You have heard of steam ovens, but do you really know how they work? Even though the idea of steam cooking has been around for centuries in sous vide and pressure cooking, we now have the ability to harness the power of steam in an oven. Once you understand the power of cooking with steam, you will also see the benefits of bringing this type of cooking into your home kitchen and it will change the way you cook.
How it Works
Traditional ovens use heating coils at the bottom and the top of the oven. Steam ovens use the power of steam to cook food. Most steam ovens siphon water from a small water tank into a built-in boiler, heating it to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the steam is released into the oven with a valve that helps control the temperature and moisture of the oven. The superheated steam cooks your food through.
The Benefits of Cooking with Steam
Because steam is used as the heat source, food cooks faster and stays very moist. Steam locks the moisture into the food and eliminates the need for oils and fats. This method also allows food to maintain more of its natural vitamins and minerals, so you get the maximum flavor and nutritional value from your food. In addition to great taste, food also has an inviting texture when cooked in the steam oven.
These ovens are very efficient when it comes to cooking vegetables, small cuts of meat, fish, or grains. The vegetables are moist rather than oily or mushy. Steam ovens also work well for specialty food items like custards. You can even use it to bring new life to leftovers because you are introducing more moisture with steam rather than having microwaves take the moisture out.
Steam ovens eliminate food transfer, and you can cook different dishes at the same time and maintain the integrity of the flavors. Because these oven cavities are often smaller than traditional ovens, they preheat faster, using less energy. Cleaning is also a breeze because you simply wipe down the interior of the oven. The steam keeps food particles from drying and burning onto surfaces. You can even use it to lift food off other dirty pans for easy cleaning.
Even if you aren’t ready to fully commit to steam cooking, the good news is that steam ovens often come with options and in combination with other cooking methods like convection. Let us help you navigate all the choices! We think steam will revolutionize the way you cook at home.