Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Black & Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer
The Black and Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer is not just a rice cooker, but rather a steamer that can help you prepare a wide variety of foods. Unlike a simple rice cooker, the handy steamer is great for multitasking. You can cook rice while you steam vegetables, meat, seafood, and more. It has a built-in egg holder so you can cook eggs as well. The machine has a timer and can cook for up to 75 minutes, which should be plenty unless you're planning on cooking a thanksgiving turkey. And that won't fit anyway! 75 minutes should be plenty. After that the cooking function will automatically cease, which is good for safety and also for ensuring the quality of your food.
It also features a built-in flavor-scenter screen for adding herbs and spices to foods. This also adds to the convenience of this nearly all-in-one unit. It also has a useful water window that allows you to see inside and know the water level inside, and there is an inlet that you can pour water into if the water is getting low.
The quality of food this unit prepares is quite good. It makes nice rice (the most important thing for us rice cooker lovers), and overall it makes other dishes nicely as well. There are however, some complaints from longtime Black & Decker customers that the quality of this steamer has deterioratef since the last version. The basket is reportedly flimsier, and the resevoir is reported to hold less water so you are more likely to have to pour more water into the steamer during the cooking time if water runs out. That would make this steamer not quite as hands-off as previous versions. But I have never used a previous version, so I can only based my personal opinion on this one.
I think this unit could be sturdier. But at a price of $29.99 for a multipurpose steamer such as this one, that's a trade off I'm willing to take. I enjoy the food the Black and Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer makes great food so I'm willing to risk an eventual replacement cost if it breaks a year later or so.