Thread Number: 83041  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Residential Steam Ovens: What are your thoughts and/or experiences?
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Post# 1073251   5/18/2020 at 22:44 (189 days old) by RevvinKevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        

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I learned about them 20 or more(?) years ago, but never paid much attention because the cost was so astronomical, I always figured they were for the super wealthy who had nothing better to spend their money on when doing a high dollar kitchen remodel.

 

Not that they are any more affordable today, but I came across a cooking demo video on U-tube the other day and was quite impressed by what they appear to be capable of.   The demo happened to be with a Miele (drool), but pushing $5K.... it's waaaaay out of MY realm of reality.

 

I have since learned they are made by Jenn-Air (surprise!), Miele, Thermador/Bosch and Wolf (and Gaggenau, but at $8K+, who cares)   (I stopped in a local higher-end appliance store this afternoon to have a closer look and discovered Jenn-air has gone WAY upmarket, or now offers a high-end line to directly compete with Wolf, Thermador, Miele, etc, etc)

 

Do any of you have experiences with a steam oven?   Is it something worth having if you can get one at a reasonable (???) price?  What are the benefits of cooking with steam?

 

Thanks,

Kevin

 


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Post# 1073256 , Reply# 1   5/19/2020 at 00:19 (188 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I don't know much about them either. There are countertop models by Cuisinart etc. that sell for a few hundred bucks.

Post# 1073260 , Reply# 2   5/19/2020 at 01:38 (188 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

I had one years ago (Bosch/Siemens Liftmatic Profi-Klass, AKA Broomstickmatic)

During the first month it was WOW, AMAZING, SPECTACULAR, HOW COULD I LIVE ALL THOSE YEARS WITHOUT IT? add to it the "status" of having a "bottom-load" oven while the rest of the world had boring front-load ovens. It was "THE" piece of conversation for everybody that arrived in my house and WOW, it has convection, steam, and you can even bake bread or a pizza without using a pan.

What really happened is that it's EXACTLY like when the first stoves with meat probe came out. 2 months later, 90% of people that have a stove with a meat probe have no idea where they put the meat probe (and it can be often found on the very bottom of the bottom drawer, under the kitchen towels or the ziploc boxes and the last time they remember they used it was for the thanksgiving turkey.... in 1978.
And when they replace the stove, of course they get another one with a meat probe, because they simply can't live without it, but this time it will end in the same drawer, forgotten in the unopened plastic bag together with the user manual.

After the first month cooking almost every day only to have an "excuse" to use the steam (or the probe, or the convection, or the "pyroclean", or simply opening and closing the oven every time I entered the kitchen", I simply forgot the feature existed. Days after the warranty expired the liftmatic mechanism stopped working and I had to cut a broomstick to keep the oven closed. Lovely, isn't? You spend a fortune to have a fancy oven to the the conversation starter in my kitchen and suddenly the conversations start with "are you using a broomstick to hold your oven in place?". not to mention something easy as open and close the oven door turned into a gym exercise, using a spatula to lift a gap so my hand could fit under the oven, then lift it and place the broomstick to keep it closed.



If steam works, yes, it does. The results are EXCELLENT (if the person using the oven is a good cook). Don't expect it to be absurdly fantastic as a "combi" oven that restaurants have. It produces steam, but not that absurd amount like the crab steamers you can see on that fish market in the Redondo Beach pier. You know the steam is working because you can see SOME condensation. but when you open the door, you won't have that cloud of steam just like then you walk in a sauna.

One thing I really liked about the oven you showed is that it doesn't require a water line. My oven (early 2000s) required a water hookup, just like a fridge with an icemaker. I had to cut the ceiling (concrete) to built in in the water line because the oven was in an island.

all that said...

Well, if it was ME buying an oven I wouldn't let the steam feature make it cost absurdly more. It's good but not something worth thousands of dollars. A good cook knows how to produce steam in ANY oven using a baking pan on the bottom rack. Now, if the steam comes as a bonus and the price is "normal", sure, go ahead! Bad it's not, but it is not good enough to justify an absurd price.


Post# 1073266 , Reply# 3   5/19/2020 at 03:02 (188 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I use a pan on the bottom shelf of my oven when I want steam.  I only use it for bread, though I"m sure there are other reasons to use it.


Post# 1073277 , Reply# 4   5/19/2020 at 04:48 (188 days old) by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

My Miele oven has the burst of steam and timed steam injection. It will add up to a cup of water as steam during the cooking process.

The only time that I’ve really found benefit was using the reheat program for food. It takes about 25 minutes and will inject a cup of water as steam, it does a terrific job of reheating proteins that would otherwise go rubbery in the microwave.


Post# 1073281 , Reply# 5   5/19/2020 at 06:35 (188 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
I have a Samsung Steam Oven...

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I hate to say I have never used the steam function but this thread makes me want to give all that a try.  Maybe this weekend.........


Post# 1073287 , Reply# 6   5/19/2020 at 07:45 (188 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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This was the closest I could do in the way of steaming:

That is, I poured boiling water under my broiling tray...



— Dave


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Post# 1073290 , Reply# 7   5/19/2020 at 07:59 (188 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Expensive Built-In Steam Ovens

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Don't waste your time or money, KA has had these for over a decade, lots of problems with rust, they are often not even Self-Cleaning all for very little benefit.

 

I can rewarm the amount of food shown in Kevins post in my Thermador Micro-Convection-Thermal oven in about 10 minutes without any thing getting rubbery or dried out by using a suitable amount of MW power and a low 250F heat, and if any thing spills or splatters you don't have to waste time cleaning it by hand, life is too short for cleaning ovens.

 

John L.


Post# 1073307 , Reply# 8   5/19/2020 at 09:17 (188 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Steam Ovens

They are somewhat of a luxury kitchen item over here as well but verry common if you have 2 ovens in a kitchen and even the built in ones can be had for 1000€ round about.

These come now as stand alone steamers (about 500-1000€), steam oven (1000-2000€), steam microwave (same price range) and steam convection microwave combo.
Luxury brands like Miele and Gaggenau go for much more than that, of course.



Most a slim-height (45cm) though some are normal size.


Mostly good for people who do a lot of fresh vegetable cooking cause that is basicly what they are verry good for: Large amounts of delicate nutriant rich foods.




A much cheaper solution for anyone wanting to do bakeing and roasting with steam support are steam-enhanced ovens like Mieles Moisture Plus.

That adds steam to a process without much in terms of extra hardware like a true steam generator.

Real steam ovens also often use SS interiors which are not suitable for self cleaning ovens.
A moisture enhanced oven can be self cleaning much more easier than a full steam oven.


Post# 1073309 , Reply# 9   5/19/2020 at 09:51 (188 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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RevvinKevin,

This is good enough for the price point:

www.tovala.com/oven...

I have a Miele combisteam at work, I have the tovala at home. I love the Miele, but the tovala is good enough for what I paid for it, and I use it all the time.

Before I leave the job, I will have a Miele combisteam at home, but until then, the tovala is a good place holder. It is a PITA to clean though, but for under $500, I can deal with it. I steam potatoes, veggies, eggs, I use it for reheating all the time and I bake in it.

I do have the first generation oven though.


Post# 1073313 , Reply# 10   5/19/2020 at 10:36 (188 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        
Instant Pot

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Hi Kevin,

Have you tried using the Instant Pot for steaming?


Post# 1073441 , Reply# 11   5/20/2020 at 07:25 (187 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Back in the early 70s, when I was a student, I used to put leftovers in containers and heat them up really fast in the pressure cooker.  A friend called it an antique microwave.


Post# 1073462 , Reply# 12   5/20/2020 at 10:03 (187 days old) by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
you won't have that cloud of steam

I beg to differ, Thomas. We have a Miele in each kitchen (one Gen 6 model and 1 from the previous generation) and both produce an immense cloud of steam when the door is opened if using the steam function and not combi-steam. And, Andy has cooked lobsters many times in the one at his parent's house in MO.

John, I bow to your experience with appliances, but have you worked on/with the Miele? I didn't see rust issues except in rare cases where the user never used the drying function and/or left the door open to let it dry after use. And cleaning is a breeze if you set it for steam, don an oven glove, and wipe it while the steam has everything all nicely goo-ified. You can even let it cool a bit before wiping. There's also a "soak" function for this.

I love ours. Rich eats a lot of salmon and really likes the way it comes out, just as an example.

Would I spend upwards of $4k for one? Not at this point. But one was given to me by a customer who really wanted a speed oven instead and the other came from the local Miele showroom when it closed (barely used and IIRC it was $100). If one of them went on the blink and I could replace it for +/- $500, yes.

In the "they have more money than brains" department, I had a customer in NY who bought 2 Mieles and put them in like an over/under double oven. The lower one is strictly for her husband's use... 2 soft boiled eggs for breakfast every day.

Chuck



Post# 1073568 , Reply# 13   5/21/2020 at 00:07 (186 days old) by RevvinKevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        

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Thank you very much for all of your comments!

 

Joshua: Thank you for the info on the Tovala, it looks interesting and I'd not heard of it.

 

Louis: I have not yet used the Instant Pot to steam anything (or make rice, or any number of other thing it's capable of), aside from roasts, ribs, corned beed & cabbage, etc.

 

Chuck: Thank you for the positive comments about your experiences!

 

Kevin


Post# 1092528 , Reply# 14   10/9/2020 at 04:03 by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        
Kevin

I'm REALLY impressed with what I saw in more than one opportunity. (WHich BTW is completely different from the HORRIBLE steam oven I had.

A few months past, now I'm curious to know in details what are YOUR opinions?







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