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 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!

  2. 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??

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

  9. 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!!!

  10. 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.

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