If you are planning a new kitchen as part of your home renovation project, there is a healthy innovative cooking technology on the market that I recommend researching. It is the versatile combination convection-steam oven and I can’t wait to get one in my future kitchen! The technology offers some amazing benefits whether you are interested in health, energy efficiency, saving time or preparing food that really tastes better. I believe it’s a product that will meet and most likely exceed your needs, so definitely give it some time to consider as it could become your go to oven. Let’s get started.
Combination Convection Steam Ovens, or Combi Steam Ovens for short, are relatively new and are being touted as a replacement for today’s existing microwave oven. Combi-steam ovens look like typical ovens and can function like typical convection ovens; but what’s innovative about them is that they offer the unique feature of combining convection electric heating (warm air circulating inside) with steam at the same time. When using the combination convection steam oven setting, steam fills the cavity to conduct heat together with the hot circulating air to cook the food. The steam penetrates the food being cooked to create a state of equilibrium with the moisture in the oven so the food does not dry out. And by switching to 100% convection cooking at the end, you can add a bit of crispness and browning to the exterior of the food – yummy! It’s a huge improvement over microwave ovens, frees up countertop space, fits into our busy lives and has a variety of uses. But more importantly, the food has better flavor, looks delicious, and has increased moisture. And, an added feature is that the appliance can be used for steam cooking alone.
What are a few dishes you can cook using the combination convection – steam oven?
- Braising a roast with a dry rub for a melt-in-your-mouth main course that’s easy to prepare.
- Roast Chicken is delicious when served due to its moist meat inside and crisp skin outside.
- Ribs with a BBQ sauce can be cooked inside using both steam and convection in less time – no grilling needed…
- Baked potatoes are moist and have improved flavor.
- Baking Bread like a pro is possible because the oven has the ability to create the humidity and move air for moist breads with a crisp crust.
For steam cooking, there are typically three steam temperature ranges available, and each range offers a different way to cook. Overall effective range for steam cooking is between 85 ̊ F and 212 ̊ F. 95 ̊ F is used for defrosting, 175 ̊ F to 190 ̊ F is used for soft-poaching food, and 210 ̊ F is like a pot of water on the range.
What are a few dishes that you can cook with 100% steam?
Not just vegetables that’s for sure. The steam oven cooks healthy foods gently with much more flavor and very little fats. Leftovers taste great. Also, multiple dishes can be cooked in the steam oven together because there’s no transfer of flavor. Veggies come out crisp and colorful. A few simple ideas are listed below:
- Mashed Potatoes are delicious. Chop up the potatoes, put them in a pan with some water, cook, take them out of the oven, mash them, add butter and use a warming function. No need to boil a big pot of water.
- Broccoli is easy to prepare. Just put cut florets in the oven to steam. They don’t go to mush!
- Reheating leftovers takes a bit longer than a microwave, but it’s definitely worth it because the meal will be just as delicious as when first prepared.
- Salmon can be steamed above the veggies for a healthy and flavorful dish.
- Defrosting without creating hot spots on your meat means your food doesn’t get cooked during the process of defrosting.
Now, let’s review four reasons to consider a combination convection -steam oven:
(1) Faster and more even cooking than a traditional oven. (2) Healthier more nutrient rich food – no need to use fatty oils (since steam creates a naturally moist cooking environment). (3) Better reheating results than microwaves – evenly heats food without drying out the food or resulting in rubbery meat. (4) The oven can be used for much more than a microwave increasing its value in the kitchen.
One tip to consider for your kitchen design: Depending on the manufacturer, review options for water supply which can be via a reservoir or by building a plumbed option. If you are an avid cook or chef, I recommend splurging on the plumbed option with an overflow drain and drain pan at the floor to manage any water leaks that might occur in the long run. Miele, Thermador, Jenn Air, Gaggenau and Wolf are few companies that offer well designed products. Note: When thinking about kitchen appliances, all pieces should be coordinated for both function and visual appearance.
Work with AKJ Architects on your design to evaluate how this new technology could work. Feel free to email or call. We’d be happy discuss how we can help you design your new kitchen.