Steam ovens are increasingly seen by many as a necessity in the kitchen, thanks to their ability to help create the perfect dishes. With the meteoric rise of the Great British Bake Off fresh in the public’s minds, steam ovens have gained momentum in popularity in the world of home baking, and increasingly within our range of kitchens too.
This new innovation, which can assist with cooking, usability and cleaning, is pushing steam ovens in to the forefront of kitchen technology.
What is steam cooking?
Steaming works by cooking food with consistent boiling water. A reservoir of water is built into the oven, which creates a cloud of steam within the oven chamber. Most steam ovens have the capability to fill up the water reservoir whilst cooking. The steam cloud is prevented from escaping when you open the door, as there is a de-steaming process.
Steam ovens promote healthier cooking because:
- They retain flavour, texture, and colour.
- Less nutrients and vitamins are lost compared with dry-heating cooking.
- As food uses steam, there is no need to use oil, which reduces the fat content and avoids over cooking and burning.
- All types of food can be cooked togehter without transferring flavours.
Steam ovens are about much more than just steaming vegetables or fish. You can use them for cooking eggs, defrosting items, sterilising bottles, keeping food warm, cooking roasts, baking and much more.
Technological advances in steam cooking
There have been a number of advances when it comes to the world of steam ovens in the past year. This includes the launch of AEG’s ProCombi Plus Smart oven, the world’s first steam oven with an integrated camera, which allows live feeds from the oven to a mobile device. This means that users can check on the progress of food being cooked or baked, even if they are in another room.
“In the near future we will be seeing new innovative cooking technology for steam, sous vide, smart temperature probes and so on, which will open up a world of culinary possibilities,” says Thomas Johansson, Design Director at Electrolux.
Different Steam oven options
AEG’s ProCombi Plus combination steam oven benefits from the Full Taste Steam System, which calculates the correct amount of steam, moisture and heat required to cook each dish, without manual adjustments. At 73 litres, the oven features an impressive sous vide function, whereby food is sealed in the vacuum sealer drawer and cooked at a lower temperature to enhance the flavour.
The Neff Slide&Hide oven features VarioSteam, which adds moisture at three levels for baking, roasting and heating food. The mid-market model has a pop out and lift up facia for the control panel which reveals the water tank, and the oven also boasts a meat probe that measures temperature at three points, as well as pyrolytic cleaning.
All in one
Don’t want to commit to a steam over? Combi Steam ovens can incorporate a combination of features, giving you the best of both worlds. In these models new technology incorporates three types of heating methods in one: conventional, steam and microwave.
Simple cooking, simple cleaning
As well as the benefits steam ovens promote, including simple healthy cooking, they can also make the cleaning process simpler too. The oven’s steam cleaning programme means that even the toughest food residue is removed effortlessly, so you can concentrate on creating great dishes without worrying about how tough it’s going to be to clean up afterwards.
Want to know more about choosing a steam oven for your new kitchen? Speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members, view the products on our showrooms or take a look at our bespoke kitchen options to find out more.