Steaming vegetables are a healthy and convenient way to cook a wide range of vegetables. At the end of a long day, I want the healthy options to be the most convenient choices and an electric steamer waiting on the countertop is my first go-to for dinner.
The Russell Hobbs Compact electric steamer has a small counter footprint, so I can leave it out, but it also collapses to fit into a small shelf, if you prefer to keep it in a cupboard. It prepares just enough vegetables with 2 – 3 portions fitting in a single tier and when using its full 7L capacity, we easily prepare 7 – 9 portions for a family meal.
It steams quickly and all food on all tiers are cooked evenly.
Price: £20.99 – £21.99
Included in the box: Three-tired steamer with rice bowl
About Russel Hobbs
Russell Hobbs is a manufacturer of household appliances, famous for their iconic coffee percolators, kettles, toasters and irons. It was founded in 1952 by Bill Russell & Peter Hobbs. Company headquarters are based in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, England. Russel Hobbs designed the world’s first automatic coffee percolator in 1952, the CP1 and three years later invented the first automatic electric kettle, the K1.
Russel Hobbs was sold to Tube Investments in 1962, who sold it to Polly Peck International in 1986, along with Tower Housewares and became Russell Hobbs Tower. In 1990, Russel Hobbs Tower went into administration after huge losses and was bought by Pifco Holdings. Pifco was bought by Salton just two months later and in 2007 Salton, Inc. and Applica Incorporated merged. Two years later in 2009, the combined company changed its name to Russel Hobbs Inc.*
The Russell Hobbs compact steamer has a simple, functional design. It has an element in the base and water is poured directly onto the element, which heats and releases steam into the three tiered baskets. Do not overfill the base as the water easily bubbles over the bottom layer of vegetables as there is no separation between the boiling water and the first tier.
- Target age range: Adults, Older adults
- Target gender: Unisex/gender neutral design
- Left, right, one or two handed use.
- Target audience: A budget product for 4 people or less.
Environment & People
The Russell Hobbs compact steamer is a budget choice. It has a 2 year warranty and at £20 for at least 2 years, it is good value for money. It is a simple steamer that saves time and effort, is easy and quick to use and clean. It also steams quickly, cooking most vegetables in 10 – 15 minutes and potatoes and chicken fillets in 20-25 minutes. We also steamed eggs for 5 – 8 minutes which delivered lovely hot, boiled eggs for breakfast before the coffee machine was done.
Product dimensions: 37cm x 18 cm x 18cm
Item Weight: 1.3 kg
Colour: Stainless steel
Materials: plastics and electronics
Timer: 60 minute dial
Power: 400 watts
Model number: 14453
Online manual here.
Warranty: 2 years
* Electric stand-alone, requires access to mains outlet.
The Russell Hobbs compact steamer is a good product at a great price. It is a basic unit that works well when used with care. Fill the water reservoir with 500ml of boiling water, stack well and it works a treat without needing to be watched. Overfill just a little and the water boils over onto the bottom shelf. Stack quickly and it doesn’t seal and steam properly.
It may not have all the features of a higher priced unit – the plastic baskets are thin and a bit fiddly, the timer is not particularly precise, give or take a few minutes (which can make or break some steamed veggies like asparagus that goes limp easily) and it has to be filled with boiling water not cold, but my little compact steamer has sealed up perfectly, only boiled over once (our mistake) and cooked everything we have put in it very well.
Recommended for small households (1 – 4 people) looking for a simple, convenient electric steamer for regular use.
The review is based on the Russell Hobbs 14453 Food Collection Compact Food Steamer, 7 L purchased in April 2016. Click to read more about our eco icons and access icons used in this review. This article was first published on 4 May 2016.