Steam Dome is a plastic plate cover that you use in the microwave that the sellers of the product claim will turn leftovers into a gourmet meal. How? Because they say the water you place in the top compartment will turn into steam and make the food nice and juicy again like when you first cooked it.

Steam Dome is yet another product from Telebrands, kings of the infomercial for 30 years. Telebrands specializes in items like these that look neat at first glance, but on a closer look have little real-world value. Let’s see why…

The Steam Dome Pitch

This product is aimed at the millions of Americans who re-heat their leftovers in the microwave, only to find them dry and rubbery. The round, see-thru cover looks impressive, and so do the foods they use it with (which were surely created by a professional “food stylist”). Watching the infomercial makes us hungry, and probably you too…

How Steam Dome Works

Telebrands says Steam Dome’s secret is what they call a “hydro reservoir” aka a place to put a small bit of water in the top (very similar to Magic Steamwave). They tell you to cover your food with the Steam Dome, place water in the reservoir, and zap as you normally would.

They claim Steam Dome will gently steam your food evenly and prevent messy spattering in the microwave. They add that the condensation channel will prevent the food from getting soggy, and you can add a slice of lemon or orange in the reservoir to add more flavor.

Steam Dome Costs:

$16.99 ($10 plus $6.99 shipping) at checkout, they encourage you to take advantage of their “special offer” which is another Steam Dome for an additional $6.99 in fees. The reason why this isn’t a good idea is a) you probably don’t need a second Steam Dome unless you have 2 microwaves or are giving one as a gift b) this $6.99 is non-refundable, should you decide to return and c) it’s only theoretically saving you $3.01 off the list price.

Telebrands’ “100% Satisfaction Guarantee”

All Telebrands’ products boast they have a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” but that does not mean 100% of your money back; if you send it back within 30 days they just will return just the list price and none of the shipping. Plus, you’ve got to pay to ship it back yourself and you must include a written explanation as to why you are returning Steam Dome, or they could ix-nay your equest-ray.

Bottom Line: Is Steam Dome a Scam?

Telebrands is a well-known name in “As Seen On TV” land – they’re even the ones that came up with that tagline. They have successfully marketed hundreds and hundreds of products. As such, they have also received numerous complaints about products, advertising, returns, etc. However, they still retain a BBB rating of A- because the BBB says these complaints (over 1600 as of July 2014) are relatively small to their sales volume and are quickly resolved.

Still, we often look at Telebrands products (like Steam Dome) and ask ourselves, “is this REALLY that special?” Sure, it looks great and will probably work as advertised, meaning it will steam up your leftover food. But don’t expect your meal to look as great as the pictures, unless you are a gourmet chef.

We feel you can achieve the same results using either an ordinary Tupperware-type container that you probably already own and a little bit of water in the plate or as these Reddit commenters suggest, just cover your food with a wet paper towel when microwaving.

What do you think? Did you buy Steam Dome and did it make your food nice and tender, or did you think it was a waste of money? Let us know!

You may also like: The Science of Infomercials: Why You Buy