Steaming is one of the healthiest ways of cooking since the food preserves all the nutrients, taste, and texture. For this reason, steam ovens earned a reputation as one of the most popular home kitchen appliances, even though they only recently appeared on the market. Are you renovating your kitchen and thinking about the appliances you might need? Having a steam oven allows you to prepare plenty of foods in a healthier and tastier way. However, once you start searching for a steam oven for your home, you might be surprised to realize that it is quite an expensive and big item that might take up plenty of space in the kitchen.
Therefore, before you make a decision, it is best to carefully examine the advantages and disadvantages of buying a steam oven. We’ve put together this list to weigh the pros & cons of having a steam oven and help you make a well-informed decision. Let’s dive in.
Advantages of a Steam Oven
A steam oven is not the same as a pressure cooker. However, it works on the same principle, using heat and moisture. As a result, a steam oven is likely to cook way quicker than a standard convection oven. On average, you can expect the food will cook between 20 and 30 percent faster. Still, it is necessary to mention that the cooking time varies depending on the type of food.
Most people agree that this is the first and most important advantage of a steam oven. It is an ideal choice for people who want to eat healthily without cooking for hours. You see, unlike cooking with hot air, steaming prevents nutrients loss, by keeping them locked inside the food. Apart from that, steaming doesn’t require boiling, which also plays a part in destroying vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Furthermore, it allows you to roast perfectly brown & crispy potatoes or pieces of meat without adding even a drop of oil. Indeed, you can add a bit of butter before serving if you like, but it is good to know that it is not necessary for cooking.
The fact is that food tastes better. Of course, you might think that it sounds subjective, but as steam locks in the nutrients, it also preserves all the flavors. Additionally, the presence of the nutrients improves the taste even more. Besides, steam cooking allows food to remain moist and juicy. If you wondered why the veggies in the restaurant taste so good, here is your answer. Most restaurants cook using steam since it is much faster and leaves the food with a delicious flavor.
A straight steam oven is already a versatile appliance as you can use it to prepare many meals. To give you some ideas, we will say that you can use them to make different curries, pasta, casseroles, fish, soup, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs. But when you have a combination steam oven, you can roast meat and bake bread and pastry. On top of all, it allows you to cook several meals simultaneously without the risk of transferring the smell and the taste.
Disadvantages of Steam Oven
While there are a ton of benefits, there are some drawbacks of buying and using steam ovens, and the price is definitely first among them. These appliances come with a hefty price tag which can be a problem for many people. However, some countertop ovens offer all the benefits of a steam oven without draining your budget.
The size of steam ovens can also be prohibitive as countertop models occupy plenty of space. You may wish to have both a steam and convection oven. However, unless you have an ultra-spacious kitchen with a large countertop, you are likely to have a problem. On another side, you may tackle this issue by getting a versatile combination oven.
Cooking with steam means you will have to clean it more often than a convection oven. This is because steam causes condensation to build up during cooking. If you forget to clean, the oven and the food cooked in it will likely start to smell bad. Fortunately, cleaning is easy and fast, as you only need to wipe down the interior.
Last but not least, using the steam oven is not as straightforward as standard ovens. The features are the same, of course, but it will take some practice and trial and error before you get the desired results.
Once you weigh all the pros and the cons, it will be easy to decide whether this type of oven is the right choice for you. Cooking with steam is without one of the healthiest ways of preparing food as the nutrient loss is minimal and oil isn’t required. The appliance is pricey indeed, but we can expect prices to drop as it becomes more popular. Plus, as we mentioned, there are some affordable models, too.
Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor and maintenance. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.