Posted on May 12, 2015 Topic(s): Cooking
Microwave ovens have adorned the countertops and cabinet nooks of North American homes for decades. The terms ‘nuking’ and ‘zapping’ food have become part of modern vernacular. Yet, a new player in town—the convection steam oven—has our Kelowna appliances experts wondering whether it’s time to crown a new king of culinary convenience.
For starters, you need to know a little about steam convection ovens and how they work. Available in countertop and wall-mounted configurations, these units are slightly larger than a microwave, and they generate heat by creating steam inside the oven cavity, which is circulated by a convection fan.
Here are a few advantages steam ovens have over microwaves:
While microwaves are designed to reheat food quickly, the results are sometimes questionable. Zap a plate of leftovers and you can often end up with a bubbling goopy mess, or meat that’s as tough as shoe leather. With a convection steam oven the results are far superior because it allows you to reheat food without drying it out.
The name ‘steam oven’ is a bit of a misnomer as these units are capable of much more than steaming your carrots. In fact, our Kelowna appliances specialists have cooked turkeys, roasts and other cuts of meat in them with tremendous results. You can even bake bread in them.
You could certainly reheat a plate of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers in a microwave, but attempting to cook an entire bird—stuffing and all—would be ill advised.
One of the main reasons modern foodies are drawn to convection steam ovens is the health factor. Cooking with steam is said to retain more nutrients than microwave methods, and, of course, you can cook with metallic containers.
For other benefits of steam ovens, read Steam Ovens: A Great Kitchen Appliance for Okanagan Foodies.
To be fair, microwaves offer two very fundamental benefits that are difficult to beat—they’re fast and they’re convenient. They warm and defrost food quickly, which is perfect for people who do things on the go, eat a lot of frozen food or don’t have the inclination for cooking.
Yet, with a little forethought—such as pulling out food ahead of time—and the patience to wait longer for food to heat, steam ovens could easily replace the counter space taken up by your microwave. In an ideal world, you’d have room for both as they each provide their specific benefits.
Are you tired of reheating leftovers that are dried out and bland? Before shopping for Kelowna appliances, come visit the friendly non-commissioned staff at Genier’s in Vernon to discuss the benefits of convection steam ovens. Our spacious showroom features live kitchens so you can discover firsthand how an appliance will look and perform.