Best Time to Buy a Microwave Steamer (25-60%+ Off)

A microwave steamer is a useful kitchen appliance that makes healthy cooking quick and easy. With a microwave steamer, you can steam vegetables, fish, chicken and more in just minutes using your microwave. This allows you to cook tasty meals while retaining more nutrients compared to other cooking methods.

But when is the right time to purchase one of these handy appliances to get the best deal? There are particular times of year when microwave steamer sales spike and you can take advantage of discounts. Let’s explore tips on timing your purchase.

Check Major Holiday Weekends

Major holiday weekends like Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and President’s Day often feature appliance sales both in-store and online. In particular, look out for deals on small appliances like microwave steamers over these weekends. Retailers are targeting people equipping their vacation homes or those doing home projects with extra time off work.

Memorial Day and Labor Day specifically are big appliance sale events. July 4th and President’s Day see fewer overall deals but are still worth checking. Times around Easter can also yield some appliance deals.

Shop End-of-Season Clearance Sales

Retailers like making space for next season’s inventory. This makes end-of-season clearance sales prime time to buy a microwave steamer at a discount.Check appliance retailers and department stores for clearance sales in:

  • December – Take advantage of post-holiday markdowns and make room for new holiday gifts next year.
  • January to February – Shop winter clearances after the holidays.
  • July to August – Scoop up summer clearance deals.
  • September to early October – Shop end of summer clearance sales before fall merchandise moves in.

In addition to classic retailers, don’t forget to check warehouse stores like Costco for clearance priced small appliances.

Time it With the Big Game

Sporting events like the Super Bowl often have great TV deals. Appliance retailers try to latch onto the hype with appliance sales too. In the weeks leading up to big sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals, you can find microwave and other small appliance deals.

Retailers figure you might be hosting viewing parties and want to equip your kitchen. So capitalize on their marketing ploys with well-timed microwave steamer purchases.

Shop Early Black Friday Sales

Everyone knows Black Friday features major deals on all categories of products. But appliance discounts now start 1-2 weeks ahead of the big day both online and in-stores.

Especially since microwave steamers are small appliances, they make it into early Black Friday sales. Retailers are competing for buyer attention against the flood of deals happening on actual Black Friday.

So keep an eye out on appliance and department store websites and circulars for early markdowns. Check for Black Friday pricing now as early as mid-November.

Look for Competitor Price Matching

One retailer advertises a great deal on microwave steamers? Check their competitor sites and physical stores for potential price matching guarantees.

Big box stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Lowe’s all offer some form of price match guarantee. Take advantage by checking each site for the lowest price you can find. Then request your preferred retailer to match it if their guarantee policies apply.

Stack Savings with Retailer Coupons

Beyond sale prices, don’t forget about retailer coupons for extra savings on a microwave steamer. Sites like RetailMeNot, DealCatcher and offer digital coupons for major retailers.

Or check directly on retailer websites and opt-in for their email savings alerts. Coupons around 20% off or $10 off $50+ are common. Stack these on top of existing markdowns for even lower prices.

Consider Open-Box Discounted Items

If you don’t mind an open-box item, check discount retailers like HomeGoods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Or look on the websites of Best Buy, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart for open-box small appliances.

Since a microwave steamer is a relatively simple appliance, an open-box model can mean major savings. Just inspect it closely upon purchase and test it out to ensure full functionality. Manufacturer warranties still often apply to open-box items too.

Weigh Free Shipping Minimums

When shopping online, free shipping thresholds play a big role in getting the best deal. Make sure to factor site minimums into the total cost before finalizing your microwave steamer purchase.

Retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond typically require around $35+ for free standard shipping. Consider adding a small filler item you need to hit the minimum if required. Or look for coupons offering free shipping discounts.

Time it With Credit Card Rewards Bonuses

If you have a rewards credit card, buy a microwave steamer when bonus reward offers align on purchases. Cards frequently offer bonuses in categories like:

  • Home goods
  • Home improvement
  • Department stores
  • Online shopping portals

Check your credit card reward bonuses calendar every few months. Time your microwave steamer purchase when special bonuses apply for extra rewards.

Avoid Peak Holiday Demand Times

While holidays are prime times for sales, buyer demand also surges significantly. Avoid trying to purchase microwave steamers deep into December during peak holiday gift-giving season.

High demand plus low inventory leads to fewer available choices. And lightning deals tend to sell out very quickly. Unless you find an unbeatable deal, best to avoid the holiday inventory scramble.

What Features to Look for in Microwave Steamers

Now that you know the prime times to purchase, let’s explore top features to evaluate when comparing microwave steamer models:

Size and Capacity

Consider the capacity you need to cook for your household size. Microwave steamer baskets hold anywhere from 1.5 cups to over 12 cups of food. There are also single-tier and multi-tier basket designs.

For example, a family of 4 might opt for an 8-10 cup, double-decker microwave steamer. While a single person may only need a 3-4 cup single layer model.

Power Levels

Check if the appliance has adjustable microwave power levels. This allows you to customize steaming times for different foods. Models with 5-10 power levels offer the most flexibility.

Steam Venting

Many baskets have vent holes that naturally release excess steam for tender, evenly cooked food. Models with a vented tempered glass lid offer the best visibility while steaming.


Microwave and dishwasher safe materials like silicone, plastic and borosilicate glass withstand heat and cleaning. Stainless steel offers increased durability for long-term use.


Digital display timers with pre-programmed settings make it easy to achieve perfect steaming times. Audible alerts notify when food is ready.

Compact Footprint

For storage, select a model with a compact rectangular or circular footprint to fit tight spaces. Nesting multi-tier baskets also minimize the storage profile.

Bonus Features

Added conveniences like rice bowls, egg trays, recipe books and cooking tools increase functionality.

Top 5 Microwave Steamer Models

Now let’s compare some top-rated microwave steamer options across a range of budgets and features:

1. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 3-Tier Steamer

  • Stainless steel
  • Adjustable 3-tier stackable baskets
  • Holds up to 9 cups capacity
  • Tempered glass lid
  • 60 minute timer with auto shutoff
  • 1000 watts high steaming power


  • BPA-free materials
  • Nesting design minimizes storage space needed
  • Dishwasher safe parts


  • Higher price point
  • Bulkier base size

Best for: Larger families that need expanded capacity and durability.

Price Range: $$$

2. Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer

  • Durable plastic baskets
  • Holds up to 5 cups per tray
  • Transparent tempered glass lid
  • 60 minute timer shuts off when complete
  • Auto steam venting


  • Space-saving stackable trays
  • Affordable price
  • Easy operation


  • Handwash only
  • No power level adjustments

Best for: Doubles, smaller families, dorms. Good starter steamer.

Price Range: $

3. Aicok Food Steamer

  • BPA-free plastic
  • 3-tier stackable baskets
  • Holds 7.5 cups total
  • Tempered glass lid with steam vent
  • Digital display with timers


  • Nesting storage design
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Egg and rice bowls included


  • Short 12 month warranty
  • Timer does not automatically start

Best for: College students, singles, smaller households wanting multi-functionality.

Price Range: $$

4. Cooks Essentials Stainless Steel Steamer

  • Stainless steel base
  • BPA-free plastic 2-tier baskets
  • Holds total 5 quarts
  • Tempered glass lid
  • 60 minute mechanical timer


  • Stackable trays save space
  • Rice/vegetable bowls included
  • Affordable price


  • Bulkier base
  • No power level customization

Best for: Cost-conscious shoppers needing expanded capacity for larger households.

Price Range: $$

5. Chefman Turbo Steam 2-Tier Food Steamer

  • Fast 20-minute turbo steam mode
  • BPA-free plastic 2-tier baskets
  • Holds total 7.6 quarts
  • Tempered glass lid with vent
  • LED display with digital timers


  • Large capacity
  • Nesting stackable trays
  • Rice bowl included


  • Short 1 year warranty
  • Bulkier base

Best for: Fast steaming and maximum capacity for larger groups.

Price Range: $$

Steaming Tips

  • Always add water to the base first, then stack food containers.
  • Don’t let water completely evaporate to avoid damaging the appliance.
  • For more even steaming, arrange food in a single layer without overcrowding.
  • Halve or quarter large dense foods like potatoes.
  • Place delicate foods on top tiers away from highest heat at bottom.
  • Reheat leftovers with care to avoid overcooking.
  • Allow foods to rest a few minutes after cooking for better flavor.

Cleaning Your Microwave Steamer

  • Unplug and fully cool the appliance before cleaning.
  • Remove water after each use to prevent mineral deposits.
  • Wash baskets in warm soapy water or top rack of dishwasher.
  • Avoid abrasive scouring pads that can scratch.
  • Periodically descale the base to remove mineral deposits from water.
  • For storage, nest pieces to minimize space.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Food cooking unevenly?

  • Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking. Try arranging in a single layer.
  • Dense foods like potatoes may need stirring or flipping midway.

Food turning out undercooked?

  • Use maximum power level for fastest steaming.
  • Extend time for larger dense items needing longer cook times.
  • Ensure adequate water in the base, replenish if evaporating.

Experiencing lots of steam leakage?

  • Make sure the lid is fully seated in position.
  • Check for debris buildup in vent holes that needs cleaning.
  • Inspect the lid gasket for any damage needing replacement.

Water overflowing from the base?

  • Avoid overfilling the base past maximum fill lines.
  • Allow foods to fully thaw before steaming to reduce excess moisture.

Microwave displays error message?

  • Ensure the appliance is safely plugged into a dedicated outlet.
  • Try unplugging then restarting the microwave steamer.
  • If error persists, contact manufacturer for troubleshooting tips or warranty repair/replacement.

Microwave Steamer FAQs

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about microwave steamers:What are the benefits of steaming foods?

  • Steaming retains more vitamins and minerals versus boiling.
  • It preserves more natural flavor compared to microwaving.
  • Added fats and oils are not needed, supporting healthy eating.
  • Colors and textures of vegetables and meats are beautifully preserved.
  • It’s a simple, fast cooking method for busy households.

What foods can you steam?

  • Vegetables – Broccoli, carrots, spinach, green beans, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, squash, sweet potatoes, beets and more!
  • Meats – Chicken, fish, seafood
  • Eggs
  • Rice, grains
  • Dumplings, dim sum
  • Fruits – Apples, pears, plums, nectarines and more

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