We all need to let off a little steam sometimes and one of the most therapeutic ways to do this is in the kitchen. While not everyone excels when it comes to culinary prowess, there are some innovative new devices available that up the ante for wannabe chefs. Steam ovens are some of the most prominent.
Steam ovens have taken an age-old cooking style and amped it up to the next level. A steam oven functions like a microwave, steamer and convection oven combined; a one-stop shop for all your cooking needs.
We take a look at the Gaggenau steam oven range, some of the best products on the market.
How Steam Ovens Work
Steam ovens work by extracting water from a reservoir based either in the front or interior of the oven and transferring it to a boiler. This creates steam which is released into the oven and circulated, cooking your food far more efficiently than conventional methods.
Steam ovens also optimise the health, integrity, and flavour of your food. Here’s how they work.
- Steam locks in nutrients, ensuring that you consume 100% of their natural benefits.
- Because the steam provides constant moisture during the cooking process, there is no need to add extra fat to your cooking.
- You can steam multiple foods simultaneously without experiencing flavour transfers. So cooking scallops and cupcakes at the same time is a breeze.
- Steam locks in natural juices, so nothing ever dries out.
- Reheated foods maintain their original flavour and texture – even breads.
Steam ovens can also be used for a multitude of functions. Doughs proof in half the normal time, proteins defrost in a jiffy, baby bottles and jars can be sterilised. As temperatures can be set in single increments, you can even sous-vide, Masterchef-style.
Gaggenau Steam Oven Review
The Gaggenau 400 series offers six stunning 24” or 30” handcrafted, luxury combi-steam ovens to choose from. Each one features fixed inlet and outlet connections, home network integration and an automatic door opening system with a choice of left or right hinging.
Their smart interior design elements incorporate a larger than usual cavity, a full surface grill hidden elegantly behind glass, a non-reflective rear wall and subtle LED lighting to illuminate your cooking.
Gaggenau also offers some unique automated cleaning functions that are well worth the spend. These include a descaling and drying program, a grease filter positioned in front of the convection fan and a clever steam condensing system that stops steam from engulfing you when you open the door. All of these are designed to ensure that your steam oven looks forever new.
Other noteworthy features:
- Adjustable automatic programs
- Accurate temperature display of up to 230℃
- Temperature control in 1℃ increments
- 5 humidity levels
- A 2000w broiling element
Gaggenau ovens can handle a wide range of cooking methods including dough proofing, regenerating, defrosting, baking, grilling, braising, browning, sous-viding and gratinating. Every option a budding chef could wish for.
Gaggenau steam oven cost calculator
If you’re ready to buy your Gaggenau steam oven, you’ll need to know how much it costs and whether it is an affordable option for you.
Steam Oven Buyers Guide
When purchasing a steam oven, you will need to consider the following:
- Plumbing: Steam ovens can either be plumbed-in or bought as freestanding units. For plumbed-in models, ensure that you have space for your oven near a water line.
- Cooking time: A freestanding steam oven provides around two hours of cooking time before the reservoir has to be refilled. Plumbed-in ovens supply a constant source of water and have no time restrictions.
- Cleaning: While plumbed-in ovens drain all excess water out of the cavity via the exit line, freestanding models need to be wiped down or dried out after each use
- Maintenance: Because steam ovens work on the principle of using moisture at high temperatures, you will have to descale your oven every two to three months.
- Reservoirs: Reservoirs are either positioned in the outside front of the oven or right at the back on the inside. Exterior reservoirs do tend to drip a little but are hassle free to fill. Interior reservoirs are more discreet, but opening the door to fill them does lead to temporary heat loss during the cooking process.
- Formats and voltage: Steam ovens come in three formats: pure steam, steam/convection and steam assist. Most operate at 220/240 volts.