on 9 August 2009
We are retired folks and have for decades followed the sensible way of cooking veggies - by steaming. Our trusty three tiered pot ensemble has been updated twice so far - and with a recent holiday break - self catering, my wife had the use of an electric steamer for the first time. And so, it came to pass that I hosted her a 'top of the range' Intellisteam(er)
She mastered the simple logic panel and luxuriated in being able to preprogramme for the various contents, ready all at the same time and with plenty of latitude on serving.
Okay - so - what is with the 'BUT' in my appraisal?
We don't 'do' dishwashers. Only us two in the home - she washes and I dry. Simple and a long time habit. From two pots (usually) and a lid from the old steamer ... we now have to attend a multiplicity of plastic containers and fittings (approximately twelve!) and empty the base and dry it thoroughly (note it starts 'scaling up' from day one!!)
So - friends, 'Labour saving' is is NOT! And trust me, ageing hands having to dab, wipe remove smears . . . isn't an easy task.
So, before rushing to provide this as a gift to your 'elders' spare a thought for the 'no dishwasher' followers.
NOTE: After four weeks and about twenty sessions - one of the three power generators (These heat and steam into the compartments) failed. Investigation reveals that this is not UNCOMMON. Amazon - as always reliable, refunded promptly. Thanks guys!
We've settled for a Kenwood three tier unit. Not as fancy - but hopefully it'll last more than a month! STAR RATING REMOVED !!!!
on 29 December 2009
As a single guy, the main issue I encounter in terms of food is not being bothered to cook because the effort required to do something decent and the mountain of washing up all for one person is really not worth it! My previous plan to overcome this was to eat well at work and have something small at home but this plan falls through somewhat when off work for a while! Usually resulting in me eating crap instead which is obviously not good!
This steamer is absolutel perfect for someone in my situation, it takes no effort to actually cook anything and there isn't a mountain of washing up afterwards! To illustrate, let me take you through my first experience with the steamer:
Setting it up was a doddle, fill the base with water and slot the compartments into place. Take a look in the manual to see an exhaustive list of what times for what foods and sort whatever ingredients to want to use into compartments based on this. The times don't have to be exactly the same, I put two ingredients that needed 20 and 28 minutes respectively in the same compartment and they both turned out perfectly after 28 minutes.
Set the times either using the pre-saved programmes depending on the types of food or alter the times manually. I had to alter them slightly as the preset times assume enough for 4 people. The times for 1-4 people are in the manual too. Once this is set, just leave it!
I then nipped out to get some last minute things and when i got back, the steamer had only 5 mins to go. When that had finished the food was great, I had my misgivings as steamed food can sometimes be really bland but no such problem here!
Washing up was a doddle too, just rinse the compartments and empty the base of water and you're done!
A dinner consisting of chicken breast, carrots, sprouts, new potatoes, stuffing and gravy all in less than half an hour. The last time I made a dinner of that calibre I was in the kitchen for ages and had loads of pans to clean afterwards!
I love this thing! Next experiment tomorrow.
I have recently started steaming food and I find the taste is much better than most other forms of cooking. Potatoes for example taste how I remember them tasting from my childhood - when my mum steamed most veg. I have used it for all the vegetables, as well as chicken and boiled eggs, I have cooked since I got it and I'm hooked. This is a brilliant piece of kit and does exactly what it says on the box. It has three separate compartments which can be reduced to two by taking out a divider. If you're cooking a whole meal you can programme each compartment to cook the food for different times and it will be cooked at the same time. The food is automatically kept warm for up to 40 mins after it has finished cooking. The timings in the instructions are proving accurate even though they seem on the long side when you first read them. The first time I used it I must admit I stood over it to watch it did switch on when it was supposed to, but you can walk away and leave it and a buzzer will sound when the food is cooked. The steamer comes with two sauce dishes and two stands/baskets for things like fish and rice. The instruction book is all in English which means you don't have to search through lots of other languages to find the one you want, and there are seven recipes at the back for you to try. I have only two complaints to make - the price and the fact that the steam vents are on the outer corners which means you're likely to reach over them when you're taking the lids off unless you're very careful. If they were on the inside of each segment it would have been preferable. That said - this is the Rolls Royce of steamers and if you intend to do a lot of steaming I would recommend it in spite of the price.
First impressions of this steamer were good. It looked like a high tech piece of kitchen equipment rather than a utilitarian, boring steamer. It would not look out of place in anybody's high-tech kitchen next to the microwave.
Having to program something that looked as though it had come from the star ship Enterprise was initially a bit daunting but the instructions were absolutely first class. They are really simple and clearly explained with step-by-step diagrams. An exercise in how instructions for kitchen appliances should be.
The information included comprehensive steaming details for vast range of foods and portion sizes. The timers are pre-set for ease of use but can be changed with just one touch of a button. And the high-tech looks can be kept gleaming due to the wipe-clean surfaces and removable food trays. An absolute doddle to clean. It even keeps my oven clean because I hardly use it any more!
One of the problems I usually have is getting everything to cook at the same rate so that it is ready at the same time. This steamer makes this problem child's play with its automatic cook-together function; this ensures that no container cooks its contents more quickly than any other and it all finishes at the same time. I don't know how it works all this out but it works a treat.
If you're not ready to eat it when it has finished cooking then the keep-warm function keeps it all warm for up to 40 minutes, very useful if you're in the middle of the latest soap episode!
There are some downsides to this steamer. By its very nature the steam obscures the food during cooking so you can't tell if it needs a stir. And if you're thinking of cooking up a gourmet dinner for six then think again: you can't cook more than a two-person portion of some items like pasta.
The manufacturer's seem to think you can even cook things like sausages in it and as a vegetarian I will never know how successful this might be. But I can't imagine eating a rather bleached looking piece of meat from this unit will do anything to cause the taste-buds to tingle. Let's be realistic, there are some food items that are just not meant to be steamed.
Compared to my budget steamer (the three dishes set on top of one another) this is the Rolls Royce of steamers. It's very efficient, extremely easy to use and produces excellent (in my case, vegetarian) results. Its stylish and minimalist appearance just adds to its desirability.
But you do pay for this quality and, just like buying a Rolls Royce, each individual must decide whether it is worth the money. In my case, I've given up on the awkward budget steamer and use this one all the time.
on 23 May 2010
loved this at first- cooked well easy to clean - and i kept it in pristine condition. but 4 months down the line it started to play up and foods weren't cooking in the different compartments as they were supposed to. the final straw came when i nearly served partially cooked food and i sent it back. maybe it was the temperature in my kitchen that was too high for the machine to function properly or steam getting into the gadgetry but i won't be buying another one. very very disappointed
As this gift was for my daughter, it's only fitting I give her the last word (and all the others you'll see below) for this review...
I have to say, I really like it!
I'm one of those people who's proud of the time they spend slaving away over a hot stove to bring together a huge meal for twelve all made from scratch. So, it's a bit of a weird feeling just putting the food in and leaving it! I mean, I don't even have to check it - which is nice, cos my glasses always get cloudy when opening the oven door.
It's very convenient, even more so if you're utilising the whole space and cooking a couple of meals, perhaps even different meals. So, if I want one chicken dish and another salmon it doesn't matter; no dashing between two pans, the oven and so on, it all goes in there, and there's plenty of space particularly with the extra black compartment boxes you can put in for sauces, rice etc.
I feel almost as though I'm not cooking, yet it's healthy, tasty, and doesn't involve a microwave (for me, these should only be used for some reheating, milk and popcorn).
The only thing that can be said against it (not so much against, just not as much for) is that when, like me, you're cooking for one and you don't always eat a lot, so you just feel like some steamed salmon and salad for example, the piece of salmon does look a little sad in that big machine on its own and it feels like a bit of a waste of water too. Maybe they could invent a mini version. But, but but but, I stress that this isn't really a downside as I do cook for other people too so I'm glad for it's extra space.
I am particularly impressed by being able to prepare sauces in it; I've never seen that function before on a steamer. In fact, I didn't know I could steam half the stuff that this thing can! It's a good machine, much more attractive than I've previously seen with steamers and more practical, easy to look after, easy to store away or would fit in on any work surface, and easy to use.
I mean, you just need to click the picture and go! It's very straightforward; I normally set five different alarms for the different components of my meals to try and get them all ready at once and there's still always one that's too early or a bit late, so I was both surprised and pleased to find how the Intellisteam completely eradicates that issue.
Thumbs up from me, a good investment, even if you're not time-strapped - you'll discover even more time, take up a hobby! Take a nap! Ooh, that reminds me - the icing on the cake; if you oversleep with your nap, maybe get too engrossed in your new hobby... s'all good, it keeps it warm for 40 minutes! That's pretty good in my books.
on 28 December 2009
I justed wanted to tell everybody that I am more than pleased with the Intellisteam!
I had it sent to Germany because the price here is almost twice than that in the UK (still love the Euro:-)).
So far we tried salmon (very moist), rice (very fluffy), brokkoli (nice colour and taste), potatoes (very good), chicken breasts (moist and tender) andandand..
It is so easy to handle and good to clean. We don't use the dishwasher for it, it's very quick washed up in the sink.
Can't say anything negative about it. It was a very good investment.
on 13 September 2009
Pros: each compartment has it's own timer - great for steaming a complete meal and finish at same time; separate compartments means flavours are not contaminated; large reservoir; sensible compartment size means sensible portions; steaming is healthier option to frying or heating in oven.
Cons: poor quality print on buttons (has already eroded on my steamer - used it for two weeks); not exactly negative point but this machine is large and takes up space on kitchen counter.
Fantastic idea, placing three individual steam generators and cooking containers into one unit, and the 'computer control' buttons are absolutely simplicity itself to use.
Massive water reservoir, which is great as it holds enough to cook for an hour with all cooking containers, and the actual buttons on the unit have pictures, so for example you can press the peas icon, and it knows the average time to cook peas, and factors that into the other items cooking so all will be ready together. There is however one major downside, especially with the units price. The manufacturers have inexplicably decided to use shiny plastic, instead of stainless steel for the sides, and this makes the whole unit downgrade from a top notch gadget worth every penny for, to me, a cheapened plastic utensil that quickly scratched. So, buyer beware, the unit is not as it looks, it has got plastic sides!
If your a stainless steel kitchen 'aficionado' then I would wait until they change this to steel, as they will dowubtless do in a future edition. The LCD screen is very, very basic too and no doubt this will have a tweak for the next edition.
Very scathing review I guess, but for the money, I would be sorely dissapointed with this, and they will have to do some major redesign to meet this consumers expectations!
on 13 November 2009
The end results are very good, which is the main thing, but I find it very bulky and heavy, particularly when trying to empty the tank partly full of very hot water.
The instruction book was pretty good, and the setting-up was easy, even though initially the front looks like the flight deck of Concorde!
Generally, a good purchase, the fact that a complete meal can be cooked at one time, and there is no crossover of flavours is a definite plus