How it Works
On the side of the oven, there is a section where you add water to it. Some steam oven models, can be hooked up to your water line to automatically fill up the water; in other versions, you have to fill the water up manually. Once you turn on the oven, it will use the water to turn it into steam. There is a valve that releases the pressure of the steam into the oven similar to a tea kettle. Using steam is great to cook delicate foods like croissants and specialty bread. You can also use steam to cook vegetables, fish, meats, and even make your leftovers taste like they were just made.
If you eat a lot of leftovers, a steam oven will be your best friend. Most of the time when you reheat your leftovers in a normal microwave, the food comes out dry and losses it's flavor. When using steam to reheat food, it keeps the moisture in and you have fresh tasting food all over again!
There is more space to cook food in a steam oven than a conventional microwave. Go ahead and put in a big casserole dish or even a turkey inside. Another great thing about using steam technology is that it can eliminate flavor transfer. Meaning, if you have one item on the top and another item on the bottom, you will not have the bottom item taste like what is on the top dish.
The main reason cooking with a steam oven is getting more popular is because it's the healthiest way to cook! Because it heats your food with water into steam, there is less to no need to use oils, butter, and other un-healthy ingredients. Steaming your food retains more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than any other way of cooking. All of your vegetables will be moist and taste much more fresh.
With steam technology, your cleaning worries will go away! The steam helps lift food splatter off for the surface making it extremely easy to clean. Just remember that after cooking, you can wipe down the inside and most of the spills will come right off.
Steam ovens can't do everything, of course. They aren't useful for browning meat, for example. It’s no problem if you have a combi-steam oven—you can just finish your roast off with the convection setting—but if you only have a steam setting, you may want to finish it off with a quick range top sear. You should consider getting a convection steam oven which combines the steam oven with the capabilities of a convection oven. The two modes can be used separately or even together giving you the luxury of both cooking methods. You can have your food be moist and have them be browned at the same time! Make sure to check out all the different steam cooking options.
The steam technology is becoming more popular in some of the higher end brands like Thermador, Monogram, Cafe, Miele, Bosch, and Jenn Air. Take a look at the different features and types of ovens that use steam to find the right version for you and your kitchen.