Are Steamable Frozen Dinners As Great As Marketers Claim? (Hint: No)

Lots of frozen meal brands have debuted new and exciting meals that they claim will “steam” right in the packaging. Is that even a thing? Is that really any different from how other microwaveable meals cook? Our fresh and nutritious colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports noticed all of these ads, and decided to test a variety of steamy meals.

Their verdict: the meals are edible and some have great flavors and textures, but the “steam” technology doesn’t add anything special to the cooking in real terms. Meals didn’t always heat or cook perfectly, which the plastic bag steaming technology was supposed to fix. Cooking times aren’t significantly shorter than most other packaged meals. Neither are macronutrients like calories, fat, protein, and sodium content is pretty much the same.

The steamer baskets and bags might feature meals that appeal to you, but from the solo diner’s point of view, there’s no vast technological improvement. Get the cooking time down to a minute or so and cut back on the sodium–then you’d have some impressive advancements.

Frozen dinners get the steam treatment [Consumer Reports]