In past years, I've made crabapple jelly and crabapple butter by traditional methods: cook the apples; run the cooked apples through a chinois or Foley mill; press the pulp through a muslin bag if a clear juice is wanted for a jelly. It's very time-consuming. This year I decided to try a steam extractor, and chose this one because a stainless model was available at an affordable price. I haven't used other "Dampf-Entsafter," so I cannot compare this to others on the market -- but I can attest that it is well made and works well. And I certainly can attest that the method is effective and dramatically less work than the old-fashioned approach. I put roughly 15 pounds of crabapples in the steamer basket; no prep other than cutting them in half and removing the stems. I put water in the boiler and let it steam for 60-90 minutes; this yielded nine cups of beautifully clear, flavorful and pectin-rich juice for jelly. There was enough flavor left in the mash in the steamer basket that I could run it through a tomato press and make several jars of highly satisfactory crabapple butter. Since the device is stainless, I could run it through the dishwasher without fear of discoloration, etc. The main limitation is obvious, it won't work well to extract juice if the flavor is dependent on substances that are volatile or that break down with modest heat; we tried a batch of lemon-balm, and there was almost no 'lemony' flavor left after steaming. The only device-specific shortcoming we noticed was the drainage tube. It is a moderately stiff plastic, and the device comes with an ordinary laboratory tubing clamp of the type usually used with softer tubing. The positioning of the clamp on the tube was quite critical in order to stop the flow --- we lost a bit of juice learning this, and finally switched to a "mosquito" hemostat with padded jaws. We also bough a length of softer food-grade silicone tubing (for when a replacement is needed). This shouldn't keep you from buying the device; you should just also buy a better clamp. Overall, I'm quite enthusiastic about this method and this device, and I look forward to many more adventures with it.
I like the simple design compared to other complicated lid. I don't like the shape, tall and thin, the photo looks not that tall, but the real product is too tall. Maybe the photo is 6qt model. I then searched online, there is another 8qt model, looks wide and short, that is better, but it almost double the price. Don't know why. The handle doesn't align perfectly when close, about 1cm mis-alignment, but it doesn't affect the use.
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