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 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

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