Review: Braun Identity Collection Food Steamer FS 5100
Steaming is one of the most simple and healthy cooking methods and when used to cook vegetables it helps to retain important nutrients as it uses less water and it is far more efficient than boiling.
While steaming on the stove is an easy option, food steamers are definitely more cost effective as they use less power.
I was sent the Braun Identity Collection Food Steamer FS 5100 in black to test it out.
Initial thoughts: A sleek looking appliance that doesn’t take up too much space on the counter, but its oval shape is great for cooking longer pieces of fish. And, if it’s not going to live on the counter top, the baskets all nest together nicely so not too much storage space is required.
Using it: It’s a very simple steamer in that it just features an on/off switch and a timing dial. Great for anyone who doesn’t like to fiddle with numerous buttons or have the time to figure out factory set programmes. I loved its simplicity – steamers really don’t need to be complicated!
The Braun steamer only has two baskets which can be used at the same time and is ideal when cooking for four or less. There are other steamers on the market which offer three baskets for simultaneous cooking which would be more suitable when cooking for an entire meal or for a larger family.
There is no water level indicator on the steamer so it takes time to check and top up the water level, which is not easy whilst in use. And as there are no handles on the drip trays, you need to remove the bottom one whilst clad with kitchen towels or oven mitts to get access to the water well.
That said, at no point did I run out of water while cooking. This would only be a concern when simultaneously steaming larger pieces of fish or chicken and longer-to-cook vegetables like potatoes.
The steamer is ready to go in under a minute and it will take you between 10-12 minutes to steam vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, baby carrots, green beans and halved Brussels sprouts. Baby potatoes and chunks of sweet potato will take between 18-20 minutes.
The book that accompanies the steamer has a list of timings for various foods, which will help when using it initially.
The baskets don’t feel particularly sturdy and I’d be worried that dropping them would end in them cracking or breaking beyond use. I would prefer a third basket to be able to cook larger meals.
6 best things about the Braun FS 5100 Food Steamer:
1. Clear baskets. This makes it easier to eye-ball the progress of the food and you’re less likely lose heat by lifting the lid each time you want to have a quick look.
2. Large 3l oval baskets great for cooking longer pieces of meat like fish.
3. No fussy buttons, just a simple timer dial.
4. Every removable part is dishwasher safe.
5. BPA free plastics.
6. Comes with two deep 2l bowls for cooking foods like rice or chopped vegetables, also a tray to hold eggs for steaming in their shells.
The Braun FS 5100 Food Steamer has an €80 price-tag. It is simple to use and the compartments are easy to clean, but not being able to see the water level or top it up easily is definitely a negative. It will look good on the counter top and is easy to store away as all the baskets and other components nest together neatly. The baskets are large and each has its own drip tray, although a third basket would be nice.
My rating, 7/10
Review written by Mandy Mortimer