Steam cooking: full steam ahead to great taste
Steam cooking has many benefits as it is an extremely gentle and healthy way to prepare food. There is now a multitude of combi-appliances for the kitchen that replace the conventional microwave and, to some extent, the oven. But how does steam cooking work and what do we need to bear in mind?
Using steam in its finest form
Steam isn’t just a by-product of heating food; steam itself can also be used for cooking. As a general rule, anything you can boil can also be steamed, i.e. all kinds of vegetables from asparagus to spinach, sides like rice and potatoes, desserts like dumplings and even many types of fish and meat.
When steaming food, it is placed on a large, perforated stainless steel tray, surrounded by hot steam which cooks the food evenly. The cooking temperature is up to 100°C, but can be adjusted according to the product.
You can easily steam food by using a steamer insert over simmering water in a pan. However, you will get better results with a specially designed steamer, which looks like an oven and provides several shelves on which to cook.
Healthy, odour free and energy efficient
As the food isn’t actually immersed in the water, the taste and nutrients like vitamins and minerals are optimally preserved – as too are the colour, shape and consistency. Bright green broccoli and orange carrots are still as vibrant after cooking. The food also develops its own intense aroma, which can be further highlighted by using herbs and spices sparingly.
As nothing can burn or overcook in the steam, you can relax as you prepare the rest of the meal or devote your time to your guests. Contrary to frying in a pan or roasting in the oven, no fat needs to be added, making for health-conscious meals. What’s more, no unpleasant odours arise when cooking.
You can steam cook a variety of dishes on all shelves at the same time as barely any undesired taste transfer occurs. You can also add or remove individual ingredients or dishes throughout the cooking process depending on how long they take to cook so that everything is cooked to perfection. The cooking time can be adjusted by cutting the individual ingredients to different sizes. When the food is cut up small, we also save energy.
Season with care
As more of the food’s natural flavours are retained than with other cooking methods, you should use salt, herbs and spices more sparingly when cooking with steam. Herbs, spices or butter should preferably be added after cooking and tasting the food. You can also flavour dishes by placing vegetables, herbs and spices or wine in a perforated tray above the food as it cooks or by adding them to the simmering water below it: the flavours released in the steam will drip onto the food or be dispersed in the surrounding steam.
A very special steamer: the X BO
The BORA X BO can also be used for steaming food as it is a combined steamer and oven. For ease of use, temperature and humidity presets have been included in the automatic programmes. However, dab hands in the kitchen can also set them manually. The perfect tray for steaming and baking with humidity is included with the oven. Steam cooking has never been so easy – even for beginners.