From roasting to baking to stewing, there are many different ways to prepare food. One of these has become increasingly popular in recent years: steaming. Steaming is a way to preserve the flavor and nutrients of various foods and to cook them gently. A steam oven is a combination of an oven and a steam cooker and makes this cooking method possible without an additional device. The selection on the market is still small, but the existing models usually convince with a wide range of functions and high-quality workmanship.
In the detailed steam oven guide following the product descriptions, we go into the differences name some criteria that buyers should pay attention to when purchasing a steam oven. We give tips on steaming and answer frequently asked questions.
1. Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven
- 1800-Watts with 7 functions: air fry, convection bake,…
- 0. 6 cubic foot non-stick interior with oven light….
- Capacity: toast 6 slices of bread, air fry 3lbs of chicken…
- Adjustable thermostat with 60-minute timer/auto shutoff,…
- Includes: oven rack, baking pan, air fryer rack/basket. Mc…
2. Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven
- The Breville Smart Oven Pro with Element iQ System is a high…
- Element iQ System: Using 5 independent quartz elements,…
- Convection Powered: The Smart Oven Pro’s convection setting…
- 10 Cooking Functions: versatile countertop oven with 10…
- Smart Oven with Slow Cook Function: Take your time to…
3. Ninja Foodi Digital Fry, Convection Oven
- The ultimate meal-making machine with 8-in-1 functionality:…
- Reclaim your counter space: takes up 50% less space when you…
- Air fry: up to 75% less fat than traditional frying methods….
- Xl capacity: 45% larger usable pan cooking area vs. The flat…
- Easy cleaning: Includes a removable crumb tray and an easily…
4. Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
- Spacious 0.95 cubic-foot capacity oven Fits 13″ pizza and 9″…
- 15 cooking functions, including innovative dual cook, and…
- Digital controls with large blue backlit display and LED…
- Always even toast shade control offers consistent results…
- Unit Actual Dimensions: 20.87″ L x 16.93″ W x 11.42″ H
5. Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
- Double Infrared Heating High Efficiency Quartz and Ceramic…
- Precise temperature control easily bake piping hot fresh…
- See through glass door the resilient, see through door is…
- Clean compact design: The FlashXpress toaster oven’s compact…
- Easy to use the flashxpress toaster oven includes a square…
6. BALMUDA The Toaster | Steam Oven Toaster
- BALMUDA The Toaster uses steam technology, heat control, and…
- REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY: Heating more rapidly than air, a…
- PRECISE TEMPERATURE REGULATION: Precise control of three…
- TASTE, AROMA, TEXTURE: Use BALMUDA The Toaster variety of…
- CLEAN COMPACT DESIGN: BALMUDA The Toaster’s compact design…
7. Aobosi Electric Toaster Oven Convection
- 🥣Large Capacity Compact Size – Space saving! The air…
- 🥣Versatile Modes – Built-in 12 smart programs: Air Fry,…
- 🥣Easy to Use – Visible digital control LED display gives…
- 🥣Professional Recipes and Helpful Accessories – Aobosi…
8. AUG Countertop Steam Oven with Convection
- MULTIFUNCTION: Set the time and temperature of 8 functions…
- ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Recirculation heating by steam, top,…
- PRECISE TEMPERATURE & UNIFORM HEAT: Take control of your…
- SAFE USE: High temperature resistant tempered glass and…
- DIMENSION: 0.9 cu. ft. – accommodates a whole 6lb chicken or…
9. F.BLUMLEIN Steam Convection Oven Countertop
- 👨🍳【1 Product, 10 Functions】 Save space by…
- 👨🍳【Family Sized】 Use all 1.1 cu. ft. of space…
- 👨🍳【Faster Cook Times】 The cooking area…
- 👨🍳【User-Friendly】 The stainless steel outer…
- 👨🍳【Front-Cooling Exhaust】 The exhaust system…
10. Tovala Gen 2 Smart Steam Oven
- 5 cooking modes: our all in one easy to use Oven allows you…
- Smartphone controlled: simply set the cook mode and time…
- Library of chef’s recipes: Our library of recipes allows you…
- Scans & cooks groceries: scan the barcode on hundreds of…
- Pairs with Oven-ready meals subscription: scans and cooks…
All You Need to Know: Steam Ovens
The steam oven is a further development of the classic oven. With this device, you can not only bake, fry or stew the food inside the oven, but also steam it. For this purpose, a steam oven has a tank filled with water which is heated by pipes. The hot steam is then led into the baking chamber, where vegetables, fish, meat and a variety of other dishes are cooked. The great advantage of a steam oven is that users only need a single device for many functions. It takes up little space and is available as a built-in steam oven.
Compared to a classic steamer, consumers don’t have to stow a steam oven anywhere or bring it out to use it. This saves valuable space in narrow kitchens.
The cooking process in a steam oven runs automatically. This means that you can put the food in the oven, set the desired temperature, humidity and cooking time and press the start button. The oven does the rest. The large glass pane, which is installed as a door in a conventional steam oven, allows you to look inside the oven at any time without having to open the door. In this way you can prevent the hot steam from being drawn into the kitchen.
Applications of steam ovens
Thanks to modern functions, such as folding away the oven door, a steam oven also fits into a small kitchen. With such a device, you can do everything what you can with a conventional oven. That means: roasting, steaming, grilling, baking, cooking or gratinating dishes in the oven. The possible uses are almost limitless and range from the preparation of vegetables, pasta and potatoes to fish, meat, fruit or desserts.
The hot steam from a steam oven is known for its positive properties and can cook many different dishes. Some consumers do not know that they can use a steam oven for cakes or other pastries. Because the humidity can be adjusted so that a slightly dry heat can arise.
How does a steam oven work?
A steam oven is an oven that conducts heat from the boiler room into the baking chamber by means of a closed system, the so-called Perkins pipes. The heat is created by the steam. The tubes are comparable to heat pipes and are partly filled with water. They are closed at both ends and protrude about 15 to 30 centimeters into the boiler room. There they are heated by a flame made with wood, coal, oil or gas. The water breaks down into water vapor, which can reach temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius. The steam comes through the Perkins tubes into the baking chamber, where it heats the food.
Top / bottom heat: Depending on the manufacturer and model, the Perkins pipes lead to the top or bottom of the steam oven. With models that offer both types, you can benefit from a top / bottom heating function. This process cannot be regulated individually, so that both heat sources always have the same temperature.
After the hot steam has reached the baking chamber, it condenses again and runs back through the pipe into the boiler room. From a structural point of view, it is important that the pipe has a slight slope towards the boiler room so that an undisturbed cycle is possible. If this is not guaranteed, the pipe can explode due to the resulting overpressure. In the past, this was not so rare in bakeries. The modern design of steam ovens prevents this.
If all steps have gone smoothly, the cycle starts all over again: heating up, evaporation, heat emission, condensation and renewed heating. Not all modern steam ovens rely on Perkins tubes, but in some cases on ring tubes, a technical advancement. It is a thick-walled, seamlessly drawn tube from which a rectangular, closed outer ring is made. The manufacturer then welds this into a cross tube. This type of pipe is currently only manufactured in Italy, France and Luxembourg.
The advantage of the ring tubes is that they are much safer because overheating is not that easy. This could only happen if the integrated temperature control fails. The difference to the Perkins pipes lies in the direction of flow. This means that the rising steam and the returning condensate do not meet. Otherwise the cycle is very similar for both pipes.
What types of steam ovens are there?
Depending on the model, steam ovens combine up to three devices in one and come either as a classic built-in oven or as a free-standing compact device. In the following paragraphs we will briefly discuss both types and separately highlight the advantages of a combination device with an additional induction hob:
The built-in steam oven
The classic shape of a steam oven is a built-in oven. These devices can be integrated into kitchen cabinets. With a built-in steam oven, the sides are covered by wall units and only the oven door is visible. As a rule, these ovens have a wide range of programs. In addition to steaming, you can bake, grill, stew and much more. A rotary control or a touch screen allow programs to be selected quickly.
Most built-in ovens with a steam function have a capacity between 50 and 70 liters. They are permanently installed and for this reason can take a little more time to assemble than free-standing steam ovens. They are usually a bit more expensive than these models and require more space. This can be a problem in narrow kitchens. All built-in steam ovens are either equipped with a fixed water connection or a water tank.
- Can be integrated into any fitted kitchen
- Blends in with the design of the kitchen
- Usually a large selection of programs
- Often provided with a permanent water connection
- Large capacity of up to 70 liters
- Comparatively high purchase price
- Higher energy consumption
- Takes up a lot of space
Free-standing steam oven
A free-standing steam oven is a device that can be set up freely and put away again if necessary. These models are often known under terms such as “stand steamer” or something similar. The great advantage of these ovens is that users can use them anytime and anywhere. This not only applies to the four walls at home, but also to parties, camping and many other situations. The oven can be used either as a mobile device with a steam function or as a conventional oven.
The selection of programs is similar to that of a built-in steam oven. With modern devices, consumers only have to do without a few functions. In return, you get these devices at a significantly lower price. Mobile steam ovens take up less space on the one hand, but on the other hand offer a smaller capacity. Anyone who wants to cater for several people at home will quickly reach the limit with a free-standing steam oven.
- About the size of a microwave
- Mobile use on camping trips or parties
- Lower purchase price
- Comparatively low energy consumption
- Numerous functions
- Smaller selection of programs and functions
- Smaller capacity
- Not suitable for large households
- Cannot be integrated into the kitchen look
Combination steam oven with additional induction hob
Some manufacturers offer special oven sets consisting of a steam oven and a suitable hob, for example an induction hob. Combination devices in the form of ovens with steamer, steam boost function and microwave included in the scope of delivery are also popular with consumers. These models should not only save costs, but also keep the space requirement as low as possible. Purchasing such an oven is worthwhile if the buyer’s kitchen is too small for many different devices.
- Cheaper than buying multiple devices
- Space saving
- Large scope of equipment
- No arbitrary combination of devices possible
- High purchase price
- Only available from a few manufacturers
Important purchase criteria for steam ovens
In contrast to a normal oven without steam function, a steam oven requires water to generate the hot steam. Most models have a permanent water connection or an integrated water tank.
Fixed water connection: Consumers must connect an oven with a fixed water connection directly to the fresh water supply that is available in the kitchen. This means that users do not have to refill or empty the water even with complex preparations.
Water tank / water drawer: In such an oven, users fill the tank or drawer with water, which heats up when the steam function is used and enters the cooking space as water vapor.
Floor recess: With this variant, consumers put water in a recess on the bottom of the oven, which evaporates when heated. Users may need to add water during preparation.
Many other little things make a good steam oven the right model. For this reason, consumers should not rashly decide on an oven, but should first compare a few aspects. We have summarized below what users should pay attention to when buying and which functions are important:
Capacity: The capacity of a steam oven is the size of the cooking space or the interior volume. In compact ovens, this is usually between 40 and 55 liters, while larger steam ovens can reach up to 70 or 75 liters. Anyone who regularly bakes or cooks for a large family should choose one of the larger models. A smaller baking space is usually sufficient for a single or partner household. Consumers should not confuse the capacity with the size specifications of the oven, which the manufacturer specifies in centimeters.
Operating mode: The operating modes are also known as types of heating for many manufacturers on the market. As standard, a steam oven should have top / bottom heat, convection and a grill function. Depending on the price of the stove, the heating coils are more or less visible. Buyers should pay attention not only to the operating modes, but to the existing temperature. Usually no more than 100 degrees Celsius are required for the steam function, but up to 200 or 250 degrees Celsius are required for the grill function or convection.
Features: The point where most steam ovens differ from each other are features. All models should have the classic functions. This includes top / bottom heat, circulating air, a grill function and a steam function. Only when these requirements are met should buyers look into more specific functions. For example, many manufacturers offer programs that are tailored to specific types of food, such as french fries or cake. The advantage is that users do not have to deal with temperature, cooking time and other factors for a long time; Other practical features include a core temperature sensor that measures the temperature of the dish, a signal tone, child safety and an automatic switch-off function. A cookbook can provide new suggestions for dishes.
Energy consumption: The energy consumption of a steam oven is very important if the device is used regularly. Most manufacturers indicate consumption directly on the devices, but very few people know anything about these numbers. For this reason there are so-called energy efficiency classes. It is a label that divides energy consumption into different categories. These range from AAA + and a very low energy consumption to G and a very high energy consumption. Consumers should only choose a steam oven that has at least an energy efficiency class of A. It should be noted that the efficiency class of a steam oven is not specified for general operation, but for each cooking cycle.
Dimensions: On the one hand, it is important that the dimensions correspond to the consumer’s ideas. On the other hand, the steam oven must fit into the kitchen. At this point, it is important whether users opt for a built-in oven or a mobile steam oven. The scope for built-in devices is limited, which is why buyers should either measure the device or take a look at the product description. Most of the steam ovens on the market are available in standard dimensions of 55 centimeters wide and 60 centimeters high. A mobile steam oven has the advantage that it can be relocated at any time.
Cleaning: After using a steam oven, cleaning is due. It is important to pay attention to two things: On the one hand, which cleaning programs the steam oven offers and, on the other hand, how easy it is to clean the appliance. It is worth taking a look inside the oven, where users should watch out for corners and edges that are difficult to reach with a cleaning rag. So-called steam cleaning is installed in almost all steam ovens on the market. Thanks to this, buyers can clean the interior with hot steam and easily remove dirt. There is what is known as pyrolysis cleaning, in which high heat is used instead of steam. This burns off the incrustations that consumers only have to sweep out in the end. With models that offer a drying function, users save on drying by hand.
Operation: The operation of a steam oven should be as intuitive as possible. This means that consumers do not have to read the instructions for a long time, but can use the functions immediately. A large and easy-to-read display, with which most ovens are equipped, is practical. Thanks to this, you can not only set the time and language, but also use the various functions. A timer function and an automatic shutdown are practical.
How to use the steam oven correctly?
Many different dishes can be prepared with a steam oven. But before they can enjoy the wide range of possible uses, users need to know how to connect, install and use the steam oven. These instructions should help:
Step 1: Before setting up, it is worth taking a look at the operating instructions. For most models, consumers only need to connect the oven to the electrical circuit. It is a bit more complicated with a built-in oven, as users have to carefully slide the oven into the appropriate opening in the kitchen, being careful not to pinch the power cable anywhere.
Step 2: Most ovens switch on automatically after connection. Now some basic settings like the desired language and the country have to be made on the display. In this way, easy and understandable navigation can be ensured. Don’t forget to save!
Step 3: Fill the steam oven with water if it is not connected to the mains water supply. Let the water flow in slowly and always pay attention to the level indicator. Usually it is better not to fill the container to the brim, but to leave some air.
Step 4: Now set the temperature of the water. With some models this happens automatically, with others consumers have to perform this step manually. The boiling point of water depends on the sea level and can vary by a few degrees depending on where you live.
Step 5: Most devices have to carry out a so-called pre-course before preparation. Its job is to rinse out all water-bearing parts in order to prevent problems or mistakes when steaming.
Step 6: Now set the steam oven to “Steam cooking” mode. This is usually done using a rotary control, a display with buttons or a touchscreen. Consumers should set the device to a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius the first time and operate it for at least 15 minutes.
Step 7: Before starting the cooking process, check that the bottom filter is correctly inserted. This is very important when steaming, as coarse leftovers are washed down by the moisture and clog the water drain. Then select the temperature.
Step 8: Now you have to set the cooking time and the humidity. Cakes, for example, require a low level of moisture, while high levels of moisture are important for meat and fish. When all settings have been made, users only have to press “Start”.
Tips for caring for a steam oven
Regular cleaning is necessary to guarantee the longevity and functionality of a steam oven. There are many different aspects to consider, as steam ovens are built a little differently than conventional ovens. The reason is that there is a lot of moisture in the device when users use the steam function. We give tips for caring for a steam oven:
Tip 1: Steam is created by boiling water. In contrast to a normal oven, a steam oven therefore has a water drain that catches the condensed water. This process should always be free of leftover food and fat. Ideally, users clean the sieve at regular intervals under running, hot water with a little washing-up liquid.
Tip 2: In the case of an oven without steam cleaning, consumers can fill a fire-proof bowl with 0.25 liters of water, pour a little vinegar essence into it and place it in the oven. The heat evaporates the water with the vinegar essence and the leftovers begin to dissolve. Vinegar also has an antibacterial effect and helps with bad smells.
Tip 3: Another option are special cleaning agents. With these, consumers save the costs of running the oven’s cleaning programs. Bio stones, oven cleaners or special oven cleaners are suitable. Consumers should read how to use the products before using them.
Tip 4: An alternative to cleaning agents is the well-known home remedy baking powder. Simply mix a packet of baking powder with three tablespoons of water and apply the paste to any crusted food residue. After an exposure time of 30 minutes, the dirt should be easy to remove, as the sodium hydrogen carbonate contained reacts with acid due to the moisture.
Tip 5: Instead of having to clean the steam oven regularly, consumers can make sure not to dirty the oven too much right from the start. This is easily possible by laying out aluminum foil or baking paper on the lower sheet.
Frequently Asked Questions: Steam Oven
In the following paragraphs we provide compact answers to questions that consumers often ask about steam ovens:
What is the best steam oven?
A general answer to this question is difficult because it depends on the consumer’s requirements for a steam oven. While a family man is looking for a built-in steam oven with the largest possible capacity, a single man is looking for an inexpensive model with fewer functions. For this reason, it is important that buyers are clear about the requirements they have on a steam oven before purchasing a steam oven.
Where can I buy a steam oven?
Steam ovens are available either from specialist shops on site or on the Internet. When buying in a local store, users have the great advantage of being able to look at the model themselves and estimate its dimensions. In addition, customers in the on-site shop benefit from personal advice from trained specialists. However, the selection of ovens on site is significantly smaller than at a dealer on the Internet. With an online retailer, consumers have the option of comparing different devices at a glance and benefit from numerous reviews from other customers.
What does a steam oven cost?
Steam ovens are available in a price range from a few hundred to US$4000 or more. Inexpensive models usually have a smaller capacity and fewer functions than large steam ovens. Anyone who plans to use the steam oven regularly for the family should play with the idea of a more expensive model. A cheap device is more suitable for singles.
Where can I find recipes for steam ovens?
Regardless of which steam oven consumers choose to prepare good food, they need the right recipe in addition to the right ingredients. There are recipes for the steam oven on the Internet. In some cases, the manufacturer supplies a recipe book with the device, in which there are many delicious ideas. There are also various cookbooks in stores and cookery blogs on the Internet. Steam oven manufacturers sometimes offer tips and recipes on how to use the appliance on their websites.
Which is better: steamer or steam oven?
Anyone who already owns a functioning oven and is looking for a pure extension is well served with a steamer. This is available in different sizes. Otherwise it does not provide any additional functions. A steam oven, on the other hand, combines the advantages of a steam cooker and oven in one device. Those who do not yet have an oven are usually better off buying a steam oven than buying an oven and a separate steamer.
Our Picks: The Best Steam Ovens
Last product update on 2021-06-23 | Source: Amazon Affiliate