Steam ovens are the new IT in a healthy modernized kitchen, and justifiably so. The steam oven technology ensures that the food you cook is tasty and has retained its nutritional quality. They also allow you to cook multiple types of food at once. However, steam ovens come with some baggage because you must make some compromises. So, what are the pros and cons of buying a steam oven?
Steam ovens retain the food’s nutritional quality; they’re quicker than regular ovens; when cooking several types of food simultaneously, the flavors don’t mix, and they are easy to use. On the other hand, they are pricy; they are complicated to clean and take up space.
Since you’ll have to pay a considerable amount of money to buy a steam oven, you should be well familiarized with the pros and cons of owning one, as you might not be willing to make some compromises. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will discuss the steam oven pros and cons and give some additional explanations that may help you in your decision-making process.
Pros of Steam Oven
Steam ovens are relatively new on the appliance market, and they have managed to gather many fans in a short time. The technology used in steam ovens revolutionizes and simplifies healthy cooking, changing how we look at healthy food. Thanks to steam ovens, healthy food is gaining a reputation as tasty and flavorful instead of bland.
The best quality of the steam oven is its very purpose- keeping the nutritional value of the food, meaning that everything that’s being cooked in the steam oven has almost the same quality as fresh. The conventional oven works with dry heat, which dehydrates the food and diminishes its nutritional quality to a great extent. The steam oven works with water steam circulating the space and penetrating the food that’s being cooked.
This way, all the nutrients are locked inside the food, making as little difference as possible between the nutritional quality of the steamed and fresh food.
Another steam oven pro is the speed. You can cook fish and veggies in fifteen minutes. This is due to the direct contact between the steam and the food. The steam is so strong that it penetrates the food cooking it on the inside and on the outside at the same time.
Cooking multiple types of food is yet another advantage of the steam oven. You can cook several types of food simultaneously without worrying that the smells and flavors will rub off each other, like with the conventional oven. The steam creates ventilation of some sort, and circulating, it takes the smells with it, whereas the conventional oven keeps all the smells in the same place, as the dry heat just stands there.
Cooking in a steam oven also means that you can cook without additional fat and oil, as the food won’t stick. In addition, the food cooked in a steam oven is very flavorful and juicy. The meat is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Contrary to popular opinion, the food cooked in a steam oven is not the same as boiled food.
Steam ovens are great for reheating food too. Even the basic models have multiple functions that expand the range of uses of the steam oven and are energy-efficient.
Cons of Steam Oven
The biggest con of steam ovens is their price. Even the most basic models are expensive, starting from $ 790. So, if you think of buying a steam oven, you need to be prepared to pay a good amount of money.
Another con of steam ovens is that they are slightly restrictive in terms of what you can cook. In theory, you can cook everything in it, but in practice, they are most suitable for vegetables and fish. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot cook meat in a steam oven, but the conventional oven is better suited for that.
The steam oven doesn’t have a grill or broil function, so if you want to have your food broiled or grilled, you’ll need to combine the steam oven with a conventional one. Many combine the steam and conventional oven to make the most of these two appliances. The meat goes regularly, and the veggies are in the steam oven.
Although some steam oven models come with a self-clean function, others do not. Cleaning the steam oven can be a chore; time-consuming, requires energy, and is a task that needs to be done frequently, as the deposits in the steam oven affect its function.
The steam oven is designed to be compact, and it is, but if you put it on the counter, it will take the entire surface, leaving you with insufficient workspace.
Since there’s steam, there is also a water reservoir that you need to fill up manually each time you use the oven. I’d say this is another con, as it is another procedure you must remember.
Are Steam Ovens Worth Having?
Considering how healthier your food will be and how easier cooking is with the steam oven, I would say that steam ovens are definitely worth it. Although it isn’t a necessity, and other alternatives also result in cooking healthy food, the steam oven does make things easier. With the steam oven, you’ll have one multipurpose appliance instead of several single-purpose appliances, which aims to give the same results as the steam oven.
If you are into healthy food and don’t mind investing much money, go for it.
Is a Steam Oven Better Than a Fan Oven?
Steam baking is considered to be the healthiest way of baking, and steam ovens are better than fan ovens. While the steam penetrates the food cooking it from the inside and on the outside at the same time, using its natural juices, the fan oven uses hot air that is equally dispersed. Therefore, the fan baking option in a conventional oven doesn’t impact the food’s quality but rather the cooking’s speed.
Do You Need a Regular Oven If You Have a Steam Oven?
In theory, you don’t need a regular oven if you have a steam oven. The practice is slightly different. You can, by all means, cook everything in a steam oven, from pizza to vegetables, to meat, but the meat is where it gets tricky.
Since the steam oven lacks the broiling and grilling functions, it is questionable how much you’ll like the steam-cooked meat. It is by far the healthier option, no doubt there, but in terms of taste, I’d say that a broiled turkey is more delicious than steam baked one.
However, if you don’t mind the slightly different taste of meat, then you don’t need a regular oven if you have a steam oven.
Do You Need a Microwave If You Have a Steam Oven?
There’s such thing as a combi-steam oven, which is a combination between a microwave and a steam oven, in which case you don’t need a microwave as a separate appliance. However, even without this combined appliance, you still don’t need a microwave if you have a steam oven, as the steam oven has a function specifically to reheat food.
Does a Steam Oven Need Water Supply?
Yes, a steam oven needs a water supply. The steam comes from the evaporation of the water in the steam oven water reservoir that you need to fill up manually before each use. The water reservoir is detachable, and they don’t need to be connected to it all the time.
Can You Air Fry in a Steam Oven?
The steam oven is designed for steam baking, so more often than not, you won’t be able to air fry in a steam oven, as there’s an air fryer for that purpose. However, some of the newest and most sophisticated steam oven models do have the option to steam fry instead of air fry.
In general, steam cooking is the healthiest way to cook your food. As healthy as air frying is; still steam cooking is healthier. Therefore, steam ovens are all about steam cooking and not air frying, so even though there are steam oven options that yield the same result as the air fryer, it isn’t air frying.