, and you can call or email customer support with any questions you may have.
BELLA Food Steamer 13872: How it performed
Cleaning the BELLA Food Steamer didn't take very long – the pieces were easy to wash by hand. Like all steamers, though, there are holes to allow steam to get through the tiers and cook the food. Food can get trapped in these holes, though, making cleaning more difficult. All of the pieces – with the exception of the base – are dishwasher safe. The rice bowl and bottom tier can fit inside the upper tier for more compact storage, which is helpful if you have limited space on your countertops or in your cabinets.
This BELLA steamer proved equally impressive as the Hamilton Beach 5.5 Quart when we tasked it with cooking fish, chicken, potatoes and rice. The 6 ounces of fish we cooked only took 15 minutes to finish, and it had excellent texture, easily flaking with a fork, and tasted great. We found that steamed chicken wasn't great, in general, but this steamer made the best chicken overall. The marinated chicken came out thoroughly cooked, moister than any others we tried and with better flavor.
Potatoes in the BELLA Food Steamer were good, but the garlic didn't come through as prominently with this steamer as it did with others. As a vegetable steamer, the BELLA did produce a quality product, though – the potatoes were tender but not mushy, and thoroughly cooked. The rice, however, was the best rice we tasted from a food steamer. The texture and moisture level were just right. It was surprising especially when we saw that the recommended cooking time was only 20 minutes.
Should you buy the BELLA Food Steamer 13872?
The most important quality of any food steamer is its ability to cook your food well, and the BELLA Food Steamer earned high marks in each of our tests. It may not have all the advanced and convenient features of the best food steamers we tried, but it comes very close to being the best – especially with its two-year warranty and because it's so easy to use.