Cooking with a Steam Oven

CATEGORIES: The Scoop

A while back, I shared a post about my kitchen,

Sara-Wells-Kitchen

and details on my appliances, too.  One of the things I get the most questions on from that post (and in real life) is that little black oven over there.

Sara's Kitchen

It’s a Thermador Steam oven , and I get a lot of emails and comments asking what exactly it does and how I like it.  Now that I’ve had it for more than a year, I feel like I can actually write about it and answer those questions.  So, what the heck is a steam oven?  Watch this:

 

I told you guys that I had a total I’m-officially-a-grown-up moment when this truck rolled up to our house a little over a year ago and I realized the excitement rivaled that of Christmas day.

Orson-Gygi-Truck

When I was picking out my appliances at Orson Gygi, one of the things I was really interested in was the Thermador steam oven.  I went back and forth on whether I was going to get one, and I’m so glad I went for it.  It’s smaller than a standard oven, but larger than a microwave.  You can fit quite a bit of food in there- even a 14lb turkey (that cooks in 90 minutes!) Mine looks like this:

Steam Oven

And I love this new stainless model they have out now:

MCSA00594456_PSO301M_def

This little thing is kind of amazing.  It can defrost, steam, proof, bake, slow cook, reheat, you name it.

Thermador Steam Oven

(above photos via Thermador) The way it works is that there’s a little pitcher that you fill with regular water, and pop it in the slot.  The water is then released into the oven during the cooking process, creating steam and enveloping the food inside.

Water-Pitcher

Pans and racks slide right in.

Thermador-Steam

The oven can function not only as a steam oven, but as a normal convection oven and also a steam/convection combo.  One of the cool things about having the steam is that it prevents the transfer of flavors so you can cook things like apple pie and garlic chicken at the same time and the flavors don’t mix.  It also has tons of preset programs that automatically set the oven temperature and humidity for things you cook often.

Thermador-Steam-Panel

For example- one of the things I use it for all the time is hard-boiling eggs (I know, of all things).  My kids have a strange obsession with hard-boiled eggs these days (or as they call them ‘hot boiled eggs,’ also applicable), so I can pop a whole pan of them in there and just press one button and it automatically cooks them perfectly.

hard boiled eggs

I also especially love it for things like brown rice and quinoa.  The steam cooks the softest, most fluffy grains I’ve ever had in my life- no exaggeration.  Meats turn out crazy moist, and it’s amazing for re-heating leftovers.  The steam rehydrates so nothing is dried out.  Things like pizza taste like they’re fresh out of the oven again for the first time.  Steam cooking is also obviously a great way to cook healthier food, and steaming retains more vitamins and minerals.

People ask me if I’m happy I got the steam oven and if I use it and the answers are yes, and yes! It’s been a really fun, new way of cooking and I’m still learning more and more things I can do with the oven.  I’m excited to really get into bread making, as the steam oven can re-create that environment that commercial bakeries have that produce that chewy, crackly top.  I’ve really loved it so far for meats and roasts, and of course steaming vegetables. I use it a lot for proofing yeast breads like cinnamon rolls.   My only single regret, and this is simply a kitchen-design regret, not an appliance regret, is not placing it closer to my hood vent.  I didn’t realize it would release a little steam out the front of the oven, and I wish there was a vent above it to suck that up.  But it’s really a minor thing; it makes my house smell extra yummy when I cook with it.  All in all, I’ve loved having it and I’m glad I decided to get it.

Here’s some answers to questions I get the most often:

The oven model I have: this one.
Where I bought it: Orson Gygi in Salt Lake City.  Ask for Dave in appliances and tell him I sent you.  He’ll take good care of you!  The number is (801) 268 3316
Did I use the trim kit?  Nope.  I had my cabinet installer custom fit the space.
Do you need special plumbing for a steam oven?  No.
Is there an option to get a steam oven in a standing range?  Yep.  And it’s a beauty.
Can you post steam recipes? If enough people request it so there’s a need, you bet!

If you have any other questions about it- feel free to ask in the comments!

Note: This post is not sponsored by Thermador, all opinions are mine.

 

 

 

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62 comments

  1. I love your kitchen. A question: could a steam oven replace a conentional oven? I would love to get one but I have a small kitchen and don’t think I can have a conventional oven, microwave and a steam oven.

    1. Actually they are smaller. My old oven was 30″ like most but most steam/conventional like the Thermador is only 24″ wide

    1. Say no more Wendy, you had me a laundry 😉

  2. Hi! Looks like we have the same oven and I love it as much as you do (for the same reasons) 🙂 A big plus for me is that it has this setting to let my bread doughs rise, works great and the dough stays moist and soft. Baking afterwards is a joy as well since the steam creates a humid environment for crackling crusts.
    My brand is Siemens since I’m in Europe but it looks almost exactly like yours. (Thermador is a subsidiary from Siemens) Did you also get the opportunity to order the free cookbook? Lots of recipes in there!

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the steam oven. It looks amazing and I want one! I noticed you also have 2(3) convection ovens, which do you use more? Do you prefer one style over the other?
    Your kitchen looks incredible. I have serious kitchen envy!

  4. Wow! That sounds so awesome! But, I have to admit, I was most inspired by the pellet ice maker when you originally posted about it 🙂

    I was looking for a color to paint our kitchen when you posted originally, too, and we ended up using the same gray that you used! I love it so much! I’ve actually had a friend come over to look at my walls because our designer friend said that I have “such a perfect gray” in my kitchen 🙂 I always give credit back to you, though!

    1. Oh that’s awesome Becky! I love that gray too. The lighting in my photos make it look sort of green, but it really is the perfect gray. I’m so glad you love it, too!

  5. Oh, that is awesome! My husband still talks about that ice maker. Now if I show him this he’s going to want to replace the thermador range we have with that cool one with the steam oven. Hardly practical 🙂 but wow, it would be awesome for hearth breads and baguettes.

  6. Although the steam oven looks AMAZING…I have to say you had me at Pebble Ice Maker. That little puppy is my true love this Valentine’s Day 🙂 Soooo wish I had one *sigh*

  7. I’ve never heard of a steam oven, I bet it makes the food taste even better than a regular over. Sounds awesome, I would love to have one!!

    Marti

  8. Ok, I want a steam oven SO bad!! BTW – I know we have seen your kitchen before, but it is gorgeous! I see those pictures, and it looks like a wonderful gathering place where there is room for kids to help Mom and make memories in the kitchen. It’s warm and inviting and just lovely.

  9. I want to learn more about cooking with a steam oven! It’s one of my dream appliances someday 🙂

    1. Yep!

  10. So you do still have a microwave, right? If the steam oven reheats perfectly, do you still have a need for your microwave? I mostly use my microwave for reheating and defrosting, but is this steam oven a better option? Some day when we buy/build a house, I’d like to make sure that I don’t have extra appliances that don’t get used.

    1. Yes, I still have a microwave, and the steam oven is definitely not a replacement for that. They really have different uses, so I don’t think either one could replace the other.

  11. Are there things you can’t cook in it? I’m wondering if a person could replace a regular oven with a steam oven if they only have room in their kitchen for one or the other?

    1. I wouldn’t say this would replace a standard oven, it’s more of a fun extra.

  12. You can using steam ovens for canning as well. I’ve had a steam oven on my lust list for a few years and hope to get one some day. My experience with them has been wonderful.

    1. I don’t know- I’ll have to do a side-by-side comparison and report back!

  13. We are building a home and have a double oven in our plans. If it would work would you recommend replacing one of the double ovens with a steam oven?

  14. I just had my steam oven installed today and am so excited. In reading the manual, it says to dry so many parts of the oven: the oven, oven door, evaporator dish, tank lid, and tank slot. Seriously??? Do you do that. I don’t imagine myself using it very often if I have to go through that every time. It really seems like overkill.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    BTW, I am replacing my microwave with it!

    1. I just give it a quick wipe-down all over with a towel, but I also use it maybe 2-3 times a week. You’re brave to replace your microwave with it. I don’t think I could live without a microwave!

      1. I don’t really use a microwave much anymore, so to was no big sacrifice. I mostly used the microwave for reheating and the reheating is so much better in the steam oven. I’ve only had it for a week and reheated some medium lamb chops from a rack of lamb. I really didn’t want to ruin those! They came out so delicious. Regarding cleaning up after, the instructions said that the water in the well needed to be wiped, but I always have a fair amount left and need to use a towel to soak it all up. How do you handle that? Thanks for your input.

  15. I have a new Thermador Pro Grand range that includes a really cool steam/convection oven, but I don’t know how to use it. I’m limping along, trying to figure it out on my own. Although Thermador representatives have told me to view the recipes on their website (I have, a thousand times!), I need recipes that explain which pans to use, where to set them in the oven, and which of the many settings the recipe calls for. There are a few recipes on their website that include these important details, but I still have questions. Can you tell me how to make hard cooked eggs in the steam oven? This is so basic but I can’t find the method anywhere, just bloggers raving about how easy it is. Thank you for any help you can give me and for any recipes you post that will help me take full advantage of my steam oven.

    1. Hi, I went to look at the pro 48 w/steam and was told you simply leave the eggs in the carton and they come out perfectly. I went fergusons in palm beach where I will be ordering. Im going with all Thermador products.

  16. WOW! A dream kitchen. I love the oven so much but I kept moving from one place to another recent years and had no luck to settle down and have a real one myself. I usually cook with my smart mini toaster oven for only small servings, such as toast, cookies or some chicken less than 3 pounds. It is not capable of something bigger.

  17. Thanks for this post!! I just thought I would add that I would LOVE it if you would put some steam oven recipes because they are so hard to find!!!

  18. Hey! I love your kitchen! I am currently choosing ovens for our new kitchen… I would like to buy a combination steam oven, and a second standard oven. I’m not sure whether to buy a 30litre combi steam oven (this seems to be the norm with most manufacturers e.g. Bosch, Neff, Siemens etc) and a large 70l standard oven, OR buy a large 70l combination steam oven (only AEG do these) and a smaller 30l standard oven.

    We cook for 4 people, and make a lot of veggies, not so much roasting etc. but happy to experiment. Just can’t figure out which size combination to go for – any advice welcome! Thank you!!

  19. My Thermador steam oven was just installed a few weeks ago and I’m trying it out on many things. But I would love to have a cook book! You mentioned in your article that you would post recipes if there was an interest. Have you done so and if so, please send me that link. BTW, your kitchen is gorgeous.

  20. Hi! I’m also interested in recipes. I will be getting a Thermador range with steam oven as part of a kitchen renovation and have NO IDEA how to cook with it (hence the Google search “cook with steam oven” that got me to your site). Thanks!

  21. Same as comment from Staci. I have the exact same oven as you do, no idea how to use.
    Please post your recipes !

  22. Have you baked scones or muffins in your steam oven? If so, which function did you use? Also, how do you make hardcooked eggs? I have had my steam oven for six months now and I use it all the time, but mostly for reheating leftovers and slow cooking. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. There is an easy cook setting for eggs. I just push the button and it does all the work 🙂 You just have to take a pin and prick each one first. I don’t use it for muffins or scones so I’m no help there.

  23. I’ve had my Thermadore Steam Oven for about a month now, new construction, so I have the original instructions and recipe booklet. I’m quite disappointed: I wish I had been told that the steam oven is easiest to use at eye level or below. Mine is on top of the conventional oven and therefore is awkward to use; I actually have to get a step stool out to clean the darn thing EACH time I use it which I find to be a hassle especially if I’ve got other things going on in the kitchen. And removing excess water from the center tray is a real hassle not to mention the number of paper towels required! I find that removing the trays/racks after the food cooks is also a big mess because of the steam dripping off the pans! The recipes provided must have been written by Europeans; another frustration. Geeze! I really wish I could love this thing!

    1. Well if it makes you feel better, my placement wasn’t the best either! Lol. Mine is way too LOW- I didn’t realize before I got it that it would actually release steam out the front. Had I known that I would have put it up higher (at eye level- far from small kids who could walk past and open it up easily) and also near my hood to suck up the steam.

  24. HELP! I brined my 20 lb. Thanksgiving turkey all day today with the intention of cooking it in the steam oven but now I am worried it will be too Mich moisture overall. I want a tender, flavorful turkey but maybe the steam oven is overkill or will ruin it??

  25. I am building a new home and seriously considering eliminating the regular double oven and putting in two steam combos or one steam combo and a convection/microwave oven below it. what would you think about that? Is there anything a conventional oven can do that a steam combo cannot? Also, how did you decide on Thermadore rather than the Miele?
    I here Miele is the best.

    1. I still like having a regular oven. A major factor is size; the steam oven is substantially smaller. Plus it just cooks a little differently, so I like having both. I’m a fan of Thermador products, Miele is great too though!

  26. Hi Sara, I love the way that you talk about your steam oven and how to use it. I have a Bosch Steam Oven which looks exactly like the one in your photographs. Back when we were renovating our home If I’d known then what I know now I would have bought 2 steam ovens and not bought the conventional oven, as I hardly use it. And the steam oven is so much easier to clean! I love my steam oven and I couldn’t imagine cooking without it now.

  27. Hi all! I just had my Thermadore steam oven installed in my new kitchen. We “tested” it out last night on a simple pan of carrots. We noticed that after the timer went off and we checked the carrots, they weren’t as we wanted them, so we put them back in. Both times on Steam Only mode. During the second run, water was leaking from the oven!!! Anyone else have experience with this? Was is simply due to “experimenting”? I’m concerned about having a long term problem. Also…how long should the water reservoir last? This one ran almost empty over the 30 minutes of “off and on”…? My model is the stainless one shown above. Thank you for any insight you can provide!!

    1. Are you sure it was actually leaking? There is so much steam in the oven that you get high amounts of condensation that drip down the door when you open it. I’m guessing that had already happened since you opened your oven. The steam-only mode will use a great deal of water, because that’s what it’s using to cook. When you use the combo modes, you’ll find it needs less. I just fill it up every time regardless. Hope that helps!

  28. Hi Sara! I plan on buying the same steam oven. have you had yours for over 2 years yet? Any repairs needed thus far? I’m wondering if I need to buy the extended warranty that my salesperson is offering. Also, how loud is your ice maker? Love your kitchen!

    1. I have had my steam oven for 3 years now and not a single problem with it. The ice maker just has a hum, similar to maybe a fridge?

  29. hi there!
    I just installed my Thermador Steam oven and i LOVE it too!!!! Question – at the end of cooking, the indentation on the bottom of the oven is completely full of water – is yours as well? I expected a bit, but not as much. I also find a bit of water in my plate when I use the reheat setting, so I’m wondering if my oven is producing too much steam? thanks!!!

    1. No, that’s how it’s supposed to be! The water has to go somewhere, so that’s what that spot is for. The oven should come with a sponge that fits in there to soak it up nicely.

      1. I know that this is an old thread, but I’ve been pulling my hair out wondering how on earth to get out all of the excess water without using all my kitchen towels. A sponge! I’m getting in touch with Ferguson bc mine didn’t come with one. Thanks!!

        1. Ah yes- it should have come with one!

  30. I am planning to make a cheesecake for the holidays. Can I use my steam convection to bake it, and eliminate the bain marie?

    1. You should be able to, but I’ve never tried it. I’d like to, though! Let me know how it goes!

  31. I would love it if you could do a recipe book/tutorial/ informative booklet on the thermador steam oven! I have had the Pro range with steam oven for over a year and am so intimidated by using steam! Any info would help!!!!! Thank you!

  32. Hello! We are building a house and trying to figure out what kitchen appliances to go with. Can’t decide if we should get a double convection oven AND a steam/combination oven or the steam/combi and single convection oven stack. I see you have the double and the steam…do you like that setup? Do you find you still use your double as much? Thank you so much for any insight. Also, Miele now sells a plumbed steam/combination oven…would love your thoughts on that! Thank you!

    1. Just depends on how much you cook and how often you need/want 2 full size ovens. For me, it’s my job- so my ovens are often full. Totally a personal decision but I’ve been happy with mine. We do use the steam oven all the time just for regular (non steam) cooking, so keep in mind it will function like that as well.

    2. I have the combi steam oven over a regular convection oven and a tiny small microwave elsewhere. I have only used the regular convection oven for turkeys and for cookies (my cookie trays are too wide for the combi steam oven is the only reason) and I use my combi steam oven everyday for almost everything. The microwave is only used for microwave popcorn, reheating coffee and the occasional reheating of something if I’m too impatient to put it in the steam oven (the combi steam reheats foods with much better results)

  33. I really enjoyed reading this blog. Updating my kitchen and have been researching Thermadore, Wolf, Miele and others. I like the fact that the smaller appliance stores can perform their own work on Thermadore, where there’s only one company who can perform work on Wolf and they are quite expensive. I am quite intrigued by the combination steam and convection oven and am leaning toward Thermadore. Glad to read about all of the positive comments. Can’t wait to buy this and start using it.

  34. Thanks to all for the useful information. I’m trying to choose between Wolf and Thermador steam convection ovens. Does anyone have experience with the Wolf?

  35. I pu the Thermador 48 steam pro oven in and so far so good. However, I’m finding that when I cook or roast vegetables – especially potatoes – they end up getting mushy instead of crispy. any thoughts? I’ve been using convection bake mode but will try others

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