For cooking food that is at the same time tasty and healthy, there is nothing better than a steam oven. This appliance is essential to cook many dishes in a short time and efficiently. Moreover, the benefits of steam cooking are nowadays well known. But, how does a steam oven work? If water is contained in lateral tanks, steam ovens do not require anything specific for installation, though it is possible to opt for a direct connection with the water system for loading and downloading. Steam comes from a small boiler that needs to be regularly cleaned up and decalcified. With steam ovens there is no need of particular safety systems either. Is is only important for the door to have hypothermal glasses that reflect heat towards the inside. Ovens with steam cooking can work in two ways. There are indeed models that use water sprayed from special injectors inside the heating elements of the cooking chamber, while steam is uniformly spread inside the oven and other models that use only steam that is independently produced outside the cooking chamber. The first ones are used for cooking food at a higher temperature than 100°C; the second ones are more recommended to cook potatoes, meat, leavened food or leaf vegetables, since steam temperature can be adjusted.
Functions of steam ovens
Steam ovens are mainly of two kinds: steam ovens that use exclusively steam to cook; combination steam ovens, also known as multifunction, that combine the traditional thermoventilated method (with the use of hot air) and steam cooking to transfer heat on food. In the first case, water is drained to a hot plate inside the cooking chamber that vaporizes it. In the second case, it is possible to select the best cooking option between the two or a combination of both, depending on the dish that is being cooked and the desired outcome. But where does steam come from? Most ovens are supplied with a tank, normally positioned on the side panels, that needs to be filled with water before use. When the appliance is turned on, a small internal boiler activates to heat the water and vaporizes it inside the chamber through a vent, so that food is cooked homogeneously and continuously. In other models, water is taken straight from the kitchen water system.
Types and models of steam ovens: built-in steam ovens
Conceived for professional cooking, steam ovens enable to use the conventional air circulation system of thermoventilated ovens along with the possibility to steam cook. In any case, in almost all models the cooking method can be switch. The market offers diverse types of steam ovens with a versatile design. The most popular are definitely built-in steam ovens, allowing to install the oven into the kitchen structure. Built-in steam ovens, also known as combination ovens or combi-system, are a specific type of electric ovens allowing for the possibility to use receipts that require steam cooking and to accurately control the cooking temperature thanks to the presence of electric resistors. Perfect for those who love healthy food that is also tasty and flavored, this type of steam ovens often feature the characteristics of pyrolitic ovens. The latest models include steam ovens with an electronic control and touch screen, while the most frequently used materials are stainless steel and glass.
Temperatures and benefits of steam ovens
Steam ovens are the perfect ally for those who choose a healthy lifestyle without giving up on taste. Ovens can reach different temperatures, based on the cooking function. As a matter of fact, with steam cooking only, temperatures can reach from 30° up to 100°/120° C. By combining both cooking methods, that is to say steam and thermoventilated cooking, temperatures can even go up to 250°C. In any case, in steam ovens it is always possible to control the temperature and adjust it to the specific needs of the food that is being cooked. Combined with other technologies, steam ovens also guarantee time and energy efficiency up to 15-20% less than with traditional cooking. On top of that, the great introduction of such models is their integrated pyrolysis self-cleaning system. By making use of the pyrolysis, steam ovens reach high temperatures that burn possible dirt and food residues. This allows to avoid using cleansers, while speeding up and simplifying the oven maintenance that can be started from the display.