Gadgetry: Baby Bullet Steamer

Once we got the baby’s nursery furniture I started moving her things out of the small closet in our bedroom into her room.  While going through the bags on the floor I found a few baby shower gifts I had forgotten about: a packet of baby washclothes, a hooded blanket and a Baby Bullet Steamer.

I was under the impression that this steamer was an apparatus that you put in the microwave.  The baby is still on breast milk and formula so I was planning to put this under the cabinet in the kitchen until I could get some use out of it, and then I read the box.

The Baby Bullet Steamer is a self-contained unit that plugs into the wall and is not for use in the microwave.  This thing not only steams fruits and vegetables, it steams (hard boils) eggs, and sterilizes bottle accessories.

Boiled egg - Two pieces

Boiled egg – Two pieces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I pulled it out planning to use it for sterilizing, since I hate putting the bottle nipples in the dishwasher.  I was also intrigued by the idea that it would hard boil eggs.  I love hard boiled eggs but I hate the whole boiling process and I never get it right.

While I do like the Baby Bullet Steamer, I’m glad it was a gift and that I didn’t spend my money on it.

Pros:

Start it and forget it.  It has an auto shut off, plus a beep alarm to let you know when the cycle is finished.

Makes fantastic hard boiled eggs.  Absolutely perfect.  As I type this I’m also eating an egg that was prepared in the steamer. (I’m dipping it into a small amount of Trader Joe’s Himalayan Pink Salt.  So yum.

Sterilizes easily.  Put the stuff in, pop the lid on, start and walk away.  The machine beeps when it is done.

Cons:

This thing is SMALL.  We use Playtex Ventaire bottles, the ones that have a vent on the bottom that releases air.  This means there is a nipple, a nipple ring, and the bottom vent and silicone insert (don’t get me wrong, even with the extra pieces these bottles are awesome and have really reduced Miss P’s gas).  The steamer only has room for 6 items, so it has to be used several times a day.

The pieces don’t snap together like you’d think.  When you are steaming eggs, the egg tray fits into the unit and the lid fits on the egg tray, but if you are sterilizing, the sterilizing tray lays on top of the unit and the lid lays on top of the tray.  Sometimes the force of the steam will know the lid askew.

Because the pieces don’t fit together properly, this thing leaks like crazy.  I have to put it on a towel to keep it from getting the counter top all wet.  I’ve contacted customer service at the website to see if this is just how it is or if my unit is defective. (I emailed them via their sales website and received a response a day or so later telling me that no, the parts do not snap together and to be sure to use the egg tray when steaming food.  No mention of the leaking issue.)

****

One night a couple of days after I wrote this review I steam-boiled a half dozen eggs, then about 2 hours later I put some nipples in to be sterilized.  A minute or so after I started the steamer, I heard it beep weirdly.  I happened to still be in the room and I looked over to see all of the lights lit up and blinking, then they all slowly faded out.  The unit was still plugged in and there was steam still coming out of the unit, but I decided it would be best to unplug it.  I emptied the water out of it, then tipped it up on its side to let it dry out.  The next morning (more than 8 hours later) I plugged the unit in and it lit up normally.  I filled it with water, then put some nipples in it to sterilize.  When I went to change the setting from 1 to 5 (as per directions) the unit did not respond (setting light didn’t change from 1 to 5), but the unit began to heat up.  I put the lid on the steamer so it could steam, then walked away for a moment.  When I came back, there was water dripping off of the unit onto the towel below.  I decided to go ahead and unplug it and give it some more drying time.  I am not optimistic that the product will recover.

I’ve been using this item for a little less than a week, perhaps twice a day.  I always unplug it and dry it out between uses.  I’m disappointed that it is already malfunctioning.

****

Bottom line: I wouldn’t buy it for myself and now that I’ve used it I wouldn’t buy it for anyone else.

Update on the broken steamer can be found here.

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