Full steam ahead for healthier and tastier cooking
Crisp vegetables, crunchy bread and juicy meat: Food simply turns out better in a steam oven. Why is that the case and which dishes taste particularly good when prepared by steaming?
In a steam oven, food can be steamed, stewed, baked or roasted. With high-quality appliances, you don’t even have to choose one of the preparation methods, you can simply select the desired dish in the preset programmes. The steam oven then does the rest for you. But even with appliances that don’t have a pre-selection option, preparing healthy and delicious meals is child’s play. Which cooking method leads to the best results with which food? An overview.
Vegetables: Whether broccoli, carrots or green asparagus – when steamed, vegetables retain their colour, flavour and, above all, valuable vitamins and nutrients, some of which are lost when boiled in a pot of water. Therefore, vegetables that come out of the steam oven are not only more appetising to look at, but also healthier and tastier than if they had been prepared in the conventional way. And the best thing about it: They have bite.
Fish: Which amateur chef doesn’t know this? If fish is fried in the pan a little too long, it becomes dry and sticks to the roof of your mouth when you eat it. When preparing it in a steam oven, such a faux pas hardly ever happens. Because when steamed, fish cooks without drying out or falling apart – provided you don’t leave it in the appliance for hours. By the way: In general, you only need a little fat and salt for steam cooking.
Meat: Lean cuts of beef, veal or poultry, in particular, turn out especially juicy with the roasting function of the steam oven. In addition, a high-quality appliance often has a wireless roasting thermometer that monitors the desired core temperature of the roast and regulates the temperature automatically. This means that the conditions in the steam oven are always perfect so you can enjoy eating delicious meat.
Fruit: Fruit can also be transformed into delicious desserts in the steam oven. For example, steaming produces a particularly appetising compote. Steam-cooked fruit is also very suitable for puréeing, such as for making home-made jam or baby food.
Dumplings and pasties: The Bavarian speciality Dampfnudeln (steam noodles), for example, works particularly well in a steam oven, as its name suggests. But all other types of dumplings or pasties can also be steamed. By the way: You can also prepare noodles in a steam oven: To do this, simply put the pasta in a container without holes and add a little water with salt to the appliance.
Bread: If you bake bread in a steam oven, you will be rewarded with a particularly crispy crust. Because regular “evaporation” makes it nice and moist, it rises while the heat gives it a crispy outer skin at the same time. Some appliances even have a special bread-baking levels.
Rice: Preparing rice in a steam oven is much easier than in a pot. Because it is almost impossible to burn it this way. As part of their accessories, most appliances have special rice bowls or unperforated containers for cooking rice. Simply steam the rice in this container with water in the steam oven and it is sure to be fluffy and airy. The rule of thumb for the right amount of water: For every one part of rice, there is about one and a half parts of water. So for one cup of rice, 1.5 cups of water.
Pizza: The Italian classic is done much faster in a steam oven than in a normal oven. In addition, the pizza dough rises higher and is more airy than in a conventional oven due to the penetrating steam.