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There's a better reason than healthful cooking to consider an electric steamer. Quite simply, it's taste.

Steaming produces delicious food with a special flavour and tenderness. The Chinese have known this for years, and make the most appetizing meals steamed in bamboo baskets placed over a wok of boiling water. Nowadays, metal steamers replace the bamboo for easier cleaning.

An electric steamer gives you all the benefits of steamed food without your having to know the secret tricks of steaming food successfully.

The amount of liquid you need is clearly marked. In traditional steaming, you have to take care that the cooking pot is large enough to allow the steam to circulate freely. The electric steamer has this all built into its design. And of course, because it's a small appliance, it uses electricity more efficiently.

Many electric steamers today also give you the option of stackable steaming trays, so that you can steam more than one type of food at a time.

Some offer you variable temperatures, so that you heat the liquid rather than boiling it. The gentle steam from the hot, rather than boiling liquid, keeps food warm without cooking it further or drying it out.

Some offer you steaming trays without steaming holes. This provides you with an electric "double boiler" option, ideal for gourmet dishes such as hollandaise sauce.

Steaming keeps the taste and nutrients inside the food, where they are needed most. It's probably one of the best ways of cooking delicate foods such as fish, and fine vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, beans, zucchini and even carrots. Any flavourings you add to the steaming liquid are steamed into the food as it cooks.

An electric steamer gives you that perfect taste, perfectly easily.