The oven is, arguably, the most important kitchen appliance you will ever purchase so it has to be able to do exactly what you want it to do, in the exact way you want it. The steam oven is an alternative method of cooking food, one which many agree is far healthier than its counterparts and possesses the ability to cook food faster and in a more effective manner, surely putting it heads and shoulders above the rest of its competition.
There are a selection of pros and cons associated with the steam oven but it seems prudent to discover just what it is first. The steam oven basically consists of a removable water tank which uses water vapour to cook the food. As you might imagine, they cook at higher temperatures than a conventional oven to ensure you're getting the best results.
Primarily, it's a better cooking experience as this method of cooking helps to retain flavours and textures of the food within. This is especially true with vegetables as fewer nutrients and vitamins are lost during the process. With this in mind, it's also a healthier method of oven-cooking and recommended for those seeking to really keep the minerals present in their food.
Those looking to keep a clean, healthy kitchen and oven will be in luck as it's far easier to keep a steam oven in check compared to an oily, greasy conventional oven. They also avoid problems when it comes to spillages and spattering, something usually associated with conventional ovens.
Whilst the oven may not brown foods, it does mean that vegetables keep their natural, healthy and fresh appearance, equating to a much more appealing meal. This is effective and, importantly, doesn't require any special equipment to help it work, another perk of the steam oven. The price is not significantly large as cooks don't need to invest in anything specific other than perhaps the steam basket, making it a cost-effective alternative as well.
Whilst there's a lot to be said for the way the steam oven works, some people just don't want to cook like this. Some may like to add oil and fat to their food for that addictive flavour, not to mention its part of a balanced diet. The steam is also incredibly hot and you will have to wait a while before diving in to bring out the dish as the steam can come rushing out and cause burns.
Perhaps the number one disadvantage of the steam oven is that it cannot brown food, can't make them crispy, essentially limiting the use of the oven for those wishing to bake desserts, vegetables and fish dishes. The browning process also adds imperative flavour and those using a steam oven will miss out on that process.
Meats can also suffer from the steam oven as the process means that it won't brown or crisp which can lead to some unappealing meals, although the meat will retain more moisture and stay succulent. Whilst this shouldn't prevent users from cooking foods such as meats, fish, potatoes and desserts in the oven, it may be best to search for certain types of steam ovens that come with a combination method in which the food is cooked with steam and then browned by warm and dry heat before being served.
Essentially, the steam oven can cook anything and it's up to the user what they cook and how they cook it. The main benefit of the oven is that it is healthier and will keep those nutrients packed right into the food, offering a healthy, delicious meal devoid of any extra calories.