From our friends at Electrolux!
Discover the rich history, unique recipes and delicious opportunities
that await with steam oven cooking.
Steam oven cooking is an innovative and effortless way for home chefs to cook tender meats, bake airy pastries and so much more. This unique and time-tested cooking method helps you push the limits of your culinary creativity and create mouthwatering dishes from the comfort of your kitchen. In this article, you’ll find steam cooking tips, learn about its interesting history and discover how steam can allow you to experiment with new cooking techniques and bring more gourmet flavor to the table.
What is steam oven cooking?
In its purest form and simplest terms, steam oven cooking (steam cooking for short) is a food preparation method that circulates “wet heat” in the form of steam to efficiently and deliciously cook a dish — from proteins and vegetables to pastas and cakes.
Unlike conventional ovens that use dry heat, steam ovens use the added moisture of steam to preserve not only the juiciness but also the nutrients in the foods you’re cooking. And while you’d expect a technique that delivers juicier, fluffier, crispier results to be more time consuming, steam cooking often yields faster results compared to typical oven cooking.
Did you know? While steam cooking may be a relatively new technique in most home kitchens, cooking with steam or “wet heat” began in China thousands of years ago with the first use of bamboo steamers.
The perfect balance of steam & heat
The power of steam.
Both Steam Bake and Steam Roast on Electrolux ovens use a patented Direct Steam method to deliver enhanced flavors from your favorite foods. With this technology, steam is created directly in the oven cavity where Advanced Convection also takes place. Here, two fans work together to achieve precise heat and airflow, while the high wattage used in this process yields better, more delicious and consistent results with less food shrinkage. Meaning you aren’t unintentionally dehydrating or wasting the meals you masterfully prepare.
Steam Bake vs. Steam Roast
When utilizing the Steam Bake function, you must first preheat your oven. This step helps to saturate the oven and properly prepares it for baking delicate foods like yeast breads. Additionally, Steam Bake automatically raises the internal temperature of the oven to compensate for the heat you would lose when you open the oven door. This helps ensure pastries and breads maintain fuller flavor, crispier crusts, higher rise and fluffier crumbs than traditional baking methods.
The Steam Roast function allows you to start cooking your culinary creation instantly without the need for preheating. Unlike regular roasting, Steam Roast generates more intense heat from the start of cooking, ensuring your proteins are evenly cooked and skillfully seared without losing the flavor, juices and nutrients that make the meat fork-tender. What’s more, because you are starting with a cold oven, you also have the ability to connect a Temperature Probe to help monitor and perfect the cooking of your favorite proteins.
Can you use steam for dishes beyond meat and bread?
While Steam Bake is often associated with breads and Steam Roast with proteins, steam cooking can help enhance an array of delicious foods for every palate. From steam roasting shellfish to steam baking a decadent lasagna, you can use steam and a little ingenuity to elevate just about any meal.
What kinds of food can I steam cook?
- Fish & seafood
- Red meat
- Poultry & white meats
- Vegetables & sides
- Bread & cakes
- Pasta & grains
Better flavor, bigger benefits
What are the health benefits of cooking with steam?
Steam cooking does so much more than lock in the nutritional value, gorgeous colors and complex flavors of your favorite food. It also creates an easy way to cook simple, healthy meals. By avoiding direct contact with the cooking liquid, the nutrients stay put and the natural flavors shine. Plus, it promotes reduced fat cooking — you don’t need butter, oil or cooking spray to prevent foods from sticking together or cooking surfaces.
Is steam cooking better for the environment?
Steam cooking can help optimize a plant-based diet (which is proven to be better for the environment) by preserving the nutritional value and flavor of foods. Additionally, because steam cooking takes less time (average cooking times are 20-30% quicker than conventional dry oven cooking), it eliminates the need for preheating, requires less clean up and is an overall greener option.
Electrolux x SideChef
Steam cooking can be just the start of your culinary adventure! Now, when you purchase a new appliance from Electrolux.com, you get free access to a SideChef Premium membership. This meal planning service includes custom recipes carefully curated by a team of world-class chefs, bakers, food scientists, artisans and other culinary experts around the world that are optimized for use with your new Electrolux appliances.
Whether you are looking to whip up vegetarian or vegan delights, explore zero-waste recipes or discover new cuisines from Southeast Asia to the UK to France, SideChef premium has the recipes, tips and techniques you need to take your culinary skills to the next level.
SideChef’s favorite foods for steam cooking:
- Pork Tenderloin
Steam roasting the pork perfectly seals in the moisture and flavor while evenly cooking through.
- Roasted Vegetables
Flavor and nutrients both stay intact to provide the perfect side dish for any meat.
Check out our steam oven rice cooking guide to get it right for any amount you are preparing.
Steam baking fresh bread allows for the perfect balance of crusty and fluffy.
Don’t forget dessert! Bake an unforgettably perfect crust and silky, evenly cooked filling with this steam baked cheesecake recipe.