If you’re considering investing in a new built in oven, you may have considered a traditional gas or electric oven. But did you ever stop to consider a steam oven? Steam ovens are the overlooked child of the oven family and could be a great addition to your home. They’re not at the forefront of most people’s minds when shopping for an oven. However, when people buy one, they never look back.
You may have been thinking: are steam ovens a fad? Steam has been used to cook food going back as early as the 18th Century but it wasn’t until affordable steam ovens were introduced in the 90s that they started making more of a showing in people’s homes.
There’s plenty of reason to have steam ovens on your list when weighing up your options. In this article, we’re going to look at why you should buy a steam oven, how to use one, what their capabilities are and compare them to the microwave oven.
Why Buy a Steam Oven?
So, what are the benefits of a steam oven? And why should you buy one? When using steam to cook your food, a very different process occurs. Here are the main advantages of using a steam oven:
- They enhance flavour and nutritional value. They are an excellent tool to have available in your kitchen. Cooking with steam means your food retains its colour, nutrients, texture and flavour. Cooking in a conventional oven can cause your vegetables to go quite soggy for example. They also lose nutritional value in a conventional oven. A team oven locks in all that goodness.
- They’re versatile. Steam ovens can be used to cook a huge variety of foods. But what are steam ovens used for? From vegetables to meat, pasta to rice, seafood to desserts, they have a wide range of capabilities and will bolster your abilities as a chef. And if you’re wondering, can a steam oven bake a cake? It can indeed.
- Flavour transfer is a thing of the past. You can cook as many different food items together as you want in a steam oven without the flavours transferring over to each other.
- Steam ovens are easy to clean. Many people ask us if steam ovens are hard to clean. But all you have to do is wipe away moisture in a steam oven. No more tough, greasy stains as no oils are needed in a steam oven. A simple wipe down will do.
- Steam cleaning is often quicker than conventional ovens. Steam cleaning is a quicker method of cooking, but only for certain types of food. For instance, small cuts of meat will cook quicker in a steam oven, but large cuts won’t. However, this also depends on the type of steam oven you buy. Some can only reach 100 degrees centigrade, meaning it takes a long time to cook, but some have convection features built into them, meaning they can cook a turkey in less than two hours.
How to Use a Steam Oven
A steam oven is very easy to use. They’re normally between the size of a microwave and a conventional oven. They don’t require plumbing in and will feature a detachable reservoir that is required to create steam.
The steam ovens that you’ll find on our website all feature easy-to-use control panels. They’ll be well explained within their product guides. They should be straightforward and instinctive if you have used an oven before.
Your food doesn’t require any cooking oils or fats with a steam oven and don’t worry if you didn’t set a timer. It is virtually impossible to burn food in a steam oven. You may overcook your food to the point where it doesn’t taste very nice, but it won’t burn. They can be used to slow cook food as well. Let your dinner cook whilst you’re at work. Return to your home with a gorgeous meal all ready to go.
As much as we recommend steam ovens, they shouldn’t be swapped for a conventional oven. This is a perfect appliance to have in the kitchen that works with your oven. Use it to cook your vegetables and let your protein cook in the conventional oven. This is also a good idea because with meat, the steam oven won’t change its colour. So, if you like a golden-brown cut of meat, your steam oven won’t be able to provide that for you. A workaround for this is to grill or fry cooked meat from your steam oven for a couple of minutes to give it that bit of colour.
What are Steam Ovens Used for?
Steam Ovens are used for a whole host of different foods. If you want your meat to reach new levels of tenderness, you need a steam oven. If you want your vegetables to keep their moisture, colour and nutrients, then you also need a steam oven. So, what can a steam oven do? Let’s break it down:
Meat can be cooked well in a steam oven and if you decide to use it to slow cook, you can make your meat really tender. For example, if you slow cook your chicken, it will fall off of the bone. Cooking pork in a steam oven also comes recommended to make it melt in your mouth.
Fish is a great meat to cook in a steam oven. Fish already has a lot of positive health benefits. It cooks quickly in a steam oven and doesn’t lose any of its health value.
Steam ovens really come into their element when it comes to cooking vegetables. They lock in all those nutrients and texture. Vegetables should be making up a significant portion of your meals every day, make sure you’re getting the most out of them with a steam oven.
Rice & Pasta
Rice and pasta cook really well in a stream oven. And you won’t have to worry about burning either of them. By using a steam oven, you can get more consistency when you cook pasta and rice. And if you like your rice fluffy, a steam oven will do just that.
So far, steam ovens have held up pretty well but are steam ovens good for baking? Steam ovens and baking go hand in hand. Because water conducts heat better than thin air, you get a much more thorough cook. Whether you’re baking a loaf, a cake or small treats, you’ll be thrilled with the results
Steam Ovens vs Microwaves
The steam oven has by now surely earned your consideration but can steam ovens replace microwaves? There’s a couple things to consider here and the steam oven can definitely give a microwave a run for its money. Firstly, a steam oven will reheat your meal to a far higher standard than a microwave will. A reheated microwave meal can have dry results and can leave you feeling hard done by.
The nature of steam ovens means it will make your meal moist again, as if you have just cooked it. However, the microwave will reheat your leftovers much quicker than a steam oven can. As mentioned before, there are several more health benefits to using a steam oven that a microwave can’t offer you, but at the cost of a longer cook time. And finally, the steam oven offers you more versatility as an appliance than a microwave so as an investment for your kitchen, will add more to your kitchen.
Ultimately, the microwave can’t be beat on speed and convenience, which is its main selling point. However, the steam oven has it beat in every other category. It may be worth considering having both in your kitchen if you’re able to.
Browse from our complete range of steam ovens here. We have steam ovens from a host of market-leading brands including a fantastic selection of Miele steam ovens. For more information on our built-in ovens, check out these helpful guides: