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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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*

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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

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