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Steam Powered

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine


Compact, nesting cooking system from SteamVita uses boiling water to prepare great-tasting, healthy foods


Quite often, the kitchen is the place where friends and relatives gather. Let’s face it, we all love to eat and many times it’s even the main reason for gathering in the first place. Experiencing foods from different cultures is always a great way to enjoy a motorhome trip, but reality dictates that there’s only so much chefs can do in the limited confines of a typical galley.

One method of cooking that is often overlooked is steaming, which is actually a healthy and practical way to prepare simple to complex foods. The sheer size of many steamers is a good reason that they are left behind, but SteamVita offers a good alternative to standard – and giant – steam pots with a sectional cooking system that fits nicely in any motorhome kitchen.

SteamVita is a stackable system utilizing two, three or five round stainless-steel steamer pots, each measuring little more than 6 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep. We tested the three-pot version, which seems to make the most sense for motorhome travel. The bottom pot is the water chamber and the other two have a strainer in the bottom; these are called cooking chambers. Steam produced by boiling water in the bottom chamber travels through the other two pots, ensuring thorough cooking for each level. Steaming is said to be one of the best forms of cooking for vitamin and mineral retention, thus making a steamer a very viable option for healthy cooking and living, especially since no butter or oil is needed. When cooking is completed, all three pots are stacked and retained by a metal strap, which makes the system compact and easy to handle.  

To use the SteamVita, the cook adds up to 2 inches of water to the bottom pot. Once the water comes to a full rolling boil, the other two chambers with the selected meats and vegetables are stacked, making sure the food that needs more time to cook is on the bottom; obviously the one closest to the boiling water will get hotter. While the food and water chambers fit nicely, they allow for enough steam loss to prevent excessive pressurization.

The food cooked in the SteamVita proved to be quite delicious. Our meal consisted of a choice cut of beef, fresh veggies and a little meat seasoning. The result was one of the most flavorful meals we’ve ever made in an RV; cooking time was 40 minutes. However, perfection wasn’t reached immediately; our first attempt resulted in slight overcooking. Personal experimentation is required to become an expert steam cook, learning how to use the right herbs and spices, and finding the proper cooking times. The company offers a free cookbook download to help those who are not experienced with preparing meals using steam, which helps with cooking times.

While the SteamVita provides amazing cooking opportunities, there are a few minor limitations. The three-stack model is designed to cook food for one to six people. The chambers become filled quickly with ingredients and might not feed as many as expected, depending on appetites. The five-chamber model is probably a better choice for larger families – or big eaters.

All in all, the SteamVita is a wonderful RV cooking utensil with many options and uses. It can be found on the Internet with the three-stacker system selling for around $56. The company is 100 percent U.S. veteran-owned and a portion of every sale goes to registered charities that support veterans’ wellness programs. And that makes eating healthy feel even better.

SteamVita | www.steamvita.com


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