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Sarah gave me a beautiful Japanese-style bamboo steamer a few years back - which I liked, but found too small. It was the kind that you balance on top of a saucepan of boiling water

Then, about two years ago I came across a larger stainless steel one that had its own pan. It wasn't cheap, but the assistant rated the Judge branded stuff highly, so I bought it. He had been helping me put together the perfect slow cooker by matching a lid to a crock pot so that they really fitted well - rather in the manner of the gun shop owner in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as I remarked.

This steamer really works well. The parts all fit snugly, it cooks well, it has a glass lid so you can see when the food is done, it doesn't dribble, and it's so, so easy to clean.

It's 100% stainless steel, with no plastic bits, but all the handles are so well designed that they are rarely too hot to touch, and yet don't stick out too far. By the amount I've used it so far (and the number of times I've boiled it dry and burnt things in it!) I would expect it to last for, hmmm, ...let me see now, ...forever. If I'm not mistaken, it does come with a lifetime guarantee.

Oh, I am mistaken - it's a 25 year guarantee, but I reckon that's more meaningful than a 'lifetime guarantee'.

Judge steamer. Judge. Don't hesitate.

Copyright 2007 Paul Mackilligin