Steam Ovens: Nutritious and Delicious
Steam ovens have just become popular in residential kitchens, but the concept has been around for centuries. Dating back to ancient China and 18th century Europe, steam ovens are most often found in bakeries and restaurants today. The increase in popularity of steam ovens in the US can be attributed to the desire of healthier cooking. If you are planning to renovate your kitchen, you may want to learn how you can create a perfectly cooked dish. Think nutritious and delicious dishes that are moist and tender on the inside while remaining crisp and flaky on the outside.
How does a steam oven work?
If you resent your convectional oven because it dries out your food, a steam oven can provide just the opposite. It provides constant moisture without the need of oils and is a simple and effective way for cooking a large variety of foods. Water is boiled within the oven, where steam is then captured and held at variable temperatures ranging from 212 F anywhere down to 85 F.
Steam ovens are different than that of steam assisted cooking that is found in some regular ovens. Some brands now incorporate steam action to finish off certain recipes, but do not confuse these with convention steam ovens.
Beyond just steaming veggies, what is a convection steam oven?
Many steam ovens ave only a steam function, but this limits you on the type of cooking that you can do. A combination or convection steam oven combines both steam and convection oven settings to give you more versatility in your cooking. This then allows you to cook a larger range of dishes, making your cooking balanced and meaning you won't need to use your regular oven as much.
Two of the most common settings that you will find across all models of combination steam ovens are:
- Steam Mode : This works great for hard-boiled eggs, poached fish, steamed veggies, ride, sauces and even deserts. It also works well when you want to reheat leftovers, so instead of getting dry and tasteless results like seen in a microwave, your food will be gently dehydrated while warming up. Steam mode is a valuable setting for defrosting frozen foods quickly.
- Convection Steam Mode : With the combination of steam and convection oven settings, you can cook food to perfection. Many favorite dishes such as macaroni cheese or roast turkey will turn out nice and juicy on the inside, and crisp and brown on the outside. This setting seals in moisture, flavor and nutrients, and often provides a shorter cooking time than other convectional cooking methods.
Sounds great right? Now let's look at some benefits!
- Healthier Food : Steam helps retain the nutritional value of food and there is no need to use oil to keep your food moist, so you can keep your diet a little healthier.
- Better tasting and better-quality food : Since steam does not lose the moisture from your food, you will find that your produce has better texture, flavor, and color than you would have with other cooking methods. You will also notice that there is no flavor transfer and you can reheat dishes without drying them out.
- Versatile : You can use your steam oven in place of a traditional wall oven with different applications. All kinds of cooking dishes can be used including glass and metal.
- Saves time on cooking and cleaning : The smaller cooking cavity allows for a faster preheat and the steam makes cleaning up much easier. Cook multiple dishes simultaneously. Since there is no odor transfer between the dishes you can cook different dishes on each rack.
What can I cook in a convection steam oven?
People often think that steam cooking is reserved for veggies only, but you can actually cook a variety of foods fast, healthy, and in a nutritious way. Each steam oven comes with different settings like steam only, convection mode, gourmet mode, and even pre-made recipes. Some of the things you can cook include:
- Meats : Beef tenderloin, roast chicken, beef jerky, slow-cooked pork ribs, bacon, poached fish
- Baking : Pizza, sandwich bread, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, pita bread, granola, dinner rolls
- Desert : Chocolate souffle, bread pudding, cheesecake, apple pie
- Veggies : Potatoes, vegetables, potato salad
- Defrost/reheat : Bread, Pizza, Casseroles, Meats
What appliance brands should I consider?
- Miele : As the major innovator with 19 combination steam ovens, Miele makes steam food preparation a breeze. With key features like master-chef programming and multi-steam technology, their appliances are at the top of the steam oven market.
- Thermador : Thermador's professional and masterpiece ovens are for the culinary enthusiasts. Their brand, like many others, do not require plumbing and have already built in water reservoirs.
To Sum it Up...
Convection steam ovens are an easy way to cook nutritious and tasty meals that everyone in your family will love. It is important to take time to explore your different options, and C Bennett's very own appliance specialist will be with you every step of the way. Please visit our showroom at 1700 West Terra Lane in O'Fallon, MO to learn more about your future steam oven today!