Considering A Steam Juicer? Your Questions Answered
For those who want to make a lot of jelly, juice or wine or have decided to bottle and store their own fruit juice, these are almost essential – and don’t forget diabetics, sugared drinks are a no-no, so one great option is to make your own.
Commercial operations making large quantities of jellies and preserves use these steamers, keeping in mind that commercial machines are a good bit bigger than the home steam fruit and veggie juicers discussed here.
These aren’t for everyone far from it, so you won’t get any reckless encouragement to go buy one, but what I will do is firstly lay out disadvantages against advantages – not many of either – and give you the essentials of how to use one.
- Bulky to store when not in use
- Expensive at $50 minimum outlay
- Probably not worth it for one or two batches of jelly preserve
- Pan can be used for steaming or cooking anything
- Fast efficient juice extraction – no waiting overnight for dripping through muslin
- Pan great for general cooking and is ideal for soups and stews
- Processes large quantities of fruit and vegetables quickly and in a sterile environment
- Diabetic fruit juice home produced, no added anything
Okay, if you still think you’ll get the use out of a fruit steamer, then read on and we’ll try to clear up some of the questions you probably have.
Do Steam Juice Extractors Really Work?
Yes – Juice extraction with a home steam juicer is incredibly easy.
How Easy Is Easy?
Okay, here’s the basic method I use -
Carefully wash the fruit or berries – most pitted fruit can go into the steamer whole, but you’ll always get more tangy juice and pectin out (vital for jelly) if you roughly chop it first. With rhubarb, cube it up but don’t peel.
Though you can leave the stems from grapes, black currants and other similar berries, I think it’s worth the time to remove them, fearing that bitter aftertaste that can creep in – you should always remove any apple or pear pips which got cut into – these definitely will add a taste you don’t want!
Layer the fruit with sugar, about ¼ cup to 1 cup depending on the sharpness of the fruit – you get to know after a bit of practice, which fruit needs how much sugar. Remember, you can always add more, not so easy to remove it!
NB If you are making jelly preserves, don’t add sugar at this point – see the post and recipe here for how to make apple jelly, the same method applies to all fruit jelly.
The drain tap should be checked it it’s removable to make sure everything is firmly attached together. Add boiling water to the to the steamer according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your model
Bring back to the boil
Set the steamer and juice kettle up over it, again as per your instruction leaflet
Steam the times given in individual brand and model handbooks.
That’s it – simples!
Using The Fruit Steamer To Make Sweetened Juice For Drinking
The above is a great way to make substantial quantities of fruit juice for bottling and storing. The recipe given uses sugar in the mix, but if the juice is for a diabetic, add no sugar at all, put sweetener in to taste when serving.
What Else Can Fruit Steamers Be Used For?
The juice can be used for many things including served from the bottle as a delicious drink and as discussed above, for fruit preserves and jellies. Home brew fans often have and use a fruit steamer for fruit wines, it is so much faster than straining the pulp through muslin and more productive.
Don’t forget you can also steam vegetables in the same way and use the extracted juices as a beautiful stock for soups and casseroles, though by far the most common use we make of ours is steaming vegetables for meals – steaming is fast, gentle and leaves all the vitamins and nutrients intact.
The strange thing is you can steam a whole variety of different vegetables in the same pot simultaneously, yet each retains its own distinctive taste and texture. Fish steams beautifully too, perfect for a delicate butter sauce.
Other Hot And Steamy Questions
Q. Doesn’t condensation get into the juice and dilute it?
A. You can avoid this by boiling the water rapidly, not slowly – Don’t let it boil dry! It also helps to resist any temptation to lift the lid – leave it in place and when you’re done, lift carefully off and away.
Q. Why is every steam juicer stainless steel with few alternatives?
A. Because it is the most durable and resistant to fruit acids, it also means they can be used on stove tops of all types and you aren’t restricted to just steaming fruit, the base makes an excellent large stew pot!
Which Is The Best Fruit Steamer?
To be honest, I don’t think it matters at all other than I would go for stainless steel fruit steamer every time – mine came from an auction and we only bought a new one because it was so big storing it and regularly digging it out to cook with was a real pain – my brother uses it for making wine, so everyone’s happy. Stainless steel is on the whole, stainless and not reactive to vinegar either.
Having had a really good read and asked colleagues who cook the same question, the whole big crown of us (only 7 out of about 130 would you believe!) pretty much agree the Cook N Home 11-Quart Stainless-Steel Juicer Steamer featured above is the complete package, will last a lifetime and is very competitively priced. You can buy more cheaply if you settle for aluminum, and there is at least one also made by Cook N Home for around $50 – seriously good value.
Currently Amazon have all the brands known to ardent steam juicer fans, so if you want to check prices, the link below will take you to the whole collection.
If you have any questions or tips to share, drop me a line on the contact page or below, it’s always great to hear from you.