Steamer or steam oven – which is more suitable?
Steam cooking is all the rage. With this cooking method, food can be prepared in a gentle, flavoursome and healthy way. But which kitchen appliance should you choose for steam cooking? Do you prefer a built-in steamer or a steam oven, i.e. a combination of oven and steamer? Comparing the two appliances based on their functions and their advantages and disadvantages will help you to make the right choice.
In a steamer, food can only be prepared with steam. The steam is heated to temperatures between 30 and 100 degrees. Built-in steamers are available in different designs and price ranges. In some models, the water is heated in a tray at the bottom; in others, the steam is produced outside the cooking chamber and then directed into the appliance. Special pressure steam cookers increase the interior temperature up to 120 degrees, which reduces the cooking time. There are steamers with a water tank as well as those with a fixed water connection.
The steam oven
If a steamer is combined with an oven, it is called a steam oven. Such a combination appliance can therefore be used both for steam cooking and like a normal oven. In addition, steam ovens are also able to bake with steam and thereby regularly direct moisture into the cooking chamber. In this way, many dishes and foods turn out better because they do not dry out. There are also steam ovens that have both a water tank and a fixed water connection.
Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of steamers and steam ovens
Whether a steamer or a steam oven is the right appliance for someone depends on several factors. A person’s own cooking habits, the spatial conditions, but also personal preferences play a role in the decision-making process. We have contrasted the advantages of the two types of appliance with their disadvantages and compared them in terms of their functions.
- In a single-unit steamer, you can also steam vegetables while a cake is baking in the oven. So for someone who often prepares several courses at the same time and cooks for many people, a single-unit steamer as an addition to the oven is more suitable than a combination appliance.
- The food is cooked in a gentle way. There is no drying out and the taste, colour and ingredients of the food are preserved.
- When several dishes are prepared in one steamer, there is no flavour transfer.
- Many additional functions such as sous-vide, regeneration, sterilisation, etc. can be used with high-quality appliances in particular.
- Only steam cooking is possible in a steamer, baking is done in an oven. The combination function of baking with steam that is provided by a steam oven can only be used with two separate appliances if you choose an oven with a steam burst function.
- The necessary space in the kitchen must be available to accommodate an extra appliance.
- Because a steam oven effectively combines two appliances, it saves space in the kitchen.
- The food is cooked in a gentle way during steam cooking. There is no drying out and the taste, colour and ingredients of the food are preserved.
- As with the steamer, high-quality appliances offer many additional functions such as sous-vide, regeneration, sterilisation, etc.
- Furthermore, you can still use all the functions of an oven from hot air to top and bottom heat – including baking with steam.
- Steaming in the steam oven also means that several dishes can be prepared without transferring flavours.
- In a steam oven, it is not possible to steam and bake at the same time.