Pressure steamers decrease cooking time and temperature by increasing the internal cabinet pressure. This allows steam to be created at a lower temperature and transferred to the food more quickly. When selecting a model, power type is perhaps the most important consideration. Commercial kitchens located in a building with a central boiler and steam lines should opt for a pressure steamer with either coil or direct steam hookups. Coil models utilize steam lines that tie directly into the building supply to heat the water in the steam generator or boiler. If the building’s steam supply is certified as food safe, a direct steam unit is ideal because the supply lines inject steam directly into the cooking cabinet.
Restaurants that do not have centralized steam will need either an electric or gas-powered unit. These use standard burners that are either submerged or heat the outside of the generator to produce the necessary steam. Depending on which type you select, it is important to double check either the voltage or gas inlet size to make sure it is compatible with your utility hookup.
A used commercial food steamer can save some money in initial purchase expenses, but if you do not thoroughly inspect the unit and call the manufacturer with any questions, the used steamer can end up costing more money than a new model in the long run.