New Trend Alert! – Steam Ovens, A Nutrient Saver
Steam ovens have become popular in the last several years because of the increase in food
nutrients with this form of cooking. By steaming, it’s a wet heat that keeps food tasting fresh and
moist, and it does not wash out or overheat some of the nutrients that could be affected by
There are two types of steam ovens. One is a countertop model, which can vary in price from
$20 to $800 depending on the size, quality, and capabilities. These have many followers and
the Miele company claims millions of countertop ovens sold over the last few years. Other
people choose to have a built-in style steam oven rather than just a conventional or convection
The advantage, besides nutrient density in the food you are eating, is that it is faster than
cooking in a conventional or convection oven. The steam provides more even heating of food
than microwave oven cooking. Microwave cooking tends to cause rubberiness and distorts
food flavors, Whereas, the steam oven retains many of the great flavors of the food.
Another advantage to steam ovens is that they clean up so easily instead of hard-baked on
food, it’s a moist sort of air, and the moisture makes any food droppings come right up, so it’s
very easy to clean and keep clean.
There are also some issues with the steam oven, besides its great expense. Sometimes the
elements get a little bit rusty due to the moisture or these ovens fail more often than microwaves
or conventional ovens. In some cases, people have reported that tubing has come apart, etc. It
is also difficult to retrofit a kitchen to accommodate a steam oven because of the size and the
fact that there must be a water source plumbed to the steam oven. For many people, these are
obstacles that they cannot overcome, so they choose a countertop model instead.
Besides the issue of equipment lifespan, there is also a very steep learning curve to figuring out
how best to cook favorite foods in your steam oven. Many people get too frustrated as they want
food to taste and cook similar to what they are used to. The manuals are long and tedious. They
lose patience in trying to learn the process, and they give up before they have time to create
great success with their recipes.
People that have a more high-tech mentality and a very strong desire to cook with steam, are
quite happy. There are many Facebook groups and baker groups, etc., who really love steam
cooking, and they like to hear and share about their successes and learn about others as well.
Foods that do well in steam cooking are, as you can guess, rice, which comes out soft and
fluffy every time. Eggs, bacon, and oatmeal are huge favorites. Defrosting foods is much more
even. Vegetables are wonderful, steamed. Making breads like bagels that have a shiny thicker
coating or a sourdough bread loaf is done very well in the steam oven. In fact, most breads
have a very high quality if you cook them correctly in a steam oven. You can also do very moist
cakes and several other items such as butter and chocolate melt more evenly with steam
Overall, this is an individual choice that has many merits and can be accomplished over several