The steam oven – the all-rounder among appliances
What is a steam oven? The name gives it away. A steam oven combines two appliances in one: a steamer and an oven. But a steam oven can do much more than just steam cooking and baking. Since it combines both functions, it can also, for example, fry with steam. It makes healthy cooking on a professional level child’s play. We’ll show you how it works.
Food can be prepared particularly carefully and quickly in a steamer. The major benefit: The food retains its vitamins, nutrients, taste and appearance. Steam cooking is therefore the ideal way to prepare food for people who are conscious of their diet and want to eat healthily. But does that mean you have to add another appliance to your kitchen by buying a steamer? Not necessarily. If you don’t regularly cook for a large number of people and steam vegetables and cook a roast in the oven at the same time, a steam oven is a good alternative. Because the combination steamer and oven also boasts more functions than two individual appliances, it has great potential to become a favourite kitchen assistant.
What can a steam oven do?
Steaming: First of all, a steam oven is suitable for steaming. This means that the food is cooked in steam. The simple rule here is: Anything that can be cooked also works with the steam cooking function. Temperatures of up to 100 °C produce steam which envelops and heats the food. Because the food does not float in water as it does when boiled, no vitamins or nutrients can be flushed out. This way, broccoli, carrots & co. remain crunchy and juicy and retain their natural colour when steamed.
Baking: Of course, a steam oven can also be used as a baking oven. Functions such as hot air, top and bottom heat or grilling can be used the same way in a good combination appliance as in a single oven.
Baking with steam: In addition, a steam oven can also do something special: bake and roast with a burst of steam or the addition of moisture. Depending on which programme you have previously set, the appliance automatically sprays steam into the cooking chamber at predefined intervals. Opening the oven door again and again to keep the roast or bread from drying out by adding water is now no longer necessary. This saves time and energy and reduces stress. Bread, for example, becomes crispier and meat becomes juicier. But many other dishes also turn out better than in a conventional oven thanks to the steam burst function.
Steam oven: What systems are there?
A distinction is made between different systems depending on how the water for steaming enters the oven: There are appliances with and without a water connection. With the latter, the water is either poured into a trough at the bottom of the oven or into a separate water tank. Steam ovens with a fixed water connection are the most convenient because these appliances extract the required amount of water “themselves”, depending on the programme type. The water is fed in and drained automatically. However, a water connection must, of course, be present for such an appliance, or the appropriate pipes must already be provided for when planning the kitchen.
What are the advantages of the steam oven?
In the steam oven, food can be prepared in a healthy and flavoursome way, but also easily and quickly. Another major advantage is that different dishes can also be cooked simultaneously on different levels with steam – without any flavour transfer. In addition, dishes from the previous day can be reheated in a steam oven in such a way that they look and taste as if they have been freshly cooked. That is why experts no longer speak of warming up, but of regenerating. Frozen food also thaws evenly and without losing any nutrients in the steam oven.
Many appliances also have practical additional functions, such as sous-vide cooking or the capability to disinfect baby bottles. And last but not least: As a rule, the appliances have a practical cleaning function. Steam is used to soak grease splashes and food residues so that they can be easily removed with a cloth afterwards. In short: The steam oven makes life easier in the kitchen and for some, it may even awaken an unexpected new passion for cooking.