Steam cooking has long been employed to cook meat and vegetables in a healthy manner. Until recently this meant using a pot of water with a steamer on top or specialty equipment such as a pressure cooker. Now several manufacturers including Miele, Sharp, Thermador, and Gaggenau have introduced special ovens that let you cook almost anything with steam. Cooking food with steam allows for healthier food that retains its natural juiciness and flavor.
These new steam ovens come in two different configurations. Some manufacturers like Sharp produce a compact steam oven that is about the size of a microwave. These steam ovens can be placed on your countertop and require no permanent installation. The other type of steam oven is a true built in appliance that can take the place of a normal oven. These ovens are built into your cabinetry and can be used as your primary or are often combined with a traditional oven. These types of ovens are made by Miele, Thermador, and Gaggenau. Some manufacturers such as Gaggenau require that you hook the oven up to a dedicated water line while others use a removable water reservoir.
One of the benefits of cooking with steam is the ability to cook faster than a traditional oven. Often these steam ovens are built with a convection element that combines with the steam to cook faster while not compromising the quality. The convection element helps to circulate the steam and cook your food faster. Cooking with steam can cook food up to 5 times faster than a normal oven while doing so at a lower temperature. Steam Cooking also reduces the fat in the food you are cooking. Often, food that is cooked in a traditional requires the use of outside fat sources such as butter or oil to keep food moist. With steam cooking, no outside fat is needed as the food is injected with steam during the entire cooking process keeping the meat moist naturally. Cooking this way also helps preserve essential vitamins and nutrients that are often destroyed in the high heat of a normal oven. Perhaps the Steam Ovens greatest draw is the ability to keep baked goods and desserts moist. The steam oven thrives in cooking delicate desserts such as souffles mainly because of the quick cooking time and lack of intense direct heat. Many professional chefs swear by the results steam ovens produce in their restaurants. The only potential draw back of these ovens is that they can not brown food as effectively as a normal oven would. Often times chefs will grill or sear meats to get some color on them before finishing them in the steam oven.
Steam Ovens are becoming more and more popular every year. These steam ovens range from the affordable $1000 to the luxurious at $5000. With the public getting more health conscious steam ovens are here to stay. Now is a great time to enjoy all the benefits that cooking with steam can give you and your family.