Looking to upgrade your kitchen but don’t know where to start? Or have you considered that maybe it’s time for a new oven, but you don’t know what’s available? Steam ovens are taking kitchens by storm, and for good reasons. They’re efficient, healthier for you, and prevent your food from drying out.
Want to figure out if a steam oven is right for you? Then continue reading! We’ll guide you through the benefits of purchasing a steam oven and all the fantastic recipes that you can flawlessly cook.
What’s a Steam Oven?
Steam ovens are ovens that use hot steam instead of air to cook food. Most steam ovens work by pumping water into a built-in boiler from a small water tank, heating the water, and then releasing the steam into the oven. The steam is just as effective at cooking your food and is often even faster.
In some cases, you can find steam ovens that can be connected directly to a water line. This means you don’t have to worry about refilling the tank after every use. However, for most steam ovens, no special hookups are required. You’ll just have to fill up the water tank and use the appliance like a regular oven.
You might be wondering: why even use a steam oven if it’s basically the same thing as a regular oven? For one thing, steam ovens are generally healthier than standard ovens. The steam helps keep the moisture in your food so you don’t need to add more fat or oils. It also eliminates the need for basting, so you don’t have to constantly hover over your oven while cooking things like chicken and turkey, hoping they’re not getting too dry.
Steam ovens also optimize for flavour, allowing your food to come out perfect each time. Especially if you like to have leftovers, reheating food in a steam oven is a dream because it won’t dry your day-old meals out.
What Works Best in a Steam Oven?
The best recipes for steam ovens usually fall into three categories: roasting, baking, and family meals. However, steam ovens aren’t really meant to change what you cook, they’re designed to help you enhance the way you cook. So don’t feel as though you’ll have to swap out your favourite dishes if you purchase a steam oven.
However, steam ovens add and retain moisture to your dishes. When you think about the meals that could benefit from this, certain foods might come to mind. Chicken, fish, root vegetables, and bread tend to dry out quickly while roasting, and sometimes extra oil is needed to alleviate this. That’s where the steam oven comes in to help course correct.
Best Recipes to Make in a Steam Oven
With all this in mind, let’s dive into some of the best recipes that you can make with a steam oven.
Roast Chicken with Vegetables
A versatile recipe that can be done in so many different ways, standard chicken with vegetables is perfect for steam ovens. Choose your cut of chicken (breast, thigh, or even a whole spatchcocked chicken) and slice up your favourite root vegetables. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and other spices, drizzle with some olive oil, and pop it into the oven until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. It’s a simple and classic recipe that can be enjoyed all year round.
One of the best things that you can make in a steam oven is bread. Not only does the steam oven make sure that the bread comes out nice and moist, but you can also easily proof the dough in the oven. Proofing (or proving) is the process of allowing bread dough made with yeast to rise before baking it in the oven. You can proof the dough in a steam oven uncovered at a low temperature until it has doubled in size. The most basic bread recipe requires yeast, flour, warm water, sugar, salt and oil. Follow your favourite recipe and watch how different the results are in a steam oven.
Similar to the roasted chicken dish, salmon (or any type of fish) is an absolute win when cooked in a steam oven. Fish tends to get overcooked a lot of the time, but you don’t have to worry about that with a steam oven. This is a super simple recipe that just requires cuts of fish, veggies, seasoning and some oil. Put everything on a sheet tray and pop it in the oven. You can serve it with a squeeze of lemon for an extra bite.
It might sound strange, but you can have boiled eggs without actually boiling water on the stove. All you have to do is place your eggs on a stainless steel tray, and cook to your desired doneness (7 minutes gives you a slightly runny yolk while 12 minutes gets you a fully cooked, crumbly yolk). You can store the eggs unpeeled in the fridge for up to 4 days. This is a great method to use if you have a large family or you use a lot of recipes that require boiled eggs.
As a beginner baker, one of the most difficult yet desired recipes to master is the cheesecake. It’s a difficult balance; if there’s not enough moisture in the oven, then you’ll be left with a crack down the middle of your cake. If there’s too much, your cake won’t be fully cooked in the middle, leaving a jelly, custard consistency. Or, worst of all, you try to bake it using the water bath method, and all the water seeps through the springform pan. This is where the no-fail steam oven method comes in. Baking a cheesecake in a steam oven is a dream, and it’s one of the absolute best things you can make to take advantage of your steam oven.
Now that you’re familiar with what a steam oven is, the benefits of having a steam oven, and all the different types of meals that benefit from them, you can start your steam oven journey. Check out this great selection of steam ovens for you to choose from.