You’re not alone – many Australians have already made the switch to steam from conventional ovens. As you‘d expect, a steam oven uses hot steam (as opposed to hot air) to cook food, which is what makes it a healthier option as you don’t need to add any extra oils to keep food moist while it cooks.
After hearing many of our customers ask the question “Are steam ovens worth it?” We created this quick guide, Steam Ovens Decoded. It’s designed to give you useful tips about how to use a steam oven and what you can expect should you decide to invest in one.
This is one of the most common comparisons, particularly when it comes to microwaves and convection ovens. Start by asking yourself what kind of food you like to cook and how. While a steam oven can’t replace a convection oven, a Combi-Oven, short for ‘combination’ – one that steams and works like a conventional oven – can definitely expand your culinary horizons, giving you more flexibility and options.
Steam oven cooking is a great opportunity to explore new recipes and comes with a range of different benefits. There might be a learning curve as you experiment and master its functions, so be prepared to set aside some extra time to get stuck in.
We’ve already touched on this, but steaming foods is one of the healthiest ways to consume them. Steam is a much gentler cooking process than roasting or boiling, ensuring food retains more nutrients and minerals. Steamed dishes also require far less oil, reducing the fat content of your favourite meals.
The humidity in a steam oven prevents the food from drying out which can improve the taste and trap in all those amazing flavours. This is particularly useful when cooking large quantities of food, like a roast, that typically take longer to make.
If you’re wondering how to clean a steam oven or if it’s a tough task, don’t panic. Due to the extreme humidity inside, grease and grime can’t bake on, making it easy to wipe clean. For a quick cleaning hack, put a dry sponge on the floor of the steam oven after you've finished cooking. Leave the door ajar and the fan will keep working ensuring most of the moisture has dried by the time dinner is done.
When it comes to your veggies and leafy greens, a steam oven retains the colours, textures and flavours of produce better than other more conventional forms of cooking, like frying or baking.
Steam ovens are quick too. Designed with a smaller cavity, steam ovens generally heat up faster than larger conventional ovens. This really comes in handy for reheating leftovers when you're short on time or motivation.
Another bonus of using a steam oven is that they’re versatile enough to be used as a regular oven, but can also be installed alongside other major appliances, like a convection oven to enhance your kitchen’s appeal.
There has been a school of thought that says a steam oven could replace a microwave at home. While steam ovens might not be as fast as a microwave, the quality of food and flavour it offers is of better quality. So the question is largely dependent on your kitchen layout and the space you have available, as well as other factors, like your lifestyle and cooking needs.
A steam oven is a versatile appliance – essentially, you can cook almost anything in it. You can bake bread or steam a cake, cook meat or vegetables, and depending on the model, there may be an opportunity to mix things up. Try preparing a succulent roast using the steam only function, then switching over to the conventional oven for that perfect crispy finish . A steam oven is your opportunity to get creative and start exploring new recipes or cuisines!
When it comes to steam ovens, there are two popular size options: 45cm and 60cm. For the 45cm option, a great choice is the Asko 45cm Combination Steam Oven - Stainless Steel. This combination oven gives you a conventional oven with the added bonus of steam cooking. It’s stainless steel, so it’s easy to keep clean, and has up to 160 automated programs for everything from baking to roasting.
For a bigger steam oven, check out the Westinghouse 60cm Electric Oven - Dark Stainless. With a 72L capacity and five rack levels, this electric powered oven has eight built in cooking settings you’ll love, like AirFry and EasyBake steam. Plus, its triple layered glass window provides additional insulation, ensuring it‘s cooler to the touch and safer for little hands - an important feature to think about if your oven is installed lower down.
We’ve got an exciting selection of all the latest ovens for you to explore at your local Good Guys store and online. Take a look at these amazing products to kickstart your research.
Depending on your capacity needs, either the Miele 60cm XL Steam Combi Oven CleanSteel or the Miele 60cm Steam Combi Oven CleanSteel are great options. The latter option has a big 68L capacity and both ovens allow you to combine cooking options, such as steam and bake, to create mouth-watering roasts, delicious vegetables and other sweet treats.
Sleek and elegant, the Asko 45cm Combination Steam Oven - Anthracite is a versatile combi-oven that can produce healthy meals for you from its multiple and programmable settings. But if you need a little more space, take a look at the Asko 60cm Combination Steam Oven - Stainless Steel. Its 73L capacity is great for large family roasts – with the Stage Cooking function you can steam, roast and use the grill to give your meal the perfect finish.
Our two favourites from this well-loved brand are the Electrolux 60cm Pyrolytic Oven and the Electrolux 60cm Pyrolytic Duo Oven. The duo oven has two independent ovens giving you the flexibility to cook two parts of your meal at the same time. The single pyrolytic oven has a 72L capacity, features 13 cooking functions and a special pyrolytic cleaning function so you don’t need to scrub or use harsh chemicals to keep your oven sparkling.
Check out the Bosch 60cm Combi-Steam Oven Black for a flexible combi-oven. With a large 1L water tank and 71L capacity, it’s a good option for any budding amateur chef. Or if you’re working with a little less space, the Bosch Compact Steam Oven Series 8 makes a great cooking companion. From its 14 heating functions you can bake, roast and dish up tasty treats for you, your friends and family.
The Smeg 60cm Classic Compact Combi-Steam Oven is a great mid-range combi-oven with a generous 50L capacity. It’s simple to use with 3 main cooking settings and even has a Vapour Clean function to make it easy to tidy up after each meal.
The Westinghouse 90cm dual fuel pyrolytic freestanding cooker and Westinghouse 60cm Electric Oven in Dark Stainless both boast Easy bake + Steam cooking functionality. Simply fill the reservoir with water and take your baking, roasting and steaming to the next level. These models also boast AirFry functionality to make this a win-win choice for your next oven.
The Smeg Portofino 120cm Double Oven is a passionate cook’s dream. This freestanding cooker boasts two full sized ovens, one offering steam generated cooking. In stunning colours – turquoise, stainless steel or on-trend black, this cooker offers the best of all cooking functions, including teppanyaki grill, and will become the heart of your kitchen.
No matter your kitchen size or cooking needs, you’ll find the perfect steam oven for you at The Good Guys. Shop online or visit our friendly staff in store, plus enjoy the convenience of The Good Guys Home Services, where we can send a licensed professional out to you to install your new appliance. Happy cooking!