Steam ovens are appliances that harness the functioning of thermal conduction built-in systems for steam cooking and offer the double option to either use the functions of classic thermoventilated ovens, or to steam cook. You can switch from a type of cooking to another one at any moment and it is always possible to choose in what way you wish to cook your meal. Steam ovens use the vaporization of the water that is usually contained in lateral reservoirs, incorporated in the same structure of the oven. By using a steam oven combined with thermoventilated functions it is possible to obtain very high quality cooking, since heat is distributed homogeneously. This guarantees a considerable level of time and energy efficiency, when compared to ordinary cooking.
A steam oven for cooking and eating healthily
The addition of a certain percentage of humidity to the hot air in the oven improves food cooking. It is first of all fundamental to draw a difference between two different concepts: steam cooking and cooking with moisture addition. In the first case, the oven cavity is filled with steam and food is boiled; in the second case, instead, a variable percentage of moisture is added to the dry heat. Let’s now pinpoint the two different typologies of steam ovens on the market. There are those defined as direct steam ovens -where the water is directed on a fiery plate located in the cooking chamber that vaporizes it- and boiler-equipped ovens, bringing water to the wished temperature and propelling it inside the oven in the form of steam. The first model does not allow cooking at a low temperature and adjusting the temperature is more difficult. The most advanced alternatives, on their hand, combine steam cooking with cooking with hot air. It is the case of combined steam ovens, professional devices using either hot air or steam to cook food, what largely widen the range of cooking options these ovens dispose of, when compared to traditional ovens that only exploit hot air. Besides, there are endless models of steam ovens with a modern design that contribute to the final layout of a kitchen furniture project.
Typologies and models. Built-in steam ovens
Steam cooking allows to retain a great deal of food nutritional properties such as vitamins, proteins and mineral salts. The choice of a healthy lifestyle and cooking has triggered a revival of the steam cooking technique, which keeps unaltered the nutritional and organoleptic properties of food, without sacrificing taste and without the need to add fats or generous seasoning. Steam cooking allows food to be cooked without entering in touch with water as it is instead the case when it is boiled. Steam does never reach 100° (unless the oven has been set as to reach that temperature), thus allowing to cook any type of meal. The market offers many different varieties of steam ovens with a versatile design. The highest on demand are certainly built-in steam ovens, that can be directly incorporated in the kitchen structure. Among the most recent models there are steam ovens with electronic control or touch screen, while the most used materials are metal (generally stainless steel) and glass.
All the benefits of cooking with a steam oven
Cooking with a steam oven offers remarkable advantages when compared to cooking with traditional ovens. If with dry air ovens cooking is possible when the temperature gets higher than 100°, steam cooking allows to cook faster and at lower temperatures. Steam is assessed to be more effective than hot air. Steam ovens allow to set temperatures between 35°-40° and 120°, together with cooking time; even the temperature reaching the middle of the food being cooked can be chosen and set with a specific probe. The cooking mechanism is extremely different too. With dry heat food cooks by oxidation, while when steaming (or when immersed in a liquid) food cooks by coagulation. This impacts the result of a final dish: the product does not dry, maintaining its softness, the cooking process preserves the food natural taste, fats are unnecessary and flavors can be added to the dish through steam.
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