Cooking healthily is one of today’s growing trends, and steaming is one of the ways to preserve tastes, texture, and nutritional values of food. Professional chefs have used steam ovens for years, but they’ve only recently been available for home kitchens. So, what is a steam oven? Read on…
How Do They Work?
Unlike traditional ovens which use hot air created by heating elements to cook, steam ovens simply use hot, pressurised steam. The boiling water turns into steam and circulates around the food to heat it up, whilst retaining the moisture, and cooks food quickly. The majority of steam ovens have a removable water tank, and when the oven is turned on the water is fed into the reservoir and boiled into a cloud of hot steam. Valves release the steam pressure, and different ovens will have different temperature ranges. There are two different types of steam oven available – standard steam ovens which only use steam, and steam ovens with convection that have an additional fan. Want to learn about the pros and cons of steam ovens? Take a look below:
Steam Ovens Pros
+ Steam ovens work well for delicate foods such as croissants, and they’re also really good for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables;
+ Using moist heat also lessens the risk of burning, and warms food without drying it out;
+ You can cook family size portions easily;
+ Food cooks healthily in a low fat way without destroying nutrients;
+ Even heat distribution ensures there aren’t any hot spots;
+ You can use metal dishes and cutlery in the oven;
Steam Oven Cons
- The cost can be prohibitive as brands start from around £600;
- Size can also be an issue as countertop ovens can take up quite a lot of space;
- Ovens need to be descaled on a regular basis;
- Wiping all the condensation out after using the oven is time-consuming and often inconvenient;
- This type of cooking is not suitable for all foods, especially those that need browning or crisping;
Is it worth buying a steam oven?
After you’ve weighed up the pros and cons you’ll be able to make an informed decision if this type of oven is right for you. Using steam is one of the healthiest ways to cook food as the loss of vitamins and minerals is minimal, and cooking with steam is also quick and easy, and can reduce cooking times. As you don’t need to add oil or butter you can cook food with a lower fat content.
At the moment steam ovens are a lot more expensive than conventional ovens, but as they become more popular, prices will reduce. If you like to steam regularly and in large quantities investing in a steam oven may be a great choice for you.
Need Professional Help?
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